venice challenge 2

August 12, 2015

The ongoing quest to interpret in watercolour a photo of Venice by Frank Dwyer of our local Kamloops Photo Arts Club has begun to take shape with a decision to take this 11.5cm x 16.5cm image and paint it as bigger–28cm x 25.5cm (11″ x 14″) –simply because a miniature of such a complex scene might prove less successful.

venice001

So here goes….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Arches Hot Press #140 lb. Paper, stretched and stapled onto gatorboard, then taped.

As much as the photo (entitled ‘The Blue Umbrella’) reveals damp pavement and the umbrella-holding couple, the sky isn’t quite as rainy-looking as perhaps it can be made to be for artistic interpretation purposes.  So ultramarine blue and burnt sienna were applied to the whole of the sky as a wash.

Ultramarine Blue has a nice quality of being one of the ‘granulating’ pigments of watercolour.  Its origins stem from the grinding of lapis lazuli, and received its name from the Latin ‘ultramarinus’ (meaning ‘beyond the sea’) .

So treasured and prized by the early painters, ground lapis (from Afghanistan, principally) was used by the painters of early icons as the garments for The Blessed Virgin.  (When The Holy Mother is depicted, her robes are red.)

In 1826 a synthetic version was created which itself derives from a mineral compound, lazurite, and is today the most complex of all pigments.  Being a ground mineral, ultramarine produces sediment that dries in a granular way when mixed with water.

To get this effect, however, the painter must apply ultramarine as a wash so the sediment can, in fact, separate and settle to create granulization.  That is why, then, the sky dropped into the first stage of the painting appears granulated and gives a kind of antique look.  If ultramarine is applied with only a bit of water, or straight from the tube (yikes), it will not granulate as such.

Some watercolourists are so avid about granulization, they buy a granulating medium from Daniel Smith, which, when mixed with most any watercolour paint, granulates.  However, the natural granulating pigments are raw umber, burnt umber, raw sienna, and some brands of burnt sienna.  That is because they come from the earth, and earth leaves sediment.

All of this material comes from a variety of sources, including http://janeblundellart.blogspot.com.au/ — (a very thorough and devoted watercolourist from Australia).

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7 Responses to “venice challenge 2”

  1. Thank you so much Lance. I enjoy the blogging support from you and other fellow artist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon, your work is so expressive–so personal–it is such a great experience visiting your site.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for posting your beginning of your art and excellent education about watercolor. The interpretation of your painting is fascinating to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, too, Charlie ‘doddlewash’ O’Shields! How I enjoy your work–it’s liveliness and freshness.

    Like

  5. Rebecca, your posts are a joy, as is your work, and thank you for liking mine and standing by your fellow painters’ shoulders 🙂

    Like

  6. Rebecca said

    Very interesting! Lance, I think I need you to stand by my shoulder when I paint and offer me useful tips. 🙂 Lovely sky – I’m really looking forward to seeing the next stage of this painting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow!!! Great start Lance! And wonderful post! Love learning all those bits of information. Very much appreciated! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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