Thursday, March 8, 2012

learning to do washes

Two weeks ago, in a painting class that I take, Virginia Kelley, the instructor, told us all about how to do different types of washes. Washes are what make watercolor unique. To make a wash, you need to use lots and lots of water. As I like to play with water, that was OK with me. There are flat washes, graded washes, and variegated washes. The flat washes are just one solid color. The graded washes are also one color but they don't look as flat. The painter uses one color but then adds more and more water until the color seems to fade away. It is a nice effect. Variegated washes are cool because they are done in a variety of colors. So we practiced our washes several times and then added some pictures to go on top of the wash, which then became the sky and the ground.
Well, I thought, this is challenging. Shortly after that class, I started taking an online workshop on watercolor sketching through the Strathmore website. I watched the first video. What was the first thing that Cathy (Kate) Johnson talk about? What else? Washes. So I did washes, repeatedly. I've posted some of those paintings.
Here are my earlier paintings:
This is one tree, with a colorful background, mostly a pink and yellow sky.

Here is my fun little house. It is meant to be a bit primitive. It is under a happy blue sky (a flat wash)

A clump of trees in front of an early evening sky.

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