Skip navigation

littlebear2

This is Little Bear. She was a best friend to my sister’s family for years and years. I remember the first time I ever saw her. She was hanging upside down on a gutter outside the family room window and had grabbed a small wooden birdhouse, hanging there, between her front paws. She was peering into the hole in it. I laughed so hard.

I painted her once before here.

We just completed our fall beginning drawing class.

We began with blind continuous line drawing.

Audrey Schultheis

Audrey Schultheis

We progressed to continuous and broken line drawing…

Joel Harmeyer

Joel Harmeyer

…with an emphasis on cross contour and form:

Andrea Harneyer2

Andrea Harneyer2

We studied and drew objects that had negative space that helped define their shape.

Betty Bercot3

Betty Bercot3

Andrea Harmeyer5

Andrea Harmeyer5

We studied perspective and drew interiors.

Audrey Schultheis4

Audrey Schultheis4

We studied value from still life…

Betty Bercot6

Betty Bercot6

…and photos:

Dawn Amstutz 4

Dawn Amstutz 4

We practiced all our skills the last night of class using an Elegant Writer” calligraphy pen to create a line a wash drawing.

Dawn Amstutz6

Dawn Amstutz6

Joel Harmeyer5

Joel Harmeyer5

If you would like to view more examples of their work click here.

Thank you to all the students who agreed to share their work here!

Every fall we begin our watercolor classes with a portrait class.

Ruth Karau

Ruth Karau

Dianna Burt3

Dianna Burt3

We painted people portraiture.

Beth Akey5

Beth Akey5

Cindy Guzik

Cindy Guzik

We painted animal portraits.

Marilyn Bultemeier

Marilyn Bultemeier

Janet Heffley

Janet Heffley

We grunged backgrounds and painted portraits right on that grunged paper.

Discussions included facial features, skin tones and color theory, composition as it relates to portraiture, and two ways to approach a portrait in watercolor.

If you would like to see all the examples of portraits painted by these artists click here or scroll to the top of the blog and click on the page labeled Student Art: Watercolor Portrait 2016.

Thank you to all my students who share their work here!

teddy

 

leslie2016

I don’t know why I like working on a background that has marks on it already. The above two paintings were drawn and created on watercolor paper that I had “grunged” with coffee, ink, and applied gesso to in advance. Here is a post that describes the process.

It is not just the challenge of working on a surface that has been disturbed that I find interesting. It is examining the marks and finding a subject that they work with or discovering new ways of working with or around abstract marks. It is seeing that all these marks can increase the feeling of depth in some paintings.

The top painting is Teddy, my dog. The bottom one is a self portrait.

islandponies

twoturtles

Sorry for my long absence. I will slowly be getting back to visiting all of you and hope to post more frequently.

The above two paintings were done by using the gouache resist technique that I have outlined for anyone to try by clicking here. I have always enjoyed this process, even though it is lengthy. I like the rustic block print-like look to them. Some of them, I have liked in the black and white stage and choose to not color them in with watercolor.

carouselinkandwc

Another painting I worked on was one that I combined waterproof black ink and watercolor to create. I initially splattered the surface of the watercolor paper with white acrylic gesso and waterproof black ink ( I use india ink). I then drew out my composition and used two separate techniques to lay in the inking. I drew and scraped in the mane on the foreground black and blue horse with a razor blade. I also drew some of the fine lines on the background horses with the tip of the razor blade. The larger black inked lines were drawn with an eye dropper and spritzed with a fine mist from a spray bottle.

tedandme

The last painting I completed was a self portrait of me with my new rescue dog. This is painted with watercolor, first. Then I added numerous paper collage. The dog is mostly rice paper and watercolor.  The dark creases in my sweater and the bit of blouse under my chin are citrasolv collage papers.

Again, I apologize for my long absence and will be around to play catch up and see what you all have been working on.

 

We just finished up our last watercolor class of this school year. I always save this class to finish out the school year. Each week, we use a different technique in our paintings. Sometimes we change the support we work on. Sometimes we add another medium to watercolor.

The first week we worked on a toned masa paper support.

Nancy Longmate5

Nancy Longmate5

Masa paper is a type of rice paper that you can crinkle, wet, tone and allow to dry before gluing it to the surface of your watercolor paper. Once that dries, you can paint on that as your support. The student who created the above took the process a step farther and collaged other papers onto the surface of her watercolor painting. If you would like to try this technique, I have explained the process here.

The second week we worked on a gesso juice prepared surface.

Henn Laidroo2

Henn Laidroo2

We made a mixture of acrylic matte medium, gesso and water and brushed it onto the surface of our watercolor paper. Before that dried, we scratched into the surface with a credit card. Some of us added rice papers and/or craft sand to the wet surface. Once that dried, we used that as our support to paint on. If you would like to try this technique, I have explained the process here.

The third week we worked with ink and watercolor.

