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Thread: Watercolor WIPs- Sharing and Learning

  1. #121
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    steve ... for instructional videos, taking the time now and then to define terms seems well worth the effort ... but beyond that, there are at least two other reasons to tease out with greater precision what you mean, first, the vocabulary is in transition and is proliferating, now there are hundreds of brushes, thousands of surfaces, millions of colors, no wonder digital and natural media artists often talk past each other, and as I've hinted at in other posts, what should be uncontroversial -- for example, the idea of an "original" work of art -- is up for redefinition ... second, there are 1.3 billion people in China who historically have had no vocabulary to describe how Western art is made, or how to look at it, and they will learn from your videos -- for my purposes, I have pretty much given up on AR or really any combination of digital tools as a means of reproducing what a basic Chinese brush can do easily and quickly ... the barriers are not so much technical, though these are considerable, as they are gestural, the Chinese aesthetic differs radically, in spirit and in execution ...
    xiěy, n. freehand brushwork, spontaneous expression
    Artrage Gallery
    / Leaning Tree Ink Studio

  2. #122
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    Jan 2011
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    601
    Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I thought labels had to no value. That's not the case at all. Sometimes though, people get very caught up in labels and less in content, but I agree that a good system of reference is important to having a clear conversation. Not knowing what the h*ll each is talking about sure can stymie a healthy debate!

    Re: chinese brush painting- I bow to your greater knowledge. I only suggested the link as it seemed you were bringing it up in your earlier post, with the example and all. I agree that some things are very intimately linked to the device that makes it. I've still not seen anything done digitally that I really thought compared to the kind of richly varied, bristly work you can get in some paintings, so I hear where you're coming from.

    I have to say that I think it would be very interesting to hear about comparative notions of painting-- chinese vs. western. Is it technique (I would imagine there's a dramatic difference) or more the intent of the art (I'm sure that's there as well)? You make reference to a large body of knowledge, but the truth is I guess I don't know much about it. It would be interesting to have you say more about what you're thinking on that subject.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  3. #123
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    ... well, you know, eighty+ likes this thread, and he doesn't want to hear me yakkin' away ... I don't have much more to say than what is is known generally about cultural differences, and you've got a lot of positive momentum going with your videos, I didn't mean to distract from that ... really looking forward to catching up with the latest! ....
    xiěy, n. freehand brushwork, spontaneous expression
    Artrage Gallery
    / Leaning Tree Ink Studio

  4. #124
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    Apr 2010
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    brighton uk
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    15,161
    Thanks. China. Me old mate. Yeah I love it wouldn't be so bad if Icould understand it

    But brain. Tell's me it's. Too late ? To start. Now. So it look's. Like I've just got go on

    Kicking the. Cat.Must be a Chinese cat. As he's started. To claw me back.......

    .........Slainte............Statte. Bbone..............Si...................Si........ ...............

  5. #125
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    Aug 2012
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    I really should be going to bed, but this is so much fun:-) I revisited the carnival of Venice, using the similar subject to compare what I managed to learn about textures and glazing from Steve:
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  6. #126
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    May 2010
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    NZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    @ Tigermoth-
    It's all good! I like what you're doing in the sky with the imported Texture Overlay. Also, the bit of glowing light (for lack of a better description) at the tip of the lance-- there's a nice bit of blooming going on there. Cool! I also like that you've really muted your background colors-- it reads easily as being distant. I saw you used a Sticker Spray by the way, which is cool! But watch out! Some of them (like yours) are meant to simulate other media, and therefore have height. I can see on your dots (particularly the ones above the knights head) that these have a shadow. I'll be going over some of the Sticker Sprays as well, in another upcoming video.

    Re: textures and viewing size--

    I think this actually is a really pertinent point you bring up, tigermoth. I think the final size of the image you intend for others to view your painting at is really critical. If you're only planning on having people view your image online, as as a relatively small thumbnail (3" x 4" or something), than I'm unconvinced you need tons of texture. Although I will say that I think those ambient Inner Textures and Rim Textures go a long way towards believability, even when seen at a distance. I think, however, if you're planning on having your images seen in a larger scale-- where someone might click it and open it full screen or where you hope to have it printed out or in a book-- then I think all the texture you can get is of value. Truthfully, if you're planning on having an image seen only at a small size, there are times where I actually think painting more gesturally and on a smaller canvas can help-- I think it helps you compose an image that is appropriate in terms of its detail, linework, and texture for how it is being viewed. Of course, I also have always loved those illustrations that have been shrunk down and just seem to have an amazing amount of detail in them-- old Beatrix Potter books and whatnot. What's your intended purpose for some of the images you're planning on painting?
    Yep I love Beatrix Potter too, of course!
    I think maybe what I didn't clarify??? was that the dragon was an experiment; a lot of playing around - not intended to be really a 'finished' image. I posted it to show how much fun artrage can be and all the cool, neat textures you can get; and to say "hey, I had a great time testing out ideas from SteveB's videos!" The blog post I made on it was just to show different looks I got while playing around with the tool - while trying to break myself of old habits and being a lot more free.
    As for size - yes, I'm not sure why my images would appear in 3x4 or as a thumbnail; I definitely see them larger than that on my screen and I'm on 1920x1080.. :/ Please do let me know which (blog post? here?) images are super-small to you? Much appreciated. ^_^

