Watercolor still life... Critique please!

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  1. #1
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    Watercolor still life... Critique please!

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    looks great.

    the blue cast shadows are too light of a value, relative to the green around everything but besides that nice work

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    The shadows are way, way too light. A good rule of thumb is: the lightest value in the shadows may never be lighter than the darkest value in the light.

    Also, don't be afraid to mix strong colors. With watercolor, it's better to lay down one strong wash than to mess the paper up a dozen times.

    A similar point is: don't drybrush watercolor so much. Your picture practically consists of weak, worried, dry dabs. Watercolor likes flowing. You can tweak a mostly complete work with drier color here and there, but to start a painting, lay down a foundation of good washes. (Mix at least twice the amount of color you think you'll need; it is better to waste some colored water than to run out of color.)

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    Arenhaus-
    Thanks!! I completely understand what you meant by the drybrush thing, and I noticed it myself but I have NO idea how to do it differently!!
    When you say "foundation of good washes", what do you mean exactly?
    to use a lot of water? to paint wet into wet?
    I'll be very happy if you can clarify this point

    Thanks,
    Dan

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    Hi dbdb

    Nice start, you're using a nice range of colours and looks interesting because of it. However you need to unify the colours a bit on the spoon and the bowl, I'd probably do a prussian blue/green wash on the bowl and a slightly darker grey wash on the spoon just leaving the highlights. Your values need to be stronger as when I squint at it the items tend to blend together a bit, you need to seperate them by painting stronger colours and giving them more form.

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    Look it up on the Internet. A wash is the most basic thing you can do with watercolor; there are many tutorials with photos.

    Basically making a wash amounts to using lots of very wet paint to lay down an even or graduated layer of color, and letting it dry. There are some tricks to it, like mixing lots of color beforehand, using a big brush, pre-stretching the paper, putting the support at 5-10 degree angle, never letting wet color seep into semi-wet; but overall it is simple enough. A good wash will be as strong-colored as you need it, and pleasantly transparent.

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    Thanks arenhaus !
    How is this?

    Cheers,
    Dan

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    Somewhat better, but the composition is kinda boring, and I don't care for that gray blot in the background.

    Try something with an actual background. Leave white paper untouched for highlights. Use no more than three layers of paint anywhere. And TAKE A BIGGER BRUSH. You'll see the difference.

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    Thanks!
    I'll try that

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