Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Practicing Washes!

I have been practicing washes. I have been doing a lot of painting and practicing different techniques with Ona. I am also attending a weekly class which is not brilliant, but I get to practice under the guidance of an artist, who is physically present to critique what I do. Anyway as I paint more I have realised that my pictures often had  'patchy' bits and have been trying to understand why this is happening. I decided to go back to the basics.  One of my mistakes is that I don't mix enough of the paint on my palette and so I have to mix more mid wash!!!! The second is that I don't wait for the wash to dry out completely. Keeping this in mind I did some painting and these are my experiments. I decided one way to practice would be to copy pictures of other artists, so  have copied the paintings of an Indian water colourist, Millend Mulick for the first 2 pictures.

The third practice piece is an exercise from a book called Water Colour Landscape Course by David Bellamy, a British artist. It was simple, but taught me a lot about value and controlling the strength of the paint.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Light, shadows and COI

In my last set of exercises with Ona I focused on light directions. This is a continuation of the same lesson and was a great learning experience. I chose a reference picture from a holiday in Ireland:
Ona then gave me an exercise She said 'look at your ref photo of the Ireland scene. Printout the colour photo a couple times and play around with a pencil on the photo creating  2 different light sources. Some ideas to get you going... you could have the scene as midday with the sun quite high in the sky... what would happen to the shadows? In contrast an early morning scene with the sun low down.... what happens to the shadows then? Draw in the shadows where you think they might be and also mark you light source
Its amazing how the effect of light can totally transform a ref photo isnt it'. So I took 2 printouts and coloured them in. This was the picture in the mid day sun:
And this was the picture in evening light, with the sun low in the west

To reinforce what I had learnt she asked me to do a third exercise, 'to re create one of those days where it is part cloudy but some areas of the painting are in sunshine. This would be really effective for eg if you wanted to make the island your COI by having a pool of sun in this area . It could include some of the foreground too or not. I will leave this up to you'. This is the result:
I loved doing this exercise and certainly learnt so much. Now as I go through my day, I find myself constantly observing light sources, the way shadows get cast....I do wish I had more time to practice though!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

painting figures

I have embarked on this self challenge to finally paint figures and portraits. I have been copying other artists paintings, and doing a relatively decent job. I have also been sketching with a pencil and enjoying that. Suddenly I felt like using water colours, so decided to paint from a reference photograph. This was taken on a trek in the Himalayas. The photograph with the pot in the foreground was a nice composition, but the picture also captured his slightly shy smile, which my painting hasn't managed to!!!! I think I have got the composition and the colours, but messed up on the face, and the fluidity of the figure. I am posting it anyway, as this blog is about recording myjourney towards learning to be a water colour artist, the good and the not so good !

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sketching live!!

Viveck was reading this morning, relaxed and comfortable on Nishka's front room sofa! The light was coming in from the big bay window, and I decided to plunge into my first 'live' sketch! I am pleased with this as besides being a reasonable likeness, I have managed to catch some light and shade as well. I am not sure I have got a 'sketching' technique in place with regards to pencil strokes, but will work on it!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Flowers in the sun

I was looking for pictures showing light at different times of the day for my art class with Ona. I came across this one which I took in Mizoram, and all the great feelings I felt that day came rushing back! So I quickly decided to paint it, remembering what I have been learning in my classes first that a reference is only a reference and second, and possibly more important, is that expressing feelings in a painting makes it special.
The day I took this picture we were in a remote part of Mizoram which is at the eastern most part of India well into the Himalayas. We were visiting families of deaf children who were part of our progrramme from VAANI the NGO I run . We arrived at the village after driving for what seemed like interminable hours.  Families are so poor and have so little in terms of shelter or even food, and yet there were the village children, deaf and hearing, with there families full of welcome smiles. Excited that we were there, wanting to share the successes of their children since the programme had started, behind them the hillside was covered in these yellow blossoms, like miniature sunflowers, only adding to the joy of the moment. It made me realize how blessed we are that our work is so worthwhile!
The reference picture was
And my rendition, where I have highlighted the flowers to capture that very special moment

Sunday, October 2, 2011

More figures!

Some more sketches...these are still copies from other people's sketches but I plan to start doing some real life figures soon.

 Need to get the practice of the proportions of the figures I want to draw! This last one is certainly very very thin!!!!