Monday, 22 July 2013

Iris

A while ago I painted a Rose and it was my first serious attempt at applying multiple layers to a watercolour. I found the technique of adding glazes quite alien to anything I'd done before but was determined to have another go when time allowed. Well, here it is ....



As I neared the end of the process I was sensing that the pigment on the paper was very close to turning to 'mud'. Parts of it were feeling a little over worked and other parts where losing their luminosity. I think one more glaze would have been a step too far. My guess is that some of the pigments I used lacked sufficient transparency but I'm also thinking that maybe I mixed some glazes a little too dense. I think that more water and a better understanding of transparent pigments would help a great deal.

Still, I'm not disappointed in the result and it was great to be holding a paintbrush again. And I'd love to hear any tips from all you competent exponents of glazing out there. 

27 comments:

  1. Hi John :)
    I don´t see any mud in this. It looks really fresh to me as it is. I´m not an expert on this, but I found out that "Viridian green" is a great colour to use on top of red to make shadows. It doesn´t turn to mud that easy. I did´t use Viridian earlier because I thought it looked so bright and cold. But I read this somewhere, that it was good for glazing on top of red to make shadow so I tried and got quite a happy surprise. Have you used it before?

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    1. Thank you Catharina. Yes, I've used Viridian Green but, like you, considered it bright and cold. But that's a good tip for making shadow and I'll be sure to give it a try. ;-)

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  2. John this is fabulous. Really fresh and crisp and the drawing is excellent as always. As to glazing are your mistaking mud with density? Watercolours can be glazed over and above 20 layers in one spot. You do loose luminosity and mud is not created by layering. It is to do with choice of paper, pigments, colours and thinness of mix as you have already mentioned. Each colour added changes the colour of the one underneath. Opaques are the strongest and dominate but even they are transparent compared to other mediums. I layer with opaques at the end of the process. Even which order you add eg red under blue or blue under red etc, will create a different hue. Starting with a base layer of blue in shadow areas creates deeper tone and density in the end. Practice on paper first and see what you get. I love layering and it is the main technique I use. We all layer to a certain extent of course. Hope this helps in some way. Good Luck and thanks for popping by the other day. Hope all is well with you. xx

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    1. This is all very interesting Laura. Not sure I agree about the mud as I can make good strong muddy mud with just a couple of layers. LOL. Still, I'm getting better. Thanks for the advice and I'll certainly do a lot more experimenting. ;-)

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  3. This is a fantastic painting, John! I wish you had a question about pastels..LOL...but I do know wonderful work when I see it!!!

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    1. I DO have a question about Pastels Hilda .... how on earth can you make a sensible picture out of those horrible little chalky sticks? LOL. Just kidding you. Thank you for your nice comment. ;-)

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  4. This is absolutely wonderful John, in fact Superb!

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  5. Superb is the word, really good, John! I don't see any mud at all.

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    1. Thank you Judy ... much appreciated.

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  6. Beautiful, John. It has a feel of a botanical to it. I love it xx

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    1. Thank you Pat. I've never considered myself a botanical artist but I'm definitely going to do a few more of these and see where it takes me.

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  7. I think it is beautiful John - Really gorgeous! You obviously stopped just at the right time. I think that as long as you use only transparent pigments, It's difficult to get mud. I avoid Cadmiums like the plague though because they are the culprits a lot of the time! :0)

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    1. You're right Sandra ... one more layer would have spoiled it. But it's interesting what you say about the Cadmium's. I had a couple Cadmium's in my palette (Red and Orange) so they were probably the culprits.

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  8. Hi John.
    it`s lovely to see you back mate. John, you don`t need tips, you are doing just fine. Lovely painting and great drawing as usual. All the best John.
    Vic.

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    1. Thank you very much Vic. It was nice to be painting again but sadly, short-lived. All the best.

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  9. Another superb piece John. The transparent colours tend to be the more staining ones as well, so they won't be disturbed so easily by painting over them. I think the main thing though, is to paint with a light touch; nothing is more likely to produce muddiness than scrubbing with the brush.

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    1. I get your point about a light touch Keith. With this painting I made a determined effort not to keep going over the same spot and to be sparing with the brush strokes, and I can certainly tell the difference. I must look more into transparent colours as I don't think my palette is the best for this sort of thing. Thanks for your valuable comment, as always.

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  10. I have used opaque colors sometimes for glazing but one does have to be careful. You did a superb job on this one.

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    1. Thank you very much Jean. I confess to not paying much attention in the past to which colours are transparent and which are opaque and this is something I must pay more attention to.

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  11. Hi there John!... Wonderfully warm and transparent colour! Great draughstmanship combines to make this rendering/painting memorable!

    A gem!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,
    Bruce

    PS LIke your take on your Fuscia-Winston piece! Stay Hearty lad!

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment Bruce, it is very much appreciated. All the best.

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  12. I think it was very successful John.

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  13. Absolutely beautiful , neat and perfect !

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  14. I think you stopped at just the right time - it's beautiful!!
    One sure way of avoiding mud is to avoid opaque colours and use only transparents. And definitely avoid the Cadmiums! I'm sure you probably already know that anyway :0)

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