Tuesday, 20 March 2018


This week we were finishing off our cockerels, see previous post for ref.
 We were taking the same approach and applying them to painting a subject from life, as we needed to move on from making the choices of another artist, and begin to make our own choices, a good subject for this was flowers as we had started with snowdrops from handouts, but this week we moved on to real life daffodils, as the snowdrops are now over.

Before we started we studied a series of watercolour paintings by various artists using different approaches, both classes particularly liked these white roses by Adisorn Pornsirikarn, we discussed what we liked about it, but most of us shared the emotional response they had, most of us liked the soft light touch of the artist, and then we explored what techniques the artist used to create this, we looked at the 'lost edges' this means areas that are not defined by having a hard edge, see the top left hand side of the top rose = no visible edge, and in fact most of the outside edges are soft on the top rose, even the edges which are hard, have quite a pale background, and therefore appear to be less hard than those with a dark background.
Notice also within the petals there are no outlines, just edges, all these things are achieved by creating an initial 1st wash wet in wet over the whole paper, creating wet in wet soft edges where necessary, leaving it to dry and creating hard and soft edges where required, this means putting a clear wash down, say on a petal, or a piece of background, and only allowing the pigment to travel to one side of that wash, so where it meets the edge of 1 side, it creates a hard edge, and where the pigment doesn't meet the other edge of then clear wash bleeds out softly to clear water.

I love this painting also, but it was less popular with each group, I love the compositional flow of lines towards the stamens, but this painting is made up mostly of hard edges and high definition, and is dramatic due the high level of contrast between dark and light, and also the use of compositional diagonal lines.

We explored paintings which left a lot out, which is useful to know when having a time limit on the painting time, and also to know how to put the 1st washes down.

This is the painting we were using for colour inspiration today, however we decided that we would not have to have a hard edge all around.

Here are some student examples of applying an initial 1st wash to describe the daffodil by applying a clear wash to the whole paper and allowing the pigment to travel beyond the pencil marks once we had drawn up the daffs, we tried to vary the colours of the yellow by exaggerating and inventing some of the colours as you can see in the example above, this makes for a more interesting painting than just copying exactly what we see in front of us.
Once the 1st wash has dried as before, we painted in the negative spaces behind the daffs, to define certain areas of them , by applying a clear wash up to the flower edges and out onto the edges of the paper, and aim to use various colours resulting in a semi neutral including green and purple / mauve, which are beautiful compliments to yellow see colour wheel. 

We discussed how much detail to add to the paintings, and felt some needed a little more definition once the background had been put in, note that not all the edges on the daffs are defined, this was a student choice, made from liking the white rose to begin with.

The stems could be put in wet in wet during the 1st wash, and defined more if needed by keeping them dry during the 2nd wash.

For this who wanted to continue painting the daffs at home, I have emailed photo's to you, but if you weren't in class this week, please work from your own daffs from real life.
I look forwards to seeing you next week which is week 9 of 10.

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