I’m Trying Something New Today…

Hi friends! Have you ever been working on a watercolor and you have nice definition and contrast and then the next thing you know you have a hot mess blur of colors and shapes? Today I am going to share a technique that can help you avoid that! And you get to paint this beautiful lady!

We will do out under-painting value painting (think of it like a pencil drawing with shading or a monochrome) with a product that will be permanent. I am using Dr. Ph Martins Acrylic ink but you can use any water-based medium that dries permanent such as India ink, thinned down acrylic paint or Inktense pencils/blocks/pans. I bet you could use permanent markers too however you would need a large range of shades of one color and they tend to get used up quickly on watercolor paper (and it can fray the nibs) so it wouldn’t be my first choice.

The reason I wanted to have such a solid defined structure to this painting is so we can go to town with granulating paints. You can amp them up with some granulation medium too but if you don’t have any use some salt water (literally, water and table you have at home) and it will give a similar effect.

Keep in mind your earthier, duller colors will tend to granulate more, look for colors that are made with minerals rather than synthetic pigments and dyes for the best effect. You will get the best granulation if you have very wet paper and paint and you let it air dry. For some reason using a heat took lessens the effect of the pigment separation.

Enjoy the video, I tried something a little different with this one and I really hope you like it and if you do please tell a friend!

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Labor Day Sale!!!

If you like this free lesson you will love one of my online courses and you can save 40% off now through September 3rd 2019 with coupon code LD19

If you want to learn more about values and shading I recommend my course Learn to Draw with Lindsay where you will learn to draw what you see without gimmicks. You will learn about value, shading, composition and design elements while working through the lessons drawing many different subjects. Or maybe you had your eye on another class?

Just remember to use the coupon code LD19 for 40% off all courses and payment plans through 9/3/19. Click the “add coupon” on the checkout page and enter the coupon code to apply the discount. Thank you for your patronage! Till next time happy painting!



 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Sketchbook Sunday: Monochrome Portrait in Watercolor

Hi friends!  It’s time for Sketchbook Sunday where I share the projects I am working on to grow my skill as an artist. Last week I mentioned that I was taking a class on painting figures in watercolor which required me to work from my own photos. During class last week our instructor has us draw a picture on a large sheet of transparent Mylar. I found a photo I had taken of my daughter sitting on a rock in a stream looking at her phone. She had climbed out there to take some pictures and she didn’t notice me snap a candid shot. I really loved the unposed causal feel of the photo.

42756627_10212631676532275_2278997316130045952_o.jpg

The instructor has us draw it on Mylar because he is going to have us paint it 2 more times, once using the “Zorn palette” of cadmium red, yellow ochre, lamp black, Ultramarine blue and Chinese white, and then again with a vibrant palette which he has not specified to us yet. I am currently working on the version with the Zorn Palette and I will share a photo of the finished work next weekend. I am really enjoying this class because it is pushing me to do exercises I normally wouldn’t think to try nor would I be likely to paint the same thing 3 times LOL!  Watch the video to see the process!

Supplies:

I have received some surprised reactions from people when I tell them I am taking a class. “Why are you taking a class, you can already draw and paint?” is the general comment but let me tell you no matter where you are in your journey you should always strive to improve. It is being in that “atmosphere of growth”, as Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project puts it to stave off burnout and feel fulfilled and happy. Today’s project was not quick and easy, it was long and hard and in order to have a fulfilling career or even hobby we need to stretch ourselves a bit and push our skill to new levels.  For me that means paying good money to learn something new and having someone to hold me accountable. You can know the techniques in theory but until you go through the process and commit to doing them you will not completely understand the subject. I am unlikely to paint the same picture 3 times without having an instructor assign it, I am also unlikely to use the limited palette of Anders Zorn (which I learned didn’t even include Ultramarine Blue until his later years-Black, white yellow ocher and a warm red, can you imagine?!?) so trying the lesson another artists finds essential is very mind opening. I doubt black and white will be a permanent fixture in my palette but who cares? Be humble enough to let someone teach you something.

20180927_112208.jpg

Do you want to learn something new? I believe that drawing is the foundation to all forms of art and I have a course on beginner drawing that does go over portraits as well as still life, landscape and warm up exercises so you can learn to draw what you see. If you want help learning to draw please check out my course Learn to Draw with Lindsay and I would be humbled and honored to help you along in your artistic journey. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Wow! Watercolor Grisaille Painting Tutorial, You have got to try this!

Hi friends! Today I have a technique that I think will blow your mind! It is called Grisaille and it is an old technique usually done in oils. It is how Baroque and Renaissance painters got dramatic and realistic looks to their paintings. Today we are going to learn how to do it in watercolor!

watercolor_graisaile_thumb

I have a lot of tips for success in this blog post so please read through before you begin to avoid any problems. You don’t want to spend a ton of time on your grey underpainting only to find your paint lifts for instance.

