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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

Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up with all these freebie lessons, eh? No worries. I don’t even know if anyone subscribes, let alone who. It is all very private and stuff. I could be just talking to myself. Which is… not a bad thing. I tend to listen.

Analogous Color Geek Out!

Well I had a few scraps of 90-lb watercolor paper leftover from a card making exercise. Never one to waste paper, I just started playing with analogous color schemes. That turned into an obsessive need to paint all possible combination of 2-color and 3-color analogous color schemes around the color wheel, using primary and secondary colors.  Basically, I made two-sided beee-a-u-ti-ful bookmarks, then decided I needed to keep them all to make an “Analogous Color Harmony” reference for myself and my watercolor classes.

What do you think? Fun or work? I would appreciate your feedback. I did learn a lot about color in the process.

See… you can make the collection into a Color Wheel.

Soft Side “Analogous Color Harmony”

Vibrant side “Analogous Color Harmony Wheel”

The process? Here are the “simple” steps:

  1. Cut 2″x6″ paper strips, 90lb-140lb watercolor paper
  2. Paint two pieces of 2″x6″ paper with each color scheme (I did six 2-color and six 3-color analogous color schemes)
  3. Let dry
  4. Iron the painted strips if they are all “warpy”
  5. Spray with UV Acrylic semi-gloss varnish; 2 coats, let dry at least 1 hour between coats)
  6. Spray with UV Acrylic matte varnish; 2 coats, let dry at least 1 hour between coats)
  7. “Glue” the two matching strips together. I used Acrylic Gel Medium Semi-gloss for my glue (archival and permanent). This was the most complicated step, I will warn you.
  8. Let dry overnight
  9. Glaze again with Acrylic Get Medium or Cold Wax medium. One side at a time, let dry between layers at least 6 hours. 9a. If you use Cold Wax medium, buff out the wax after it dries.
  10. Use slicer or edger to cut uneven edges.
  11. Round off corners
  12. Punch hole at one end of each “bookmark.
  13. Arrange color swatches in color wheel order and attach with center hardware.

Whew! Quite a project. Now I want to do “Triadic Color Harmony” and “Tetradic Color Harmony” wheels. I may have to go buy some more of that “scrap” paper.