This is my very first go at painting a miniature painting and using the rendering techniques I just learnt in Vaishali's class.
It would be great to ask some questions I have and get some feedback on techniques too, so I can make amendments where necessary and improve!
1) For my first go at rendering, I started with some clouds (first picture above) using the dry brush technique. I am happy that a gradient is starting to appear, however I am concerned that the strokes might look a bit "hairy" (this is best word I can think of to describe it!). I am wondering if I just haven't done quite enough brushstrokes to get a smooth effect, or if the brush itself may be the issue ? I am using a 000 synthetic watercolour brush from Rosemary and Co.
2) For my colour fill on my copy of Seemorgh and Zaal, I am wondering if I have gone too dark/opaque for the midtones? I am also questioning how I get those beautiful transitions between colours within a rock? e.g. a transition from malachite to deep violet? With the colour fill method I felt I needed to block off colours rather than transition them wet-in-wet as I would with traditional watercolour painting, but then I am not sure how the rendering will be dark enough to create a transition over the top? 🤔
3) When rendering over the white clouds, I found the dry brushing technique to be working quite well, but rendering over the coloured rocks was a lot harder as the colour fill seemed to re-activate a lot quicker and I was getting a lot of holes. I found that I was having to dab on the colour rather than stroke it on, otherwise the colour fill was coming off. Also my rendering seems to be a lot more "streaky" on the rocks. I didn't burnish the clouds before rendering them, but I did burnish the colour fill so it was super smooth, I wonder if this makes a difference? I am doing a lot of wondering!!! I would love any advice/feedback. Again I am using a 000 brush for this. I love the beauty of the rocks and would like to keep going with this, even if it means completing several versions before getting it right!
Looking forward to any comments.
Thanks and Kind Regards!
keep going! rendering is one of those things that take practice---I wasn't very good at it starting out, but then started going up the learning curve in handling the brush and the paint just right, and I'm a lot better now.
Thanks so much Vaishali - some very useful feedback for me to work on, I really appreciate your comments. I have taken notes so I can be sure to follow these tips.
I managed to watch the video for Session three so did see you demonstrate the rendering. I think I must not have diluted my colour enough and was probably too heavy handed with the brush, using part of the belly instead of the very tip. I defnitely need to work on dabbing/tickling the paint on!
I am excited to continue with rendering the rocks, and think I may mock up a couple more versions (perhaps simplified) to explore the techiques/process you mentioned, to really focus in on getting the rendering for the rocks right.
See you later today!
I like the accuracy of your underdrawing and lines Sarah! My first overall impression was that it is going really well, even with the rocks - it just looks unfinished (which it is!).
1) Your gradient is good, it just needs a little more work where the colour transitions to white right at the end. I also think you started too dark - and fair enough that you missed the session so no worries, I will demonstrate this for you next time I see you! - start very pale and get darker. Hairyness is exactly that - not enough brushstrokes. I use a natural hair brush for mine (and yours are on your way!); synthetic should also achieve a similar (but not as easy) result. It's a mix of both brush and technique and I'll show you both; also the background knowledge of 'pale, slow and thin'.
2) Transitions between colours, eg malachite and violet - as above, pale slow thin. I'll demonstrate as is easier to show rather than write. I don't think your midtones are necessarily too dark, but the rendering itself is slightly too dark yes. Start off with a colour almost exactly the same as the midtone; you've jumped a few shades to start with quite a strong blue. The other thing is not to worry about it too much until you've built up quite a bit of your painting; keep skipping round and working on it as a whole. Leave those bits you've done already and try some other untouched rocks. Colour fill you're right - generally block off colours - however if you're able to blend them wet-in-wet then yes have a go, this makes the rendering faster but it's also more risky. How does the rendering get darker? By being built up very slowly. It's a really slow art!
3) Holes = too damp/too wet, brush not dry enough or colour fill layer not dry enough. (There is actually a more advanced technique of purposefully reactivating the colour fill layer to do a blend but generally best to start with dry brush first - and you say it's working for you so that's great!) Correct - you dab it or tickle it on, not stroke it - don't use the belly of the brush, only the tip. If you have holes don't worry, let them fully bone dry and then just work on top of them to repair them.
Looking at your rocks again, I would say the strokes look fairly large and you can afford to do smaller strokes, perhaps with a smaller brush or just using the very tip of your brush. They also look like they've been done with some speed. 'Slow pale thin' is the mantra to remember - go slower. I'll demo for you.
Burnish throughout - this gives a smooth surface on top of which to work. Yes very important!
It's a massive job of a painting by the way! And likely will take you a while, probably months, to finish - so hang in there and keep going, we are here to support you! See you soon also for some live feedback! ;-)