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Tag Archives: Cartiera Magnani WC Paper


                               Big Red Lighthouse


                                 White River Lighthouse 

A couple of years ago, Richard McNaughton challenged many of his fellow art bloggers to paint lighthouses. My sister was up for this! She has always been drawn to lighthouses and visiting them when she travels. To make a long story short, she made sure I had reference photos of five of them for the challenge. You can see the paintings I did from those references by clicking here.  For a while, now, she has wanted me to paint two more of the lighthouses she has visited.  I finally sat myself down and drew and painted them for her. These are both lighthouses from Michigan that she has visited. She says they call the one on the top “Big Red”.

One thing I had to keep in mind is how I painted the previous five as she would like to hang them together. For these, I used a wonderful coldpress watercolor paper called Cartiera Magnani. I also kept these to the size that I had painted the others and tried to stay true to the colors I had used for the others. I had to use liquid frisket to save small areas of white in each painting, since I worked so small. I really enjoy working on this paper but have not been able to order large sheets of it. Every time I try, I am told it is out of stock. I have two blocks of the small 9 x 12  inch sheets remaining. It is a soft paper with an interesting texture and the water and pigments soak into it immediately. It is great for a rather detailed look and retains the brilliant color of the pigments exceptionally well.


I found the reference for this little guy in the Wet Canvas photo reference library. The original photograph was taken by Cathy Sheeter. Thank you!

  click to enlarge

I began this painting on site. Oh the drawing it required!  On and on. It was hot this day and I completed the drawing and painted shadows, lightly, in manganese blue throughout the woodpile and along the rail fence.  The sun was bright and unrelenting and I hope I have passed that on in this painting.  As I worked my lights and darks and the detail, I struggled with how much the woodpile became a part of the fence, in spots, and the colors of the tree trunks in the background blended  into the pile. It became a puzzle until I realised something very important. The wood on the woodpile is of those trees and the fence is of wood, also. Why would they not blend? Sometimes other gifts of thought are brought to artists as they work on something and this connection is one I began to contemplate. I had used a pencil made of wood, my paper came from wood. Even the paintbrush I had in my hand had a wood handle. The board my paper was taped to was made of wood.  As a result I changed my approach to this painting and concentrated on only the bright light and how it moved in and across the scene. It became OK to let the fence melt into the woodpile and the tree trunks to match and blend with the woodpile.  Perhaps I should have just titled this piece  Ode to Wood.  🙂

Ichabod just posted  about “tree stuff”.  Couldn’t pass up linking this post about wood to it.

  South Haven Michigan

When Richard first set this challenge, I did not have a picture of a lighthouse and e-mailed him that I didn’t live near one.  Wellllllll, when my sister found out about the challenge, she said, “Oh. I have lighthouse pictures from my travels.”  She brought her photo album over and suggested I do a series of small ones.  Thank-you, Kim! I painted on cartiera magnani paper and used the same palette of colors for each painting.  So, that’s the story and that’s what I did. 🙂

  Point Betsie  Frankfort, Michigan

  Camden Harbor,Maine

  Lubec, Maine

Breakwater Light   Rockland,Maine

If you would like to view all lighthouses that artists completed for this challenge, click here and then on each comment as they are most likely artists who have work posted.

I found two other lighthouses in my travels who may not have painted them for the challeng as they did not reference his challenge. They are here and here.

Now I’m off to see all the others! 🙂

I have just added a new student page.You may access this page by clicking on the tab that says Student Page 2 or by clicking here.

These drawings and paintings were compiled from student work completed in the last twelve weeks of  art classes. Thank-you to all my students for contributing and for all the hard work this last session!  🙂 You are all very talented! See you in the fall!

Splattering can enhance the look of a painting that appears a little flat or just too plain. For other examples see here and Beth Parker’s Coconuts. It can sometimes make it look like light, movement or added texture.

A couple weeks ago a fellow blogger offered his readers a spring challenge. He posted a photo of poppies and asked us to join in and paint them in all our various styles. We were then to link to his post and leave a comment signifying that we had participated. Come and join in the fun and see everyone’s interpretations by clicking the artist’s tag names in his comment section. While painting this, I wondered how many other artists were doing the same this past week. I am so excited to see everyone’s versions!

