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Let’spaint! FREE step-by-step guide

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Let’spaint! FREE step-by-step guide

3 easy-to-follow projects • Top tips from leading artists • Improve your skills today

Welcome to the fifth edition of Let’s Paint! Over the next 16 pages, three leading artists will guide you through easy-to-follow painting demonstrations to try at home. Let’s Paint! is designed for both beginners in need of a helping hand, as well as more capable artists who want to brush up on the basics. Follow our three guides to help build your confidence and improve your techniques today.

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Hello!

Vol.5

Contents

4 HOW TO PAINT… A FRIENDLY FACE 8 HOW TO PAINT… BOATS AND BEACHES 12 HOW TO PAINT… A TIGER Discover new techniques for creating portraits in watercolour

Learn how to use masking fluid to add texture to a coastal scene

Follow our in-depth step-by-step guide to create striking wildlife art

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3 TheA&I_ NOV13.indd 1

13/09/2013 10:04:39


HOW TO PAINT… A FRIENDLY FACE

How to paint…

A friendly face

y e l d u D n By Siâ

When painting a portrait, the best place to start is with your subject in front of you. However, when teaching, I am often presented with unfinished sketches of grumpy, TVwatching relatives, which suggests that for most people a compliant subject in an attractive pose remains the dream! With this in mind I have based this demonstration on a photograph so that I can offer some tips that I hope will enable you to get the most out of your reference material. While I’d still advise drawing from life whenever possible, I’d also suggest that you make the most of the resources you have available. Although watercolour is a very popular medium, it can be a brave choice for portraiture, but I am going to show you a way of working that washes away the scariness. If any of the techniques are unfamiliar to you, I strongly suggest practising them on spare paper before you begin. Good preparation is crucial – don’t rush it!

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I take time to select a photo carefully. If I can, I sketch before taking a photo, as this often informs the shot I take. It is important that the photo is large and crisp enough to contain all the detail I want – making bits up is not an option here. Print a colour and a black and white version of your chosen image – the latter will help you to analyse tones.

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Ú You will need

• Paper Stretched Bockingford 140lb NOT paper (NOT is textured – for a younger face, try a smoother HP paper) • Brushes Size 2 and 4 round pointed sable brush, medium Swordliner brush, ½” flat wash brush • Watercolour Paints Permanent Rose, Naples Yellow, Viridian, Dioxazine (Purple), Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine.   • Masking fluid • Colour Shaper with chisel tip • Eraser • Craft knife • B pencil

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Make a tonal sketch of the photo. Actively making this sketch is far more informative than passively looking at it. You will gain an understanding of the shapes and the importance of certain details (or lack of them) that will be invaluable later. The key to success is in the preparation, so avoid the temptation to skip this step.


HOW TO PAINT… A FRIENDLY FACE

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One of the great advantages of working from a photo is the opportunity to “grid up”. I lost any qualms I had about using this ancient tool when I spotted gridlines on paintings in the National Portrait Gallery. Beyond simply positioning facial features, a grid can really help with the finer details of an expression – the twinkle in the eye, creating a smile not a grimace… I draw the grid lightly with a B pencil and leave it in place while I paint.

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Before starting to paint, I reserved highlights (such as those found on the lips, eyes or hair) by applying tiny dots of masking fluid with the colour shaper.

CREATING SOFT EDGES

To create a soft edge, hold a wet brush at an angle and pull the paint into the dampened area. Take care to not to create a second hard edge by making the damp area too narrow.

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Working across the whole drawing, I began by dampening the whole face. Choosing appropriate colours from those ready-mixed on my palette and working as quickly as I could, I laid down the first pale washes. Watching closely for signs of drying, I stopped adding colour as soon as I suspected I might get ‘cauliflowers’.

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Wait! Only when the first area is dry is it safe to continue. I continued to add colour, always stopping as soon as the surface started to dry. I began to build the structure of the face, varying tone and hue as I went. Areas that will be in shadow can be darker than those first washes.

