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Friday, January 16, 2015

Watercolor Studies Continues; The Midnight Bunny


Today I completed another study, this time of a bunny. As I am doing these studies, I am trying out different kinds of paper, graphite pencils and color palettes. The bunny today was painted on 90 lb. Arches Cold Press. It is too thin for my liking, but wasn't too bad to paint on. Because of it's light weight, it absorbs the water like a sponge all the way through. That can result in a unflat painting when you are finished painting. Last night I put weights on the 'Vintage Lady' Painitng which I mentioned in my previous post. It was painted on this same arches 90 lb. paper. I sprayed the back of the painting with water, put a paper towel over it, then a heavy book with 2 three pound exercise weights (gotta use those weights for something!)

This morning I looked at the Vintage Lady painting to see if it was dry. It was and it was pretty flat. not perfectly flat, but reasonably flat and ready to mount in a mat.

Ok, so back to Midnight Bunny. As mentioned I have been trying different graphite pencils to do my sketch for the painting. This time I used a 6B. I liked it, you could get a nice dark if you want. On Vintage Lady I used a HB. Which is very hard. It was a lot lighter lead color and didn't smear much.

If you don't want your lead to show up in your watercolor, the HB is pretty good for that.

On Midnight Bunny, I used the same color palette as I did on "Vintage Lady". Three colors; cobalt blue, rose madder genuine, and azo yellow. Although I used a lot of layers on this painting and it has some darks, it still has some luminousity in places. I guess that's what you get when you use transparent paint, right?

In this painting I lifted color out on the bunny, the grass, and around the moon. A few years ago I took a workshop from Joseph Alleman, and he lifts color out. His work is wonderful and he has the awards to show fpr it. Here's his website: josephalleman.com

Look at Joe's paintings, especially those that have darks in them and see if you can see where he has lifted the paint out. If you are new to watercolor, you may not know what this means. When you put several layers of color on the paper, you can go back after it's dried with a wet brush and lift out spots. I you look at the bottom of my bunny painting, you can see blades of grass that I have lifted out.

I am finding as I am doing these studies, that I have picked up and implement some things from the people I have taken workshops from. I hadn't realized that I had done this till now as I am re-evaluating my painting skills.

I have to admit that as I got into this bunny painting, I wasn't liking the way it was turning out, but committed myself to finishing it. Lifting really saved it. It's not a great painting,but it is ok and was a valuable study. The purpose of doing studies is not only to practice, but to also find what techniques and color palettes I like and don't like. So I am satisfied with what I learned today.

How's your painting coming along?

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