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Watercolor-Just-Got-Easier
January 27, 2009
Hi

WATERCOLOR PAINTING JUST GOT EASIER FOR YOU

NO MORE TIME WASTING WITH TRIAL AND ERROR

SUPRISE YOUR CLOSE ONE'S WHEN THEY SEE YOUR PAINTINGS

IF YOU THINK YOU CAN PAINT OR IF YOU THINK YOU CANNOT PAINT YOU ARE RIGHT.

YOU CAN LEARN TO PAINT BEAUTIFUL WATERCOLORS. REPORT 24

 REPORT 24

THOUGHTS

Maybe you might see yourself in some of these brief statements .

INTIMIDATION

I see this one a lot in the classroom.  Don't let it intimidate you.

This is repeated week after week, month after month.

If you mess up, it's only a piece of paper, your standard of living "most probably? will not change, you will still go back to your home, nothing will change, don't be intimidated.

GENERIC PAINTING

May fill a space on a piece of paper  -  little else,

It fills very little space in the mind or feelings of the viewer (purchaser).

CLARITY OF PURPOSE

This is important.  If you are a recreational painter, paint to enjoy it.  Don't get bent out of shape because it does not look like that painting  you saw last week at "that Art Gallery".  Don't let that thought and others like artificial criteria such as competition, sales, and other concerns contaminate your motivation and diminish or deflate your fun and pleasure.

Don't get mad if things don't go right.

HERE'S ONE I SEE OFTEN

Select your subject matter because it has special meaning to you, not because everyone else is painting it.

If I had a dollar bill for every "RED BARN",  sitting on the beach in the south of France, is where you would find me.

Remember that the course of ART HISTORY was not changed by "obeying the rules".

Even though few of us may be innovators who significantly alter the course of art, we can, at least, try to avoid being ordinary.

Responsibility, integrity, mystery, and verve are not generally regarded as "Tools of the Artist".  But they should.

MORE THOUGHTS LATER.

DESIGN

The mere mention of the word causes eyes to glaze over,  roll back into the head, in anticipation of TERMINAL BOREDOM.

Is there anyone who does not want to get better?

It's not as bad as you think.

A working knowledge of the ELEMENTS OF ART coupled with the PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN,  will make you a better painter.  So here we go.

No offense is meant by the title but this has been a very, very popular "worldly" title in some instructional books.

DESIGN FOR DUMMIES 

No word in art is more misunderstood, misused, vague, or boring than the word DESIGN.  Some think of design as the pattern on the kitchen tablecloth; others are certain design resides only in the world of the graphic artist, and then there are some artists who believe design in the rule that states, never put anything in the middle of the painting".  By itself the work "design" is worthless.  Design is a tool.  You can not go designing any more than you can go pigmenting.

Think of design as a name on a file cabinet into which a number of files are store.  The first drawer of the cabinet is labeled "THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN" and the second drawer is labeled"PRINCIPLES OF ART".

The element are the tools used to make art.  There are seven (7) files in this drawer.   LINE, VALUE, COLOR, TEXTURE, SHAPE, SIZE AND DIRECTION.

Look through the Principles file drawer you would find eight(8) files labeled:  GRADATION, ALTERATION, BALANCE, CONTRAST, HARMONY, UNITY, REPETITION, AND DOMINANCE.

These are files that tell you how to use the TOOLS. ( GABCHURD is an acronym that will help you remember the eight principles of design.)

These files are very old, many are dog eared and worn from centuries of use.  The earliest users (cave painters) opened the first files.  They only needed value, line, gradation and contrast for their work. 

The file cabinet had lots of room.  Contrary to popular belief, files were not provided from the dawn of man - actually took thousands of years to be as complete as they are now.

The Egyptians helped fill the Shape folder; -------- Rembrandt perfected the Value file,-------Impressionists filled up the Color file,------- and later, ---------Van Gogh practically wore it out. ------- Peter Paul Rubens busied himself with the portion of the Texture file.--------Much later John Marin, Maurice Prendergast, George Seuart explored the rough or busy portion of the Texture file. 

In the forthcoming issues we will look into each of these trusty old files to see how they were and still being used.

PRINCIPLES OF ART.

We will just look at one to-day  -  UNITY 

Judi Betts

Is an internationally successful Watercolorist, who works in muted color and limited value range to Unify her painting (look for this in Principles of Art file).

Normally her subject matter is filled with a multitude of diverse Shapes (Element of Design) - Sky, the building and other objects and reads Unity as a satisfying whole.

This is what you do as a member of "Jims Newsletter".  You go look up her paintings on the internet. I know I could have painted some here, but it was deliberatly placed on your shoulders.

Guess what you might look at more than one or two, thats all you would have seen here.  You now see what Unity means.

There is a mood created.  Imagine one of her paintings that you are looking at,   (hopefully)   if Judi Betts accurately described the actual color of each element  would the mood be the same?  Would the painting be as effective?  Would you recognize and respond to the Artist's intention.

I think not.

Now lets look at another wonderful Watercolorist, know all over the world.

TOM LYNCH   -  Has been referred to as one of the worlds premier Watercolorists.  He has written seven (7 ) books and hosted several award winning PBS-TV Art Series.  This guy really knows his stuff, and presents it in an easy to learn style.

His approach to Unity is different in manner to Judi Betts.

Lets look how Tom handles Unity.

Unity and Harmony (Principles of Art) are more important than realism.

Your paintings should be Artistic, Creative, Unified and Harmonious.

This if Jim talking

Art is not about realism ( a camera is great at this).

I always ask my students, is this your work, a "painting" or a painting that looks like a photoraph.

Always choose a color, creativity "painting".

Now back to Tom Lynch

He would ask you to be Creative, Artistic, and make paintings Unified and Harmonious.  Art is not about realism but about setting a mood and communicating an impression of the subject.

Let color do the work for you by allowing it to connect and unify your paintings in to a "Cohesive Whole".  How?

I cannot speak for Tom, but this is what I think he would say to you if he was talking and instructing you.

Establish what elements are in the same plane, maybe think in terms of three planes - Background, Middle ground and Foreground.

Now paint weak colorful washes, several colors  not one, not two, several.  Coose a plane and paint across one plane. Keep all colors in the same value range.  Let it dry, then separate with value changes (repaint various parts) stronger paint.

Then add shadow and details (remember last week we discussed painting the dog first, only then paint fleas (details) last.

Tom would tell you, don't paint parts, I know you want to paint the side of a barn then the roof, now you are thinking about a tree or two.  -  Don't do it.

Don't paint parts!  When you're putting down the first wash, several colors all same value.

Let the paint flow from the object, over the pencil sketch lines and right into the shadows so every thing is connected Unity".

Here is a step -by -step Demo., just like he taught me several years ago.  Hope I do him Justice.

 

This is the fill-in approach

Not the best approach.  It's the worst approach.

This barn has been left incomplete for demonstration purposes only.

 

STEP ONE

Colorful overlaping 1st wash. 

NOTE:- Colors all the same value.

some pencil lines not drawn in.

STEP TWO.

Now define the parts with contrast, now add all the fleas".

Don't let the pencil lines dictate the placement of the colors.  Paint "similar darker colors over the first wash".  Shadows in last.

Hope you had fun with this.

Don's miss next weeks lesson and tips, it is going to be different.

How?......A viewer to our site posted a painting, they received some comments from a "Lenny".  Then he suggested that I re-work the painting, as a challenge to me.  "Jim, how would you paint this?"

I will do a step -by -step so you can see changes (if any), and how I go about it.

It has to be step-by-step, my video making is not up to my expectations -- yet.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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