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!
Give Liquid Masking Fluid a Work-out
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.
REMEMBER ATMOSPHERIC PERSPECTIVE
- Lights are lighter near you and get darker as they recede to the horizon.
- Darks are darker nearer to you and get lighter as they recede to the horizon.
- This will give you depth in your painting.
Value manipulation for your focal point is always adjusted to your composition. Never work in one area or spot too long, moving around the painting so it comes to a completion which is strong not spotty.
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.