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HOW TO PAINT… A FRIENDLY FACE

8 7

As this process continues, it inevitably results in patchiness, as the area covered during any one wash is dependent on drying time. Hold your nerve and don’t panic! This is where having made a tonal sketch pays dividends, making it much easier not to be distracted by the unevenness of tone.

Continue to focus on tonal values to model form. I chose warmer, sunnier hues on Mary’s left cheek, and a cool, nongranulating mix of Viridian and Dioxazine (Purple) for the shadows. I used this mix for the first washes of hair, dropping in Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine, and allowing them to form granulating pools of blues, greys and warm browns. When the paint was dry, I added more texture to the hair by reserving some of these pale tones using masking fluid.

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My featureless face was looking a little freaky, so I deepened the hollows of the eyes and around the mouth, and began to add some detail. I did this slowly and carefully, aware that less is more.

REMOVE HARD EDGES

Where unwanted hard edges develop it is useful to be able to remove them without disturbing the layer of paint. To achieve this, practise drawing a damp brush very lightly across the surface.

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As I work, I always stand back at regular intervals to consider how the balance of tone is progressing. Here I was also referring back to the original black-and-white photo and tonal sketch. I always find it very useful to take black and white photos every so often – removing the colour gives me a clearer idea of how I need to proceed when modelling the various tones.

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how to paint‌ a friendly face

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This is the fun bit! In contrast to the precision required for the face, the hair gives you an opportunity to play and create a more informal finish. Movement and texture can be portrayed with more flowing, wet-in-wet brushstrokes and a more playful handling of colour. I used masking fluid between layers to retain highlights and paler tones, while darker tones were used to define the edge of the face.

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I stopped painting here, leaving the work deliberately unfinished for a few days. This is a useful ploy that avoids overworking and the temptation to paint every wrinkle in the name of accuracy. I found that during this period, I began to see the whole person behind what was previously a technical exercise.

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The next step is to very gently rub out the grid with a good eraser. With the paint absolutely dry, it is perfectly possible to do this without damaging the surface colour. If, over the previous few days, I spotted areas that really needed adjustment, I deal with them. Look in particular for any hard lines that have developed, as well as forgotten shadows or highlights.

The final painting

7


how to paint… a tiger

How to paint…

Boats & Fbeaches n e d w o D s ra n c i By Jo e

I’m going to show you a great technique here for painting realistic beach shingle. It takes a little patience but sorts out a lot of problems. Your first layer is the lightest with each of the subsequent layers representing darker shingle, or shingle observed in the gaps between the paler shingle on the surface. By working from bottom to top, you automatically get perspective and just the right level of chaos. Not all the stones in the distance will be the smallest and not all those in the foreground will be the biggest, so the inherent imperfections of this system make it perfect – just the right level of error! Just go with the technique. It is a very good interpretation of the truth – and accuracy is a powerful tool in the quest for beauty.

1

I mapped out some of the shingle with a 2B pencil. I then spattered masking fluid to inject an element of randomness at the start and then masked in some larger stones with a small pointed synthetic brush. I also masked the edges of the boat, the boat’s nameplate, the flagpoles and the waves.

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 You will need

• Paper 30x20cm Arches 140lb rough paper • Watercolour Chinese White, Transparent Iron Oxide, Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Magenta, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Orange, Payne’s Grey and Cadmium Lemon • Brushes Size 4 and 7 round pointed sable brushes, a synthetic masking brush • Masking fluid • An old toothbrush • 2B pencil

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I covered the boat and sea with scrap paper. Dipping the toothbrush in the masking fluid, I knocked off the excess. With bristles facing down, hold the handle loosely and tap it across your fingers, starting from the bottom of the image and working upward, so the blobs diminish in size. Each time you replenish the toothbrush, start at the bottom again.


