QUESTIONS and ANSWERS

 

Time to Paint

...My difficulty is "making" the time to spend developing my art.  Trying to work and raise a young family my time is limited, so if you have any secrets about how to practice with short amounts of time during the week [say a hour in the AM and a hour in the PM] and more time on the weekends, please tell me.

Jeff - Texas

 

.. I know the difficulty of trying to fit painting in around a young family.
I find working on small (1/8th sheet) paintings is a good way to keep practicing and build up confidence at the same time. Work out your painting with a couple of small thumbnail sketches (see lessons/ thumbnail sketches), then start with the lightest washes and gradually work towards the darker tones.
Working fairly quickly on a small scale like this really helps build confidence. At the same time allowing you to practice your design skills just as you would in a larger painting.
Many of the exercises in the lesson section on the CD-ROM can be done in this small format and kept with the printed  notes in an A4 folder. This way you can refer back to them later and use them to base larger works on.

 

Light on Water

I have chosen to paint a muddy pond created by workmen in our college (They are building a pond, but created a big ditch and rainfall filled the ditch with water!) 
I have made sketches and taken photographs of the area, and I'm fully prepared to paint the scene, I am only worried that when I draw the pond, I wont be able to make the water look like it should, as the sun is bouncing off the water right in my direction, I am unsure on how I approach this task, can you help me at all on this?

Paul-Liverpool, England

 

A technique I find helpful to capture light bouncing off water is to drag a 1" flat brush across the paper with the handle almost parallel to the paper
As long as you don't have it too wet, you will find the paint starts to break up giving that shimmering effect you're after. 

Black and White to Color

I am fairly proficient in working with pencil ... particularly with landscape and boating.  But I have had no real experience with color, other than some experimenting with pastels several years ago.  Could you suggest a particular section of your CD that could best help me in making a transition from black and white sketching to watercolor? 

Don - New York

 

 

Have a look at the Limited Palette section under lessons. Using a restricted palette in this way eases you into applying color. Do a couple of small paintings using just Burnt Sienna and Prussian Blue or Burnt Sienna and Indigo. Brown Madder Alizarin and Indigo are a good combination too. The biggest problem when making the transition from black and white to color is keeping the color under control.
To maintain color harmony it often helps to stick to a simple plan. eg. Dominating cools - (blues/greens) with a small amount of contrasting warm (red, orange, brown etc). Relate your plan to the subject. Have a look at the painting of a small yacht on the second screen of boats (lessons) and the breaking wave (water / lessons).
Both of these use a dominating cool arrangement with contrasting warms. The painting on the Subject Boundaries (lessons) screen shows how a dominating warm arrangement, relieved by small areas of cool color, help this subject.
I hope this helps ease you into using color in your work.

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