Impressionist Watercolor Class (Part 4)

Earthenware Jug #1, watercolor, 12" x 9"
Earthenware Jug #1, watercolor, 12″ x 9″

We did another warm-colored object in this class, to reinforce the concept of painting warm light falling on an object. The bright light-filled shape was painted first. While the paint was still wet, some variations were added to the area where the object begins turns away from the light source. Then the shadow side was painted, using an “average” value and hue, followed by the addition of reflected lights. While all of this was wet, the background in the light was added, leaving a thin line of dry paper so the pigments didn’t run together. Emphasis was placed on getting the value differences between the areas correct: The jug in the light was lighter than the background in the light; the tablecloth in the light was darker than the object, but lighter than the background; the shadow on the tablecloth was darker than the object and the background in the light, but lighter than the shadow on the background.

I had enough time left in the class to do another picture of the same object so I got out my pad of smaller paper. I can tell that I learned from my first attempt as the colors and values are truer, making the jug seem brighter. I was also able to close the gap between the light and shadow sides of the jug with a quick stroke of a half-tone. At the critique time, Lee said that oftentimes his students will do more than one picture, starting with a small one to work out the bugs and then going to a larger format.

Earthenware Jug #2, watercolor, 7" x 5"
Earthenware Jug #2, watercolor, 7″ x 5″

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