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Volume 39 Quarter 2

 
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

Hello fellow artists!

Is everyone excited for this quarter or still taking a breath from last quarter?

It looks like quarterly topics aren't a thing on the Illustrators side of the contest but maybe it would be fun Smile So here goes!

I managed finalist twice in a row in the last cycle so the past month has been a mad, hyper-focused dash to create something bigger, and more challenging than I've done before and get it submitted. I did a 30x40 inch watercolor and got it in on time with two previous pieces. Whew! 

Onward and upward with 2022 submissions!

Side Question: Do you like to submit three new per quarter or switch out one with a new piece each quarter. I've been switching one out. I'm planning some smaller pieces for the next quarter so I may just switch them all out.

Happy New year and happy painting!!

 

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : December 31, 2021 5:16 pm
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Silver Member
Posts: 252

You’re right, there isn’t much of an illustrator’s discussion group here. Thanks for starting one! I’m not an illustrator (I do a mean stick figure) but I love how this community supports each other.

Good luck on your IotF entry!

V38 Q2: HM
V38 Q3: HM
V38 Q4: SHM
V39 Q1: Submitted

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Posted : December 31, 2021 6:13 pm
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

@lost_bard thank you!!! I have all my fingers and toes crossed. And it is my pleasure! I want to have illustration talk like we have over in the writers section! I hope that all the amazing artists that enter the contest start showing up and engaging in here. Smile

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : December 31, 2021 9:06 pm
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Silver Member
Posts: 290

Happy New Year!

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, HM, HM
V39: P

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Posted : December 31, 2021 9:08 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2561
Posted by: @clfors

Hello fellow artists!

Is everyone excited for this quarter or still taking a breath from last quarter?

It looks like quarterly topics aren't a thing on the Illustrators side of the contest but maybe it would be fun Smile So here goes!

I managed finalist twice in a row in the last cycle so the past month has been a mad, hyper-focused dash to create something bigger, and more challenging than I've done before and get it submitted. I did a 30x40 inch watercolor and got it in on time with two previous pieces. Whew! 

Onward and upward with 2022 submissions!

Side Question: Do you like to submit three new per quarter or switch out one with a new piece each quarter. I've been switching one out. I'm planning some smaller pieces for the next quarter so I may just switch them all out.

Happy New year and happy painting!!

 

Since you do watercolor, I’m curious what your take is on using or not using opaque white.

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Posted : January 1, 2022 6:55 pm
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Silver Member
Posts: 290

Art fascinates me, but the only art class I ever had was an abstract class I took at a community college. My experience when testing watercolors is that they run. How do you get the level of detail I’ve seen on IOTF works. It’s amazing.

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, HM, HM
V39: P

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Posted : January 1, 2022 7:13 pm
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

@wulfmoon Hi!

Fantastic question! So I used to be very stringent about it and felt like using opaque white for highlights especially in another medium like acrylic was “cheating” I have always used a bit of white watercolor for bits of blending and smoothing though.

I still am bothered when I see watercolor pieces where highlights are added on using some form of opaque medium instead of preserving the white of the canvas for them. I’ve realized now that it’s more of a problem with where, how much, and how skillfully the technique is applied. 

I see it quite differently now. If I can’t tell how the highlight is achieved because it is rendered in a cohesive manner then it doesn’t matter at all how you do it!!! Mixed medium is fantastic! However an artist achieves the effects they are going for is valid so long as they aren’t plagiarizing in some way or misrepresenting themselves.

My preference is still to preserve the white of the canvas for my highlights. But if I find near the completion point of a watercolor piece that I need to punch up a highlight I absolutely will, with white watercolor, colored pencil, whatever is required, even digital if it suits the project.

It’s rare for me because it’s a personal goal of mine to render any effect I want in watercolor without having to stray from it but I have a couple pieces where I used ink, and a couple I’ve gone in with color pencil a bit. I played with digital lighting effects on one and it’s a cool effect especially for printing purposes. It’s the sort of thing I would and have done on novel covers even if the art is gorgeous without it. 

I think this is another case of learn the rules and skills well and then break them with finesse. First learn how to watercolor from light to dark and keep those highlights and lightest values. Learn how to get your deep values and darkest shadows without killing your whites. Then do what you have to on each piece to do it justice.

 

I haven’t seen your watercolors before Wulf Moon! Do you have any up for viewing online? What are your personal feelings and techniques regarding opaque white?

Cheers!

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : January 1, 2022 7:30 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

@craydimensional Years of practice and meticulous technique. I used to think watercolor was for babies and acrylic was better. Now it’s my favorite magic!

I watercolor a bit differently than I see most watercolorists do. First I do a very detailed sketch with only the exact lines and shapes I’ll be using in very pale pencil(which I erase as I go). Then I work from light to dark(that’s pretty standard) I add layers and layers increasing in detail and depth of color as I go until I finally add the darkest colors and shadows(Often they must be added in a few times to get full vibrancy).

