Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Photo of the Day, Drawing Lab, and Watercolor WIP

Today's photo is of some leaves on the rose bush in the side garden. While I think they are beautiful, they surely look fallish, don't you think?

I am working from the Drawing Lab by Carla Sonheim through the Yahoo group Artists of the Round Table and have one of the units to share with you. This is a really fun book that gets me to loosen up and just have fun.

Sorry about the quality of the photo, but I think you can see how fun this is!

I have been trying to add color to the trees on my watercolor WIP, but am having great difficulty, so I have several questions:

If I want to make the tree line recede so that it appears to be much further back from the barns, do I make them a much darker color?

If I want to keep the trees at the same relative distance as they look now, can I use gouache to add some yellows and reddish orange?

Any other help you can think of?

If you haven't seen the previous post where I review a Rhodia webnotebook and have a giveaway, be sure to check it out and register to win!!



  1. Fun fun looking drawing lab.
    I am not wc expert, but I think in general when things are further away, they turn grayish, or blueishh. So I wouldn't want to suggest them with dark colors. I would use dark colors on shadows, but if it's a distanced shadow...I'd use gray or blue or purple...a bit lighter.
    And as for mixing media...I don't know what it does, but I wouldn't mind and give it a try anyway. If I ruin this one, I'll just draw another one =)
    Nice photo by the way!

  2. For the fading back effect I believe that you would need to cover the trees with a grey blue wash. Making them lighter also makes things recede. I've been having the same problems and started reading some books on perspective from the library. It's been very helpful.

  3. Charming paintings!
    and the flower is lovely!

  4. Yes, as things recede they get lighter. Alex is right - try the guache (I forget how to spell it), and if you don't like it, just do another one. That's what learning is all about. Some folks swear by transparent watercolors and wouldn't mix the 2, but you're learning, and that means trying things out to see what You like! hugs, nancy

  5. as things get further way they become lighter in value and bluer in tone, they also get smaller too - as your trees are the size they are in relation to the building they are never going to look distant - unless you use gouache to change the skyline, but even then, the placement of the bottoms of the trees means they will still look close to the barn - did you work from reference? Have a really good look at where one thing is in relation to another - if you didn't I would suggest you spend some time working from reference material which shows distance and really looking hard to see what happens to things as they recede.

    Also look at some of the masters from the renaissance - you'll notice that both blueness and smallness is exaggerated slightly, you often need to do this even when creating something realistic as a painting is not reality even when it depicts it - if you see what I mean, lol!

  6. Cool colours recede and warm colours advance. But it's not quite as easy as that because there are cool and warm reds, cool & warm greens, blues, yellows etc.

    There's some useful information here

  7. I agree with curiouscrow about the bottoms of the trees - especially on the right, they look too close to be distant even if you cover them with a layer of blue. Also, I can't find any shadows - but maybe you're just not at that point in the painting yet? :)

    Beautiful photo! You should make it into a watercolor painting, too! :)

  8. I couldn't possibly give you any better advice than you've already been given, so I'll just say that the trees look fine being where they are to me. Maybe paint the scene several times and try out the different suggestions. It would be a great learning experience!

    Fabulous photo! The heat we're having in Houston is so bad right now that I wish it WAS fall!

    The labs looks so interesting. I do wish you had loaded them separately though, and gave an explanation as to what each one was doing. But, that's me, just being greedy! :D