HOW TO PAINT… A TIGER

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I brushed a very pale wash of Transparent Iron Oxide and Quinacridone Gold over the entire painting. When dry, I masked the top and sides of the boat, and the ropes on the front. When the masking was dry, I applied water to the sky, then a pale mid-tone wash of Cobalt Blue and Cobalt Violet. When that wash was dry, I masked some foam trails in the shoreline waves.

4

I brushed water over the sea area and then brushed in a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Quinacridone Magenta with a little Burnt Sienna. I allowed the colour to flow up to the horizon line to create a soft edge. I wet the foreground and applied Burnt Sienna mixed with Quinacridone Gold.

TOP TIP

Use a mirror to review your work. It gives you a much better idea of what it really looks like

5

I covered the top of the picture with scrap paper and spattered masking fluid over the beach, working from bottom to top as before. I also carefully spattered large separate blobs of fluid into the foreground, working upwards. I used a hairdryer to dry these blobs before they coalesced into larger ones, before repeating the process. For the far distant beach shingle texture, you should only spatter when the masking fluid on the brush is depleted enough to produce small blobs.

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When the masking fluid spatter was dry, I brushed a grey mix of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue wet-in-wet in a variegated layer, moving from darker in the foreground, to paler in the distance. When this was dry, I spattered another layer of masking fluid.

6

I painted a mix of Burnt Sienna and Quinacridone Gold over the beach, making it rich and dark in the foreground, progressing to paler and lighter in the distance. The beach should develop in several alternate layers of masking and painting. I painted in extra stones with a synthetic brush and masking fluid.

8

I wet the lower part of the beach, keeping the top part dry. I brushed a varied wash of Payne’s Grey over parts of the foreground and more Payne’s Grey stones from a brush on the upper dry part of the beach, again working upwards as the paint ran out. I took a well-loaded brush with more grey and bumped it against my palm to create random dark accents for shingle in the middle distance. For the beach beyond the boat, I brushed over a strong brown mix of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna.

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how to paint… a tiger

9

I spattered a final layer of masking fluid from bottom to top. When dry, I brushed Payne’s Grey over the foreground beach wet-on-dry and with rough brushstrokes in the middle distance, leaving untouched areas to create a loose horizontal pattern of light and shade. I mixed Chinese White with Ultramarine Blue and Quinacridone Magenta and added this over the already masked foam trail areas – these are the foam streaks beginning to stand in the rising waves. I decided to soften the horizon line by wetting the entire sea and sky.

11

Using a mix of Cobalt Blue and Quinacridone Magenta with a touch of Burnt Sienna, I applied many small chaotic darks by spraying the colour from the brush over the middle distance, pulling the fibres back with my with my fingers and letting them flick back out and spray the pigment. I touched in larger stones by hand.

13

I mixed Ultramarine Blue and Quinacridone Magenta with a touch of Burnt Sienna to paint the pattern of shadows between the stones. The shadows and deepest tones in the shingle were darkened with added Payne’s Grey. I wet the boat hull, avoiding the bow post and keel, before applying a wash of Transparent Iron Oxide with darker colour at the front of the boat and lighter colour toward the rear. I applied a fine line of Payne’s Grey to the bottom edge of the boat. I wet the top of the boat and applied a mix of Quinacridone Gold and Burnt Sienna, followed by a cooler Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna mix.

10

10

I removed all the masking fluid. Notice the paleness of the beach – the necessary texture is strong and it can sustain over-painting. I masked the highlight along the top edge of the boat, all the ropes, the rubbing strake on the side, the flagpoles and a few small stones sitting along the beach underneath the boat.

12

I decided to spatter a few masking fluid stones on the beach again to protect them while spraying paint. I carried on spattering colour with the same mix of Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone Magenta and a touch of Burnt Sienna.

