- Lesson details
In this lesson, instructor Sheldon Borenstein continues his perspective series by showing you how to apply the fundamentals of perspective to a gouache watercolor demonstration of a castle. Sheldon will show you a direct and loose approach to applying principles of perspective, color, composition, and technique. We recommend you first watch Sheldon’s perspective lessons before viewing this demo.
- Strathmore 500 Series Charcoal Paper – Storm Grey
- Sennelier Aqua Mini French Watercolor Set
- Paper Towel
- Coinesseur Protégé Travel Paint Brush – #7 Round
Discuss this video in the forums!Discuss
part of being an artist. We study so much, and then it’s time to apply. I want you
to go back and look at all the perspective videos that we did. You know, the common man’s
perspective. Go back and watch it. What we’re going to do now is I’m going to do a painting
of a castle with no pencil first. Going right to the shapes with gouache. Gouache is opaque
watercolor. It’s just watercolor that has an opaque binder in it.
So you really need to think about the perspective, have it in your mind, and then just put those
shapes down. Always keep in mind your perspective. It’s a really wonderful way to test your
knowledge of the perspective, and I love doing it. So I hope you enjoy it as much as I’m
going to enjoy doing it for you. We’re going to do a castle, okay?
Let me know what you think. Here we go.
because like anything, it’s like, okay, this is how you learn it. This is how you
use it. It’s a real interesting concept. There is always the academic part, and then
there is the practical side. You know, how are you going to use it. So what I’m going
to do is this painting from the happiest place on earth. I’m just going to use parts. I’m
not going to go crazy on it. The technique I’m going to use—this is Strathmore gray
paper. This is a set that I got at The Getty.
It’s real interesting. It’s like in this little tiny box
that looks like it’s a mint box.
But it’s made by this brand, Sennelier.
It’s the Aqua Mini. This is a good brand of pastels. I’ve never had them with paint
before. It’s a really good brand. I bought it just for fun, and you know what? It’s
really good paint. It’s more what you’d call like a
gouache, and a gouache is an opaque watercolor.
This is a brush pen, and it’s just water. It’s just water. I’m going to use that
to soften edges. Then you need some paper towel, okay, so this is paper towel from wherever
you can steal it from, so we have that. I’m just going to put it over in front over here.
And then this right here is what you college students never want to have in your hand on
Facebook. This is a red cup. Don’t ever have a red cup in your hands when you’re
in any photos online. Your future employers are going to look at that, and they're
going to think that you’re doing other things than just drinking Coca-Cola.
But in here is pure water.
Alright, so let’s see. Let’s start. It has kind of a goldish top. I’m going to
use a little yellow. It’s called dirty brush painting. Get it a little green, so see how
this works. I want to establish my drawing. Light is coming this way, from top down. You
see how long those shadows are underneath. They’re really long shadows. This is probably
around 11 in the morning. Yeah, it’s about 11 in the morning. They’re not totally coming
from the top, probably 10:30, 11 in the morning.
And again we’re just using our knowledge of perspective.
I’m just going to go with the shape.
When you paint right on top of this paper, this canvas, you can either use
Canson or this really pretty Strathmore. It doesn’t take watercolor well.
You need to use a really nice watercolor paper.
I’m just putting down the shapes.
These are moving around.
There you go. Now here we’re going to be using mostly white.
Hmm. This weird shape.
In here there is less paint in the brush—I mean there is less water and more paint.
I come back in there later. But I want to find these corners.
We have a corner here.
So what this is going to require you to do—I’m adding some blue.
Remember, the light is coming here so I want to go on the dark side.
The dark side can be the cool side.
Painting is mostly temperature.
You could have fun with your color as long as you have your temperature right.
Accents. So this is going direct, which
means that you’re going to have to do a lot of perspective drawing.
Just do a ton every day.
Light is coming here. This is going to be the shadow side.
This will be your three-point perspective, so it’s going to narrower as it goes up.
It’s pretty far away though so probably not three-point.
Let’s call it two-point because we’re so far back.
I’m using the gray paper also as a color.
It’s weird. They call this watercolor, but it really feels like gouache.
Let’s go put the shadow side up top. I’m going to take this brown and add some blue to it
so we get kind of a grayish brown which will be like a gold color. We’ll come in here.
And you do get lost in your work when you paint. People always think I talk
a lot. I actually talk very little. I can go for days without talking because I’m
working. I’m alone in my studio. But when you teach you want to keep your class awake,
you talk. Most artists are pretty reclusive.
Okay, so now we’re going to come this way.
Everything is going to go down. Start hitting those lines coming down this way.
Again, it’s a really bizarre shape. It’s almost flat in its perspective, so you can
push it a little bit if you want.
Okay, see that? It’s just coming right out of the paper.
Light is going to hit this side.
Okay, then we’re going to go, that comes there.
Now we have, I think a little balcony up there. That’s where Tink, Miss Belle flies out of.
I’m going to put a little warmer in the shadows here.
Okay, so we have that balcony, and we’re going to go white underneath.
Again, you’re constantly thinking that two-point perspective, this way and that way.
So do your research. Do your due diligence.
Spend your time. Be very careful.
Really learn your fundamentals and have a blast.
What I’m seeing these days in some students, not the ones I mentor,
of course. They don’t want to put in the work, and they put in work that they consider
to be fun, but they want the results. How can that be?
How could you not put in work and get results?
The perspective part of the video, the fundamental part of these, you want to put in a lot of time.
This is shadow underneath.
Notice how I’m working the entire painting, not
just working my way down, but then coming back up and revisiting.
