Brush strokes demo by Caroline Marsden

FLAT BRUSHES

These can be used for a myriad of different effects. They are especially useful for painting buildings or any other subject which has straight edges, and are economical with the paint as often only one stroke is needed.

A BRIGHT is a shorter and stiffer version of a FLAT which will give you bolder strokes.

A flat brush is great for getting perspective and you can gently tap it to get a nice thin line as shown in the guttering and windowsills above.

Don’t throw away your old ones as these can be used effectively for texture , fur or feathers.

A FILBERT

is a flat brush with curved sides, great for giving a softer edge such as in clouds or petals. Caroline holds the brush at an angle to the paper and tries to  touch the paper with only the paint, not pressing down too hard on the brush.

A FAN BRUSH

is a specialist brush for doing texture, fur and feathers. Bob Ross can be seen on YouTube  demonstrating painting fir trees using this brush.

A ROUND

is the one of choice for Monet and is useful for  short expressive strokes. If you use a large one it can hold a lot of paint and be a good choice.

 

A FAT HOG

is an enormous brush which holds a huge amount of paint and is very good for stencilling

A RIGGER

gets its name as it was first used for putting in the slender rigging of boats. This is best used with really thinned-down paint making sure the brush is well loaded and with a good point. You an also use this for hair and fur but it’s best to use it for the finishing touches as it would be quite time consuming to draw in every single bit of hair. It’s great for cats’ whiskers.

WATERCOLOUR BRUSHES

are best kept separate from your other brushes as you’ll ruin them if you get acrylic or oil on them.

It is worth investing in a good large brush with a good point as this will last a long time and be very flexible. You can draw using the point and even do washes with it.

Washes over large areas are usually done with a flat brush or a hake.

Caroline likes to use Pro Art brushes but is also happy with Graduate. You don’t need to buy sable or other real hair brushes as synthetic brushes are just as good to work with.

 

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A winter scene in watercolour using only Sienna and Ultra Marine 11/12/19

Caroline chose the two colours of sienna and ultramarine blue as they can be mixed in many different ways to give you both cool and warm colours.

The group selected this photo for Caroline to use as her inspiration.

 

When starting a watercolour it is best to work from light to dark. Looking  at the picture, first determine where your lightest areas are.

Caroline was using White Knight watercolours and a large round  brush with a good point to it. She began using a dilute sienna for the sky and the reflection, and let this dry. She then mixed two shades of grey using both colours . She began to put in the tree line using the lighter colour. She used the brush in small  upward strokes moving along the tree line. Then she drew up the water in a horizontal stroke to avoid a harsh line. She went on to add a darker line underneath for more tonal contrast. You may need to revisit the darker area as it will dry lighter.

Once happy with the top part she went on to do the reflections carefully putting them in the correct position .Using a dry brush she put in some texture.

She put in the darker trees using a rigger for the trunks and finally the darkest trees .

She decided that the little island in the foreground would be the focal point, so she painted this in a warm tone using only sienna at first. She added some more sienna to the parts of the painting for cohesion.

She put in the ray of light by swiping a tissue in a diagonal line which was very effective.

Finally she put in a ghost wash to of ultra marine to add mood to the background.

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Importance of negative spaces by Keith Manning Kennedy

Keith started by mapping out the outlines of fuchsias  in a vase using a 4H pencil. To create more interest in shapes and colour he added in two butterflies. He then carefully painted in the background by filling in the negative spaces between the flowers and leaves. Remember that the shapes created  by the negative spaces are themselves a very important element in your mosaic of colour.

As he was painting a brightly coloured piece, he made sure to keep the background a subtle complementary colour. In this case, a pale blue to bring out the magenta in the flower. Old Holland permanent rose and permanent magenta were used for the fuchsia. Always use a freshly  mixed paint and don’t be tempted to use some old ready mixed paint  from your palette which may have become tainted. He used a green gold colour for the leaves. Using a filbert you can get a nice fine line when needed and also get enough paint on the brush to fill in the spaces; a sable brush is well worth the money.

For the more intricate little areas he used a small flat brush and if needed turned the painting upside down to let the water move around within the correct area. If you do get a small puddle forming, dry off your brush and use the brush to soak up the excess.

