Mastering Watercolor's Middle Values
Euclid Art Association
Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday - October 21, 22, 23, 2016
We thank David Rankin
for a fantastic weekend workshop. One of our out-of-town
guests, who is now an EAA member, said “David's workshop was one
of the best I've taken”. In his Friday evening video and
lecture presentation, David asked us “How did these artists create
such great paintings?”....without the use of fancy cameras and
iPhones and Photoshop. These artists had to rely on what
they saw with their eyes....they developed an excellent set of
observation and evaluations skills. David tested our
observation skills by showing and discussing the artwork of John
Singer Sargent, Albert Bierstadt, Hiroshi Uchida, Alvaro Castagnet,
Ted Kautzky (his mentor), and many more. David’s
storytelling kept us interested and wanting to hear more.
First, we learned to recognize how these artists created an
amazing illusion of spatial depth in their paintings by
identifying where they placed the darkest darks. We
learned to identify the ‘lightest, brightest, whitest’ part
of the painting....everything else is middle value.
David cautioned that our artwork could look flat if using
photographic references. In photographs, all the darks are
compressed to the same value!
On Saturday and Sunday, we learned how to make small gray
studies....to try out what we learned....to try out new ideas
quickly. Using payne’s gray and Bristol card stock paper, we
created small masterpieces in 3 to 4 layers.....in 20 minutes.
Then, practice, practice, practice! These pictures tell the
story of the weekend event.
Talking to the class about values and gray studies - how to
determine the correct values to use
David discusses using middle values and demonstrates how to create a
Class participants practice the techniques.
Samples of the various images practiced in class - a variety of
as always there was a fine selection of refreshments at the side to
for the strenuous work of creating these masterpieces!