Hi All,I was wondering if anyone can help me?I've recently started doing watercolour animal portraits (just my own pets) but im really having trouble with the shiny areas.... the only successful ones I've done are my tabby cat where there was no shine on the fur and my golden retriever, again limited shine. I am unable to paint my black lab as there is a lot of shine to her coat on photographs and I have the same situation with my bay horse.. When I leave lighter areas and build darker colours around them its just looks like blocks of dark and light I just can't seems to blend them, can anyone offer me any advise with this? Any help really appreciated.
What you could try is, paint 4 - 6 squares on a piece of watercolour paper in your dark colour leaving a large enough white highlight mark in the dark and then try putting different washes over the white area on the different blocks of dryed dark - watered down - blue, and whatever other colours you want. You'll be able to see if any on these colours give you the highlight you want. You could also paint one of your patches completely dark and when dry apply a streak of water and begin blotting or 'scrubbing' the colour out. Exercize caution when you scrub so that you don't damage the paper. An exercise you could try until someone can give you another suggestion. You can use a hair dryer to dry your blocks of dark to speed up the process.
Not being sure how far along you are in your painting experience, I'll mention something you may already be aware of and that is a kind of rubberized product that you can paint on with a soaped up brush the areas you want to highlight (soap will protect your brush allowing you to wash this product out more easily). When you have finished your darks painting right over the protected areas, doing what ever washes you are using to get your effect and the paint is completely dry, you take a soft eraser or your finger over the protected areas to remove the product you have applied. You now have the white paper to glaze as you wish. My mind is a blank right now as to the name of the product, but Windsor Newton makes one.
Thanks ever so much for your reply.
Its funny you should suggest the washes over the top of the white areas as I just returned to the dreaded horse picture and washed the hole thing in a reddy brown (its a bay horse and it does already appear more blended, I think I was approaching it in the wrong way and I was ending up with what looked like a slab of meat with different shades of red and brown and white. Think I was expecting too much too soon and didn't realise how many layers were necessary.
The next time I do it I will have to leave total white on the shine lines and a pale wash surrounding them I think then build the darker lines and keep washing over it.
I had tried the scrubbing of to make a highlight which does look good but I don't seem to have the control to make the edges so again there too much of a contrast.
I know the product you are talking about, its masking fluid, I actually use it for whiskers :)