In watercolour the general rule is that you can apply up to three layers of colour after which the colour goes dead. If this happens you can always get yourself out of trouble by going over it with a lighter shade of pastel or pastel pencil as used in this example.

Failing this you can paint over with a thick  layer of white gouache then wait for this to dry fully before going over with a quick sweep of another colour.

When painting the butterfly’s wing Keith used a graphite pencil to put in the delicate edge and then blended this into the colour.

 

Here are another two examples of Keith’s use of negative space:

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Fish painted in watercolour

Caroline’s subject this week was “fish, painted in watercolour”. The vibrancy of the medium was well suited to this subject as can be seen in her beautiful rendition of a tropical fish.
First Caroline lightly outlined the fish in pencil then applied the fish scales and part of the body in a light tone. She carefully left some areas without paint to be filled in later.
The fish’s tail lent itself to some experimenting with use of paint. The tail was painted and then scored with the end of a paint brush to suggest lines and again some areas were left free of paint.
While the paint dried Caroline applied a viridian green loosely to the background to suggest water and reeds. Contrasting colour was used as opposed to considering tonal values at this stage, whereas later darker tones were used to enhance the body of the fish.
Finally the details were carefully painted in with a rigger and some of the white areas were washed over with a pale tone. Some of the painting was left to drip and flicking paint on the green gave it a watery feel.

 

 

Thanks to Judy Richardson for photos and text.

 

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Watercolour Painting of Patterned Fabric

Caroline Marsland took the Wednesday Dupont class through how to watercolour paint a patterned fabric on paper. We were not painting the fabric. 

She started off by lightly drawing the general shape of the fabric lightly with pencil. She then painted in the the colour of the fabric first with all of the shadows that are in it. She layered the shadows for best effect and used tissue paper over the wet parts to show texture at times She worked away from the centre with a wet in wet technique. For the really white areas, she suggested using masking fluid. You need to exaggerate the shadows because when you put the pattern in, they will disappear somewhat. 

Once the background is dry, she said to very lightly draw in the pattern first with complex patterns  but with a simple pattern, she just paints the patters in.

Some suggestions: Remember to sqint, She painted from light to dark to light as needed. 

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Pen and Quink Ink Sketching

Instructor Caroline Marsland took a different take on using pen and ink in our art. She used the water soluble quink ink which comes in a few colors.

She started with talking about the nibs. Dip nibs come in a number of shapes for different uses. The drawing ones are quite sharp and can tear watercolor paper. Smooth paper fairs better. She prefers writing nibs and ones with a rounded tip. They also can have a reservoir added but one has to be careful that ink doesn’t drip out. She does not recommend biros or other felt pens as you can’t get them to widen or become thin with pressure which helps to show emotion in the drawing.

Before starting, one must decide if you want to do the wash first or the pen drawing. These both give different results.

The demo started with using the pen first to outline the chosen art. She used some cross hatching and varied the width of the lines. She said to ask yourself, ‘how much pen do I want to put on or what kind of strokes or dots  to make? Once the drawing is completed, you must carefully add the watercolor wash knowing that some of the ink will dissolve into the colors. This effect can also be achieved using charcoal pencil. You can go back over the dried piece to enhance any lines or colors.

Putting the wash on first is done with drawing the image with watercolor and a brush, letting it dry (unless you want it to bleed) and adding the quink ink lines and dots after. See below to note the difference in results.

These are just two ways to use these lovely mediums. Play with them and see!

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Mixed Media Demonstration

Caroline Marsland demonstrated the use of mixed media to the Dupont Art Club  class on January 18th, 2017
It is important to chose the media to match the painting. Layering is the key to mixed media.
She pointed out that almost anything can be used in a this type of painting.
Suggestions for the first layer could be regular or water colour paper which could be painted, layered in tissue which is glued on, or use of old maps, newspapers, fabric, canvas, wood, metals, old books, etc.
Layered materials which can be used are all types of paints, inks, pens, pencils, charcoal, pastels, chalks, waxes, as well as fabrics, pieces of wood, leaves, wire, modelling paste used with stencils, etc.
In her demonstration, she chose a photo of a Maori painted face which she drew and layered with stick charcoal using a child’s birthday wax candle to highlight the eyes and added water colour to the face. She glued on hessian for the hair and painted it black.
She encouraged everyone to search online for demos using mixed media to find new ideas and other sources of inspiration.

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