Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Opening Doors

"Venetian Door Study"
Original Watercolour by Jean Haines

There  is a saying that when one door closes another one opens. In my life another three seem to open and all at exactly the same time! I have so many requests and decisions to make that my priority is time to paint first daily and everything else falls after that.

Recently I was asked to make a DVD which will be out this  autumn. In it are several demonstrations on techniques covered in my book " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour".  One is a very old tip  for  painting straight lines. Because I never use a preliminary sketch I don't have the necessary guidelines to lead my brush when working on architecture. Many of  my  landscapes and buildings include very old buildings where outer edges would  hardly be seen as perfectly straight. In fact the odd uneven line often adds charm and an appearance of age. But there are times when I do want a straight line and I know some artists coming to my workshops do too as they may prefer a  more exact painting with  precise detail in sections.

So how do you get the perfect straight line in a watercolour without using a ruler?

Simple!

Lay a piece of card with a straight edge on your paper and paint along the edge. Then very quickly work away from it with the same colour. Lift the card very carefully which I have demonstrated on my DVD and  there you go. A straight line!

It's easy when you know how.

By the way I rarely work with straight lines, I prefer the ones with character!

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1 comment:

Sandra said...

What a great tip! Thank you for sharing. I think one of the things I like about your work is the unexpected splashes of colour that you use. I finally have your book and I must say I am really enjoying it. I am learning so much from it already and I'm not even half way through. I am really looking forward to when the DVD comes out :0)