Tuesday, 6 March 2018


This week we were consolidating what we learned about pigment flow wet in wet, ( that means working into a clear wash ) from painting the owl last week, see previous post, to painting the duckling, last week the owl was in 1 colour as I wanted you to get used to controlling the pigment flow alone, this week we were repeating the exercise but using 3 colours which is harder, as this takes more time to mix, meaning you have to paint faster before the wash dries.

Also important with using 3 colours, in this case red blue and yellow to make variations of brown neutrals, is that it gives us the opportunity to make our colours more beautiful and interesting by having related colours in 1 picture, this is called harmony. See unfinished duckling below, we were not just pre mixing the 3 colours, but adding a little of one or the other to our unwashed brushes and placing it adjacent to or over the top of other colours on our painting.

Unfinished duckling using red yellow and blue to make variations of brown wet into wet.

We started by colour mixing with our 3 colours to see how many of the lovely variations you can get out of just 3 colours, see above and below. The one above was a student who changed from blue to indigo, and used windsor, ( like pthalo ) blue. instead of ultramarine.
 We alternated painting this with the snowdrop exercise, seen here as a Jean Haines painting.
As with the rook painting ( see previous posts ) where we had to paint within a very particular shape, the snowdrop exercise involves painting around a particular shape by leaving at least 1 petal dry, ensuring 1 white petal, whilst we began with a clear wash over the whole of the paper, and dropping very wet pigment in fairly pale colours around the snowdrop, then applying salt for texture, note that the right hand petals contains the colours from the 1st wash.

We left this wash to develop and dry, before applying another clear wash to small areas around both  snowdrop petals, and applying pigment to selected areas where we wanted contrast and definition, we chose not to necessarily define the whole outside edge of the snowdrop in the intermediates group, who were following a photograph rather than the painting, see below

These are some examples of today's exercise by the intermediates students and myself, we discovered that in this exercise, the pigments that we dropped in needed to be very wet indeed, and we had to let go of the outcome to grater extent than on the duckling, by allowing the pigment to run fast into the other pigments and mixing it's self

Here are 2 paintings I did during the big snow that use a similar technique.
You may want to pick some snowdrops and have another go at home using this technique, your results will be different every time, and if you don't like what you have done draw another one and have another go, you haven't invested too much in the drawing to to get nervous about scrapping it and doing another one, good luck, and I'll see you next week. 😊😊

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