Thursday, November 20, 2008

These are the pieces I did in the second semester of a water colour class, one evening a week with lots of homework.
The purpose of the first piece was to experiment with guache, mixed quite thickly. We used black and white photocopies of flower photos to provide form and relative values. We combined flowers, leaves etc from several photos, as we pleased. Using black and white guache, we first did a grey scale and then light, medium and dark plant sections. Next, mixing permanent rose and ultramarine, we did a purple value scale. Mixing the purple with cadmium yellow we produced a yellow to ochre value scale and painted the plant strip on the left. Finally, we had to use the range of purples and yellow/ochre to do the piece on the right.

In the next piece, above, we were to combine guache with watercolour which we had studied last semester. First, we laid sheets of A4 paper on top of our stretched watercolour paper and spattered with watercolour. Removing the A4 paper, we had white, paper-shaped spaces in which we had to use watercolour to paint copies of pages removed from art catalogues. Then we had to use thickish guache to paint a variety of things on top. It's meant to be from the perspective of looking down but I think I have several perspectives here so it looks a little odd.

In the third piece, above, we began by spattering with watercolour onto a wet surface, then drew direct with nib and ink from 'forest floor findings' that we brought in. Then we used guache to colour some items and watercolour to do shadows. I haven't finished this one - nature studies out of context aren't quite my thing.

Finally, we had to combine watercolour, guache, pen and ink and watercolour pencils in a 'cupboard' piece, one door open and the other closed with a poster or similar on it. In the cupboard, we had to depict a 'collection'. I chose some of my son's trophies, with the idea that once successfully caught in a picture, we could throw the gaudy things away - he took the best trophies away when he left home - these are the 'seconds'. There are also some of his war hammer creatures and 'Potato', a soft toy I won at a fair five minutes before my son broke his arm playing on a bouncy castle. So Potato became the hospital friend but now, after this immortalization, I think he too, is headed for the bin. We were shown how to do one point perspective - all the interior lines of the cupboard, except the hoizontal floor and ceiling lines inside the cubbies, run to the centrepoint of the whole rectangle - then had to do the collection with watercolour pencil, mixing from primary colours. The door is guache with pencil over the top to provide the pattern and the calender is done with pen and watercolour.
I have learnt a lot about the various watercolour mediums in this class, though the style is way more precise than I expected. I still would like to learn 'loose' but must finish my memory paintings first.

10 comments:

E-J said...

You've been extremely busy! Thank you for explaining the approaches/techniques for each piece. That flower exercise makes such a wonderful abstract!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Gosh, you sound very busy in that art class, but achieved some interesting results. Forest floor I like. Limited palette I like. I never thought of doing pics of the trophies - all that fake silver would be hard to paint I think. Javelin, shotput, discus, footie, golf, etc. etc. One for eating pizza the fastest! One for me for losing weight the best (actually I was on the 40 hour famine at the time!).
w.

janabouc said...

Hi Alison! It's been awhile since I've visited and it's great to see your work from your class. What an interesting approach to teaching watercolor. It seems like it forces you to loosen up and play some, rather than get too worried about perfection. Did you know it would be so much about gouache? I was surprised that a watercolor class would include gouache in every painting which is rather non-traditional given the strong focus on transparency in most watercolor classes. Beautiful work nonetheless. I really enjoyed the top picture and the ink on wet-in-wet splatter.

christine said...

Wow, I love the intensity of the gouache in the top painting! It must have been fun to have a class to explore this medium in such detail.

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Oh, Alsion, I'd forgotten how much I LOVE your blog. I LOVE it. I really must visit more regulary. Every time is SUCH a treat. Your stories and memories are just so charming. Please announce your new posts more often on the EDM group. Pleeeeeeeeease.

annie said...

I love them all but the first one, especially, so full of color and making such a lovely design.These are so interesting, Alison, and like a mini-class for us, though there is so much here to do that it would have taken me forever to get it done. I'm still struggling with the most elementary beginnings of watercolor and know nothing about gouache, but now I'm inspired by you to learn more. Thanks.
annie

Margaret Ann said...

OOOOh! What fun pieces! I love the forest floor one and the gold and purple one rocks! Very interesting assignments!

Luba said...

What a greate variety of projects. Sounds like a wonderful class. All that work seems worth it. You've made some fabulous works of art!

Penny said...

Interesting class indeed, find the flower one really interesting and not quite sure where you went with the splatter one but it looks good.

bubblemunch said...

WOW! Your work is fabulous... but I am especially taken by the flowers and this is something that I would very much like to try myself. I've never used gouache.

Thank you for taking the time to explain the processes. You're lucky to have such a great class nearby (and, judging by your posted work, they're lucky to have you!)