Monday, April 1, 2013

Tippette #1 - Bricks & Stones

Tippette = Snippet of a Tip (in watercolor).

Today we begin our journey together.  I promise to post one absolutely free tippette every day, during the month of April.  These will not be discussed in detail, but maybe it'll cause you to think about your art in a new way.  Depending on your own skill level, these will mean more to some of you than to others.  I ask you to stick with me on this journey, and let's see where it leads us.  I look forward to your comments or questions, and I promise to reply to each one.  (Hint:  to figure out where to comment, simply go to the bottom of my daily post and click on the blue words that say "0 comments", or "1 comment" and a box will open up for you to type into.)  Here we go.


Today's topic is bricks and stones.  

The roughness of today's subject usually compels me to use a rough paper (I love Arches 300# but there are many good brands out there).  

I always lightly sketch my bricks and/or stones and I remember to leave room in between them to represent the mortar.  I then paint over the whole wall with a light wash of color (even painting THROUGH the bricks or stones themselves).  Then I add my brick or rock color, sometimes using dry brush, and sometimes wet into wet (e.g. maybe burnt sienna first, then I drop in a touch of green or blue or whatever's desired for the final effect).  Although I don't WANT to paint each brick separately, I make sure each has a unique personality...no cookie-cutter bricks.  After all the brick area is done, I examine the painting to see whether it now needs a unifying wash over parts of the wall (for a cast shadow, for instance...BTW, cast shadows are tomorrow's tippette).  A shadow is then added UNDER the bricks that need it.

Close up detail of "Charleston Alley Gate" by Helen K. Beacham


Detail of "Corner Garden" by Helen K. Beacham
On this one below, I added darker color to the mortar area.  Keep in mind, some mortar is darker than others.  Observe what's in front of you.

Detail of "Simply Rome" by Helen K. Beacham
I hope you found this first tippette enlightening and maybe even exciting!  I think we're off to a great start, but as I mentioned above, I'm anxious for your comments and/or follow up questions!  Happy painting!

Come paint Montreal, Maine, Charleston, and Magnolia Plantation with me in 2014!  In May 2015, we go back to Venice!!!  Find details HERE.


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