Saturday, December 19, 2009

Watercolour paper - does it matter what type you get?

I recently did things the old fashioned way and I have to say, sometimes, the basic fundamentals prove themselves to be the best.

What am I talking about? - well... PAPER

I had a whole supply of watercolour paper that I've collected over the years - different sizes - but mostly the same manufacturer.
Mostly - bought from a stationery store. (Not dissimilar to many of you readers from this blog...)

So, with all that paper around, I made a firm committment not to buy any more watercolour paper until I had used it all up.
Then I got a sheet of Art Store paper and went through the whole process of wetting and stretching the paper with gum tape. (more about that later)
 And I painted on the stretched paper - thouroughly enjoying the experience again for the first time in years.
Did I get lazy inbetween, or was I just sucked into the clever marketing or ease of mass produced paper?

The point is, at the time I painted on the art store sheet of paper that I'd so lovingly stretched- I also bought another pad of paper too.
I have to say, the manufacturer hasn't done themselves any favours. There is a definite lack of quality from the pad of paper I bought last month - to the comparison of the pad I bought a few years back.

So now I'm spoilt and am going back to doing things the old fashioned way and enjoying the benefit of a better quality paper.

Does it improve my painting skills? Hehe, we'll have to wait and see on that one.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

painting people - watercolour

Another watercolour - originally landscape - cropped and framed to portrait...
painting people in watercolour

Trying to keep things simple here and not be so realistic...
This was done from a photo I took last year.

My thoughts were to capture the essence of sitting outside in the sun, watching Southern Right whales - to give as a gift.

I first started with a simple drawing of the elements I wanted to include

then came a basic/light wash of cobalt
whilst the paint was still wet, I put a blob of raw sienna where the faces are. you'll notice how it expanded...
when that was all dry, I painted the background mountains of Hermanus in ultramarine - making sure that they gradiated light to darker.

painting people - process

I was going to incorporate the foliage of the plant you can see in the photo, but then that is the beauty about painting - you're in charge, so you can decide what elements to incorporate and what elements you want left out.
Had I included the foliage, I think it would have come out in the painting looking like a shadowy monster that detracts from the essence of what I wanted to show.

more to follow...
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