Maybe this blue would work up here too.
I’m thinking of the planes, where the light is hitting. Those are called
planes. So it’s hitting right there.
Top, top, top, top. See?
Hitting the top of those planes.
Let’s gray down our white a little bit. Again, it’s called dirty brush painting,
dirty palette painting. I like to keep the palette really dirty. It kind of keeps the
colors together. There we go. Warm that up.
So who would know that this little paint set,
which again, I bought just so that I could have something with my student, you know,
Ashley, that was special for us. I’ll do that. If there is something that a student
finds special, a special book that we'll both buy, anything that makes it very special
with that kid. Of course, Ashley is so special.
But this is our little set that only she and I have.
It’s a darn good set. I thought it was going to be garbage because I’m kind
of a painting snob. I like really good supplies, and dang, this is a great set.
See how this works? It’s bringing the eye down. Again, you want to keep it in the family,
keep it moving. Conversation.
Remember, you can use the paper as your local value.
Alright, so we’ve got that. Now I’m going to go dark for these little lines coming here.
That didn’t work. Let’s go darker.
I want to hit this dark side. Really pull the eye around. Feel the shadow. I’m
also fighting the most glare. Right now I’m actually on my knees, laying on my back, standing
on my head trying to get rid of the glare. I’m only kidding.
But I am moving around a lot.
The warm of the brown will actually pull it forward.
Warms come toward us; cools go back. There are all kinds of fun “isms” as I call them.
The darks in the light are the lights in your dark, you know, stuff like that.
Okay, that’s just the top. We’ll put some blue ones. You can sneak up on it.
Now, when I’m painting, that’s another part of perspective. It’s called atmospheric perspective.
Between you and what your painting is atmosphere, so it grays it back. And I like to think of
of it as a cheerleader. The cheerleader is saying “push it back, push it back, way back.
Push it back, push it back; way, way back.” And the way that cheerleaders push back is they
give you a lot of compliments. And these compliments that they give you can really just gray you
back. You know, it’s like, “Oh my God, where did your haircut? I want to get my haircut
like that. I love your nails. Those are just so beautiful. I love your clothes. I love
your shoes. Where did you get your socks.” Eventually you just, really? And it grays
you back. So compliments will eventually gray you back. So I add a complement to gray back
the color, so that’s something you want to think about when you’re painting is the
cheerleader. The cheerleader will gray you back.
Sorry cheerleaders, it was a joke. There we go.
So now here is the shape here.
We’ll put another one—uneven. So you see this distance here.
The other one is actually pretty even. I’m not going to do that.
I’m going to go a little higher and closer. Uneven. We’ve got that.
And this one, so I don’t forget, looks different.
It has these guys here. You want to be thinking shapes.
And the eye level is way down here.
I’m looking way up under it. I can see underneath everything.
I’m going to put in a real strong blue,
for a core shadow.
Normally I shake the brush, but with gouache I’ll dab it. I’m dabbing it on a paper towel.
The only difference about what I’m doing here, what I would be doing at home or in a studio is
that I usually have music on. I really do draw and paint to the music. So if I’m doing
an aggressive painting I’ll put on aggressive music. I’ve I’m doing mellow then I’ll
put on mellow music. Other than that, it’s all the same.
That’s why you need to be drawing and painting a lot
so that when you are in a position where let’s say you’re
in a, well, you have to audition. It’s just another day.
You do this all the time. You’re so used to it.
There we go. I’ve been teaching for 30 years, in universities over 25 years,
so I don’t usually get too nervous.
Don’t ever be afraid of making a mistake or screwing up.
That’ll shut you down.
You make a mistake you make a mistake.
Now, we make a mistake, you don’t have a problem. If you’re a surgeon and you screw
up, what are you going to do? Say, I messed up, alright? Get off my back. You know, you
got other family members. No, that doesn’t work. You definitely need to be on it. That’s
eye up. So go like that. So come down, bring it back up. Then it will be on the top right
there, and it will be here so it brings the eye up.
Remember, all the time because of the perspective I’m thinking of the lines going down,
so let's do that here.
Light is going to come down, hit this plane right there because it’s
turning, picking up the light.
These lines continue to go down. We’re standing so far
back from this thing, this castle.
Here is our center of interest here, right here too
because it’s red. We’ve got this red door. I wonder who comes out.
Could it be the Tink?
And it just repeats. Again, you have another line going straight and then going down.
The fun part is the gray of the paper keys your painting, so this is a really fun technique
to use if you’re doing presentations and comps.
It’s really fun because it’s already keyed.
Take all the colors we have. Blend them together. You can put in your clouds. Light is going
to hit the top of the clouds. Tie it together.
What I’m using right now is the white to silhouette the building.
Tighten that up.
Okay, there’s a simple perspective drawing done just with paint.
So the medium doesn’t really matter.
And you just repeat this throughout the entire painting. It’s really nothing more than this.
So if I were to continue to work my way down and out,
it’d be all the same, same things.
This way and that way. This way, that way. This way, that way. Okay? Have some
fun with it. Give it a try. Get yourself a gouache set and give it a try. Let us know
how you’re doing. Thanks, you guys.
So that was fun. That was our castle along with pixie dust and falling fairies, but I
hope you enjoyed it. I had a good time with it. It’s kind of cool. You know, as animators
and people we get to draw castles and pixie dust and things like that. So I hope you enjoyed
it. If you can, you know, go back to the perspective lectures and see where you, you know, had
some questions and pitfalls. Let us know how you’re doing. We’ll see you next time
we are in the need of pixie dust. Okay, thank you.