July is World Watercolor Month. As part of the celebration, I have a tutorial up at Doodlewash, showing how to get the most out of Iridescent watercolor.
I share three different projects, with three different methods of using QoR’s Iridescent Gold (Fine), Iridescent Silver (Fine) and Iridescent Gold (Fine) along with six more of their beautiful pigments.
My watercolor mentor and teacher, Kathy Delumpa Allegri (see her website here), recently moved to Arizona but members of her classes still get together once a month to paint. Each month, someone volunteers to share an idea or technique.
This month, our volunteer, Val Holiday, brought examples of a faux calligraphy technique for us to try, using a Lombardy calligraphy font and illustrations.
I hadn’t really thought of a word, and decided I’d use the opportunity to remind people that it is World Watercolor Month! (and be sure to visit Doodlewash, the home of WWM, on Saturday, because I have a tutorial on using QoR Iridescent paints that will be posted).
The YouTangle paper is excellent for pen and ink. It isn’t really formulated for watercolor, but handles it well enough if you don’t let it get too wet.
I had lots of paint left over from my Panther’s Picnic painting and a tutorial that will be posted later this month, so I used it up practicing some brush strokes and doing a quick ‘Window View’ and ‘Loose & Free’ for the Doodlewash Prompts.
(and hey! Be sure to visit Doodlewash on Monday. I have a How to Draw a Rooster tutorial coming up!)
It was mostly blue – a mix of QoR Manganese Blue and Iridescent Pearl that I had left over so I did a bunch of stuff at random, paying more attention to what the brush was doing than what I was drawing.
If you look closely at the sunset you might notice that the blue streaks in the sky were practice strokes of leaves done with a dagger brush. I turned the paper sidewise, added color with a mottler and liner brushes, and – voila. I rather cool sunset, I thought.
Some of the other practices bits done with dagger and oval wash brushes.
Postcards for the Lunchbag: Today, my hubby took a Colugo in his lunchbag. Okay – the title is kind of a lie. The Colugo is commonly called a Flying Lemur, but they don’t fly and they aren’t a lemur! They’re a species from an ancient, but uncommon family and they have a membrane stretching from shoulder to forepaw that allows them to glide about 230 feet.
Doodlewash Prompt: Sunny Skies. So the colugo kind of flies through the skies, which means this painting doesn’t really meet the prompt, but I’m claiming it anyway, lol.
As you can see from the photo, they are seriously weird-looking dudes. No offense to any Colugos out there – beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
What caught my eye about this photo was how well the colugo fits in with his surroundings. Often, I just put in enough background to keep my subject grounded. This time, I decided that I wanted to make this an edge-to-edge painting.
(This scan is darkened so you can see the pencil lines. You should pencil lines in lightly)
The colugo was hard for my brain to compute. I decided it was easier to draw and paint him if I turned her sideways.
I drew the colugo’s outline, the eye, the ear, and the tree trunk. Then I drew the areas of sunlight. I didn’t worry about exact shapes or placement. The little baby peeking out from under the tail is cute, but confusing, so I just left him out.
The forearms are way too short in this sketch. I fixed that but forgot to scan it before I started drawing.
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.
I penned in the facial features, the marbling, and shaded areas on the colugo. Then I used hatching and cross-hatching for shading and texture on the tree trunk.
Although, I intended to paint edge-to-edge, I wanted the background to be abstract. The trick being to strike a happy medium between a colugo who can be seen, and a colugo who is blending in with her surroundings.
Using a quill brush with lots of water and little paint, I used Moonglow for the marbled areas of the colugo and the darker shaded areas of the tree.
I add the lightest touch of Quinacridone Rose around the ear, along the bottom of the forepaw, and on the tail.
Shadow violet was used as a contrasting gray in the areas not left white.
Light washes of Undersea Green were used along the tree and the background. While the Undersea was still wet, I started dropping Serpentine Green Genuine, and Cascade Green, so they would blend together.
I repeated the same steps two more times, strengthening the colors, then letting the paint dry in between layers. I let the colors blend as they would in the background, but did some negative painting, picking out shapes that would imply leaves here and there.
For the last layer, I switched to the soft bristle round so I could darken some areas.
At this step, I decided the painting needed to be warmed up a bit, so I added a touch of Monte Amiata Natural Sienna to the eye, shoulder and hindquarters.
Switching to the quill, I added a light wash of Cadmium Yellow Med Hue to whites of the colugo and tree. I dropped darker washes of it into the still-damp background and let it blend.
(and where you can buy them)
Hahnemühle Cold Press Watercolor Postcards (you can find my review here).
Today, my hubby took a Sunbird in his lunchbag. Sunbirds and hummingbirds are very similar in size, coloration and feeding habits but are not closely related. Hummingbirds are closely related to swifts while sunbirds are related to crows!
The Doodlewash prompt for today is #PrimaryPalette. I do have blue, yellow and red in this painting, though I admit that I’ve also got iridescent gold, silver and pearl! Those are the iridescent primaries, right? Lol.