A new student started my Thursday Evening Studio Class a few weeks ago. Until last year, Freddie hadn't picked-up a paint brush in nearly 30 years. She was also one my students at the American Academy of Art back in the '80s.
Fredi came to me with her photo reference (Figure 1) and herthumbnail pencil sketch (Figure 2.) We talked about composition and I told her to think through her sketch, don't just copy what you see. I always stress photos are just a starting point and you have to make it your own - you are the artist telling a story - communicating a mood, how you want them to view it, a feeling...
I presented a revised solution (Figure 3) sharing with her some key leanings. Her composition was very confining, it needed adjustments in proportion of space allowing the viewer's eye to easily move through the picture space.
Now it was time to start painting. As far as the choice of colors Freddie had some recent experience in color, but I felt she needed to focus, so I limited her selection to a four-color palette which was easier to control:
* Cobalt Blue
* Burnt Sienna
* Olive Green
* Yellow Ochre
Then we did a paint-along demo (Figure 4). And Freddie's painting was a success!
I use it only on certain subjects that need to retain areas of white in a painting such as delicate or fine details. It allows you to paint uninterrupted washes in the area around your subject such as what you see in this photo.
Liquid masking fluid dries in several minutes. When you remove the masking fluid, the white area will perfectly maintain the white of the paper.
Additional tips when working with masking fluid:
* Use liquid masking fluid as a tool and not a crutch.
* Never use it with a good brush, period.
* Soap up your brush so that the fluid releases from the hair of the brush at clean-up.
* Clean your brush with soap and water.
* To remove the dry liquid mask make sure the painting is perfectly dry. Use a hard crepe rubber cement pick-up. This is a neat and easy way to clean up masking liquid. You can find the pickup for under $2.
* You can find liquid masking fluid at your art supply store. Try Cheap Joe's or Dick Blick's.
Well, I'm final over my very emotional event. As some of my students know I dropped my iPad. I'm a pretty even keeled kinda guy, but that day every emotion flowed through my body including almost throwing-up.
I have some very exciting plans for 2014 which I will share in a future blog. One of my plans meant I had to figure out a way to mount my iPad to the ceiling. With the help of my father-in-law, Coby we came up with a device that held the iPad. Well, long story short I was doing some final adjustments when I took the iPad down, it slipped out of my hands and went crashing to the floor. My wife, Marilee heard blue smoke coming from the studio.
I'm slow to enter the technology scene, in fact when my wife would send emails for me she would sign it: Dale Popovich~sent from my rotary telephone. But two years ago I got my iPad2.. After seeing several of my Palette and Chisel students using an iPad for their photo reference and my wife complaining that we were using a tons of toner printing 50+ photos at a time – they say toner is more expensive than gold per ounce.
I took the plunge. Who would have ever thought I'd have such am amazing love affair with this little piece of electronics. I love the fact I can carry my portfolio, have my photo reference at my fingertips, zoom into an area to look at details, take photos on the fly and let's not even talk about Pinterest.
I remember the day I purchased my iPad with the extended warranty. I asked the Mac guy if I dropped it would it it be covered? He said you bet. Fast forward, I had six weeks till the warranty expired, made an appointment online and rushed to Oakbrook.. Replacement wasn't covered, but I could get a new one for $250 instead of $700. Done. I was disappointed, but I had to have my iPad so I gave into my addition. The positive side: a brighter screen and a new battery.
I'm still marveled with this machine. Right now we are looking into Bento to keep my painting inventory sheets with me. Here's a write-up on Bento software.
So if you if you don't have an iPad check it out. It's a remarkable tool for artists. Remember Christmas is around the corner. And if you do get one hold on tight!
Dale L Popovich IWS
is an award-winning watercolorist and teacher who is passionate about capturing the raw beauty of the American landscape with the fluid stroke of a brush. As you will see the works selected in his portfolio represent the breath of his holistic approach to painting. You can also learn along with this talented and experienced teacher through his workshops, Palette & Chisel, Mainstreet Art Center, Elmhurst Art Museum and Popovich Studio classes.