Thursday, February 17, 2011

Beginning Watercolor homework 2/17/11

Piling on the layers

There's a reason we're spending a lot of time practicing seeing a subject as a series of layers. For watercolorists, it just may be the most useful skill of all.

Here's an exercise that makes the progression of layers very easy to recognize, and creates a rich resource for the class at the same time:

Find an image that readily resolves into 3 or 4 layers (light, middle, dark, super-dark).
Paint the first layer.
Get another piece of paper, and paint the first and second layers.
Get another piece of paper, and paint the first, second and third layers.
If there is a fourth layer, you'll need a new paper, with all 4 layers on it.
When you're done, you should have a series of pages, showing the step-by-step progression.

Imagine the classroom wall with all these arrays displayed (displays arrayed?)


  1. Do you remember the 3-D pictures that were so popular a number of years ago? If you stared at them long enough an image from within would emerge. This assignment reminds me of that. I have had a bit of difficulty sorting through the image values and applying them to a painting. I am, however, on the verge of a break-through, an ah-ha moment as it were. I wonder if anyone else has had issues and how they were solved?

    Nancy Bringolf

  2. I could never see those 3-D images unless I took off my glasses, and then I couldn't see them well, because I didn't have my glasses on. How were those things generated? I picture a room full of cross-eyed characters with tiny little brushes...
    Let's hope a lot of people do the homework, so we can see several examples of the layer breakdown. Bring on the epiphany.