Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Water and Colour.

Today we are going to discuss the joys of Water. I was going to discuss Perspective but I was inspired while looking at the National Gallery's site (as you can tell I really like doing) and decided to instead make a Watercolour painting about Water.

"Landscape with water and hills" 1821, John Elliott Woolford
One of the main artists I was looking at was a John Elliott Woolford. He was an artist in the early 1800's and is part of the early settlement of Canada. Most of his works were created for the Lord Dalhousie who became Governor General in 1820. The reason I was liking his work was it's simplicity and use of reflection in the water. I have always found that the 1800's was a time of picturesque art, mostly due to the propaganda of Canada (which I will discuss another time) and the attitude of the time. This art shows the sheer beauty of Canada and the simplicity of the movement.

"Landscape with Water, Rocks and Trees" 1821, John Elliott Woolford
So lets start: I used for this project Watercolours, Water colour paper, brushes, Water and some Salt... Yup Salt. I love using salt when working on water colours. :) (If you want, as always, you can use whatever medium inspires you!)

My Supplies
First off I decided where my horizon line would be. I decided to make it above the middle for the purpose of accentuating the water. I also decided to create a small section of land at the bottom just to finish off the image.

Horizon Line
After creating my base structure I figured that there is nothing nicer than a sunset on the water. This was done fairly easily... First off we add the colours in succession around the centre circle of yellow... I used Yellow, Orange, Red, and Purple followed by Blue then a little bit of Black at the corners. You don't need to worry about blending the colours, the nice thing with watercolours is that you can blend them all at the same time. Just add water.

Adding the base colour
To blend the top I used a clean brush with water on it. You place the brush in the middle and sweep the colour out to the edge. You need to make sure you clean your brush after each sweep or you will get Blue/Black in the middle of your sun.

Now for the fun part... The Water!

The key to making a calm waterfront is to keep all your lines horizontal! This makes the water appear flat and smooth. I started with the reflection of the colours from the sunset. To do this make small dashes of colour where the colour would reflect. The different coloured dashes can kinda overlap in area and leave a little bit of space to add some blue dashes as well.

Dashes in the water... Keep them HORIZONTAL!
Once you do all the dashes your picture may look kinda funny! Don't worry, this is just like the top... remember JUST ADD WATER!!

So we add water and smooth the colours from the middle out to the sides. This will blend the colours and make the colour in the blue seem reflective and soft. I then added blue to the edges to finish off the base colouring.

Blending and adding SALT
 Now for the fun part... to create a spray effect I used my handy dandy salt! Yup just put some salt in your hand and pour it in the areas you want to have a crystallized/spray effect. You will need to let the salt dry in order to brush it off the image.

Dried Salt just before I brushed it off.
 Once the salt has been brushed off then I added a little water to my brush and smoothed my water out a little, just to keep it sheer looking. Then I finished the picture up with the land and a bit of land in the background to define the horizon line. If you want to add anything now you can, a small sail boat, tiny birds in the sky or like me a girl on the beach.

Blended Water and Created Land mass
Land on the Horizon
Final Image! Sunset Stroll :)
You can create similar images with crayons, pencil crayons, other types of paints and even collage. You just can't blend the crayon, pencil or collage the same way as paint lol.

So have fun creating!
Angie :)

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