14

I painted a pale yellowy-orange wash of Cadmium Lemon, Quinacridone Gold and Cadmium Orange to the boat hull and let it dry. I mixed two more washes: one with more Cadmium Orange and one with added Cadmium Red and a touch of Payne’s Grey. When dry, I wet the boat area (avoiding the keel and front post) and applied both washes in turn, letting the water blend in a soft transition toward the lighter areas. I carefully defined the writing on the hull by painting around it.


HOW TO PAINT… A TIGER

TOP TIP

For awkward curves, turn the painting so the curves bend away from you and match the natural arc of your arm

15

I mixed darker versions of the boat yellows and oranges by adding Payne’s Grey to them. If your mix becomes green when the Payne’s Grey is added, correct this by adding the compliment of green: red. The shadow areas make bold use of Cadmium Red, too. I used this darker boat mix for the planking shadows. I made a grey mix of Payne’s Grey and Transparent Iron Oxide for the plank shadows along the serial number areas of the boat. Lastly, I put in the extreme darks with Payne’s Grey.

16

After removing all of the remaining masking fluid, the final stage is all about details. The colours I used included Burnt Sienna mixed with blues for the ropes, Cadmium Red and Orange for the flags and Payne’s Grey for the shadow areas on the ropes and lettering. I applied Cobalt Blue along the black rim of the hull, with Payne’s Grey above and below it. Some masked highlights in the sea were softened and tidied or reduced in size with the point of the brush.

The final painting

11


how to paint… a tiger

How to paint…

A Tiger n a h g u a G By Ange la

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Use the ink black water-soluble pencil to draw your tiger cub. Set the colour with the waterbrush and smooth it in. Apply the pencil more lightly for mid-toned areas so that the results are lighter-toned. Work methodically to ensure that all of the black areas are set with the waterbrush.

Prepare wells of Perylene Green and a grey-green mix of Naples Yellow with Ultramarine Blue. Dilute both to the consistency of milk. Starting with the greygreen mix, use the mop brush to lay it over the background as a wash. Work down to the tiger’s haunch.

12

This tiger cub was only eight months old when he was photographed at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation. I thought he would make a fantastic subject for you to paint, so I hope you enjoy bringing this charming animal to life on paper. This is an extract from Wild Animals in Acrylics by Angela Gaughan. See page 3 for details. www.searchpress.com

 You will need

• Watercolours Perylene Green, Naples Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Titanium White, Cobalt Turquoise Light, Mars Black, Alizarin Crimson, Pyrrole Orange, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Orange • Brushes Large pointed mop, medium (3/8”) spiky comber, small (1/4”) spiky comber, large (1/2”) spiky comber, size 0 rigger, size 2 filbert • Watercolour board NOT finish 30x40cm • Ink black water-soluble pencil • Waterbrush • Kitchen paper • Stay-wet palette

Allow the ink to dry completely. Lay the painting flat and, using the mop brush and clean water, wet the whole background. Use some clean kitchen paper to lift water off the tiger to ensure it is mostly dry.

While the paint is still wet, lay in the Perylene Green below the tiger and up to the right, letting it bleed into the lighter grey-green. Strengthen the colour below the tiger by working in more Perylene Green wet-in-wet.

5

Allow the wash to dry completely before continuing. While the paint is drying, prepare a well of dilute Burnt Sienna. As always, mix it well to ensure no errant dollops of paint are on the brush. Wet the whole paper, including the tiger. Use the mop brush to lay in a glaze of Burnt Sienna over the whole picture. Allow to dry.


how to paint… a tiger

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Dampen the tiger’s head and chest with clean water and the mop brush, then use the medium spiky comber to carefully apply Titanium White around the eyes and ears. Use short strokes except for the very long hairs in the ears. Continue establishing the white fur over the face, using slightly longer strokes around the cheeks, and being especially careful around the whisker pits.

Once dry, dampen the tiger’s head and chest with clean water and the mop brush, then dilute Burnt Umber and use the small spiky comber to begin to suggest the darker areas on the face and head. Change to the size 0 rigger for fine or hard-to-reach areas.

