Artwork-Holbein and Winsor & Newton Gouacheon a Stonehenge Aqua ColdPress Black watercolor paper. Brushes: Jack Richeson Richeson Grey Matters Synthetic Watercolor Flat 1/4 and Princeton Heritage Synthetic Sable 4050 Round 8. Reference Photo courtesy of Pexels on Pixabay.
Bright lights dancing to the music of the rain. To splashing feet, syncopated beat, raindrops twirling, puddles swirling, serenity in energy.
Artwork-Holbein Artist’s Gouacheand Acryla gouacheon a Stonehenge Aqua ColdPress Black watercolor paper.
There are two kinds of gouache – watercolor and acrylic. One of the nice things about acrylic gouache is that it has a matte surface and you can use watercolor over it. Of course, transparent colors won’t show up very well, so you need to use either gouache of the watercolor kind or very opaque watercolors.
I was experimenting with switching that around – using the acrylic kind over the watercolor kind. I’ve found when painting on black paper that I often forget to leave enough black showing. It’s the same principle as remembering to leave the white of the paper.
I decided to try adding acrylic black to bring more of the black back, jack (sorry! I couldn’t resist the rhyme).
Anyway, I used a really cheap brush when applying my acrylic lines and couldn’t make them thin enough. So I applied some of the watercolor gouache and then some of the acrylic and … well – it was gouache on gouache.
Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and QoR watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Princeton Neptune Travel Round size 8. Photo courtesy of 9883074 on Pixabay.
Sorry about the Artbin email that went out earlier. WordPress sent it for some reason, but it’s about Friday’s post.
My hubby took an Gelada Baboon in his lunchbag. Did you know this monkey is often called a Blood Breast or Bleeding Heart baboon because they have a patch of red skin on their chest? I didn’t know this until after I finished the painting or I would have chosen a reference photo that showed it and used it for a Valentine’s Day post.
Did you know that one of the fastest ways to tell an ape from a monkey is to look at the tail. If it has one, it is a monkey. Unless it is a loris or a lemur – animal classification is nothing to monkey around with!
Artwork-Holbein and Winsor & Newton Gouacheon a Stonehenge Aqua ColdPress Black watercolor paper. Brushes: Jack Richeson Richeson Grey Matters Synthetic Watercolor Flat 1/4 and Princeton Heritage Synthetic Sable 4050 Round 8
Did you know that the world’s smallest known orchid is only about 1/8 inch across while the largest species can be over 10 feet tall?
I have to admit Orchids are not my favorite flower, either in real life or for painting. Not sure why, but they just don’t stir my creative side. But, truthfully, that’s a good reason to paint one, once in a while. It pulls more from my analytic side and it’s a good idea to get both sides communicating!
Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and Schmincke watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Princeton Neptune Quill Size 4 & Neptune Round Size 8.
Did you know that Toucan Sam, the lively toucan on Froot Loops cereal is a Keel-billed Toucan?
This painting is what is known as a ‘line and wash’ because it is drawn in pen first and then painted with watercolor.
Before You Start
I was looking for a subject that I could use as one of my Postcards for the Lunch Bag as well as to meet the Doodlewash prompt of ‘Rainforest’.
This guy grabbed my attention because of his expression, his fuzzy head and bright colored bill. Those were things I most wanted to capture in my painting.
(This scan is darkened so you can see the pencil lines. You should pencil lines in lightly)
I really punched up the darkness on this pencil scan because I wanted you to see everything.
All those little speckles come from erasing – I kept drawing the bird too large for the postcard. You can’t see the damage with the eye but it does create more texture when I paint. Usually you don’t want that. I didn’t, but felt it was workable.
Usually I can eyeball proportions and draw a bird without too much trouble – I don’t have to think about it too much. But this toucan is sitting at an odd angle and it was one of those days where my brain and my hand were not communicating well.
So I did something I seldom do – I actually measured the distances of the shapes (you can see the horizontal and vertical lines I drew as a guide).
