Friday, 13 June 2014

Pink, makes the boys wink..! Peonies, water colour without drawing.

Going straight to paint with water colour is a refreshing and liberating experience. I find it relaxing. And if you are relaxed when painting, it shows in the outcome.

Sketch book studies for demonstration, Julie Douglas

In a class situation, going staight to paint means students spend the whole session painting, giving them not only a better chance of completing their artwork, but a fuller opportunity to try different techniques - more playing and experimenting.
This week I wanted my students to paint with a colour restriction. Limiting the range of colours is a great way to discover new tones and mixes, and it is also a good way to ensure the image holds together well.
I was seduced by some lovely peonies, which were a perfect subject for colour restricting.

The two paintings below show the starting points, and neither were taken any further. 
This shows how pale the first layer is. Red pigment not only stains the water, but also the page so a light start makes it easier to change your mind. 
The colours we used were Permanent Sap Green and Lemon Yellow for the stem, Permanent Rose for the flower. Later in the process students were allowed to try (I say TRY) Alizarim Crimson and French Ultramarine on the petals, if they needed it. 

This painting shows a build up of the second layer of tones, on top of a dried base-shape. 

The two images below show the beginning and end of one flower. This one I didn't use such a pale mix to start, as the final colours were so strong.

Julie Douglas

Julie Douglas

Upcoming workshop: Figure drawing, portrait drawing, Water colour for location, beginners drawing and portfolio courses. 

I am holding a drawing class in The Drawing Offices, in Belfast's Titanic Quarter. 
For details on all courses email

No comments:

Post a Comment