In part one I showed you how to lay down the first layer of the painting using watered down paint, this layer is often called the ‘tea’ or ‘coffee’ layer and should be thought of as the consistency of a cordial – very thin with lots of water.
These first layers always look too dark but you shouldn’t panic, as I always do, because they invariably dry much lighter. However they act as a good base for the layers that come on top, these colours shine through the later ones and give you the glow and interest.
In this painting I was really worried that I might have gone too dark and ruined it – BUT – I persevered and I think I pulled it back from the brink. This next layer and pass through is the ‘milk’ layer. Here I started to introduce thicker paint, with more pigment and less water, to block in the colours. I had to be careful to vary the colours as I went, so that it doesn’t become too monotonous with all one single colour.
At this stage some of the colours were beginning to look a bit ‘muddy’. This was due to me letting the paint dry, what I should have done is keep those bits wet using a spray/spritzer, but instead I had to stop at that point and return to another week’s work (I work in IT and don’t always have time to pick painting back up in the evenings).
One week later I sat back down to finish the painting. This layer is the ‘honey’ layer and that is the consistency of the paint that you should be mixing on the third pass. At this layer you tend to add the darkest pigments and areas, this has the odd effect of ‘turning on the lights’ and making the image appear lighter.
I added some white neat from the tube using a fairly dry brush to show the white painted sections between the houses.
I also added black (or rather, neutral tint mixed with some raw umber) to start bringing out the shadows. This layer, as I said, has got to be quite thick. You cant put this layer on with too much water or it will ‘bleed’ out into the existing areas. This is something you have to get a feel for, how much water to add. As I said before it helps to think of it in terms of ‘honey’.
I also used a milky mixture of white gouache and water to knock back the tree areas surrounding the bridge because they looked too dark and had too much pigment. They didn’t look as though they were in the distance enough. This is something that Turner did to ‘knock back’ an area so I feel justified that it is OK to do 😉
Finally I painted in the figure, and for some reason they sort of came out slightly tough and confident looking, so that was OK. The figures often take on a life of their own anyway so that is fine.
The finished painting:
I am really pleased with how it finally came out, I think I captured the odd light that was there that evening. The colours ended up being less muddy than they first looked, and all in all it was a good learning experience for me.
Things I learned: I did try to simplify, but I still think I put in too much detail and it isnt loose enough. I also think that I should have finished the painting in one go instead of waiting a week in between the first and second stage. But that is what painting is all about, learning as you go and having fun and making images that make you happy.
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Amazing use of Emacs and Org mode in a bakery. A personal computer being used fully here in an integrated fashion rather than trying to shoehorn it all into a spreadsheet + word documents or something.
The Babylonians were better at mathematics than us. They used a number system based on 60 and not 10, which gave them the ability to do multiplication and division much more accurately than we can. They managed trigonometry 1000 years before the Greeks. The clay tablet called Plimpton 322 is discussed in the YouTube vid.
On bristol board with hand ground sumi-e ink.
Scraperboard style drawing done using graphics tablet and sketchbook pro.
I’ve had this blog for a couple of years now and haven’t done anything with it really. Maybe it’s time for a new blog or a blog elsewhere?
I’m going to stick with this blog as a place to post images, but will probably start a new blog elsewhere for ramblings and stuff that might be controversial.
I’ve started making some drawings using a Pentel brush pen in various small sketchbooks (the above image is in my small Moleskine). I really don’t mind that they’re wobbly and sometimes leave things out or change perspective a bit. It’s an experiment to see where this goes. Im really liking the aesthetic so will continue for a while until I get bored of doing it.
There are some issues with this image, the people in the foreground might be a bit large, and the vehicles on the right might be a bit small. However I really enjoyed making this picture. Used Bristol board sketchpad, Pigma Micron 03 pen, Kuretake brush pen, Pentel water brush and my pocket watercolour set. I did use pencil for some parts too.
The photo of this isnt great either, will get a scanned image up asap.