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.
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.
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.
My watercolor and collage class just ended . This is probably the most time consuming, creative and experimental class I teach.
The above collage paintings were created using watercolor and Citrasolv collage papers that we made from treating National Geographic photos with Citrasolv. If you would like to know how to make these papers, click here.
Next we created abstracts by experimenting with the different textured rice papers we had purchased and layering watercolor and rice papers, one atop the other. We payed attention to elements of design as well as attempting to create a center of interest. The purpose of this assignment was to get used to the use of the papers, pigment and glue.
The next week we began much the same way with layers of pigment and rice papers and searched our compositions for something representational and developed it to portray what we saw. Both of the first exercises were free of any reference material until we saw something begin to appear. If we needed a reference, it was only to be used to help us bring what we saw forward.
For the final week, we created something realistic with watercolor and rice paper collage.
If you would like to view all the watercolor collage paintings created by this class, click here or scroll to the top of the page and click on the page Student Art: Watercolor and Collage.
The above painting was created by using colored collage papers that I made by treating National Geographic photos with a solution called Citrasolv. I have a tutorial on how to create one of these here.
I felt the initial painting of these cows looked a bit washed out and wanted to deepen the darks in the cows and connect them a little better; allow them to stand out.
The original painting can be viewed here.
We just finished our last class of the school year 2014-2015 last night. I save this class until the end each year because it is composed of five different ways to use watercolor with other mediums. It is designed to stretch our creativity and give us other options to use when creating our paintings. It is probably the most challenging of the classes because these take an investment of time that some of the other classes don’t require.
The first week we worked on anything ink and watercolor.
The second week we worked on Gouache Resist.
On the third week we learned how to make gesso juice, apply it to our paper and create texture in it.
The fourth week was devoted to learning how to treat National Geographic photos with CitraSolv to make beautifully colored collage papers and use them to create watercolor and collage paintings.
On the fifth week we worked on creating paintings using wax resist.
On the sixth and last night everyone worked on a technique where they paint into a soaked piece of watercolor paper, developing the painting as it dries. They could even use pastels and work them into the watercolor.
If you would like to view the other paintings created by these students you can click here or scroll to the top of the page and click on the page that says Student Art: Watercolor Plus 2015.
Thank you to all my students who shared their work here! 🙂
I had so much fun creating this image! This bird caught my eye the minute I saw the reference photo on wet canvas. I think it was just listed as a vulture. Thank you to wet canvas for continuing to supply artists with inspiration through your reference library!
When I first drew this bird, I did not include the beard because the background in the reference photo was so dark you could not see it. The other thing I was intrigued by was the full hood and crest of feathers, which were mostly white in the reference photo. Ha! I began a search for this strange bird and found him and his hood and crest were red or reddish brown! Those in the wild “dust bathe” and the red coloration comes from the soil. I found a good description of him here. The reference photo was probably of a bird kept in captivity. Their hood and crest are generally white.
I began this with a line drawing and painted the entire bird and background before I added CitraSolv collage papers to his wings and hood. Click here if you would like to learn how to create these beautiful collage papers and use them in a watercolor painting.
I just read a really creative post on Carol King’s blog here. She used an Elegant Writer pen to design her composition and then painted into it to cause the ink to run. I took the time to watch the video about the technique and wish I could have tried it with this vulture prior to painting and collaging him. I am definitely going to try the Elegant Writer, watercolor and citrasolv as a mixed media this summer on my break. Thank you, Carol, and all of you bloggers who continue to share what you learn! I first learned of citrasolv from Carol’s blog, also.
In my recent composition class, I gave an assignment asking the artists to create a tree like no tree they had ever seen before and include a number and a word or words. There were so many interesting paintings that came from this assignment. You can see some of them on the Student Page here.
The above tree is my rendition. It is a combination of watercolor, ink, rice paper collage and collage. The entire background was created, first, last year. I had wanted to do an abstract painting that resembled bark and had torn pieces of fibered rice paper and glued them to the surface using a two parts acrylic matte medium, one part water glue. I then painted the bark-like forms with browns siennas and olive greens. I pulled this bark-like thing out of my stow-aways (unfinished things) and drew a humongous trunk of a tree and reaching branches on it using waterproof ink, which I spritzed with water, before it dried. It caused the ink to spread and follow various fibers and the edges of the torn rice papers, enhancing the bark-like look and feel. I let that dry overnight. I then painted into the tree trunk with darker tones of siennas and greens and browns and let that dry overnight. I found the word “Major” running across the trunk and darkened the rambling letters with ink. You might make it out if you study it carefully. The letters are wiggly and ghost-like starting with an “M” at the base of the trunk on the left and the tails of the “R” end at the figure’s leg on the right. I added the ghost-like figure, next. May I mention that this became all-consuming as I created and I enjoyed every minute of the time it took to ramble around this tree? There is a huge figure of a woman kneeling, made up of the left side of the trunk and spreading arms of two of the large branches. Her nipples are quite distinct as knotholes on that side. It is as though her head is tossed back and she is rejoicing in the light of day. Enlarge the piece, stand back and look for her. You may see her, too!