Still using the dilute Ultramarine Blue and the medium spiky comber, develop the cooler areas of the fur over the rest of the tiger. Change to the mop brush and lay in a wash over the foreground to help tie the tiger into the picture, then allow to dry.

Still using the medium spiky comber, work down over the tiger’s neck and chest with the Titanium White. Dampen the rest of the tiger with clean water and the mop brush, allow the water to settle in a little, then work over the rest of the white areas of fur with Titanium White and the medium spiky comber. For the longer fur on the tiger’s belly, turn the brush so that you are using the side.

Work over the rest of the dark areas with the same brushes and colour, being sure to dampen the body before applying any dilute paint.

Apply dilute Cobalt Turquoise Light to the shaded areas of the head and chest with the medium spiky comber, to develop the cooler areas and add natural variety.

Strengthen any white areas that have softened in too much, and add in very fine marks on the paws and nose.

Make sure the painting is completely dry, then use dilute Ultramarine Blue to knock back and cool areas of the face and chest in shadow. Apply the paint with the medium spiky comber.

Apply a glaze of Burnt Sienna to the tops and left-hand sides of the eyes with the size 0 rigger. While the paint is still wet, touch in undiluted Cadmium Yellow to the bottom and right-hand sides of the eyes as an initial highlight. Allow the colours to bleed into one another.

13


how to paint‌ a tiger

15

Allow the paint to dry, then add the small shadow cast by the eyelids across the eyes using the rigger and dilute Ultramarine Blue. Allow to dry, then add a highlight on the upper right with pure Titanium White and the rigger.

18

Once dry, dampen the whole tiger using clean water and the mop brush. Prepare mixes of Titanium White and a little Ultramarine Blue for the shaded warm fur, and Titanium White and Cobalt Turquoise Light for the cooler areas of fur. Using the size 2 filbert brush, strengthen and develop the white fur with touches of these mixes.

21

Change to the size 0 rigger and develop the grass area further by adding the cast shadow of the tiger with dilute Ultramarine Blue, then adding more touches of the basic green mix (Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow) and the cool green (Titanium White and Cobalt Turquoise Light).

14

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Re-establish the highlights on the white areas where necessary, using the medium spiky comber and Titanium White.

19

Use the mop brush to apply dilute Perylene Green over the grass area, then prepare a basic green mix of Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow and use the medium and large spiky combers to begin to draw in some strokes to represent the grass around the tiger. Vary the angle and length of the tufts to get a natural wild look. Continue building up the grasses, including the part on the left behind the tiger, then add some variety to the grasses using Perylene Green.

22

Allow the painting to dry, then dampen the whole tiger with clean water and the mop brush. Use the mop brush to apply a very dilute glazing wash of Burnt Sienna to areas that need warming.

17

Glaze the nose with dilute Burnt Sienna, applying the paint with the size 0 rigger. Lift out the paint on the top right as a simple highlight, then add in the brighter highlights on the face and head using pure Titanium White and the medium spiky comber. Turn the brush on its side for longer hairs, such as those in the ears.

20

Prepare a grey-green mix of Ultramarine Blue and Naples Yellow, and use the medium and large spiky combers to add some highlights to the grass. Refine the foreground with warmer colours by sparingly adding dried grasses with Burnt Sienna and a straw-coloured mix of Naples Yellow and Cadmium Orange.

23

Use the size 0 rigger to strengthen some of the dark areas of the face, paying careful attention to the eyes and nose.


how to paint‌ a tiger

24

Repeat the process over the rest of the picture, switching to the small spiky comber for the shaggier black stripes on the left-hand side.

25

Use a very dilute mix of Alizarin Crimson and Pyrrole Orange to glaze the nose.

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Once the painting is completely dry, use Titanium White and the size 0 rigger with long strokes to paint on whiskers to finish.

The final painting

15


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