Sunday, November 7, 2021

"Siberian Tiger" (pen and watercolor on paper; 9" x 12")


"Siberian Tiger" (pen and watercolor; 9" x 12")


I decided to blog about my online Zoom classes with the Art League School in Alexandria, VA. This is what we did in the seventh week of the fall term, 2021 for my "Watercolor from Start to Finish" class. 

The first business of the week was finishing up "Storm Moving In". We continued the painting with the top panel on the left. First we wetted the paper and painted the glowing sky shape with the pale mixture of Winsor lemon and cadmium red pale. When the paper was dry, we wetted the paper again and dropped the blues in the clouds with the blue mixture of cobalt blue and burnt sienna. 

When the first layer (which took two separate steps to avoid contaminating the blue and pale peachy yellow shapes) was dry, we glazed the clouds with a little darker mixtures to create some edges and drama. When this layer was dry, we painted the seagull with the dark mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna.

The last panel (the one at the left bottom) was painted with the same colors and same techniques as the first panel, except here it starts with the yellow and alternates with blue, yellow and dark shape. The sea shape is slightly larger than in the first long panel and has layers of waves; make sure you don't paint over the waves in the first wet-on-wet stage to keep it light and foamy-looking.
"Storm Moving In Demo"

The main business of the week was "Siberian Tiger" done in the pen-and-wash technique. We did the line work with the quill nib pen and the black India ink. If you press the nib a little bit, the lines become thicker. This thin and thick line quality is called the varied line weight, something you will never achieve with the markers such as the Micron or Sharpie pens. If you are brave and you know the fortune favors the brave, you can also try the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. This sensational pen with waterproof ink makes drawing with the varied line weight portable and fun. It has a steep learning curve, but once you get used to it, you will never go back!

When the line work was done, we switched to a brush to fill in the fabulous patterns on the tiger with the India ink. With the inking finished and totally dry, we went to play! When you introduce line work to your painting, it does most of the work so watercolor takes the second stage. Thus less layering is required. That's why the pen and wash technique is so popular among the travel journal artists. Quickly put down the lines and whip out your watercolor box to add some color notes. Voila, you are ready to enjoy the next site!

I painted the blurry background on dry paper with quinacridone gold, cadmium yellow pale and cobalt blue to suggest the vegetation in the sun. When this was dry, I began to drop paints on the face, making sure I leave some white areas untouched. I used the yellows, cadmium red, permanent rose (on the pink nose), and the purple mixture (cobalt blue and rose) over the shadow areas. I didn't get to finish this fun part, but it won't take long to finish the painting next week! 
"Siberian Tiger" demo in progress

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