Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Three-Step Watercolor Value Study

It Can’t Get Much Easier Than This

Lately I’ve been filled with impatience. I’m on a short fuse when dealing with everything from friendships to traffic to stubborn pots of water at dinnertime (can’t you boil any faster?!). One person I am not impatient with is artist Andy Evansen. He’s given me, and therefore you because I share like that, a three-step value study to remove the guesswork—and white outlines—from my watercolor painting process. Finally, someone who understands my need for speed.

Light, Middle, Dark

Through trial and error, you may have already found that the best way to lose detail and paint more loosely is to squint at a scene and view it as three distinct values: light, middle and dark. These three divisions of light are what a value study is all about.

watercolor painting demonstration | watercolor painting value study

Step 1

Drawing from the reference photo, begin by blocking in the larger shapes. Because it’s a study, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I actually recommend doing several block-in sketches to warm up because the three-step value study can go by fast so if you have several sketches, you’ll experience that much more by repeating the process.

 

watercolor painting demo step 2 | watercolor painting value study

Step 2

When you squint at the scene, you see the sky, the light-struck area of the casino and tents, and the rocky shore as light, so they remain the white of the paper. There are many opportunities for lost edges in this large shape. The trap in this first stage of the value study lies in the fact that there’s a white casino, a sunny day and white boats in the water. However, the white boats and half of the white casino building are in shadow, so they need to be included in the first middle-value wash.

 

watercolor painting demo step 3 | watercolor painting value study

Step 3

When it’s time to add the dark values, begin with the boats to make them reappear. Next, separate the pier from the water with the darks underneath it and its reflection. A few windows, palm trees and flags finish off the little details for interest. Look how much can be accomplished in just three steps. And really sit back and consider how compelling light, middle tone, and dark are for a composition. Powerful, right?

 

watercolor landscape | watercolor painting

In the Shadow of the Casino (watercolor on paper, 13×18) by Andy Evansen

Try This at Home

Andy Evansen’s finished painting of the port is lovely but I’m still a big fan of the value study. I urge you to create one based on a photo you’ve taken. If that whets your artistic appetite for more color and value explorations, sign up for Johannes Vloothuis’ Paint Along: Make Color Sing — Color & Value Lessons for Landscape Painting. You get the opportunity to watch this favorite instructor of ours live and the convenience of having all the sessions recorded. That way you can watch them anytime you want. Best of both worlds. It’s how we do. Enjoy, artists!

Courtney 

 

The post Three-Step Watercolor Value Study appeared first on Artist's Network.

Three-Step Watercolor Value Study


via Artist's Network http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articles/creativity-workshop-three-step-watercolor-value-study

Secrets to Painting Convincing Water Reflections


via Artist's Network http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articles/secrets-to-painting-water-reflections

Secrets to Painting Convincing Water Reflections

Painting Water with Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork.com

Water is one of the most sought-out subjects in paintings. In this mini-tutorial, you’ll learn valuable pointers on painting water reflections.

Water Type

You can find several conditions of water in nature, which are important to consider when planning a landscape painting:

  • Still water (common in ponds and small lakes when no wind is present)
  • Water moving lazily (the most suitable in paintings when water reflections are desired)
  • Water ripples with more motion (common in river and streams)
  • Water so disturbed you can’t see reflections (large bodies of water such as lakes and seascapes on a windy day)

Unless water is running over a down slope, the wind is what disturbs it, creating the diverse reflections and variances listed above.

 

Advice for painting water, at ArtistsNetwork.com

Left: Wind is not affecting this still water. Right: Water moving in a lazy disturbance.

 

Many professional artists depict water moving lazily (above, right). You will often see this in paintings with lakes. Artists tend to avoid the mirrored effect of still water because it competes too much with other areas of the artwork. Notice the forms are not broken until after about two-thirds of the way down. That breaking-up effect is very pleasing when it is not overdone.

 

How to Paint Water Reflections | Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork

This water is so disturbed you can’t see reflections.

 

The photo reference above would end up being a little dull in a painting because many square inches repeat the same visual information. Painting water in this setting won’t well in most paintings unless special effects are used, such as glistening sunlight hitting a portion of the water surface or the addition of visual interest, like boats.

 

How to Paint Water Reflections | Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork

You can see how these principles are applied to this painting of String Lake.

Rules of Thumb for Painting Water Reflections:

  • Whatever is dark on dry land will be lighter in the water.
  • Whatever is light on dry land will be darker in the water.
  • Colors become less saturated in water reflections. Even white will need to be grayed down in the water.
  • Details are left out. Only the basic smudges of color are needed.
  • Avoid all hard edges in water reflections.
  • Because water is denser than air, it will absorb light. Therefore do not repeat the same value of the sky in the water reflections. Water will almost always be darker than the sky it is mirroring.

Want more water painting tips? Check out my video workshop, The Complete Essentials of Painting Water. You can also register for my live online art classes and peruse through past courses here.

