Monday, September 23, 2013

Harvest Green Stage 2

The next steps are to add hue and value. The colours need to intensified and the values do too. Highlights are preserved using masque, and shadows need to be added using a darker blue grey hue, or the compliment.  The correct values will provide dimension and depth to the piece.

Step 1 Refer to the reference image to determine shadow areas in the grapes and the leaf.  I added french ultramarine blue (FUB) to the shadows.
Step 2. Adding more colour to the bottle:  Again, using the reference, I needed to intensify the value on the bottle to give it shape.  I wanted to preserve the luminosity, so I worked wet-in-wet with transparent colours.  Transparent pigment is critical because opaque hues will result in a muddy appearance when layered. Opaques tend to lift a bit when you glaze over top of them, mixing the pigments resulting in mud.
I added Pthalo Green, and Alizron, to make a richer dark, for the dark areas, and using the cool yellow on the upper shoulder and a mixture of Pthalo and Cool yellow to make the chartreuse on the lower shoulder.  The pigment was applied in a slightly value.  Keeping it transparent.  Do not go too dark too quickly. 
Once the value was close, I lifted out a small section next to the grapes (using a scrubby brush, Simply Simmons, 1/8 to 1/4 chisel; these brushes are firm yet soft, and are perfect for lifting out pigment without damaging the fine art paper).  Let dry before adding more pigment. over the darker areas. 

Step 3 Painting the wine glass, and the leaf behind the glass: I used the same mixtures to make the chartreuse and a few different values of greens, and using the reference as my guide, built up the values, and masking in-between layers to preserve the highlights or in some cases painting around the highlights. 

Step 4 Grape Stems: I layered colour beginning with yellow.  Let dry, and add, Burnt Sienna, and while that is wet, add a richer dark on the underside, and let it bleed up. make sure to preserve the highlight by masking or lifting out after it is dry.

Step 5 Leaf: I removed the mask and put a wash of yellow over the entire leaf.  let dry.
Mixing up a greyed down midtone bluegreen, using Pthalo, FUB, and a touch of Alizron, I negative painted the spaces between the veins.

Step 6 The stem of the glass: I removed the masque and worked with the reference to build up the values that give the stem depth and roundness. I did not try and make every mark as it appears in the reference photo.  Instead I built up the mid tones and added a few details at the end with a darker hue. 
It's getting very close now.  I take a photo of the painting and look at it on the computer...this helps me to see the areas that are glaringly wrong and subtle changes that can be made to make the painting better.  I start on the far left, and compare my painting to the reference photo to ensure the values are correct.  Be careful not to overcompensate, photos can be misleading in the shadows, and end up too dark.

Harvest Green

Painting Waves The finishing touches...

I painted in the shadows of the bird. I added a few touches to the forefront, and the curve of the wave.
Scratched out a bit of foam and calling it done.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Painting the Harvest Green Stage 1

We are actually beginning the process part way through because I forgot to take pictures...
Here are the steps leading up to the following image:
Step 1 Draw or transfer your image to the watercolour paper Arches 140 lb or 300 lb 100% cotton rag.
Step 2 Masque out the whitest whites.  Dry
Step 3 Using a cool transparent yellow,  very pale,  wash over the entire piece (except in the areas that are blue/grey in the image, in these areas use raw sienna, very pale); dry.
Step 4 masque out the next palest value. Dry
Step 5 Another wash, this time drop in some warm yellow in the leaf, the glass, and the top of the bottle. Dry
Step 6. Paint the grapes individually wet in wet using pthalo green and cool yellow to make that chartreuse green hue.  Then drop in a bit of Ultramarine blue and the green randomly into the shadow areas on each grape.
Step 7 Paint the cork and glass around the cork with raw sienna, and Opera pink. Dry
Step 8 Using the reference photo, note where the values need to change. Using Pthalo, Alizron and a mixture of the two to make a rich dark,  lay down the hues next to each other and let them mingle wet into wet; do not overwork the areas, drop in the pigment and soften the outside edges. 
Step 9 clean up edges where needed before you move on to the next Stages.
Stay tuned.

Art in the Vineyards, Naramata, BC

What a time...Plein Air and Still Life painting led by Leslie Redhead and Sam L Boehner respectively, in the sun drenched hills of the Naramata Bench Wine Region of BC. 

Who would have thought the temperatures would reach  north of 30° C.   The sun warmed our weary bones, coming from as far away as the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Prince Rupert, where it rains a fair bit. 

This area has been transformed into a mini Napa Valley with regards to the look and feel of the area.  It has however, a feel and look of it's own.  The sage brush, the dry hills, and the lush vegetation that is the vineyards and orchards of the Okanogan Valley.

Upon arrival, the Naramata Centre, with it's spiritual connection allowed us to ground ourselves with a walk in the Labyrinth.  Staying there also offered us the opportunity to refresh ourselves with a dip in the lake each day. After a long day of painting, wine tasting and more painting, it was a welcome treat.

We were 15 painters, experiencing gourmet food, wine pairings, an evening of Jazz, a visit to the largest Farm Market in the country (a still life painter's dream) and to top off we got to paint everyday. Could we have asked for anything more? 

Leslie and I have decided to do this again in 2015.  If you are interested in this type of experience, let us know early as we have a group already that want to come back.  You may contact us through .