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Thread: Wet Watercolor Leaf with Water Droplets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601

    Wet Watercolor Leaf with Water Droplets

    Going for a wet watercolor look. Used various techniques- layer textures, layer selections, blend mode set to Watercolor, using Just Water brush then pushing pigment to the edge with Low Blending, some stencil erasure for texture and paint bleed. I'm not really particularly happy with the piece though.

    1) I thought the composition lacked interest. I did this on the fly, and thought maybe if the leaf were upside down, or at a harder, straight on angle, where the leaf-structure would overlap itself in perspective might be more interesting. ??
    2) Perhaps a more cohesive color scheme??
    3) Painting water convincingly is very difficult. Even water droplets..... Any pointers?

    Guess that's it for now. Interested in feedback, hints, suggestions, etc.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    May 2009
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    Hi Steve, really like the wet look you're achieving its convincing as watercolour and some of the delicate edges you're getting are wonderful.

    With regards to droplets, they tend to pick up the colour of the surface they reside on. You can see this when they bead on a car surface v's a leaf surface.

    Attached is a public domain image showing what I mean, you can see how the drops are changing on the relections of the leaf but colour is still derived from the underlying leaf.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

  3. #3
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    Hmmm, yes, I saw that too after I posted it. I did another one, but I didn't really like it in the end either. LOL.

    I tried blocking in, on different layers, color for different shadow layers and for the droplets, then using those to select layers contents and try and do color washes and bleeds for each "area". This is sort of what you can do with watercolors in natural media too, where you prewet an area with water and then drop water into it, or when you mix one color into another, and the bleeds stop at the preordained edges that are already wet.... but I didn't really like it as much.

    I think the drifts and veins of colors need to be bigger to better duplicate that effect. For me, it seems like better, larger stencils would be key for this. Layer textures are nice for general texture, but for that watery movement, I haven't been successful using it.

    Thoughts anyone?
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  4. #4
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    Ok, I'm almost positive I read a reply to this post yesterday on my Iphone. Someone mentioned using a felt tip pen and perhaps some of the airbrush tool to make really good water droplets. They even uploaded a script. And I remember thinking "I'll have to look at this when I get to my computer and can download the script." Then I came back here to this thread, and there aren't any new replies.

    Did it get deleted? Or am I just smoking something. LOL. I really remember this post! 8( ??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Hi Steve,

    here is how I do water drops..............I used only the pencil on one layer..........after painting the leaf I stayed in the same colour and then chose a darker shade for the shape and almost white for the reflections.....hope it helps you
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
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    Jan 2011
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    That's a really interesting thought about just using different shades of the same color. I'll try that.

    Also, you know, sometimes I get stuck in just using one tool on a painting-- the watercolors tool mostly-- to keep it more "real", but the truth is that sometimes these other digital tools, when mixed together, actually provide a visual experience that's closer to the final product attained with a single natural media. I forget sometimes that they're all just mark-making devices, however one wants to adapt them. I've seen, for instance, in a Karen Bonaker tutorial, the use of the airbrush tool to emulate soft watercolor washes instead of the watercolor tool, and it's been very good for that. Perhaps I should be looking into using stuff like the Pencil tool in my watercolors more as well.

    Are people using other tools with their watercolors to help emulate natural-media effects better?

  7. #7
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    Jan 2011
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    Hey, just thought I'd update this thread with my most recent version of a leaf. It's moving along, although I haven't gotten to the droplet yet. I submitted it to the Wacom contest for the hell of it, and posted about that in the General Chat forum, but I just thought I'd share here too, as some of you have been responding to my exploration of the subject.

    Thanks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    HI steve

    I have been trying to get pointers on water drops myself
    Here is a link I found
    painting.about.com/od/landscapes/ss/water_drops.htm

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    This is a very useful link!! I began to browse all of that author's entries, as I'm also learning to paint natural media watercolors, and it was very useful.

    I'll have to come back to the leaf up above and try some water droplets on it.

    You should try it and post another version. It's very cool to see how authors are approaching different problems!

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