Sunday, June 7, 2009

H2o's of a waterfall

Every time I conduct one of my many art workshops, I do the painting first so that I can include it in my email newsletter to announce the workshop and so that I have a total command over that which I am teaching. In this case, I decided to do three half sheet (15"X20") studies. I learned about Mr. Clean Sponges from Mike Bailey and wanted to try them for pulling out cloud vapor and the waterfall. I figured that doing three studies would give me plenty of practice. Mr. Clean sponges have a very fine type of grit that pulls off dried paint like crazy! You dip the sponge in water, squeeze out the water throughly, and apply a gentle abrasive motion to pull off the paint. Drying the paper with kleenex between pull offs is important. If you do all this with a deft hand, the watercolor paper is in no way damaged. This project was a good way to teach the painting of very delicate, light colored values and contrasting them with the final dark foreground of pine trees. I also showed my workshop watercolorists how to render pine trees with the minimum of fuss. I used the Mr. Clean Sponge and some art tape to bring out and mask off the waterfall. The entire watercolor was painted wet-on-dry on 140lb cold press. I do not pre wet the paper nor do I stretch or tape it down on anything. This holds true for all my watercolor painting.

18 comments:

Kaye said...

This is a great tip! Especially for a beginner like me! I sure wish I lived near there so I could take your workshops! Thanks for the tip!

Kathy said...

I never head of this technique. I didn't know Mr. Clean was a watercolorist. He was here yesterday but all he did were my floors. I guess I will have to go out and get some sponges. Nice effect. I will let you know how it works for me.

rob ijbema said...

love these david
loose and full od atmoshere!

Barbara M. said...

Wow David,

These are beautiful. Great idea preparing the painting in advance. I'll have to remember that next time I do a workshop.

You are such a master in every medium.

Take care,

Barbara

Jan Blawat said...

I just got back from a week on the Oregon coast, where it was so foggy I could barely see the ocean. Or anything else. I was snickering when I read your blog this a.m., I could actually use this method to paint what I saw - a couple of dark blobbly things (rocks?) in a gray mist. Seriously, I bet this technique would work well for "dust" also. I'm thinking cows in a corral maybe, with the dust rising.

Holly Van Hart said...

David, so wonderfully fresh. bravo! Holly

David Lobenberg said...

I love fog, smog, smoke, and dust to paint, so yes, Mr. Clean is duh ticket, Jan.

David Lobenberg said...

Thank you, Holly. I think painting three studies keeps one loose as a goose, because if ya blow one, ya got others to hopefully NOT blow!

Kathy said...

David, I went and bought some of the sponges that you were talking about. I use those to cleam out the shower. Do they have any cleaning chemicals in them? I will let you know how they work for me. Or maybe I should take my paints into the shower. Cheers!

David Lobenberg said...

Kathy: I don't think that they have any chemicals. You use Mr. Clean Sponges to clean the shower? I thought they were made for watercolors! I'll have to try that.

Kathy said...

I use the sponges to clean the shower because I paint in the shower. Lots of WATER good lighting. lol

Terry Banderas said...

David--
Beautiful painting. Great post and nice tip on the sponges.

David Lobenberg said...

Thanks Terry B.

Mike said...

Great Jawb, Dave. These paintings would make any watercolor painter weep with envy!

A little bit more info about Mr. Clean "Magic Eraser" sponges: Buy the **Original** version for this purpose. There are no chemicals in this version.

Again, great work David!

David Lobenberg said...

Hey, forgot to thank you for your comment, Rob!

David Lobenberg said...

But Mike, I like to sop up the spilled milk on my counter top with a Mr. Clean (chem version) sponge and squeeze it out on my morning cereal. I think this explains some of the strange paintings I've done recently. But all seriousness aside, thanks for the compliment! (:

Nick said...

Those are all killer David!

David Lobenberg said...

Thanks, Nick!