Art 2 – Watercolor Botanicals – Due 10/2


1. Visit the website of local artist Hanya Fojalco:

2. Look at these tips and examples from Debra Lee Baldwin

3. Watch the video of Angela Fehr’s leaf painting technique:

4.  Read the following 3 summaries about the history of watercolor.

A. history.htm

B. historymedium.html

C. art-history-a-watercolor-artist-you-should-know-of

Now:  In your post, comment on the 3 historical items you find most interesting and  comment on the approaches and ideas you plan for  your botanical watercolor.


7 responses »

  1. I hadn’t known that Queen Victoria painted, I’m rather curious as to what her subject matter would be (pun not intended), I’m also curious as to how they know the cave painting had water in them. For my painting, I’ll try to use an angled brush (if I can find one) to get the leaf’s shape better, and increasingly smaller brushes with increasingly darker colors for details. I’ll also use water to blend shadows into color, and if possible, will paint a Venus Fly Trap.

      • Almonds had this to add to the discussion:
        Three Historical Items:
        1. In the 1400s, when watercolors were first being used people would grind up their own pigment and keep their recipes secret.
        2. It wasnt until 1856 till the general public could buy a watercolor paint set for their own
        3. In the 1700s, women took watercolor classes and they would take black and white prints and paint over them

        Different Approaches:

        Play with varying density of paint
        Use white or lighten the color to show light hitting the plant/flower
        Do not just have a white background, make an interesting composition
        Paint near a large window for good light
        Let the painting dry before adding complimentary colors
        Use the back of a beveled paintbrush and draw on veins then paint over the leaf–>the paint will settle in the leaf (embossing technique

        Focus on one flower and make sure to let the paint dry before continuing
        Layer the paint to create dimension
        It would be helpful if I sketch my painting out first because I haven’t been painting for a long time

  2. After reading these three articles about history of watercolor, one thing that attracts me a lot is that “honey was added to the formulation to make the paint pliable for manufacture in various ways”. I wonder if it actually works that honey helps to make better. What’s more, I have a question with the cave art,how can people use watercolor paint on the cave, can the water go into the wall? how can the colors don’t fall off after such a long time? For my painting, I think maybe I will bring my own flower or just use a picture of flower. And i will try the technique that i just learned from the video to paint the leaves. In addition, i think i will magnify the flower and focus on the detail and also show the shadow better.

    • Honey is such a marvelous element. I wonder if we could try to make some paint using honey as a binder for the pigment…..let’s look up some recipes online!
      I think the cave art is preserved so well since it was underground and in a controlled atmosphere. They may have applied a plaster kind of ground too, making the watercolor applied somewhat like fresco…..another thing to look up. Great questions!

  3. I found the origins of water colors and how they were originally difficult to work with and hard and tedious interesting, showing the evolution of simple things such as paint.I also found how the masters of water color were able to utilize it in such an amazing way, creating colors perfectly and matching them to whatever subject they were working on. When the first water soluble water color paints were introduced there was a movement of people and art teachers trying to learn how to use and how to teach how to use the medium, something that doesn’t happen very often with medium. I plan on having a close up of several leaves in slightly different colors, maybe progressing from the left. I am not completely sure of what I will do, I am not very experienced with paints.

    • I love the way you can use the bloom and natural aspects of watercolor’s flow for unexpected effects and still bring it into control with subsequest layers. That’s where the color refinement can come into play too. I think the more experience you have with paint, the more you’ll grow to love the variety of effects.

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