Friday, May 3, 2013

Intermediate Watercolor 5/2/13 The Zone

The structures at Gasworks park are much too complicated for any properly crazy painter to try to duplicate, which is a GOOD thing. The big shapes are familiar enough to tell a lot of the story, without all the specific information of which pipe goes where.
The color is another very accommodating factor, since that rusty neutral can be made by mixing any pair of complimentaries.
Everyone did plenty of color and shape work at the park yesterday (if you weren't there, you can use the hundreds of photos that google provides). Use your studies to design the shapes and to decide on a limited palette.
This is an opportunity to set up boundaries for your exploration that pretty much assure that you can do no wrong. Rule number one is, "Do not correct anything".

Design a group of big shapes based on the gasworks. Zoom in or out, as you please.

Make a mixture of your complimentary colors that will serve as a rough representative of the local color of the structures.

Paint the whole shape with a very wet wash of your mixture.

Use the component colors of your mix to make the shadow shapes and the calligraphic railings, seams, rivets and ladders.
Do not correct your brush strokes. Let the paint do whatever it wants. Have faith. You have established enough control by prescribing the shapes and the colors. The marks you make with the component colors will be informed by what you notice about pattern, proportion and distribution.

When the dust has settled, you can mix up a strong dark within your chosen palette, and use it to create additional structure and boundaries, as needed. This is a final layer. Use it sparingly. The difference between "correcting" and these final darks is that one involves removing paint that you judge to be wrong, and the other places an additional layer of punctuation marks on the sentences you have already written.
Have fun.

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