Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Watercolor Wednesday: Shaded Spheres How-To

I love painting shaded spheres of color!  Often, when I'm tired in the evening but still want to do a little something in the studio, this is one of my favorite quiet, low-stress activities.  This is an excellent exercise for practicing leaving the white of the paper.  Remember that in traditional watercolor, there's no use of white paint; you either paint around or mask out the white of the paper to serve as the white in your painting.  Painting shaded spheres is also a great way to play with color blending.

Step 1:  Draw a circle lightly in pencil by tracing around a lid or using a circle template.

Step 2:  Choose the position of your light source.  Using a round brush and leaving the highlight of the sphere unpainted, lay in a light, flat wash of color.  Here I used quinacridone magenta.  Let dry.

Step 3:  When dry, add another layer of the same color slightly smaller than the first.

Step 4:  While Step 3 is still slightly damp, lay in another similiarly-hued color over the area you painted in the previous step.  In the example, I used deep cadmiuim red.  Let dry slightly.

Step 5:  While Step 4 is still slightly damp and using the very tip of the brush, lay in a line of complimentary color on the edge opposite the light source.  Complimentary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel so here I used sap green.  Two complimentary colors mixed will yield a neutral color.  Let dry slightly and proceed to Step 6 if desired.

Step 6:  Add a small amount of dark color to bottom edge of sphere (where shadows would be the darkest.)  Here I used Payne's grey.

3 comments:

  1. This is wonderful!! Thank you so much for posting it..it is very informative and helpful for those of us who are just learning.

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  2. Being very new to watercolor painting, and wanting to learn more but in very short yet complete lessons/tuts, I found your watercolor spheres fit the bill of what I needed exactly! Thank you so very much, I have subscribed to your site as I am doing art journals also. I am off to play with my spheres!

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Thank you again for the time you've spent here. Most sincerely, Michelle

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