Monday, July 26, 2010

Cowboy Demo Day 4 -- Making Headway!

    Let’s Get Right To It!
    My first wash today is the sample purple mix we started with (Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson).  This first wash just establishes a base tone for the hair and the eyebrow.  I also used this same mixture to punch up the darks of the ear and a small amount just behind the chin. 
     So much of watercolor will be a re-definition of something that we have already painted.  Remember, painting is just a series of corrections, restatements and problem solving, until nothing else is wrong on your paper.  Our job is to mix the right colors and get them in the right place.  That’s all painting is.

     The next wash consists of the same purple mix, but is washed over the entire shadow side.  This wash is the first to cover the eye also.  Mix up a sufficient amount of paint for this wash.  This is no time to scrimp on paint.  I used a #8 and #10 round to paint this wash.  Again I feathered the wash on the jaw line so the form would appear to turn into the light.  Don’t be afraid of such a big wash on the face.  Look at the photo, match the color and go for it.  If it crashes on you, then re-draw the painting and start over.  Remember, REPETITION IS THE MOTHER OF SKILL.

     Now I want to go a bit darker and warmer on Walter’s hair. I want to get as close as possible with our wash to the color and value of his hair. 
     Did I take the time to introduce you to our subject?  His name is Walter Weir, and he lives in Arizona; a tough cowboy with the heart of a teddy bear.  Just thought you should know whom we are painting.  Tomorrow, you’ll get to really know Walter.  I have a couple of stories that should really change how you view our subject.  I hope you find him as fascinating as I do.
     Now, back to our task at hand.  I made our wash with sepia, mixed to the consistency of coffee.  I also used the same mixture on the eyebrow.  
     Before we wrap it up today, I want to take the purple mix and define the darker areas behind the jaw, the area above the eyebrow, the ridge of the nose, and the small area behind the chin.  I work the areas wet on dry by using my brush in a cross-hatching manner.  Again, we are hampered by the format of limited photos.

     Press on, and I’ll see you tomorrow.   Thanks again for stopping by.

All content and images © Mark Kohler Studio.


  1. Mark, this is a great, just wish I had a larger laptop to view it on. Looking forward to more of your wonderful instruction and hopefully some day able to take your workshop to learn more. Keep up the great work!

    David McMullen

  2. Thanks for the encouragement and I'm glad you're enjoying's been fun for me, and I'm always open to suggestions, so if there is anything you'd like me to talk about, feel free to send it on.

  3. "If it crashes on you, then re-draw the painting and start over. Remember, REPETITION IS THE MOTHER OF SKILL."

    Hey, I'm getting the "if it crashed on you" part down real good:)

  4. Welcome to my world! It happens to all of us, and you WILL solve the problem.