Friday, 10 November 2017

water colour daisies, demonstration in class

Last week in class I asked students to do small drawings of daisies, then spend most of the session playing with the background. 

This timy painting started as a line drawing, then background added, with the flowers having a light wash of colours at the end. 

'Playing', when we are adults, can be very tricky!! We are accostomed to expect exact rules, or at least definite consequences, so that playing can seem...a waste of time (horror! The reason we 'work' is to fascilitate our 'play'). But playing within a small set of boundaries feels less open-ended, so in this session, the boundaries were to create a dark background, with dots of wet-on-wet in a paler colour, just to 'see what happens'. What could possibly go wrong?!

The full set, showing how small the paintings are.

I did a few examples in a small Moleskine sketch book, leaving them at various stages of completion - it is important to have a reference of early stages of work, otherwise we can forget how we started (a down-side of watching someone else work ).

This shows the detailed line drawing, and I painted the background first.
 So rather than producing one painting, I did several. Mostly I drew the flowers, and painted the background first. Working in this way means that you haven't spent ages on the details, which can make you less willing to risk getting messy! Risk is GOOD!
In this example, some of the petals have a wash of colour before I began the background
 Another good reason for doing the background first is that it gets rid of the white paper. White is not our friend!! It is loud and attention-seeking, and the soner we paint over it, the sooner we can make correct value decisions in the rest of the painting.
Petals first, background second

No drawing at all - straight to paint, working outwards from the centre of the flower
Workingstraight to paint is liberating and worth trying - the key is to 'blob' colour onto the page, then push is around, as opposed to doing a line-drawing with the brush.

Working across two pages keeps it light hearted and not prescious
It was good fun - playing is to be advised when learning to paint, but playing with boundaries is the best of all.

My drawing and painting instruction book, Notes from The Atelier, has now got over 40 five-star reviews on Amazon! Available on Amazon, or directly from me (a bit cheaper!). A lovely christmas present for the arty person in your life.

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