The Coolest Watercolor Skills David Rankin Watercolor Workshops

In David Rankin's Watercolor Workshops you will learn how to create many of Transparent Watercolor's very coolest visual effects.

This small 12" x 16" watercolor was created by using 6-7 distinct watercolor skills. Each skill has a precise procedure. Each skill creates distinctive visual effects. If you know how to create a specific visual effect... and then add another... and another... you can create dramatic images like this.

"Dropping into the Desert" - 12" x 16" - Transparent Watercolor on Arches 140lb. Rough Paper - Evening in Suguaro Desert – Tucson, Arizona

Here are the major skills I used to create this painting of the Suguaro Desert. Learning how to create each visual effect by executing the brushwork correctly builds greatly enhanced self confidence in your artistic abilities to control Transparent Watercolor.

These are the major skills used in creating the Suguaro Desert painting.

Once you know how to create each visual effect... you can experiment with color. This is when Watercolor becomes fun. Much like playing the piano... when you know how to play chords on a piano... you can make wonderful music.


Watercolor ... It's a Live Medium

Transparent Watercolor is unlike all other artistic mediums for 2 reasons.

Watercolor is different! Painting with Oils or Acrylics you can make one mistake after another and just keep painting over the colors & brushwork... until you hopefully finally get it right. But painting with Watercolor... we actually have to know what we're doing from the very first brushwork.

Secondly... the Fact is... that Watercolor exists in a liquid environment. It moves around... and it behaves in ways that sometimes seem quite unpredictable... even mysterious. This has led many to refer to Watercolor as the "Hardest Medium". But in fact... once you actually know how to work in this Live Medium... it is positively magical.

Every aspect of Watercolor is effected by Gravity.

Therefore as Watercolor Painters... we simply must try to understand the gravitational forces that effect our brushwork, and learn how to make Gravity work for us rather than against our efforts.

Moon Photo:Wiki-© (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

In Transparent Watercolor... Gravity effects every brushstroke... every wash... every visual feature.

David has simplified this whole subject of Gravity for Watercolor Painters - Learning how to control the effects of Gravity on our brushwork requires correct procedures and careful experimentation. David will train you in precisely how to make use of gravity's powerful effects.

An artful use of Gravity was used in each of these watercolors.

Each of these paintings required gravity to create the dramatic skies and the lovely folded pleats in the lady's sari... but the techniques for each were very different.

Learn how much Gravity to use... when to use it... and Why?

David will train you in how best to use 6 different types of Gravity

Doing it right! In Transparent Watercolor artists simply must learn how to create the basic visual effects correctly. They are crucial to success and satisfaction. This workshop is about learning how to "do it right"... especially with Watercolor's coolest washes. David will train you in 4-5 of Watercolor's most wonderful and widely used Wash Procedures.

David trains artists in more than 30 cool watercolor wash skills. These are the initial 8.

The Even Wash... the Graded Wash... 2-Color Blended Wash... and the Work-Around Wash are very basic skills in Transparent Watercolor. If you do them correctly they come out right every time. But slight mistakes can result in unwanted visual effects that can spoil a wash... and actually ruin a painting. So the trick is to learn how to do it right... every time.

Some of the reasons washes fail

Practicing Procedures / Getting Them Right : It's about practicing precise visual effects skills by creating various wash effects by themselves in order to perfect the basic brush handling skills by themselves. Then... we practice the skill in a Test Recipe as shown here in the Gray Study. And finally we then practice using the skill and investing the visual effect into an actual finished watercolor.

The Proof is in the Pudding: I will show you how to create the visual effect by itself first. Then we will practice it to see if you can create the effect correctly... several times. Next: We'll use a Practice Recipe to see if you can invest that visual effect into a small test subject painting and have it look right. Once you do this several times... then... we invest that same visual effect into a full color painting subject. This is how I train artists. I want you to take full control of each separate skill. It's not guess work, or accidental chance... it's developing your skills.

As Watercolor Painters... the Flat Even Wash is a skill we use a lot... in many different ways. In this painting that I did at 10,000 feet in the Ganges Himalayas... I wanted the clarity of the clear intense blue sky. I used the clear flat wash of the sky to set off the bright morning sunlight etching out the mountain peaks. If I had created a sky with clouds or streaks and blotches... those features... up in the sky... would have attracted the viewer's eye... and taken the viewer's focus away from the peaks. The Lucious blue featureless sky then provides a visual background that calls attention to the dramatic Himalayan peaks bathed in morning light.

However... if you do not know how to create this particular Watercolor Wash... in the correct way... the results will not be even & flat but rather blotchy and uneven. If your subject calls for an Even wash... I want you to be able to create that visual effect... correctly... quickly... and when you need an Even Wash.

In this Workshop David will train artists in the precise step by step skills used to create a half dozen of the most widely used Watercolor Washes

The trick is to learn how to create each different watercolor wash in a predictable and flawless manner. It's not about luck... it's skill!

Forget about "Happy Accidents". "Accidents" in Transparent Watercolor are seldom "Happy".

Cappillary Action in Watercolor

The accidental visual effect in Watercolor... often referred to as a "blossom"... can ruin a painting or change the whole appeal of your brushwork. However... this common experience can actually be used to enhance your paintings if you know how it works. What's amazing about this unique mystery of Nature - Capillary Action - is how it flows backwards & upwards in the opposite direction from Gravity. In our paintings it is often seen when a wet surface meets a not so wet damp surface. In trees... this powerful phenomena of Nature is in fact what draws the fluid food from the soil... upwards through the bark to nourish the tree's growth. And if you know precisely how to create this visual effect in Watercolor... rather than it just being an "accident"... it can become yet another skill in your repertoire of imaging skills. Here's more info about Capillary Action...

Putting it all together to create magic!

Train with David Rankin at one of these upcoming Workshops...

© David Rankin Watercolors / 2017


David Rankin

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