Watercolour Painting – Week 3

We learned about tones (or values) in watercolour class this week, in addition to more techniques.

Tones are variations in shading, from light to dark. It’s a simple concept, but its effect is startling when applied. Values can help you determine how much pigment to use (resulting in darker tones), along with what to highlight for depth and highlighting.

The image below on the left is my first attempt at depicting values, and the image on the right is my first real sketch of anything. Our homework is to paint an image from the sketch.

sketch values landscape sketch #1

(Click images for larger view. Please pardon the shitty photos – lighting wasn’t good. The paper is white, not gray or yellow.)

I’m pleased with the course’s progressions. We seem to be learning the foundation of painting techniques. I’ve heard of some people not learning about sketching at all, diving right into painting, and I had my doubts too when I saw we were going to be drawing stuff; but then, I not only enjoyed the sketching, but it’s helping me learn how to paint, too.

My main hangups are wanting to end up with a product too quick. I was stumped when we were asked to paint an image from the sketch – I didn’t know where to start. I intentionally put away the photo from which the sketch was drawn – I wanted my imagination to get to work on the painting; but I was dumb-struck. The instructor gave some exactly advice, including:

  • Work from big to small
  • Work from wet to dry
  • Work from light to dark

I need the guidelines to figure out the progressions of things to do. The advice she’s giving seems obvious after I see it applied, but I credit her teaching skills for that – she’s an excellent coach.

I’ve been doing more googling about watercolour painting, learning its history and well-known artists. I’ve been looking into modern artists too, considering purchasing something, including my instructor, Joan Gregory.

Related Posts:
Watercolour Painting – Week 2
Watercolour Painting – Week 1
Can The Art of Watercolour Painting Be Taught?

9 Replies to “Watercolour Painting – Week 3”

  1. Has your colour blindness created any disadvantage for you?

    I’m good with tones and large blotches of colour, but if I’m shown a tiny dot of green next to a tiny dot of red in the same tone, it’s 50/50 accuracy for me.

  2. I’ve been looking into modern artists too, considering purchasing something, including my instructor, Joan Gregory.

    I checked out her site. I didn’t realize water colours could be so vivid. Nice site (though her biggifying feature could biggify the paintings a little more, say like twice the size — there’s something you can do for her for the price of a painting).

  3. Try sketching the same simple object 3 times by:

    1. looking at it 3 times
    2. looking once
    3. not taking your eyes off the object

    It’s a good practice to get your mind and hand connected. Draw easy things, not complex compositions. One object; a chair, a dog, a book.

    I’m thrilled that you are enjoying it so much.

  4. The hardest thing: finding the damn time to practice. Unfortunately, I don’t feel compelled to go out of my way to draw or paint; I’m just doing it when I have nothing else to do, which bugs me: I wish I felt compelled to do it!

  5. hey…you might be curious jode…we have always tried to purchace some artwork from local artists and craftspeople from the places we have lived…ie, iron work, sculpture, paintings etc…oh yeah your curiousity…acutally it might be phillip that is curious…we have a couple of diane dabinett watercolors that we purchaced while in Labrador…both kinda fishy….perhaps phillip can post a lesson in how to send you a photo…I love having stuff from away…one aspect is that they always take me back if only for a moment to the places and time where we aquired them….as well as the time and space in which they depict…

    soon I will have to purchace from another maritime dabbler…but by then he will only be known as is initials j.c and will fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars for his work…and will often be confused with that other long haired cross standing hang about…..j.c.

  6. That reminds me: I haven’t signed any of my pieces (all two of them, which includes the sketch above) yet.

    Diana Dabinett has a website, of course. I like her work.

    I found a couple of pieces my dad painted. Nothing fancy – more of his practice stuff, but still, nice to have.

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