Learn to paint the landscape loosely - it is the last Landscape class and I wanted to really shake the stiffness out of my students. I decided to have them do timed paintings of no more than 20 minutes. I used bright photos of landscapes and instructed them to paint only large masses of color and value. No detail or drawing was allowed. These are the photos I chose.
These are the results of the students' paintings.
Observations: I was amazed at how good these paintings were. By painting the shapes and values only, a much more exciting expressive painting becomes possible.
found on the internet. I started with good drawing. The eyes and the nose were hard to see, so I got some clear photos of horse's eyes and nose from the internet and practiced drawing and painting until I understood the anatomy better. Below is a sample of my practice.
Next I practiced the mane to see how I would handle the soft wavy fur. I used a lot of water on a tilt to accomplish the look. One of my students filmed me while I painted (see below).
Once I had the problems resolved I started to paint. I start mostly wet on wet working the background and foreground at the same time allowing the two to be married. I try to work the whole picture, not completing one area more than another. The detail should be reserved for the face only in order to draw the eye there. See video for live demonstration.
Practice 10 minute paintings - This week my students painted 10 minute watercolors at the Vero Beach Museum. Each student was given a colorful photo of a bird with a brief time to sketch onto the watercolor paper and mix colors. When ready, I set the timer for 10 minutes and said “Go!”. Paint brushes were frantically swashing to cover the stark white bumpy paper before the bell rang. Losing edges and getting the paint dark enough were common frustrations. Working within such a short time constraint, the students were able to resist overworking the painting. With no time for fussing, the result was a more expressive and fresh painting. Below are some examples of bird perfection. Do try this at home.
Painting cabbage in watercolor - I have always wanted to teach my students how to paint cabbage. Cabbage is very challenging because it requires knowledge of values. Values are the darks and lights which form the object the artist wishes to paint. If the values on the cabbage are executed properly, the artist will not need to rely on line to define this lovely vegetable. Since this particular watercolor class is called “Loose and Free", I had the students spray their paper with water first and then paint. Below is the reaction of one of my students after I gave the instruction to wet the paper first.
One of my favorite classes is when I teach the students how to let the paintbrush paint the flower. A 12″ round brush full of paint and water pressed down to the ferrel makes a leaf or petal shape. You should see their faces when they look at their paintings. I will have to photograph their expressions next time so you can see what I see. It is magical.