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Watercolor Pouring and Masking Portrait Art Lesson

imageAre you or your students super tight when it comes to painting? I know I am!! Trying to loosen up a “tight” painter is HARD to do-it takes practice, trial & error.

This HS art painting lesson is a great exercise in loosening up and letting go of control. We learned how to draw correct adult facial proportions PRIOR to this project and then jumped into reviewing Positive & Negative Space and experimenting with watercolors (which was super FUN!). 

Resources: Easy Watercolor Portrait by Do Small Things with Love, http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=301135. (more resources/examples at end of post)

Overall Objectives: Students will review positive and negative space. The will use a photo editing program to transform a portrait to show high contrast values (black or white only). They will experiment with different watercolor techniques such as pouring, masking and splattering.

Lesson 1: Extreme Positive & Negative Space Portrait

Delivery:

  1. Define Space-the element of art that refers to the emptiness or area above, below, between, within, and around objects.
    1. Positive Space-the shapes or forms (main objects) in an artwork
    2. Negative Space– the empty or non-interesting space between and around the main objects
  2. Show images with high contrast of values (black or white only).
  3. Teacher Guided Demonstration on how to:
    1. Turn a picture into a digital image (if photo is in print form-scan or take digital photo).
    2. Use photo editing software to reduce the image to a black and white image (not gray-scale). Step by step instructions below for iPad using www.FreeOnlinePhotoEditor.com

High Contrast ExampleActivity: (3 -45 min classes) Edit & Draw Portrait

Create an accurate drawing of a person (from shoulders up) from a frontal or 3-quarter view. The picture needs to show a high contrast of values (black or white only).

Instructions:

  1. Find a picture or take a picture of a person (from shoulders up) from a frontal or 3-quarter view.
  2. Turn to the picture into a digital image (if photo is in print form-scan or take digital photo of it).
  3. Use photo editing software to reduce the image to a black and white image (not gray-scale).
    1. www.FreeOnlinePhotoEditor.com
      Instructions (for iPad):
      1. Find a photo (frontal or ¾ view)
      2. Save photo to Photos App (tap on picture & hold until “save image” button pops up
      3.Open www.FreeOnlinePhotoEditor.com
      4. Click on “Browse”, from Photo Library. Click “OK”
      5. click on “Color”-> Black/White
      6. Click on “Basic” -> Brightness/Contrast
      7. Adjust the Brightness & Contrast until you are happy with the image.
      8. To save the image – tap on picture & hold until “save image” button pops up, “Save Image”
      9. Print the Picture-open Photos, open picture, click on the share icon
      and select Printer
  4. Print out picture as an 8×10.
  5. Draw the picture (Contour Line ONLY) onto 10×15” Watercolor Paper. (1.5x the size of the 8×10)

Suppliescomputer or tablet, 10×15″ Watercolor Paper (140 lb recommended)-Canson Bound Watercolor Pad, 30-Sheet, pencil

Lesson 2: Watercolor Pouring Experiments (2 or 3 -45 min classes)

Objective: Students will experiment with pouring watercolors. They will play with what color combinations work best or create the look they are going for.

Watercolor Experiments & Pouring Practice WorksheetDelivery: Teacher Guided Demo-Watercolor Experiments & Pouring Practice Worksheet

  1. How to use Masking Fluid to “Save the Whites”- How to use masking fluid & rubber cement
  2. Wet on Wet, Dripping wet into wet
  3. Wet on Dry
  4. Salt in Wet
  5. Splatter
  6. Spray the paper with water before and after applying the paint
  7. Experiment with pouring watercolors.
  8. Experiment with color combinations (remember analogous colors work & blend well together-harmony; complementary colors blend to make dull values-contrast, dark mood)

Materials: Tube watercolors in liquid form or Liquid Watercolors-Sax Concentrate Washable Liquid Watercolor Paints – 8 Ounce – Set of 8 – Assorted Colors, small plastic cups for pouring (3-5 per student), masking fluid, rubber cement, tooth brushes or denture brushes, Watercolor Experiments & Pouring Practice Worksheet printed on watercolor paper cut to 8.5×11″

Watercolor Pouring Portrait (3)PROJECT: Watercolor Pouring and Masking Portrait Project

Project Objective: Create an accurate portrait of a person from a frontal or three quarter view point. Exaggerate the positive and negative space by creating a high contrast image. Use various watercolor techniques (masking fluid & rubber cement, pouring, salt, splatter) to color the portrait.

Instructions:

  1. Find an image of a person from a frontal or three quarter view point.
  2. Use photo editing app to exaggerate the positive and negative space by creating a high contrast image.
  3. Draw the image LARGE on the Watercolor Paper in pencil.
  4. Apply Masking Fluid & Rubber Cement anywhere you want to stay WHITE. **TIP: Apply 2-3 coats of the Rubber Cement. One layer is not thick enough!!! Also, be carefulof the brand of masking fluid-the kind we used stained the paper yellow 🙁  Watercolor Pouring and Masking Portrait Art Lesson

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Use various watercolor techniques to paint the portrait:

  • Masking Fluid & Rubber Cement (on ALL areas to stay white)
  • Pouring
  • Dripping
  • Splatter
  • Salt
  • Spray (with water)
  • Splatter

 Watercolor Pouring and Masking Portrait Art Lesson

  1. When it is completely dry, remove masking fluid.
  2. Optional: Use a paintbrush to define some areas. Add in some India Ink for interest (ex: eyes)-use this on a limited basis.

 Watercolor Pouring and Masking Portrait Art Lesson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watercolor pouring portrait Watercolor pouring portrait

Student Artwork: (click on picture for full view)

Additional Resources for this lesson:

Cate Parr Artwork- “Magique”

Additional Artwork by Parr on Esty silverridgestudio

Watercolor Stencil Portrait + TUTORIAL

Unknown Artist Self-Portrait (great example)

Jimi Hendrix Time Lapse Project (Melted Crayon Art with Masking)

Additional Watercolor Technique Worksheets

Basic Watercolor Painting Techniques Lesson Plan & Worksheet

Ultimate Watercolor Painting Techniques PACKET (includes Basic, Advanced & Experimental Watercolor Techniques)

If you choose to use or share any of this post, please link back to my blog Create Art with ME!

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