Friday, April 12, 2013

WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP: Painting an Abstract Landscape

For this abstract landscape, we're going for a suggestion of a landscape, rather than a painting of a particular place.  So, try not to overthink this -- just enjoy experimenting with the colors and some different "tools". . . 




For this project, gather the following materials:  A rectangular sheet of watercolor paper, already stretched onto a board.  Watercolor paints -- I used Aureolin Yellow, New Gamboge, Quinacridone Gold, Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, and Sap Green.  Liquid Acrylics that you can squeeze or apply with an eye dropper -- I used Daler-Rowney Acrylic Ink (Indian Yellow) and Lumiere Liquid Acrylic (Pearlescent Emerald).  If you don't have any liquid acrylic on hand, make an intense mixture of orange, and another one of bright green, in little containers, to apply with an eye dropper.  You can use watercolors for this.  A paper towel or two.  A palette knife.  And, your brushes and water, of course.

Prep all your "yellows", for your first wash . . . 






Wet the entire paper with clear water, and then apply the different watercolor yellows, in horizontal strokes . . . 





While this is still fairly wet, using an eye dropper, drop in some of the orange acrylic (or your intense orange mixture) . . . 




Now, to get this to move horizontally, you may have to brush clear water across it, and then hold your paper up (sideways), so the paint and water drip onto your palette . . . 






While this is all still wet, add some more horizontal "lines" of your different yellows, to make it more intense.  Hold your board sideways above your palette, to let the excess paint/water drip off. . . 







Now, tear some strips of paper towels . . . 








Lay these strips on the wet paint, and lightly tap them down with your fingertip.  Don't overthink this, either (whether these are going to be clouds or bushes or mountains?).  We're just doing this to add some texture and interest . . . 








After the paper is dry, peel off the paper towel strips.  If any pieces stick, scratch them off with your fingernail . . . 


                             





In order to make the texture and contrast more subtle, wet the paper again, and paint a wash of the "yellows" . . .






While this dries, mix a wash of green -- I just added sap green to the yellows that were already on my palette.  Also, get your "emerald green" ready (or your equivalent) . . . 







First, decide which end of your paper that you want to be the top of your painting.  Then, starting about a third of the way down, wet the paper, from there down to the bottom.  Paint some horizontal "stripes" with the green wash.  Let some of the yellow show through.







While this is still wet, squirt out some of the green onto your painting . . . 




Take your palette knife and drag it through the paint, horizontally . . . 






Paint some more horizontal "stripes", using clear water and also the green watercolor wash.  Be sure to NOT cover up all of the yellow underneath . . . 








While this is still wet, tear some more paper towel strips and lay them on the green wash, tapping them down lightly with your fingertip . . . 







After the paint is dry, peel off the paper towel strips, carefully . . . 







Prep two different mixtures:  1) Quinacridone Gold + Quinacridone Burnt Orange; and 2) Sap Green + Quinacridone Gold.  Starting near the top of the green wash, paint a very wet shape, from the left side of the paper, over to the right side -- using both of these mixtures.  Vary the top edge of this shape, so it gives the impression of trees or bushes in the background.







While this shape is still damp, sweep across the bottom edge of that shape with clear water, in order to soften that edge.  A few inches down from that, do the same thing, across the paper . . . 







At the bottom of the painting, paint a few horizontal strokes with Quinacridone Burnt Orange (or Burnt Sienna) . . . 








To finish the painting, mix up a dark, using Sap Green + Quinacridone Burnt Orange, and paint a few horizontal stripes, below the middle of the painting.  And add some dark horizontal strokes at the very bottom . . . 




Now, sit back and admire your painting.  Don't expect it to look exactly like mine.  In fact, if you do another painting, following these instructions exactly,  your 2nd painting will look different than your first one.  Hopefully, you can enjoy the process -- painting a little differently than you normally do.
















4 comments:

  1. hi pat..are you say in it is okay to draw/paint one of your sketches. I would like to do a version of the blue barn with your permission. I love the colors and blending and would try some Derwent inktense pencils and change it up a bit hopefully for your amusement. I visit your site regularly ..such pretty sketches,and your doggie is so sweet..I could kiss him especially the one half on the couch...love Marcia from modesto ca. dog lover,plant lover..all living things lover

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    1. Hi, Marcia! Yes, you have my permission to draw/paint any of my sketches -- even the blue barn. Thank you for asking. And, I'd like to see what you come up with. Send me a pic, to my e-mail, thepaintedprism@gmail.com
      I'm happy to hear that you visit this site and are getting something from it. Thanks for commenting -- love hearing from you!

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  2. Tudo lindo,amei! Vou tentar essa paisagem,com coragem e as tecnicas que nos ensina com tanta boa vontade! Abraço dessa brasileira,que se sente feliz por ter descoberto teu maravilhoso blog! Rosa

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