The post Secrets to Painting Convincing Water Reflections appeared first on Artist's Network.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

5 Selfie Worthy Artist-Built Environments

Picture yourself among the chicken bones, concrete and glitter!

Scholars, artists, preservationists, educators, curators, art historians, collectors and devotees will delve into the complex and fascinating subject of artist-built environments during The Road Less Traveled, a three-day conference, Sept. 27-29, 2017, at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Click here for attendee information so you can plan your trip to Sheboygan, WI. #roadlesstraveled2017 

Check out five amazing artist-built environments with ties to JMKAC. Every one of the enviros will make you wish for a teleportation app and a selfie stick. Enjoy!

  1. Embrace the playfulness of Mary Nohl’s cottage

On view through Aug. 20 at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Greetings, Salutations and Boo features a reinstallation of Mary Nohl’s living room from her lakeside artist-built environment in Fox Point, Wis. Photo: John Michael Kohler Arts Center

On view through Aug. 20 at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Greetings, Salutations and Boo features a reinstallation of Mary Nohl’s living room from her lakeside artist-built environment in Fox Point, Wis. Photo: John Michael Kohler Arts Center

See yourself amidst the cottage environment created by Mary Nohl on the shore of Lake Michigan. Whimsical concrete statues, wood carvings, paintings and interior furnishings are arranged in the gallery to evoke her charming home. A re-creation of her living room and a panoramic photo of the lake transport exhibition visitors.

2. A machine for healing from Emery Blagdon

Artist built environments. Installation view of the Healing Machine at JMKAC.

Installation view of the Healing Machine at JMKAC.

Over 30 years, Emery Blagdon (1907–1986) built an increasingly dense environment filled with sculptures made of baling wire and aluminum foil, brightly colored paintings, hand-painted lightbulbs, salts, and other organic matter. Blagdon called this constantly changing installation “The Healing Machine.” His intent was to channel the earth’s energies to alleviate pain and illness. Let the healing begin!

3. A room at the Hotel Chelsea

Artist-built environments: Gallery view of Volumes: Stella Waitzkin + Rita Barros at the JKMAC.

Gallery view of Volumes: Stella Waitzkin + Rita Barros at the JMKAC.

Stella Waitzkin, The Wreck of the UPS (installation view), c. 1993–2003. John Michael Kohler Arts Center Collection, gift of the Waitzkin Memorial Library Trust and Kohler Foundation, Inc.

Stella Waitzkin, The Wreck of the UPS (installation view), c. 1993–2003. John Michael Kohler Arts Center Collection, gift of the Waitzkin Memorial Library Trust and Kohler Foundation, Inc.

Stella Waitzkin (1920–2003) fashioned her own personal vision, composing an art environment in her small fourth floor apartment at the famed Hotel Chelsea in New York City. Artist Rita Barros has documented the vibrant and ever evolving spirit of the hotel, a haven for creatives of all walks including Beat writers, musicians, filmmakers, and visual artists.

 

4. Meet the Original Rhinestone Cowboy and visit the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home

Artist-built environments: Installation view at JMKAC of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home by Loy Bowlin.

Installation view of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home at JMKAC.

Living room view of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home.

Living room view of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home.

Living room ceiling view of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home.

Living room ceiling view of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home.

In 1975, Loy Bowlin reinvented his life and transformed into the “Original Rhinestone Cowboy.” The Beautiful Holy Jewel Home (c.1975–1990), was Bowlin’s small, extravagantly embellished home in McComb, Mississippi. The artist added sparkle galore, adorning much of the exterior and nearly every inch of the interior with cutout paper, paint, glitter, and collaged photographs and magazine illustrations.

After Bowlin’s death in 1995 the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home was on the verge of demolition. A Houston artist and collector stepped in and purchased the home. It was dismantled and later gifted to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center where it has been restored and put on view.

5. Enter the regal realm of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein

Installation view of Mythologies: Eugene Von Bruenchenhein at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2017. Photo by Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Installation view of Mythologies: Eugene Von Bruenchenhein at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2017. Photo by Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Artist-built environments: Chicken-bone towers, miniature thrones and ceramic vessels from the home of artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. Photo by Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Chicken-bone towers, miniature thrones and ceramic vessels from the home of artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. Photo by Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Despite living in abject poverty, Eugene Von Bruechenhein created an incredible universe that told the story of a man who believed he was destined for greatness. In his West Allis, Wis., home, elaborate chicken-bone towers, vibrant paintings of the cosmos, delicate miniature thrones and stunningly composed images of his wife all reference the artist’s passion and larger-than-life sense of self.

 

The post 5 Selfie Worthy Artist-Built Environments appeared first on Artist's Network.

5 Selfie Worthy Artist-Built Environments


via Artist's Network http://www.artistsnetwork.com/new-articles/artist-built-environments-sheboygan-wisconsin

Don’t Kill Off MS Paint | A Plea from an Artist


via Artist's Network http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articles/artist-microsoft-ms-paint