Wednesday, May 9, 2012


My beginner students want to learn to paint landscapes.  Tuesday morning, we discussed value and how to make value work for you without getting too overwhelmed by all the greens in the landscape.  I gave them a piece of red acetate they can look through to see the values in the landscape and in their paintings.  They were amazed!  Red acetate has been used for a long time to take the color out of everything (a painting, a photo, the landscape, a still life set-up) so you can focus on the values and not get distracted by the colors.  It works.  Try it!  Get a piece of red plastic (from a file folder or some Easter paper or from an art store) or a piece of red glass - and look through it (hold it up to your eyes and look through it - like having rose-colored glasses (only red).  It makes a difference. 

After the lesson on value and some discussion about the 3 parts of a landscape (foreground, middle ground and background), we began this landscape.

I wish I had gotten photos of their work, but didn't - so this is my version of a simple landscape where they could practice their sky and clouds and then get lots of greens in their trees.

This is a copy of a painting in a Michael Crespo Watercolor Class book (done by one of his student's in the 2-semester class).  I did explain copyright with them and that these can be used for learning and they can show them off in their home but no where else and they can't sell them.  As photographers, they understand that.  The painting in the book is more horizontal with less sky.  But I did mine on a fourth sheet of watercolor paper with more sky.  Linda copied my format (on a fourth sheet of watercolor paper) while Nancy did her painting in the horizontal format (cutting the fourth sheet in half length-wise so it was more a panoramic view). 

Both of these students are long-time photographers so they already have keen eyes and are doing so well, it won't be long before they are outperforming me and will move on :)

I also began another fourth sheet painting, glazing some colors for this little flower.

Glazing tends to take time and I tend to return to that technique whenever I'm really not excited about any painting or can't get too motivated.  So I glaze a bit, walk away and do something else, and return to glaze some more later, or the next day. 


jgr said...

Hi Rhonda,
Your landscape is looking good! Thanks for your comment, too. I'm excited to have new paint.

jgr said...

Oh dang, word verification ate my comment@#$#@
Your landscape is looking good, I like the variation of all the greens. Fingers crossed, I'll try it again . . . . . third time around . . . . um -blogger ???

Heather said...

Thank you very much for the lesson! I found your blog a couple weeks ago and I'm so glad I did. I'll be visiting frequently. :)

Heather said...

Thanks for the lesson. I found your blog online a few weeks ago and I am so glad I did. I'll be visiting frequently - love your work! :)

Sadami said...

Hi, Rhonda,
Very happy to know you and the students having a wonderful time. Thank you for the info on the clever using "red"!
Cheers, Sadami

Caroline Simmill said...

Hello Rhonda the landscape exercise looks a perfect way of learning value and all about the different greens that can be created. Your fragile flower looks lovely with the delicate glazes I was wondering what colours you are using and if you worked on a pale colour wash over your sheet of watercolour paper first.

Autumn Leaves said...

Well this is sure beautiful, Rhonda, the blooming flower, the landscape demo. Love your tip on the red pane to help you see values. I want to give that a try because I always lack values in my pieces.

I've got nothing going right now either. Too busy with work and sleep, alas.

RH Carpenter said...

Jane, perhaps I should remove word verification? I no longer have problems using it on others' blogs, but it does get a bit tricky at times - you have to think like a spy! ha ha If I keep on moderation but take off word verification, I wonder if I'll get a lot of spam again? Anyway, I appreciate you trying 3 times!!!

Thanks so much, Heather!

Sadami and Sherry, the red acetate or glass has been used by a lot of artists in the past - I think it comes from the printing or graphic art area where it is used and artists discovered it. Carol Carter uses a red glass you look through and I had to have one of those so gave my students the red acetate (which works the same). Not sure why it has to be red - Sweetie asked that question and I don't know the answer. I've heard green acetate or glass will work with landscapes.

Caroline, I didn't wash any color on the paper first and am trying to leave whites in the flower - I think it's a pink dogwood so lots of pale pinks and violets in there so far. The buds will be more red.

MILLY said...

It is interesting how we can all see each others work and techniques and learn new things. I am sure you have so many tips and knowledge to pass on to your students. I went to a little exhibition today and saw lots looking at the work. Your pink blossom is pretty, very delicate.

RH Carpenter said...

Yes, it's easy to see all the good in another's work, Milly :) I'll never be as precise as you, but I do enjoy playing with watercolors a lot, whether it's tight or loose.