Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Here is a update on the falcon painting. You can see it is much farther along now. The eye, face and beak areas are almost finished. I am working outward from there with less detail to the edges of the board. Where the feathers will blend and fade into the darkness of the background. If you compare this photo with the one from the last post you be able to see a lot of the detail brush work developing. You can also see the ability of the dry brush technique for working back in white lighter, or highlight, colors over the existing layers and washes. Sorry the photo is alittle dark.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Painting part 2

Ok ,so I got a little carried away with painting before I remembered to pick up the camera. Oops. As you can see I have blocked in some of the larger areas of the falcons base colors. Again this is being done with the dry brush technique. Although I am using just a bit more water than I would for the more detailed work. The reason for this is that I am trying to cover a larger area more quickly and to keep the paint a bit looser to develop a underlying texture for the more detailed work that will be layered above it.

In this detail you can see both the blocked in area of color on top of the background and the more detailed brush work for the feathers and eye. There are many different types of brush strokes that can be used with dry brushing watercolors. I generally stick with a daubing stroke and cross hatching. I will also using a stippling stroke in tight areas or for shading. If you look closely you can see examples of all three of these in this detail.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A new painting in the works.

Today I started a new painting of a falcon. I wanted it to be a portrait but I also wanted it to have a weathered, textural feel to it. Something like what you would imagine you might find in a 18th century explorers journal.
As I coated the the board with the background color I realized this would be a good piece to show the how the dry brush technique is different to the more common wet techniques and to some extent how they might be combined.

The background itself is a combination of dry brush, wet washes of paint and the spattering of water on to the dried paint below. The base coating of paint was a relatively wet wash of Vandyke brown paint with a medium sized flat brush. When that was dry I came back with the same brush with all most all of the water squeezed from it, leaving just enough to allow the paint to flow off the brush and on to the board. If your brush is to wet it will loosen the layer underneath causing the new and old paint to bleed together. Or worse causing the layer beneath to "lift" leaving a hole in your painting allowing the paper or board to show through.

Because I wanted a rough textural background I alternated between long and short strokes in a random pattern using the Vandyke brown and Payne's grey. When this layer was dry I flicked water onto the surface and waited a minute or two letting the drops of water begin to lift the paint of the top most layer. I then took a dry flat brush and brushed over the drops of water soaking them up and distorting them at the same time. I applied one more spattering a water and blotted them off with a paper towel. Below is a sample area of the painting.You can see the both the streaked brush strokes and the spots lifted out by the water.

Here you can see where I have started to layer in the falcon. Now I am using relatively small round brushes again just wet enough to let the paint follow. As the work progresses I will post some detailed shots of the layering process.