I found words in a magazine that I wanted to include in my tree. There are four eyes in this tree and a bird (colored black like a silhouette). Can you find them? I chose blue and gray citra solv papers to cut the leaves from and glued them on. I wanted them to have a shimmering effect. I don’t know that I achieved that, but tried. I so enjoyed working on this and wish every painting I ever created was this much fun. I felt like the imagery was giving back every bit as much as I gave to it as it changed on the surface of the paper. By far, the most enjoyable mixed media I have ever worked on.
Recently, I gave an assignment to my Creative Challenge class that brought up some interesting responses. The assignment was: Paint something “you” think is ugly and make it beautiful. Almost everyone questioned what I meant by ugly. Some responded that they could find beauty in almost anything. Others saw beauty in the ugly before they even began to paint. I thought all these responses were so interesting. One little assignment brought with it such thought! As it turned out, not a one of their paintings was ugly. They all achieved beauty from something they thought was ugly.
This assignment made me think of something I learned from an instructor a long time ago. She said, “We all spend time creating drawings and paintings of things we love. The real learning and improvement takes place when we try something new. We have to rely on “seeing” the form, feeling the edges and become accustomed to something new.” That is what happened with me, with the above painting. I chose the snake as my “ugly”. She almost immediately became beautiful when I studied all the intricate patterns and the shapes of her scales. I decided to give her a bit of a grin. The patterns of dark strips of color was there for me to do that. I learned it was not so much her looks that I thought ugly but how she had to constrict her prey and devour it whole. Just another example of how we categorize things, in our minds, without looking deeper.
If you study this carefully, you can see where I added some citra- solv collage.
I do not know what kind of Python this is. I did some searches and think it may be a Burmese Python by the markings. The Indian Rock Python has shapely patterns, also, but they do not seem to have that golden glow in the center of the pattern. Thank you to Wet Canvas for the reference image for this.
watercolor and ink
citrasolv collage and watercolor
gouache resist,collage and watercolor
The above paintings are examples of what the artists in my Watercolor Plus class created. Watercolor Plus is a nice class to end our yearly sessions with. They created using watercolor and ink, wax, tape and gouache resists, citrasolv collage and watercolor, and gesso juice surface and watercolor and watercolor and pastel. If you would like to see more examples of their creations. you can view them by clicking here.
Thank you to all the artists who take my classes and continue to share your creations on the student art page.
OK, I’m going to send you to a few places if you want to go and explore this citrasolv use in art. I love it! It was first introduced to me by Carol King on her post here. She is the one who gets the blame for why my garage smells like this cleaning agent about three times each year when I go to work making colored papers from National Geographic photos. I explain the process of how to make these papers here. If you really want to know all the neat things that can be done with Citrasolv and view a huge artist gallery of art created from them, you can visit this site provided by the Citrasolv company here.
My students just shared their creations this week. They each used these wonderful papers in their own creations. There will be a few of them shared on in their student gallery I post in a few weeks. Thank you to wet canvas reference library for the reference image for this handsome turtle. It was not named in the photo, but one of my students looked him up and found this. He is a red-slider turtle. I have also done two collages, without paint, here and here. When I use them this way, I call it drawing with paper. I never set aside time to keep one of these going on the side. Maybe I should start doing that this summer. They are time consuming, but so worth it!
watercolor, ink and Citra-solv collage
watercolor on masa paper
watercolor and ink; barn siding drawn with ink and razor blade
The above paintings are just a sneak peak of what I have posted on the “Student Art 2” page found by clicking here. My students just finished a class I title Watercolor Plus. In this class, I introduce several ways that watercolor can be used with other media. This time they painted on a gesso juice surface, learned to prepare and paint on masa paper, created a gouache resist, used ink with watercolor in several different ways, and created a watercolor and Citra-solv collage.
Thank you to all my fellow artists who agree to share their work on this blog. I know they inspire others to try what they have tried by doing so.