Welcome to Glazed Over. In this Podcast for Watercolour Enthusiasts, we'll cover everything from Product Reviews and the nuts and bolts to long-form discussions with members of the upper-echelon of the Watercolour World.
Season 1 - Episode 10 - Sky Techniques
Beyond the Clear Blue Sky
Who doesn’t love a good sky? Skies in Landscape painting are fundamental, and they play a very important role in the overall success of a piece. Most of the time, the light and luminosity in a painting comes from how strongly the sky is painted. It can make or break a painting. It can transform an otherwise boring scene into something strong and lively. Let’s go over a few of my approaches to skies and how I use them to establish the mood and atmosphere of a piece.
The Flat Wash.
This one is essential. To have this in your repertoire is vital and it will always do its job for you as long as you paint it quickly and with confidence. It is a great way to establish the light and what kind of day and time of day you’re dealing with. It is also a very good sky to choose when the focus of the scene is busy. Remember to balance out the composition. A busy scene with a busy sky can be overwhelming to the eye and lead to an unsuccessful and confused piece of work. Whatever colouring you choose, err on the side of lighter tones, rather than heavy, that way the scene won’t lose its luminosity and lustre. The way I paint a flat washed sky is to spray the paper a little first to help the wash take effect and more importantly to alleviate some of the harsh straight lines that can develop on bone-dry paper. Next, just attack it! Go crazy! While the paper is wet you can paint in whatever direction you like, as long as it is done quickly and with confidence and you DO NOT go back over anything once it has started to dry. The end result will be a nice, flat, subtle sky that will serve as a great source of light.
The Graded Wash.
We paint this with the same approach as we use in the Flat Wash. The big difference is we lighten the tone up as we get closer to the horizon by using clear water instead of paint. You can also use a different colour towards the horizon of course, but please make sure it is lighter in value than the top of the sky. This is a great one for dawn or dusk work. The light-valued horizon makes for a great backdrop for ‘into-the-light’, silhouette scenes with Buildings and figures etc.
The Loose clouds
My Favourite to paint because you just let loose! While I adhere to the ‘rule’ of tone being lighter at the horizon, I apply clean water to random sections of the sky area, then proceed to add colours to those wet areas, which in turn leaves the dry paper as our clouds. I finesse any unnatural looking edges with clean water and let it dry. Grey, blue, orange… a mixture of all three, of ANYthing you want really. The most important part with this is to work quickly and make sure that you are left with a good variety of edges and that any straight lines or arrow-shapes that may have formed are softened. This will make life easier when you’re looking at the finished product because I assure you that those clumsy hard shapes in the sky will haunt you for the rest of your days.
The Stormy Normy
When needing a big, forbidding cloud shape, I like to do it in two stages. Usually the sky is painted in a set and forget kind of way. You do it first, you do it quickly and then you move on. For my kind of stormy clouds, I paint my initial sky with the ‘Loose Clouds’ approach, then when the entire scene is completed and perfectly dry, I mix up my big, dark could colour. I like indigo here but use whatever you like. I wet the area of the sky where my dark cloud will be with clean water. Then just float your brush around and get a whole bunch of that dark stuff on there. Let it flow and run. Keep a tissue handy to mop up any unruly drips. No one likes an unruly drip! Flip the board up and over and side to side. Just remember, to get maximum depth and distance, ensure that the cloud shapes that are close to the horizon are smaller than those at the top. Work it for as long as you like, as l
Season 1 - Episode 9 - Materials
Obsession…… Art Supplies are fun but don’t let them slow you down.
Watercolours are amazing and we art supply tragics have a lot to choose from in our chosen medium. Papers, Paints, Brushes,,, Hell, even things like a bloody spray bottle and water container get some action. The list can be endless. The search for the PERFECT tissues, the PERFECT Masking tape, The PERFECT backing board…… Ha Craziness can ensue!
The worst part of this usual obsession is that it often halts our progress because we’re wasting valuable time on the peripherals rather than actually painting.
Don’t let materials slow you down. Find what you like and what works for you, then PAINT! PAINT! PAINT!
I’ll help you save some time by sharing what I’ve found works and moreso, what doesn’t work.
Season 1 - Episode 8 - Alvaro Castagnet
In this episode, I was fortunate enough to sit down and chat with Alvaro Castagnet. From his home in Montevideo, Uruguay, we talk all-things-watercolour, life, art, passion, progress, evolution and how the humble pool table nurtured some of the greatest Australian Artists to have lived.
Season 1 - Episode 7 - Al Kline
In This Episode I chat to American Watercolourist Albert Kline. He is new to our world of Watercolour and he is passionate and excited about all things painting in this amazing medium.
Season 1 - Episode 6 - The Talent Myth
“If People knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all”. - Michaelangelo
How many times have you heard, ‘oh my god, you’re so talented’. I wish I could do that. etc. While it is always said with the best of intentions and in no way is it meant to be insulting, but it DOES feel that way to the person it is being applied to. It is almost as if they’re being dismissive of any of the actual hard work it has taken to reach that level. Talent is a myth. Hard work is Real.
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Brienne Brown
In this week's episode, I was fortunate to have a great chat with American watercolourist, Brienne M Brown. We learned about her life before art, when she was a toxicologist, analysing samples of all kinds of things for narcotics and how she moved into the world of art and Watercolour Painting.
I really enjoyed it and there are some useful tips, too. :)
Very enjoyable episode - keeping it real about watercolour materials, I wish I knew this podcast was around when I first started with watercolours - it would have saved me sooooooo much time, effort and money. I look forward to Tony’s podcasts every week. He’s very easy to listen to and topics and interviews are very informative.
Great work Tony!
Really enjoying these so far and looking forward to more. Chan and Herman both gave some great tips and were very engaging guests, and Tony is such a natural at hosting! Would love them to be longer!
Definate worthy listen for anyone who paints in W/C!