    Oh! Thanks for warning me on the sticker spray - I had forgotten I was playing around with the sticker sprays - and actually thought I had removed that layer - it was just an afterthought playing around with some of the splashes and waves at the bottom.
    But yeah, the purpose of the "texture" (for lack of a better term?) in my own stuff is simply visual interest - it's just part of what I do. Then again, I have learned from this thread that "texture" can mean different things to different people! We all "see" differently, in varying degrees. The purpose of my work? - well, I do some paintings that vary from small to around 11x17" or higher, depending; some are meant to be just paintings, some are for illustration purposes - ultimately, books, etc. Again.. thanks!
    T


    PS WOW!!!!!!!!! On many of the above posts!!! If I had more time I'd comment more but I've really got to get back to it. Well done all of you!!!!!!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
    ― Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

  7. #127
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Spain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post
    Papertree, the layering of colors is good on the cat too-- the eyes in particular are quite successful. Nice translucent colors blending together! I'm curious though about your Layer Textures and brush size. Your strokes, for example, on the little hairs, as well as at the bottom where you're doing a color fill, look relatively smooth (and small). I was actually wondering if there was a more... "watercolorery" way to achieve the look of the fuzzy hair? I feel like you're still using a pencil kind of technique with the watercolor tool, where perhaps something with rougher, larger, and drier brush strokes might get you a kind of "fuzzy hair" texture that would look more like natural media watercolors. Alternately, you could soften the edges of the form, and use two media instead (watercolors and pencils, for example). That's a nice technique too. Mostly, I feel like you're using the WC tool for the hairs the way you use the Pencil tool. I think that specific technique works marvelously for you with the Pencil, but I think you could leverage the WC tool to greater effect by doing something different. Just a thought. I'd love to see that experiment.
    My word you are astute in your analytical curiosity. I love just this type of constructive analysis of my art. I was in fact using the "pencil kind of technique with the watercolor tool", but not until you mentioned it, that I realised it. I suppose old habits are hard to break when you get down to having a bit of fun. I was trying to follow your method in the sense of the layer settings, but then the painting part, all your teaching went to the wall. It was a quick studdy, on my part, like a sketch, and I will most likely now take on board your suggestions and have a go. Thanks for the advice and the encouragement to experiment a little more. Yay! another video has just been uploaded.
    TeresaW
    My Art blog can be found here and
    PaperTree's Images in the ArtRage Gallery can be found here.

  8. #128
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    Jul 2012
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    Central Coast of California
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    30
    Steve B, thank you so much for your videos at youtube. One of my favorite standard/digital artists shares a lot of his techniques at his blog, http://nathanfowkes-sketch.blogspot.com/ He teaches at an L.A. trade school and works in the animation industry as well, so he is a working artist worth learning from for me. Love your watercolor thread here, but it's going to take me a long time to read through it all and watch all the related videos. Great resource, looking forward to more. Cheers, Guy.

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    Hi maddog,
    I'm glad the videos are proving helpful! That's what I make 'em for. I viewed the link you posted, btw. That guy is doing some great work! In particular, there are some wonderful black and white wet watercolor works that are really delicious. His retelling how he decided to roughly copy all the work from the book of an artist he loved is wonderful advice. I've done that for a few pieces, and learned some invaluable stuff.

    I also find that copying the work of others with your digital watercolors helps you better understand what you'd like to be achieving. Sometimes, with digital work, I find a lot of people (legitimately) just haven't really LOOKED at a watercolor piece with the kind of clinical eye needed to really see what pigment and water and canvas texture are doing. You know, they're looking at the painting and feeling it's vibe, so to speak. They're not thinking about how water moved this way or that, or how pigment built up here or there, or what bleed back really looks like, or how tonal values shift here and there, etc. Really looking at that kind of stuff happens pretty naturally though, when you start to try and duplicate a work digitally.

    I actually have an image I did this with in the Fall last year. Hmmmmm..... I've been thinking there needs to be a few "supplementary video tutorials" to sort of fill in a few gaps here and there, besides the continuing of the normal sequence. Perhaps my new introductory video, where I go over some basic settings you need to prep before you get going with anything else, could also feature this sort of "mind set" advice, and this redrawn image I tried out....

    Will work on that!

    Steve

    P.S. Here's the image. It was when I was working on duplicating this that I first figured out how to get some good dry brush results. I doubt I would have ever been pushed to get those results unless I had trying to learn from Wendy Artin. So, I won't bad mouth that process at all!!
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Wendy Artin WC Sketch.jpg 
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    Last edited by Steve B; 08-15-2012 at 05:38 AM.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    @ papertree-- Ha! Well, I think learning to apply one thing at a time is a good way to learn. I just saw what you were up to, and thought I'd try to provide some helpful feedback instead of just a "rah rah!" kind of moment. I look forward to seeing what you're able to do as you try using the tool more. Report back!

    @ chinapete-- I find this technique you're using/exploring with the chalk pretty interesting. If I might as a few questions--
    - what sort of color are you applying with the watercolor tool? Or are you only spreading and blending the chalk color, because you're using the Watercolor tool as a 100% thinner?
    - on a more esoteric level-- what's your purpose behind the process, instead of another? Was the intent to have the benefits of a line drawing without having a final piece that featured them? If so, why not just layers and hide the layer when done? My guess is that you had something more sophisticated in mind than that, and so I ask.
    -I can see something like this would provide interesting grain texture results if the Chalk tool was used at a larger size and then grazed on the surface. Then you could decide where you wanted to take advantage of the dry textural artifacts of the Chalk tool in some spots, and then the Watery blended effects in another. Alternately, I can really see the interesting benefits of using Chalk on top of Watercolors. That's also very interesting, and not something I've done much of.

    I don't want to run away with ideas for this technique though, before you've even had a chance to more fully reveal what you're doing and why. Do you have any finished images you could post in this thread that more fully demonstrate how one might use this?
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

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