A rose

Hello again students,
Yesterday we worked on painting a flower (I chose the rose) using our pastel over watercolor techniques.  I was so pleased with how you all worked on this project - I know it can be frustrating at first, buy you'll get it!

If anyone has a photo of my watercolor painting before I added the pastel, please email it to me I would like to add it to this blog post.  

Here is the image I was working from and the small painting I did.  
The main points I wanted to share are:

  • Make your pencil drawing fairly dark on your 140# watercolor paper so you can see it all the way through the painting process.  You will be able to cover it easily with the pastel at the end of the process.
  • Remember, the watercolor under painting is NOT the painting; which is so difficult for us watercolor folks to grasp.  Think of creating areas of dyed paper to add pastel to.  Use your biggest brush and hold it near the end of the handle, not up near the ferrule.  Let go and swash buckle a little.
  • The watercolor under painting should be loosely painted using, dark, neutralized colors.  Allow colors to flow into one another.  Remember, it will dry 20-60 percent lighter, so be bold!
  • With pastel we work from dark to light so lay in the darkest, largest shapes first, then the medium value shapes.  Save the lightest values and the details until last.
  • Initially, paint with the long side of your pastel stick, blocking in the biggest shapes.  Press firmly enough to lay down some pastel, but softly enough to see the under painting beneath. 
  • Remember, you may add several layers of pastel to an area if you don't overload the 'tooth' of the paper in the first passes.  If you have hard and medium hard pastels, use them in the first couple of layers which will help reserve the 'tooth' for later passes of your softest pastels.
  • Save lines, dots, and other details until last.

  • For next week, let's work on a simple landscape with a few lovely fall trees.  Here is the image I will work from, choose another if you prefer, but keep it simple or you won't have time to finish it in class.
    Click on the image and download it to your computer so you can print it out - or make your drawing from your computer or tablet.

    Please make a drawing of this image on your watercolor paper by just indicating the simplest possible forms - with virtually no detail.  Remember to squint to see the large shapes only.  In class we will lay in the watercolor under painting and then add pastel.  

    Let's hold our critique near the end of class next week - it can run a little long otherwise and cut into our painting time.

    So what are you to do with that UArt paper?  Well, using a hard pastel, try drawing one simple (albeit well lit) object and laying in the watercolor washes.  What did you notice after it dried?  Next, add pastel and see if you like the feel of sanded paper.

    What to do with the Kitty Wallis paper?  No watercolor under painting needed here, the paper is already toned so just try laying in a pastel drawing with your hardest pastels first, then a layer or two with medium pastels and finally the brightest, lightest passages with your buttery soft pastels.

    Here's a link to my old blog showing a local scene http://thecuttinggarden.blogspot.com/2012/12/red-barn-in-sequim-at-sunrise-and.html

    Want to see the real pros?  Check out these links  http://barbarajaenicke.blogspot.com/

    See you next Tuesday, hope the predicted storms aren't too bad, but get your candles out just in case!