Tag Archives: direct watercolor

19th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge – Dangling Rose

“Jedi Rose”

For my 19th painting in the challenge, I had to combine two interests competing for my time. I am teaching “value” in my college watercolor class today. The students are required to do a monochromatic painting that combines washes (a flat wash as well as either a graded or variegated wash), calligraphy strokes, and general “light touch” brush strokes, that I call the “S-caress.” The final painting also has to show at least 4 levels of value; light, medium light, medium dark, and dark. I have the students decide on a theme for the semester as well. I usually choose one of the students’ themes whenever I do a demonstration painting. One student has roses as a theme. Which, if you know me, and have followed my painting progress on social media at all, you know I paint a LOT of roses. Easy choice. Ha!

I took this photo of a drooping rose the other day on my morning walk.

The small painting is on Arches 140 lb cold press and I used only my #14 Lowe-Cornell round brush.

I used a warm (quinacridone coral) and cool red (quinacridone red), which are both medium to high-value reds. I first painted a light variegated wash on a wet surface (dried back to damp), without any pre-drawing. As you can see in the first photo below, I did not quite let the paper get to damp, as my bead was running on the left. I had to work fast to catch it with each pass. Starting with a wet surface helps to alleviate stripes between bead passes.

I dried the painting off completely, then drew in my first value layer with 2B graphite, or pencil (Sorry, this is where I had to diverge from the challenge conditions of direct and wet-into-wet). I then painted the shapes inside the lines for the first layer of value.

After the painting was completely dry again, I repeated the drawing process for the second layer of value. One more layer of drying, pencil planning and I now had the required four distinct layers of value. I did add a few pull calligraphy strokes to indicate the edge of the branch and the side of the rose, but I purposefully left untouched areas for lost and found edges, which I find to be much more interesting than outlining with a solid line all around.

I had to have some pull/push calligraphy strokes to satisfy the requirements of the assignment, so I added some extra leaves with the same strength of pigment as the final wash.

I then found a #8B (really dark) graphite pencil and drew some contour lines, just because… I may erase the pencil layer. I’m not sure… still pondering. Your thoughts?

Photos are screenshots of video clips. I cannot make them behave and align with the text. I’m not sure why?

Stage 1a

Stage 1b

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

I do have narrated and edited video of the painting process. Shoot me a comment or send me a message if you’re interested in the $6 video link.

I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.

Jedi Rose – Final

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4th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor – Carson River

“River of My Mind”

Today I painted a “double duty” painting. I have a class on texture starting tomorrow and I wanted to continue with the #30x30DirectWatercolorchallenge. So.. How about a painting that satisfies both? On my morning walk, I meandered along the Carson River, looking for waterfowl. Mysteriously, the plethora of geese gaggles usually resident along the river and in the adjacent golf course are all but absent? I hope there has not been an effort to cull their numbers? Alas, on the far side of the course, I did see several families of geese with teenagers in tow. They seemed very leery of me and my camera.

Leery Geese

It was, however, a beautiful morning with much to see and admire. This scene I did without pre-drawing, wet-into-wet, and sans reference. ‘Tis all from my mind, which may explain why the water seems to be slanting sidewise? Ha!  But it does feel very “textury”, so I did get some good practice for my class tomorrow. This is an 8″x10″ study on 140lb Arches Rough.

In my mind’s eye, perhaps I was combining the two scenes below? Next time, maybe I will use the reference while painting?

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Click on images for a larger view. I appreciate comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.