Tag Archives: playing with watercolour

Watercolour demo…..

Along with workshops, I also like to give watercolour demonstrations.    This is an excellent way to give people a taster of what watercolour painting can be.

It’s always important to remember that my demo might be very different from other artists.    What I say and do isn’t necessarily what others might agree with, or indeed people wishing to learn about watercolour painting might wish to follow.    It’s just another way of approaching the medium.

Red landscape – A very simple watercolour exercise….perfect for beginners. 

P1100748I gave a demonstration on Monday at The Hurlingham Club in London, but as I haven’t had time to unpack my bag yet, I am using an example I have on file.

In this frame I wet the ‘sky’ area of the painting – dropped some colour into it and allow the paint to bleed (run)……..It’s important to note that at this point the bottom part of the paper is kept as dry white paper.

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This next technique is possibly one of the most important – it allows for the avoidance of Mud!!    The enemy of any watercolorist….

I have taken a clean, wet brush and gently teased the paint from the sky area, which is still wet, and pulled the colour down.     Note I have left some dry white paper at the horizon line.

Always have several pots of clean water available….again this helps in the avoidance of mud.

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Working on dry paper, is called ‘dry brush’ which can be very confusing given that the brush always has to have some wetness to it.    Like all things there’s all sorts of jargon which can bamboozle someone knew to the game!

In this frame, using a mix of purple and burnt sienna…I have indicated dark areas in the foreground – consciously leaving a lot of dry white paper.    I have also allowed the same colour mix to bleed up into the skyline….giving the illusion of trees on the horizon line.

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And finally the finished image.      Note the areas where I have left – dry white paper’  (this gives the sparkle to watercolour painting) – and also that I have allowed the paint to run….and do its own thing….which I find is one of the  great joys of watercolour painting…..plus an excellent lesson in ‘letting go of control’.

Finally I took a knife and scraped out a few lines in the foreground, indicating reeds/grasses.

The exercise is a great one to PLAY with….the importance of which I can never emphasise enough.       I find that tube paints allow me to work with juicier colours……again if just starting out, purchase in expensive set of paintings to PLAY with……

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And of course I must finish with a magical hummingbird.           They do seem to  be weaving their magic at the moment:)

Here is the l link to my new ‘Hummingbird page’ – http://www.zazzle.com/janet+weight+reed+gifts     

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Enjoy a lovely weekend….

A Bientôt

 

A splash of colour for Wednesday….

Given that it’s August, a month when so many people are on holiday…and life is generally more laid back….this tutorial fits right in.

I am using watercolour on white paper with a touch of designer gouache.    The difference between watercolour and gouache is that Watercolour is a transparent medium, whereas gouache is an opaque medium.        I love the way the transparent and opaque work together.

This image is all about spontaneity and colour, inspired by the beauty of my friend’s garden in Wiltshire.

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I first began mixing watercolour and gouache about 16 years ago.   I was in my studio in Wales…facing a bit of block…and so decided to put out several large sheets of paper and PLAY. It was during the PLAYING  process that I discovered how much I enjoyed mixing these two elements.

This image is all about spontaneity and allowing the brush to dance across the paper.

Using white paper, I began by mixing burnt sienna and prussian blue, and then while the paint was still wet I scraped out some of the paint with my knife.

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I then added some Winsor & Newton Green Gold – quite an expensive pigment, but a superb addition to anyone’s watercolour palette.   A little goes a long way.

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In this frame I have added some Cobalt Turquoise Light gouache to the top of the image….allowing the middle part to stay as dry white paper.    Note I have brought some of the Cobalt Turquoise into the bottom of the painting to bring a sense of harmony and balance to the image.

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I now add Opera Rose Gouache, allowing the colour to bleed into the wet blue area.  Again note that I have brought some of the Opera Rose into the bottom of the painting.   The middle of the image is still dry white paper.

Allowing watercolour to bleed and do its own thing is all about letting go

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I add some Dioxazine Violet to the middle of image, and a mix of alizarin crimson and violet to the Opera Rose mix….all the whites you see, are dry white paper.

I continue to scrape out paint with my knife, which gives a sense of energy.

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To finish, I mix permanent white gouache with gold green to suggest stems and leaves.   I have also added some Schmincke Lasurorange – a wonderful pigment.

The overall effect is an impression of flowers in an English country garden.

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There are no wrongs or rights in this exercise…it’s all about spontaneity and playing. 

I could imagine this image on a huge canvas….it would make quite a splash.

Note:   click on each image to see a larger version.

Today’s Magical Hummingbirds.

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http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

HummingbirdHQ.com

A Bientôt

Using old sketches for warm up exercises

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Its important  not to throw away old sketches or for that matter paper which has been marked.

Use throw aways for warm up exercises, which is what I have done in this post.

Frame 1

A piece of old watercolour paper – perfect for warming up.

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Frame 2

Using felt tip pen, I sketch a teacup and saucer. This is a fun exercise and so I picked something close at hand with an interesting shape.      It could just as easily have been an apple……..

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Frame 3

In frame 3, I add watercolour, treating the subject as I would normally and allowing the marks on the paper to integrate with the whole design.

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Artists are like athletes and dancers, needing to warm up each day.    When I give workshops, I encourage participants to use newspaper, wall paper lining or old sketches to start the day.

Because the fear of spoiling a good piece of paper is removed, its often happens that this is when people relax, and do their best work.

Places are still available in the watercolour workshop in April on the Algarve, Portugal.    For more information go to http://www.artinthealgarve.com

A Bientot