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Watercolor-Just-Got-Easier
August 27, 2008
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.

WE ARE SORRY FOR THE DELAY IN SENDING OUT OUR MINI-COURSE, BUT IF YOU WILL GO TO OUR SITE YOU WILL SEE THAT WE HAVE BEEN MAKING LOTS OF CHANGES AND WE ARE NOT FINISHED YET.

PLEASE BE PATIENT

THANKS A LOT  -  JIM

PAINTING FROM PHOTOGRAPHS

On a recent trip to Lake Tahoe, I caught myself studying the beautiful scenery and wondering. "How would I paint this wonderful area in the time available"

A photograph was the answer, plus a quick sketchbook.

Photos are a must for those, whose only time to paint is after the children are in bed.(Been there, done that).

I always use photos when teaching my floral classes.

Even though every student is working from the same copy of the photo, their resulting paintings are unique.

I also think it's important that the photograph you do paint from, should be YOUR OWN, something that you yourself have observed and experienced first hand.

Take a photograph with a painting in mind, and record all the information you need in the sketchbook.

Any photo you take, must be things that interest you, they do not have to be perfect, because you can make changes to suit your purpose.  You're the artist.

Choose interesting subjects, show something new or present an old subject in a new way.

Natural poses (un-posed) of people and particularly children often make the best pictures.  Try to take many photos in rapid succession, that will stop the posed look.

Best time to take a photo is......early morning or afternoon.  This time of the day casts great shadows.

What I do when taking a shot, be sure to include surrounding subject mater, incidentals supporting images. flowers, stems, buds, leaves etc., boat, include close up ramps, docks, surrounding items, nets equipment etc.

DO KEEP THIS IN MIND.

Combining photos you must have the light source coming from the same direction.  Multiple light sources create confusing shadows (I know it was not necessary to draw that to your attention).

Shadows can make interesting shapes, side lighting produces better shadow shapes than light from overhead or directly in front of the subject.

Never, never try painting from a photo taken in a professional studio, the photographer usually tries to eliminate any shadows across the face of the model

Catalogs also might be "shadow less", example pictures in catalogs (seed catalogs) are flat looking floral's.

HERE IS AN IMPORTANT TIP

Painting sunlit objects is simple.  The shadow side must be 40%+ darker than sunlight side.

With a value scale from 1 to 10 you need only count up4 values from the value of the sunlit side to arrive at a value for a good looking shadow.  Don't have a value scale, you do need one.  Make one or buy one.

MAKING A VALUE SCALE

Take Black Paint very little water and paint strip of paper, call this #10.  This is the tricky part, the next strip of paper#9 strip has to be whiter, so you gradually adding water diluting the Black . Paint strip #8 even whiter then #9.   Repeat diluting until you reach # 1 which should be white .  May require several attempts to get it right.  But it's all good practice.

SIDEBAR

BETTER IDEA MIGHT BE.......... Go to www.jims-watercolor-gallery.com click on paint supplies, click on small banner by Dick Blick and ask for item 04947-2500, they have small value scale selling for $1.83.

Whilst you are in Blick's vast catalog, several of my students including myself (everybody wants a bargain) have been trying some watercolor paint Shin Hah Premium Artists Colors, I consider myself knowledgeable about paint and  pigments, cannot see any differences to the very best.  After many paintings and tests. But a large tube costs $2.83+.  Their Prussian Blue is excellent value for money.

Back to Painting with Photo's

Surface facing sun usually warmer in color temperature than those turned from the light.

The body shadow side of an object contains reflected light (place any object on a colored base). Let's put a white vase on a red cloth, the red will bounce up into the body shadow,  this is reflected light.

Cast shadows are (example you are walking across a parking lot, light source  directly behind you, case shadow is right there on the ground in front of you).

Shadow on your front side is called body shadow.  The word body shadow applies to any object turned away from the light source.

So you have "cast shadows", "body shadows", "reflected light".

SOME TIPS.

Body shadows tend to be lighter than cast.  Cast shadows usually do not contain "reflected light".

 

 

REFLECTIONS

I believe some of the basic rules of Mother Nature will surprise you.

Please note these are not my "rules" or "suggestions".  Leave it to Mother Nature.

RULE #1 (NO SURPRISES HERE.

Any given point or object must reflect directly into the reflecting surface.

RULE #2 (SURPRISE).

If the value of an object is "darker" than the value of the reflecting surface.  The reflection can be No Darker in Value than the Reflecting Surface.

Example:- dark oak tree is on edge of a pond.  The trees reflection must be the same value of pond.  It might well be a different color.

Now if the value of an object is "lighter than the deepest value of the reflecting surface.  The value of object is "added" to the value of the reflecting surface.  This will make the reflection darker than the object.

How many times have you taken the value of the tree and painted it straight into the water?

Look at this photo that I snapped of my Grandaughter.

 

 

Reflections of the foliage (top right), reflection (bottom right)", dark rocks show much lighter reflections.

White rocks appear to be gray.  Value rock + value of water equals reflection.

Same for dogs legs.       White dogs legs plus the value of the water show a gray in the reflection                                      Shadow of dog, please don't get shadows mixed up with reflections.

Timber post reflection lighter.  Reflection cannot be darker than value of surface.     Summary ........If the object is lighter then the water you add both values together.         If the object is darker in value then the water it cannot reflect any value but the value of the water. It may well be a different color.

Please note:  we do have a shadow coming in to play on the post.

Please do contact me if you have any questions about this.  We are here to help, not faceless objects.  Real people to help.

RULE 3.

An object leaning towards you, the reflection will be larger than the foreshorten object.

RULE 4

Tilting away from you, the reflection will be smaller.

RULE 5

The color of a reflection is influenced by the local color.  Water = Blue, Boat=Red, = grayed Red reflection, White Boat = reflection = local color.

RULE 6

Choppy water no reflection.  Only sky color.

RULE # 7

Bright light, maybe sun going down or artificial light against a very dark background.

The light will bounce across the water, sometimes traveling miles.  Always in a straight line toward the viewer.

DECISION TIME

How do I know if the object will show a reflection.  Lets suppose you have a building sitting just a short way from a lake.  This is what you do, trace  the building, make a mark where the base meets the ground , now place tracing upside down on matching the base line, does any part of the roof or walls appear in the lake.  (This is the part that will show as a reflection).

 

 

 

 

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