Page 3 -
The Pillar


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I have masked out Michael's right arm and accidentally had a big drip of masking fall off my brush.  I will wait till it is completely dry before I remove it.  I redraw out the column and I have found a small error between the column base and the background.  I will fix this in final detail. I prepare my wash colors, Gamboge Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Opera Rose and Pthalo Blue.   I will have about 5 to 8 minutes from the moment I lay down my water wash to the time I lay in my final wash. I begin with a heavy water wash and then in the picture above, I have totally covered the Pillar with a light Gamboge wash.

Next, I add a layer of Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber....the paper is still very wet and I have lots of time now to focus in on building the 3D contours of the Pillar.






Then I add the Opera Rose layer and a Pthalo blue layer.  The paper has dried to the point now where the colors are not dispersing.   You will feel and see this with experience.  I do not like to rewet my paper, so that is why I prepare my five color washes in advance.

I totally blow dry the column and allow the paper to flatten out.



As in the Cityscape portion of the lesson, I begin dry brush dabbing VanDyke brown into the the pillar, paying attention to the contour of the Pillar and to the play of light on the round surface.  Notice how I use the outside of the image area to dab my brush before I begin dabbing the image area.  It is important to remove excess paint from the brush to avoid splotching.

Tips and Hints

When dabbing large areas of a painting with the dry brush technique, rotate your brush after a few dabs to avoid wallpapering a pattern.

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Using Burnt Umber, I begin cutting details by painting in the section lines of the pillar.

We are now about 25% done and the Pillar is beginning to take shape.

Using the dry brush technique, I work in the Mauve over the whole Pillar.  Using Payne's Gray, I begin adding the imperfections to the stone and also to enhance the Pillar section lines.  The Mauve will act as my base gray as I want to create a dark gray stone that has seen hundreds of years of weathering and man made exhaust.  Although I have the general shape, I am not really concerned at this point with technical correctness. Now I work in two layers of Yellow Ochre using a vertical stroke brush application.  I add Burnt Umber for the Pillar section lines. A complete blow drying of the Pillar and then I apply a 100% coverage of a Titanium water wash.   The reason I used Titanium white instead of Chinese White was I wanted to achieve a graying effect of the stone as you can see in the next picture and it gives me a great blending base for the heavier blues that I will be adding after the white wash dries. After a super drying, I add a good semi-transparent wash of Cerulean blue..  The Pillar is now over 50% completed.   Now I will focus on technical correctness  and the softness of light on the Pillar and shadowing and of course....aging.



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The Water burnishing phase of the Pillar.  I will use clean water and apply it to an area of the painting that I would like to lighten up. In this case, the whole Pillar.   I move my brush in a circular motion removing layer after layer of washes until I begin to see the Gamboge yellow layer of the very first wash. This is a gentle process so work within a small area at a more than 2" x 2".  This is a paintstaking process, so take your time and respect your watercolor paper.


Tips and Hints

Remove the watered down layers with your Bounty paper towel using a straight push downward with your thumb.  A Dab..hold and then view...Repeat the water burnishing step again to remove more paint if necessary. Do not rub the painting   with the paper towel.  You are not wanting to affect the watercolor paper at all with this process...So pay attention to what you see and feel here.....This burnishing affect will leave the Pillar looking like it is made of sandstone when you are completed.

I have now lightened the Pillar enough to my satisfaction and now I will build the the 3D effect of the column and also fix any imperfections and ensure technical correctness of its form and structure.  I have now reduced my palette to four colors, Indigo for the really dark areas, Burnt Umber for soft shadowing, Mauve for transition from dark to lighter of the shadows and Opera Rose for...just because..


I have now completed the first level of of the thick round base.  I will continue moving upward before returning to the base of the Pillar..  I am using my 15/0 brush to build the shadowing and contours and the cracks in the stone.  For shadowing, I am adding my paints by dabbing them on to the surface.  I have come back with my #6 brush with a little water to blend the paint for a soft transition.  What is being created here is an effect that when a viewer of the original painting studies the pillar, they will want to feel the very texture of the stone.  This is the goal of every Realist Artist.
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I have worked from the base up to the top of the Pillar.  Only subtle detailing remains before I move into the base of the Pillar.

The Pillar is now just over 75% complete at this point.

Continuing with gentle dabs of Mauve and Indigo to continue with the contours of the stone and the darkening of the chips and imperfections in the stone.  I have now moved into the base of the Pillar. When the base has received its final layer, I move back up to the background area where I made an earlier drawing error and I I fix the building in the background...looks like a condo eh! The Pillar is completed.  Now I remove the masking on Michael's arm.  You will notice that I rarely use Black as one of my colors although I keep tubes of Ivory Black in my collection.  I replace it with Indigo, which provides me the ability of fixability.  Later.

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