Thank-you Ryan for a wonderfully fun idea!

Meet my room mate, Lucy. You have met the other two already. They are Tucker found here and Payton found here. You might say I live in the dogs’ house most days.

Lucy found her way here by terrorizing her previous room mate by barking too much and convincing her that she needed more space to run and play and just be a dog. I didn’t know, at the time, that  Jack Russell was like no other breedof dog but an entity unto themselves.  I am sure that Lucy came to live with me because I needed to learn patience. She barked, jumped straight up and down like a spring, hid under the lowest couch or chair, chased the vacuum,  and was, literally, the opposite of my nature. However…..everyone who comes to visit LOVES LUCY!

I chose to paint her in one of her favorite positions.  I taught Lucy the regular sit, stay (maybe I taught her this as it never lasts long), and then added “sit up”. This is her favorite pose while I paint, most evenings. Painting is not something she likes me to do. She will sit like this and sometimes even wave her paws at me while she talks, in various tones, to get my attention. Most nights it gets my attention and I begin to talk to her. Her head tilts one way and then the other as she listens. One night I timed her at 22 minutes of this banter back and forth, never once touching the floor with her forelegs.  She has incredible balance. I love her, now. Through all these years she has made a place for herself with me. 🙂

I painted this on 140 lb Cartiera Magnani coldpress paper. Thank-you, Tracey, for adding this paper to your e-bay shop.  It has quickly become my second favorite paper!

I have tried a new paper, once again. I ordered it through my friend, Dissengallery Blog’s  art store located in her blogroll.  The paper is another Cartiera Magnani and is described as “Toscana acquerello”. It is 140 lb. rough paper. I have tried the 140 lb coldpressed here , here and here. Once again, I am impressed with it’s brightness and how the color is magnified.  I like these papers, very much, for quick watercolor sketches where many layers are not applied. The surface is a little harder and the pigment lays more on top allowing for scumbling and shaping the image. I approach these paintings much like I do a drawing only with a brush. I like the wet look it offers when washes meet washes evidenced here by the dark area that the cat is peering into. The foliage was rendered by my applying a flat wash of green and yellow, allowing it to dry and then painting in a camouflage-like pattern using darker green and burnt sienna.  After that pattern dried, I went back in with a wet brush and scumbled those colors around and into one another taking care not to disturb the pattern completely. I painted the cat much like a drawing and toned her, first, with a staining wash of blue and then added the color.  This is not to say that the paper can not be pushed furthur. I have pushed the cold pressed furthur here. I found that I had to plan the colors well as I knew I would pick up the previous layer with subsequent ones.

The pad is small, 9 x 12, and I usually don’t work smaller than 12 x 16, so I will reserve this paper for small compositions and portraits of this nature. It is a nice activity from my larger paintings.

It is important to note that I receive no compensation for sharing my experiences with this paper. It is purely my views and what I experience using the skills I have acquired.


Does anyone know what kind of bird this is? My daughter snapped a picture of him or her at the Lowry Park Zoo this spring.  He is about knee-high to an adult and she begged me to paint him because he followed her around and cocked his head like this to look up at her. He has a feather on the top of his head that bob’s as he walks and he is gray to grayish brown in color. I googled lowry park animal photos and found him on one photographer’s site, but he didn’t have a name next to him; just a photo# and I didn’t pursue it. I really pushed the cartiera magnani paper this time to see what would happen if I scumbled in a background and built up some layers. I lost that glow of transparency I had with the flamingo #15 and the meerkat, but am not at all displeased with how the paper responded to the scumbling and layering.

Thank-you to LittleLynx.  She knew that this bird is a red-legged seriema!

meerkatlowrypk  Lowry Park Zoo

I created this painting from a photo my daughter took at Lowry Park Zoo. As I was creating it, I felt I knew this figure. Years ago I drew a portrait of ET for my son and realised there was a resemblance here. I looked up how ET was created and found that he was designed after a make believe friend that the young Spielberg had following his parents’ divorce. I guess it’s the raised head and the intelligent non aggressive look of this animal.