With watercolor you have to paint with the paper flat unless you want your colors to run. When you paint another section or color your have to be aware of how water behaves. Any sections that are touching will bleed if both are wet, so you let one section dry before painting next to or on top of it. 

I also use sections of wet into wet or as Frank Dixon likes to call it “puddle painting. Wet the whole section you want to take on color and saturate the brush with heavy pigment and water. Paint fast into the wet and use your brush strokes and gravity to create a gorgeous swirling mess. But it’ll only bleed into the portion you got wet.

You have to plan ahead and keep a mental image of what you want and where you want it because there is no going back with watercolor!

Another key is good materials. Water coloring on junk paper doesn’t do the medium or the artist justice.

I’d love to teach classes because most artists I meet that don’t work with watercolor have been discouraged from it because of bad materials and a lack of guidance. I find teachers tend to show a few fancy techniques like adding salt, wet on wet, dry brush, and then leave students floundering. 

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : January 1, 2022 7:51 pm
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Silver Member
Posts: 290

@clfors you sound like you would make a great teacher.

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, HM, HM
V39: P

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Posted : January 1, 2022 8:04 pm
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

@craydimensional thank you!!! 😍

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : January 1, 2022 8:33 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2561

@clfors 

Cherrie,

I like your approach to watercolor. Our beliefs regarding the medium are similar.

When we had a studio gallery on Lopez Island, and later on San Juan Island, I developed a program to teach watercolor to tourists (and locals) in an afternoon. I’ve taught hundreds of people watercolor with that course. I’m a big proponent of the Rule of Cezanne—leave 50% of the white. Wet blending is a major item I teach as well, and I am not a fan of photorealistic use of watercolor and graphing of the page with a photo. So contrary to the nature of the medium. I teach students that watercolor is a magic horse: you can attempt to rein it in, but it will always be a thing of the wild—it’s in its nature. 100% agree only pro materials will produce pro results—my classes were with Arches 100% rag paper, pro brushes, and same paints I used to create my art. I began with teaching true color theory, not Newtonian, so they could make brighter, lighter paintings that did not turn to mud. And whenever the weather was nice, I took students outdoors to paint seascapes or old boats in the yard. It was amazing to see what new artists could learn in an afternoon with proper instruction and professional tools. Everyone walked away with a painting at the end of a session, and some would buy materials at my studio to continue on. That was the most rewarding part, knowing I had not frustrated them with the medium, but had inspired them as to how to work with it. It was evident they would continue on the path.

I don’t like adding opaque white, as it’s a skill to preserve the white of the paper. But my wife does mixed medium, and I appreciate it’s her thing and her way of doing things, and it does make it easier. It’s important to have fun and to find your own style.

I love working on super-saturated paper, and only pro paper can hold up to that. I teach a separate class on that. Watercolor canvass has some neat effects as well, but it’s not for the faint of heart.

Congratulations on getting close to winning IotF! I’d love to see watercolor illustrations in the anthologies. Most are digital, and they're gorgeous, but it’s not the medium of my heart. True watercolor for me has an ethereal quality that captures the essence of a thing, rather than its specific nature. 

Best of success! Cheers!

P.S.: This is the most scientific study of the medium I have ever found. Highly recommended. http://handprint.com/HP/WCL/

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just released in THINGS WITH FEATHERS: Stories of Hope. Order HERE!
Enjoy my published SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss my featured story, "Shaken, Not Stirred." Click HERE!

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Posted : January 2, 2022 8:18 am
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

@wulfmoon Alright Wulf, Now I have to thank you for the resource you shared here. 

I’ve been browsing the Handprint website all morning and the author’s detailed exploration of watercolor and commitment to skepticism and science has me hooked. 

I’ve been planning to put together a list of professional paints to work with based on their lightfast ratings, staining, etc. My paints are the last hold-out materials wise from being self-taught and low budget.(Well I guess my brushes are only mid-range as well. Paper is where I put the most money) 

Well now I’m making the list using Handprint as a base resource. So thank you! My paintings in the new year will likely thank you as well. 

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : January 4, 2022 2:37 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2561
Posted by: @clfors

@wulfmoon Alright Wulf, Now I have to thank you for the resource you shared here. 

I’ve been browsing the Handprint website all morning and the author’s detailed exploration of watercolor and commitment to skepticism and science has me hooked. 

I’ve been planning to put together a list of professional paints to work with based on their lightfast ratings, staining, etc. My paints are the last hold-out materials wise from being self-taught and low budget.(Well I guess my brushes are only mid-range as well. Paper is where I put the most money) 

Well now I’m making the list using Handprint as a base resource. So thank you! My paintings in the new year will likely thank you as well. 

