#8 WATERCOLORS THAT I LOVE

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF WATERCOLOR AND DETAIL. I LOVED THE REFLECTIONS IN THE TIRE.

I ENJOYED RENDERING FROM PHOTOS I FOUND IN "ARIZONA HIGHWAYS" MAGAZINE. I PARTICULARLY ENJOYED THE TEXTURES ON THIS ONE. IT'S FUN TO ILLUSTRATE ANOTHER ARTIST'S PALETTE!

I REALLY LIKE PAINTING WOOD. THERE ARE SO MANY INTERESTING VARIATIONS OF BROWN COLORS.

CASTLE WALKWAY - I USED DRAFTING TAPE HELP CREATE THE STRAIGHT EDGES.

I became an illustrator, when I mastered watercolors.

The “vehicle” for watercolors is obviously water. The color is delivered by the pigment, which is dissolved in the water. Although I am stating the obvious, there is a reason for this. I work in dyes, and the color is not delivered by pigment in that water-based medium.

I started out painting with Winsor-Newton watercolors. I had a lot of little tubes. I still have them. Even though they are as hard as a rock, I can break off little pieces of them and dissolve the pigment in water again!

Most people associate watercolors with boxes that have a tray of colors. The paint is dissolved on those squares by rubbing them, which isn’t very good for brushes. The tube paints are far superior in quality.

I remember that Winsor Newton had colors labeled with different “series” numbers. The higher series numbers indicated “rarer” pigments. In some cases, those little tubes became quite expensive. I remember purchasing a rare, cerulean color. That one tube cost me $35, and that was twenty-five years ago. It had some very interesting properties, though. There are even more expensive pigments than that one!

THIS ILLUSTRATION WAS FOR NANCY OHANIAN'S CLASS. THE CERULEAN BLUE EFFECT WAS INTERESTING, BUT EXPENSIVE.

No matter which water-based medium I use, I consider every color “a friend.” By that, I mean that all colors have different qualities I can count on! The property I am most aware of is the staining one. Some colors leave their tone on the paper within an instant. Other colors require a lot of drying and layering in order to darken them.

SYCAMORES IN WATERCOLOR - THE WASHES WITH THEIR EDGES WORK WELL FOR THE BARK EFFECT.

When I used Winsor Newton watercolors, I was quite familiar with the typical “watercolor wash” result. By that, I mean leaving an area wet, causes the paint to dry from the outside in. It leaves a dark outline around the edges of the wash. This effect is visible on most traditional watercolor paintings.

However, I wanted to control this effect. I wouldn’t allow my watercolor washes to dry as a wet puddle. I would use a tissue to dab up the area and to smooth it. I knew exactly how it would look that way.

Watercolors are not that smooth. The powdered pigment, which is dissolved in the water sometimes is grainy on certain colors. When I wanted rough textures, that effect was fine. For smooth areas, it required a lot of rubbing.

A TRAVEL POSTER ASSIGNMENT IN COLLEGE. WATERCOLORS WORK WELL FOR ILLUSTRATING SKIES.

THIS IS PROBABLY MY FIRST, WATERCOLOR PAINTING THAT HAD ME EXCITED ABOUT BECOMING AN ARTIST.

A CLOSEUP OF THE LIGHTHOUSE ROCKS.

The materials I used while learning made a huge difference in my ability to master my technique. Just as marker paper was key to markers, watercolor paper was key to my mastery of painting!

One day when I was in college, I asked my father to pick up some Arches watercolor paper for me. Instead of cold-press (semi-rough paper) he picked up a hot-press paper by mistake. I looked at the smooth paper and told him it was the wrong paper. I had to use it anyway. It worked perfectly!

TREES WITH LICHEN - ONE A DRIVE ONE DAY, I SAW THIS AREA OF FOREST ON THE WAY TOWARD YOSEMITE.

A CLOSEUP OF THE TREES.

I DISLIKED PAINTING PEOPLE - I FAR PREFERRED ORGANIC THINGS.

I had not used watercolors for almost thirty years. A few months ago when I was teaching a private student, I demonstrated how to paint a pear. It felt different to use watercolors again after all the years of using the dye mediums. It was a lot “safer,” which I think is helpful when learning to master the medium.

I enjoyed seeing the paintings I did while I was learning.

I’m still learning!

I PAINTED THIS PEAR IN ONE HOUR. THE MASKING WITH TAPE AND PAPER HAS BEEN REMOVED, BUT THE FRISKIT IS STILL THERE.

IT'S SO MUCH FUN TO PULL THE FRISKIT OFF, BUT BEWARE OF TEARING THE PAPER!

HOME STRETCH. AFTER REMOVING THE FRISKIT, THE PAINTED EDGES CAN BE SOFTENED WITH A LITTLE COLORED PENCIL ALONG THE EDGE.

© Judy Unger and www.foodartist@wordpress.com 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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