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watercolour

the melbourne painter meet up group – painting at st kilda pier

(Just realised I wrote the following entry but never posted it)

In trying to find fellow art journalers in Melbourne, I joined the Melbourne Painters at St Kilda Pier for a day of sketching and painting.

Below are some of the pictures I took on the day.

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AJF – lesson 3 – lemons

I completely forgot to post this up!

This is from the third lesson of Artful Journaling Foundations class with Laure Ferlita.

I had my quirks with this one. I don’t like the background as I think the purple is really blotchy and the words made it all very busy. I like the bowl and I’m happy I put in the little chips on the rim, but I am way happy about the way the lemons turned out (even though the one on the right looks more like a mango).

I haven’t started watercolours for long and I’ve never tried layering colours like I did with the shadows on the lemons. It was really fun and what I thought were accidents turned out to be details that I love the best in the end product.

artful journaling foundations

Yes, another art journaling course – I’m so addicted to them!

This time it’s Laure Ferlita’s Artful Journaling Foundations. Below are pages from the first two lessons.

First lesson is called “Affirmation”. I could have been a little lighter of hand when drawing that stem of the flower, but I like how the petals ended up.

We would be colouring this at a later date I think.

The second lesson is called “watermelon”. I think I was a bit heavy handed with the lines and the colour in the shadows, although the picture turned out pretty good after being converted into a jpeg.

This is also a contour drawing, where I keep my eye on the subject while drawing (as opposed to on the page). It was quite unnerving as we were drawing straight on the page with pen, no pencil-sketching!

I’m back

Well I’ve actually been back for a week already but I’ve been hiding because my photos were unorganised and I had nothing ready to post with regards to my Portugal/Spain trip.

Actually I still don’t have any of my photos ready, but I thought I should explain my absence, in case people feel I got lost between Madrid and Barcelona. (Although if you believe half the stories our tour guide told about the crime-level in Spain, it’s more likely that I got kidnapped or mugged and left in a ditch somewhere to bleed to death XD)

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve not done much sketching during the trip, but I did take plenty of photos. I’ve also signed up for Bob Davie’s Watercolour Secrets (actually it’s a birthday present from a friend), so hopefully I’ll have some watercolours to show for it in the upcoming posts.

EDM #243 – a pillow

And you thought that I forgot about my EDM exercises, LOL

This is actually a cushion on my sofa, but since I sleep on the sofa most days technically this cushion is also my pillow.

I used the same colour theme as a previous exercise I did although in a warmer tone (I’ve been reading up on my colour theories), and I must admit I like the cooler blue-grey in the previous exercise more than the warmer purple-blue in this one. I also didn’t realise how dark this picture would come out. No worries, will try to do better next time around.

watercolour exercise – a windmill

Not following any instruction, I just tried to do a complete watercolour painting using this picture.

I did not stick to the colours in the picture (ie. local colours), trying instead to use a simpler palette. Even then, mixing watercolours is hard; I just couldn’t get the grey I had in mind onto the palette.

On a side note, I learnt something interesting while reading up on “watercolours for beginners” sites. It’s not advertised much, but you really have to prime your palette before you put any paint on it (I’m referring to the physical palette on which you mix your paints as opposed to the choice of colours for a painting).

Most new plastic palettes have a film over the top which doesn’t accept water very well, this means that watercolours tends to bead or slide from the surface. When trying to mix colours on the palette, the paint won’t leave the brush, leave it just loaded with colour.

Some suggests scratching at the surface, however that just leaves ugly looking grooves on the plastic which the paint will stick to – and not much else. I find that rubbing at the surface with a tissue (may need some elbow grease) until the surface becomes matt will be sufficient. I was thinking of posting up a picture of my palette, but it’s really quite grotty at the moment XD

watercolour exercises – a lighthouse and a farm field

In my search for videos on painting in watercolour, I found eHow.com. If you’re not careful you can lose yourself in all the tips and advices on this site.

Anyway, I followed the instructions in this series of videos for this very rough watercolour piece.

Watercolour exercise - a lighthouse

In the video they make a wash of colour seem like such an easy thing, but as you could see my sky and sea are all blotchy and stripy. It was also quite strange to draw the sketch with watercolour and a brush, but as long as the lines are faint, you can paint over it without much problem.

The following is a continuation of the exercise above.

Watercolour exercise - farm field

This was even rougher than the sketch above, and again you can see I’ve completely botched up the sky. But I liked how the field look 3D (albeit rough and primary-school-ish).

A thing I learnt from these videos is that when trying a new technique, when practicing, it is best not to be too caught up in making the rest of the picture pretty. I need to paint a picture to put the technique into perspective (ie. I need to paint a rough field to practice the 3D effect, not just painting curved lines on a blank piece of paper), but I shouldn’t be too caught up with the rest of the picture or I would never get any practicing done.

watercolour exercise – a hat

After my dubious effort at John Lovett’s foliages exercise, here’s my attempt at doing a hat.

Still having trouble controlling where the colour is to go. I find that less water is better, I can always add more water later and can control the paint, if I have a wet page, the paint just spreads… and not in a good way.

I really like the colour combination in this, the grey/blue really brings out the yellow.

However the hat didn’t come out as battered as it was supposed to be.

watercolour exercise – trees and foliages

I’ve never been fond of watercolours, I thought watercolour paintings were boring and washed out.

It didn’t help that my first experience with the medium was with the primary-school-grade watercolour pans. The watercolours were so hard it took buckets of water to soften and even then the pigment was so washed out it was near non-existent. Is it any wonder that I run screaming the other way whenever I hear watercolours being mentioned?

Then I stumbled onto John Lovett’s site.

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Does that painting look boring or washed out to you?

So after poring through all his tutorials and a myriad of YouTube videos, I succumbed and bought a set of Royal Talens’ ArtCreation Expression watercolours.

Yes, these are tubes and not watercolour pans – baby steps, baby steps.

My first few attempts at using watercolour was disastrous and was more a play of paint and colour on a page. As I wanted watercolour to be more than another medium to create colourful backgrounds, I realise that I have to practice (and practice and practice).

So here’s the result of my first exercise (taken from John Lovett’s site):

Watercolour exercise - foliage Watercolour exercise – foliage

Now I was still getting used to how watercolours change when it dries and the “painting” above looked really weird while it was still drying, so I tried again (below).

Watercolour exercise - trees Watercolour exercise – trees

As could be seen, I’m still having trouble controlling how much water to use XD

So I’ll need more practice and my next few entries will most likely record my attempts at using this medium.