Handprint. I have never seen a greater resource exploring the science behind watercolor and its materials. I'm glad you enjoy the site. Do note his commentary on color theory and choice of paints that properly reflect the true color wheel. I'll recommend quinacridones to you. Daniel Smith makes some great ones, transparent with lots of light. After studying all the color samples on Handprint, here's the three primaries I use on my color wheel palette (best palette design in my opinion, made by Stephen Quiller). Winsor Yellow. Daniel Smith's Quinacridone Magenta. Holbein's Peacock Blue. I can mix most colors with those, and they are bright, not muddy. In my introduction to watercolor class "Genesis: Let There Be Light!" I have my students create their own color wheel using only these three primaries. The painting they create at the end of the class is only made from mixing these three. Students are always amazed at all the colors that can be produced. It was also my method to get them to affordably start working with pro paints--they didn't have to buy huge, expensive sets to keep on after the class ended. Just three tubes.

You'll create lighter, brighter paintings using these primaries. There's my watercolor Secret for you. Smile

I don't prefer Winsor Newton paints. They are colorfast and most pros use them (I'm using it for my yellow), but they cost more and the tubes dry out because of their base. Holbein is excellent, and so is Daniel Smith. One that really gets overlooked is Graham. They use honey as their base, and the paint comes out of the tube smooth and creamy. Wonderful for blending, because they flow. 

As for brushes, good quality Taklon fiber brushes are stiff enough to move the pigment around the paper effectively. How sad all the grade school watercolor classes used cheap horsehair brushes that are as limp as a deboned fish. All those kids never got a chance to see what watercolor could really do with the right tools. As for types, a one-inch aquarelle, and 2 through 10 rounds do the trick nicely. I also have a very fine brush for eye details, and a large 3-inch flat to apply water for washes if I'm not doing super-saturated paper. And some larger rounds just for fun, but the one-inch aquarelle and the #10 and #8 round do most of the work for me. 

Have fun!

Cheers!

 

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just released in THINGS WITH FEATHERS: Stories of Hope. Order HERE!
Enjoy my published SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss my featured story, "Shaken, Not Stirred." Click HERE!

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Posted : January 4, 2022 4:44 pm
Cherrie liked
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

@wulfmoon Love it! Thanks for the recommendations! I also prefer to mix most colors myself using primaries so your recommendation suits me well. I’ll put those three on my list to try out 👍🏻

I like taklon brushes a lot. I also recently got some mid-range squirrel hair brushes as a gift that have a nice snap while holding a lot of pigment.

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : January 4, 2022 6:43 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Physa/ Guthington/ Amy
(@physa)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 112

Posted this in skills development thread as well, but it's also contest related:

Okay, I have a question regarding digital art and IOTF contest. I completed 2 pieces of artwork using the program that comes with windows 10: Sketchbook. I started with pad and pencil, took a picture of that, and used the program to color and finish it. Then I created a folder for when I have my 3 entries and looked into the requirements for digital uploads and see the minimum is 300 dpi. PROBLEM, Sketchbook maxes out at 72 dpi. 

What do you use to create digital art suitable for IOTF contest? Back in the day I learned out to use Photoshop, but nowadays you have to rent it (no way to own). I'm looking for a writing program I can load onto my laptop which has touch screen that's a one time purchase (so I want to own it).

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome!

Best, Amy

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Posted : January 7, 2022 6:05 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1229
Posted by: @physa

Posted this in skills development thread as well, but it's also contest related:

Okay, I have a question regarding digital art and IOTF contest. I completed 2 pieces of artwork using the program that comes with windows 10: Sketchbook. I started with pad and pencil, took a picture of that, and used the program to color and finish it. Then I created a folder for when I have my 3 entries and looked into the requirements for digital uploads and see the minimum is 300 dpi. PROBLEM, Sketchbook maxes out at 72 dpi. 

What do you use to create digital art suitable for IOTF contest? Back in the day I learned out to use Photoshop, but nowadays you have to rent it (no way to own). I'm looking for a writing program I can load onto my laptop which has touch screen that's a one time purchase (so I want to own it).

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome!

Best, Amy

Clip Studio Paint is a solid program that's relatively inexpensive. I posted a link in the Skills Development thread. grinning salute  

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R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
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Posted : January 7, 2022 8:39 am
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

Normally I choose one painting and focus on that but I’d like to get a few pieces to choose from finished for this quarter. I have a page with maybe ten potential paintings in small composition thumbnail form accompanied by symbolism research notes and alternate character sketches. 

The current plan is to get at least three of my thumbnails fleshed out on the illustration boards before I begin painting any of them and then see where they go. 

What does your process look like this quarter? 

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : January 10, 2022 8:50 pm
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