My point being that no matter how much experience you have, some days you are just off your feed. Instead of fussing, stop what you are doing and try it a different way (or just stop and come back later). I have to remind myself of this, often.
Not sure if you’re up to drawing this? Art Tutor has a great grid program that will help by applying a grid to your uploaded photo. You can also crop and adjust color and value.
Before starting my pen drawing, I had to make a decision. Usually, I establish the values in the painting, as well as the outline when I do my pen work. But the toucan feathers are largely black and gray, which would call for a lot of pen and create a very stark, dramatic appearance.
As I discussed above, I wanted those bright colors to be a focus, and I felt heavy pen work would take away from that. So I only drew an outline.
I outlined more of the background than usual. One of my goals was to satisfy the prompt of rainforest, so I thought I’d give the background more of the focus than usual. It was a secondary goal though and I kept the outlines simple and loose.
I wanted to be able to change my mind.
Values= dark to light. When you establish your values, you are deciding where the darkest areas are, and some of the important mid-tones.
The toucan’s face was painted with Rutile Yellow and Cobalt Azure. The bill was Cobalt Azure, Saturn Red, and Brilliant Red Violet. The body and tail were done with layers of Payne’s Blue-Gray, Cobalt Azure, with an addition of Saturn Red and Perylene Violet on the head.
I soon realized that the bright colorful area that I wanted to be a focus was too small at this 4 x 6 size. For this reason, my sky became a blend of yellow and bleeding into blue. A kleenex was used to lift some of the wet yellow to light it for more contrast between the bird and the sky.
The tree limbs were painted with a mix of Perylene Green and Perylene Violet applied in layers. I mix my browns, by dropping a second color into the wet paint on the paper. Green and violet are my favorite mix, but it depends on the other colors in the painting.
The foliage was done with various *wet-into-wet mixes of Rutile Yellow, Viridian, Perylene Green, Perylene Violet and the occasional touch of Yellow-Orange.
*Wet-into-Wet means you add more wet paint into an area of the paper where the paint is still wet.
Because I wanted the rainforest feel, I added quite a bit of detail to the background, although it’s still loose and abstract. I alternated negative painting (painting around shapes) to create hard edges, and lifting colors for shapes with soft edges.
Something about the bill was bothering me but it was late, and I put the painting away. When I made the scan the next morning, I saw it immediately.
In the left photo, notice the area at the tip of the bill; the darkness sweeping in the same direction? It seemed to be part of the bill, messing up the proportion.
I t was time to put this in hubby’s lunch bag, so I just wet a finger and smeared the area so it wouldn’t be as dark, lol. Ideally, I would have lightened it while keeping more of the leaf shape.
Remember the erasing I mentioned earlier?
I ended up with lighter color on the face, because there was an ugly blotch of damaged paper that showed with darker color. I didn’t achieve the exact goal I had in mind.
Does that make me unhappy? No. Having a goal helps me make decisions as I paint, but I like staying flexible and not always knowing exactly what will happen.
Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and QoR watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Princeton Neptune Travel Round size 8. Photo courtesy of Ellen26 on Pixabay.
My hubby took an Emperor Tamarin Monkey in his lunchbag. Did you know this monkey got its name for a resemblence to the German Emperor Wilhelm II ( 1859 – 1941)? I have to wonder if either emperor was pleased with the comparison.
Sometimes you see a view or a photo reference and think ‘I just gotta paint that!’ That happened with this beautiful scene. I was a bit intimidated by it though. I know from experience that a view like this looks simple, but that doesn’t mean easy. I’ve messed up enough of them in the past to know.
This time though, I used black paper – half the job done. Combined with the bright goauche colors, all I had to do was move the brush around.
Instant drama! Who needs Black Velvet (either the cloth or the booze!) when you’ve got black watercolor paper!
It isn’t exactly galatic but it has that feeling of vastness so I’m claiming it for the Doodlewash prompt: Galaxy