Watercolor Tips needed -StarFishing

  • Pro SVS OG

    New to watercolor after watching @Lee-White's classes and boy is it rough, I obviously did NOT do enough planning on this. I also used too much frisket in spots and must have been too rough pulling it back up because it tore the paper on the shed. Next time, I'll just use the white colored pencil and less frisket.

    I really don't like how the boy is coming out so I may try to paint over him in white acrylic. I made his arm too long and his body too short, I laid down too much ink near his face and already did one paint over....grrr lol Should I used colored pencil to try and fix the torn shed?

    I also printed my sketch way too light and lost my under drawing really early on.

    Now I'm even more impressed by Lee's skills because watercolor is such a B...lol, I may just start over :D. It's fun and frustrating all at the same time. I'll keep practicing. Any suggestions?


  • @Charlie-Eve-Ryan Love the concept of it! maybe you can try again, but correct the things that you don't like?

  • Just keep trying. Controlling watercolor is tricky but after a while you learn how to set up those "happy accidents". I think Lee would agree....you never really control watercolor but rather you learn to work with it. Nice image concept.

  • Pro SVS OG

    Thanks Leontine and Rob! I'll fix the drawing and reprint it later and try again. I may do a bit more to this one just to practice "fixing" things etc. and she where it lands. It's a good exercise. Glad you like the concept. I may do some flowers in between too, I do better with those in watercolor and I can play with different brush strokes etc. It may give me some ideas moving forward with this one. Thanks again!

  • @Charlie-Eve-Ryan I was going to say something similar to Rob said. Water color has a tendency to paint itself, which can be both really cool and really frustrating. For the white areas, have you tried just lifting the paint with a dry brush or paper towel rather than using the frisket? You can even let the whole thing dry then re-wet just the areas you want to lift, depending on how much your paper can handle.

    The concept is really sweet, and I think it lends itself to water color.

  • If it's bugging you, just start over. Practice is good 🙂
    I love watercolour for it's unpredictability and the happy accidents that can occur with it. Started watching that video too, but it kept stopping on me (maybe a bad connection). I'll try again later today. Looks good!

  • Charlie get yourself some white gouache or white acrylic paint. That works well for the glow your going with just as Lee demonstrated in the video. Both are water soluble paints and work well with watercolor.

  • I love the concept of this art work! Watercolour is so beautiful, but it really is one of the most difficult mediums to use. You can get wonderful unexpected effects, but it's also almost impossible to correct mistakes. I hope you finish and post - it looks great!

  • Pro SVS OG

    @Maile-McCarthy Thanks Maile :D! I did both, frisket and lifting out color on this one. I think they both work wonderfully, I just have to be more careful with putting too much down, I also like the idea of the white color pencils for thinner highlight areas. Mixing different medias really appeals to me. More planning is needed as Lee's says in the video, this way I can let loose a bit more in the painting and not question every stroke I'm making.

  • Pro SVS OG

    @Amanda-Jean Thank you, Amanda...hope the video works for you, it is really is fantastic.

  • Pro SVS OG

    @Rob-Smith Thanks Rob, I do have some and will be mixing it in. I love playing with mixed media, thanks for the suggestion 😃

  • Pro SVS OG

    @Shannon-Blakeman Thank you so much Shannon, I am still fiddling with this piece but do plan on doing a start over with all this stuff in mind, it should be fun. 😃

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Hey there! Sorry I'm so late to this. I'm on a book deadline and have been out of reach for a few days. I've done a paint over here. You are off to a great start!

    The only thing I did was clear up some value problems. The boy should be a dark shape against the medium value of the background. I also darkened the cliff at the bottom to separate it from the surrounding values. Be very careful with adding your light paint. You need to be delicate with the strokes and keep them nice and thin. If you go too thick with your detailing it can make it seem a little clumsy.

    Let me know if you have any questions at all. Again, very nice image!!!! : )


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    BTW: I'm working on the beginning watercolor class right now. The techniques in the video are much more an upper intermediate to advanced level. They will be a little hard for anyone just starting out with it. Watercolor isn't that tough, but some sound principles and understanding the paint and materials are crucial. I go over all that in a very in depth way in the beginning watercolor class. : )

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Here's another image from my new book for reference. I went with a mid dark for the background, then dark foliage and a lighter house with the boy surrounded by the dark window. The key is to get each thing to read against what is next to it. Kind of tough sometimes. I went for a harder edge on the moon in this one and didn't want it glowing too much. Detail was painted in using gauche and colored pencil.

    I was faced with a problem around his face blending in too much with the lighter house tones so I tried to change the color balance there and warm the face up with an orangish wash.


  • Pro SVS OG

    @Lee-White Thank you so much!! Fantastic paint over, it really helps the overall read of the image and I love the pose you used on the boy. I am definitely going to steal him for now, reprint the line and have another practice go at this if you don't mind (ps I pretty much stole your shed too lol) and then later maybe try another one too and see where I can go with it. I like the idea of trying a night scene with a limited palette but it is way tricky...

    I will definitely be taking your beginner's watercolor class! I need it badly and I'm looking forward to it. Right now, I do ok with flowers in watercolor etc but the second I have anything with any sort of story narrative and characters I freeze up!

    I love how you use mixed media in your watercolor paintings it makes the whole process a little less terrifying and more interesting for me, so thanks!! Your videos are great!

    Your image of the boy with the moon out the window is absolutely enchanting, thanks for sharing your tip on the issues you ran into with his face and the light house. It came out beautifully.

  • @Lee-White WOW! This is exactly what I would love to see a class on! I use watercolors, but I want to be able to edit (even heavily edit) them digitally without them loosing their traditional watercolor look. I loved the little mini-tutorial on paint-overs you gave during the last 3rd Thursday, but I would love for a class that thoroughly bridges traditional and digital art. 🙂

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    I can add one more tip to this thread if you guys are interested. When I am getting ready to do a painting in watercolor, I ALWAYS spend time on doing practice color combinations. I may spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an entire day getting the right color mixture and how I want it to go down. I make notes and try out all sorts of combinations until it feels exactly how I want it. Then when it comes time to paint you can relax and just lay it down. It's not a particularly fun or sexy part of painting, but it sure is essential. FullSizeRender-1.jpg

  • Pro SVS OG

    Awesome, @Lee-White thank you! I will definitely take more time on the color studies and show them with my next progress piece. Most of my studio is packed for a big move this weekend so it may be a few days before I am set up, but I look forward to playing more with the piece and starting fresh with your advice in mind. 😃

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