I followed along with Art Painting Workshop’s YouTube tutorial.
What a learned:
- water control
- Start with a strong drawing.
- Keep my ink or pencil sketch handy as a reference if I get wobbly about the guide lines in the painting.
- Keep track of my color mixes, label them on the palette.
- Don’t try to “fix” too much. Just let it be and if I really hate it, adjust in the next painting otherwise it will look really overworked and scrubby.
- Wet the areas I want to paint but don’t let the pigment get anywhere close to the waterline to avoid the hard edges completely.
- Don’t apply a bunch of dark paint at once, layer it up to the final value.
- Use the soft blending technique to control the spread of pigment within the wet areas.
- Don’t use a hair dryer, just wait.
- It takes the pressure off to think of every one as a study or a practice piece.
- Don’t use the cello tape and be super careful with the masking tape at the end! This guy has some tips on how to prevent tearing.
What I liked:
- intensity of color
- range of values
- structure held up during the process
- the nose!
What I want to change:
- overworked look that came from rewetting super pigmented areas and scrubbing out hard lines
- I liked the plain white background better than the metallic and yellow ochre
What’ I’ve learned so far:
- Glazing is everything! In the video, they work over the same area 10x. It really adds depth. Without the step-by-step demo, I wouldn’t have know how many layers there are in this. As it is, I probably went too dark too fast.
- Lighting in portraiture is everything!
- How the heck do you get the paper from drying immediately?!?!
- It seems weird not to work up all the aspects of the composition concurrently. I’m not sure I would choose to do it that way on my own.
Carol Carter’s thoughts on watercolor
Lots of great reflections in this interview with Carol Carter:
- She does several paintings of the same subject before she gets one that is good enough to show.
- Don’t do exercises. Always do finished paintings. Don’t go back and “fix” awkward parts. Do the painting again, from beginning to end. Learn from your mistakes. Do a progressive painting based on the former one. It’s not about making one painting perfect but a sequence of paintings. It’s not really about the product as much as the process.
- You’ll develop your visual language over time, like 12 years! 🙂 It’s not magic. It’s just painting.