Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mixed Media - Graphite

Last evening was the first meeting of my Mixed Media class. In this class we will explore mixing other media with watercolor painting. I teach it at the Kempsville Recreation Center. I always like to do a different class in the summer. Last year I taught Watercolor pencils and it was a great deal of fun. I tell my students that they need to have fun while painting or else why do it?

Last night's class was on mixing graphite with watercolor. Most watercolorists use some pencil in their paintings. I use it to provide an outline of the subject to follow with my painting. But some artists do more of a drawing on their paintings than just an outline. You can see and appreciate the graphite drawing under the painting.

Often beginners do more drawing than is typically used in watercolors. I always let them know that it is a choice how much of the drawing they want to put in the painting. This is one of my philosophies about teaching. I always try and encourage individuality in my students. I let them know what the options are and how they project themselves into the painting as well as the pros and cons. Then I let them know that they can explore their options and see how they like doing the task at hand. This way students learn to express themselves in their painting.

I usually do a demo of what I am presenting in class. The first picture shows my pencil "line" drawing. I did my drawing before I painted with watercolors. You do not want to do alot of blending of your pencil drawing because when you add your watercolor it will smear. Also you need to do a drawing not just an outline.

Next I added my watercolor. For this demo I used hot pressed paper. It has a very smooth surface and allows smooth work. It dries very fast as the paint does not get absorbed by the paper but sits on the surface. It also is prone to many blossoms as the paint can move around more.

This combination of media is good when you want to show lines and or details in your painting. It has a great deal of control for those people that like to control their watercolors. It combines your skills in drawing with your skills in watercolors. Try it you might like it.

Next week we are doing pen and ink. I hope you enjoyed this post. Please send me comments on what you would like to see more of.

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