Grisaille is a French term that means to paint in monotone. You can paint in grey, brown or a grey green depending on the look you want. I am using QoR’s Neutral tint watercolor for several reasons: #1. A viewer requested a tutorial with it. #2. I had it from the 24 QoR set I recently purchased and I never thought I’d use it but I didn’t want it to go to waste and the most important reason #3. As luck would have it it’s the perfect neutral gray and it resists lifting so I don’t have to worry much about reactivating it while I glaze my color on top. Please refer to the photo of my grey underpainting below as you create your grisaille underpainting.

grisaille_step

After your underpainting is dry you will be glazing (glazing means to paint a layer of transparent color over a dry layer) color on top. The colors for glazing are:

  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson-This is a transparent staining cool red
  • Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) – This is a transparent staining cool blue
  • Nickel Azo Yellow _ This is a chameleon of a color, when used thinly it has a cool greenish undertone but when used thickly it has a warm amber undertone, I have never seen a color to have such different color tones when used in different strengths. It is also very transparent which is quite odd for a yellow.

37849280_10212206022571192_8600573831582580736_o

Here is the reference photo. You can download a larger version of this beautiful photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash for free. I chose this photo because of the dramatic lighting.  This photo captures the Chiaroscuro effect perfectly. Chiaroscuro is an Italian art term referring to strong contracts between light and dark and you will often see the shadowed edges of objects just disappear into blackness (like the olives in this photo) if gives drama to a painting and adds volume and a sumptuous effect to a painting. This technique was favored by baroque painters and also used to depict dramatic religious scenes by Renaissance painters. Don’t you feel smart now?

photo-1474979266404-7eaacbcd87c5.jpg

Please watch the video for the full tutorial. This will be broadcast live at 12:30pm eastern time on 7/27/18 so tune in on YouTube if you want to ask questions as we go along. The replay will be available after the livestream as well. This technique takes time so don’t be discouraged if you need to take a few sessions to complete this or rest your eyes along the way. Enjoy the challenge of learning something new!

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama!  Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Supplies:

  • QoR Watercolors (colors can be bought individually or in the 24 color set with many other useful colors I recommend) Neutral Tint, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), Nickel Azo Yellow
  • Brushes: You want soft brushes for the color glazing such as the Mimic squirrel brushes in a variety of sizes. For the grisaille layer using neutral tint you can use whatever brushes you prefer. If you are not using QoR neutral tint be sure to test your “black” on the paper you plan to use for lifting as you want a staining color that is hard to lift. If you do not have a non lifting black watercolor use a non shellac waterproof black ink. ***Important! You will also want a soft blunt round or filbert (aka mop brush) that will be used dry for blending and mottling color. Do not rinse this brush while we paint, it is to remain dry for the duration of the painting and then you can clean it. A mimik filbert will be good for this or any small soft mop you have.
  • Paper: I recommend the Aquabee #140 6″x9″ cotton watercolor paper I usually use for tests or try the Fabriano Artistico 7″x10″ test pack for $2.25 at Jerry’s because these paper will not lift as much as other more heavily sized paper. Plus it’s a good deal!
  • Pattern to trace

Tips for trying this with other subjects.

  1.  Learn the process by working step by step through this project so you know how to apply the layers before striking out on your own.
  2. Take (or choose) a photo with strong lighting and high contrast between lights and shadows.
  3. If you struggle seeing values (values means how light or dark something is) then desaturate (make grayscale) your photo in your computers image editing program to make it a black and white photo and it will be easier to work with.
  4. Make sure whatever you use for your underpainting does not easily lift. Test your paint and paper before you begin so you don’t end up with mud when you glaze.
  5.  Use very transparent paint and soft watercolor brushes for glazing color.
  6. Keep a couple soft dry brushes on hand for diffusing, blending and softening colors. Think of this process like hand tinting a black and white photo.

I get asked a lot about shading and value when I am watercolor painting. if you would like help with learning about values and drawing what you see accurately my online class Learn to Draw with Lindsay focuses on just that. I know many people have no interest in learning how to draw and that’s fine (that’s why I provide patterns for many of my painting tutorials) but if you want to be able to draw without gimmicks and train your eyes to see shade and values accurately please consider checking out this course:)

drawing_class_thhumbnail

I hope you enjoyed this lesson that combines art history with classic technique. Pat yourself on the back if you painted along, it is probably the most advanced technique I’ve done on a free live friday watercolor lesson! If you would like to see more techniques like this let me know and please share this tutorial with a friend or on social media or pin it on Pinterest! Long in-depth tutorials don’t do well on YouTube so please share if you care! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

20180727_082327.jpg

 

%d bloggers like this: