About Steve Fleming
I am an artist who works in watercolor and acrylic, and I teach both for The Art League in Alexandria, Virginia, as well as workshops across the country and abroad. My goal as an artist is to be creative; my goal as a teacher is to help my students learn to interpret the world around them, not to promote the belief the goal of art is the perfect rendering of a subject. One of my core messages: art is a creative process and is not just the sum total of the work we sell. In this era of digital cameras, I caution artists to look — really look both inside and outside — for the subject matter that lights our artistic fires. Otherwise, our work will be lacking everything but technique.
Lesson on Painting Rocks with Watercolor – “Storm at Pemaquid”
(Click images below for larger views)
This lesson is really just an attempt at creating a dark ominous sky and an exercise in learning a little more about painting rocks. Remember to draw your rocks big angular and hard that is what they are. Give them prominence but low enough in the sky that they will allow the sky to breathe. I am using a very dark value scheme and lots of rich dark blues, browns and yellows. Have a really good time with this a pay attention to the painting you must scrape the rocks just when the glisten has left the surface not after they left the paper and the whole thing dried. Big Brush, Bold Colors, and Brash Marks.
15 x 22 arches paper
Big brush with rich pigments Ultramarine, and Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Scarlet and Burnt Sienna. Just paint to the top of the rocks. Really try to have a nice value range in the sky.
Load up the bottom with rich sienna pigments darkened with Burnt Sienna and Olive Green paint all of the rocks and don’t forget to pay attention to the surface waiting just the moment when the glisten leaves the paper.
Scrape the rocks, drag a rigger over the surfaces to get some fissures, and darken the water and brush in some movement on the water just above the rocks. You are not only creating water movement but also emphasizing the edges of the rocks, pushing them forward.