Judy Notestine3

Judy Notestine3

This offered the most possibilities. We could choose to paint with ink and use varying values, splatter, draw with it with an eye dropper, a razor blade, or nib or spritz our applications of ink with a mister (spray bottle with water). The above ink and watercolor was also created on a grunged background. Here are some ink tutorials:

drawing with ink and razor blade

drawing with an eyedropper and spritzing

drawing with a nib and spritzing

using an elegant writer and watercolor

The fourth week we worked on a gouache resist.

Linda Flatley

Linda Flatley

In this technique, we used gouache to coat any area of our painting that would require color later. Once that dried, we coated a layer of waterproof ink over the top and allowed it to dry. Next, we rinsed the entire painting with water (hose is best) to remove the ink from the gouached areas. This leaves a block print-like image. We then paint the white areas once the surface has dried. If you would like to try this, I have explained the process here.

The last thing that everyone tried was a self portrait combining watercolor and collage. They could work on any surface they wanted to and could collage with any papers they wanted to.

Laura Lindsay

Laura Lindsay

Kathy Smierciak4

Kathy Smierciak4

We use a glue made with acrylic matte medium and water. There are many posts within my blog that discuss citrasolv collage and rice paper collage. Just insert either in the search block below and you will find explanations of these in the event you are interested in trying these techniques.

All the student’s works for this class can be found by clicking here.

Thank you to all the artists who have shared their work here. Have a great summer break!

oldtrees

The second technique we worked on in Watercolor Plus class was painting on Masa Paper. This is one of my favorite surfaces to work on. I have a tendency to be very edgy and the toned paper seems to help break that up a bit. If you would like to try this technique, I have a tutorial here.  …or type masa into search box below and view many more examples of this type of painting.

housefinches

The above painting was created on a gessoed surface. I mixed some water, acrylic matte medium and acrylic white gesso together to make the juice. I roughly follow a formula that Kathleen Conover outlined in an article in Watercolor Artist magazine. However, I have found that I may ad a bit more gesso than she outlines. I probably use a bit more gesso to make the mixture thicker. I pour a dollop of the mixture onto the watercolor paper (140lb Coldpress Arches) and spread it with a credit card, swirling it and making slashes in the mixture so as to texture the surface. I have even added torn pieces of rice paper and sometimes sprinkle craft sand into the wet mixture. All of these things make for a nice textured surface to paint on. I allow the surface to dry and then draw and paint on it. In order for the pigment to respond well on the slicker surface, I use a bit less water. In some areas, where the gesso is thinner, the pigment sinks in. In other areas, it slides off the ridges created by the credit card. Where the gesso is the slickest, you can lift and change the washes and the whole creation begins to take on a life of it’s own. Because so much of the painting is created on top of this harder surface, I have to allow them to dry and then spray the entire painting with a good matte fixative.

If you would like to try painting on a surface like this, I have a step by step tutorial here.

greatbluewhale

The above painting began as an abstract. I applied alternating color washes and torn pieces of rice papers, allowing each layer to dry. After each layer dried, I rotated my board and looked for something realistic in the patterns that were created by the washes and papers. When I located the whale, I began layering and painting to bring that imagery forward. It is one of my favorite ways to work. Here is the one I did last year.

bateleureagle2

The above painting began with a detailed drawing of the Bateleur Eagle but took several layers of watercolor and rice papers to bring the image to completion. The head feathers, face and yellow beak are watercolor. The wing and back feathers are torn pieces of rice paper with watercolor painted into them. I thank wet canvas for the reference image for this collage painting.

beachwalk

I love painting “Little People” !

Beginning Watercolor class ended this week, too.

Jane Coffee

Jane Coffee

The first week included an explanation of supplies and how they were to be used. We practiced wet-in -wet, wet on dry and drybrush applications. We talked about how to create darks and that a solid color is always more beautiful if more than one color is allowed to mix on the paper rather than the palette. We discussed allowing the water to do the work and become our partner.

Megan Mills2

Megan Mills2

The second class was devoted to learning the color wheel and the basic color combinations. I taught them how to crop and then grid a photo reference and their watercolor format for the difficult perspective paintings.

Marilyn Bultemeyer4

Marilyn Bultemeyer4

The third week we talked about different ways to render trees. I introduced and demonstrated the use of liquid friskit, salt, saran wrap, scumbling, Pointillism, sponging and using a rigger for tiny branches.

"Kat" Franke4

“Kat” Franke4

Dawn Amstutz

Dawn Amstutz

The fourth week we talked about buildings, their perspective, how they are put together with shapes and to look for their cast shadows and how the foliage may fit around them.

Betty Bercot5

Betty Bercot5

The fifth week was devoted to learning to paint “little” people to insert into our landscape paintings.

On the last night of class, I introduced the “Elegant Writer” Calligraphy pen and how it could be used with watercolor.

If you would like to view other examples of their work click here or scroll to the top of the page and click on the Student Art: Beginning Watercolor spring 2016 page.

Thank you to all the students who participated and shared their artwork here.