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?