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Tag Archives: flowers

Kari Zeplin6

Diane Winningham

Joe Isca4

Bill Lambert5

The above paintings are from our Exploring Watercolor class. These artists learn the basics about watercolor. They learn how to create colorful darks and value differences. They learn how to recognize differences in value and that it is always better to allow the water to help them create. Basic color combinations are discussed and practiced. They learn to use a sponge, masking fluid,  a magic eraser, salt, make a rubber band brush for grasses, and how to soften an edge with their brush. They practice skies and water and trees and buildings. They take watercolor magazines home with them, each week, so they can see all the different ways artists use watercolor. This is the class that starts it all. If .ou would like to see all of their incredible work, click here.

Mary Ann Berron3

Kathy Cron4

Masa Paper Painting

Laura Nellum

Ink and Watercolor Painting

Linda Gerbers3

Joyce Racine4

Rachel Peterson3

Gouache Resist

Jennifer Hope

Tammy Enrietto

Watercolor and Collage

The above paintings were completed in a class titled Watercolor Plus. It is probably the most creative as well as the most demanding watercolor class that I teach. I pretty much teach different techniques for the use of other media in watercolor. The artists select the things they want to try. I am so pleased with the results in this class that you must visit their gallery page by clicking here. These artists worked with masa paper, gesso and watercolor, gouache resist and watercolor, many different forms of waterproof black ink and watercolor, elegant writer, citrasolv collage and watercolor and rice paper and watercolor. High praise for the work you all did!!!!

Nancy Longmate

Sue Joseph6

Janet Heffley4

The above paintings were completed in the Advanced Watercolor Class. This class is designed to be a class where artists, who have completed all the other classes, may come and work together on paintings of their own choice. They must complete at least 3 paintings in the 6 week period. I am available as a mentor as well as them helping each other. They have a sharing time at the end of each class session. If you would like to see all of their work this period click here.

Henn Laidroo



The above painting was created for an assignment I gave for my composition class. I asked them to create a flower like they have never seen before and ad a number and word or letters. It was designed to get them ready for our watercolor and collage class that began last week. I designed my flower from Fuschia and added things and decided to go giant with it. I need to do more of this. Those of you who follow my site might remember we had an assignment last year that was to create a tree like you have never seen before. You can view that here.



The last project we worked on in Watercolor Plus class was wax resist with watercolor. Wax in the form of crayon or a white candle has always intrigued me for the textural qualities the watercolor artist can get from it. I often pick up a crayon when I need a bit of sparkling light in a painting somewhere. Here, the crayons I used were made by Crayola. That’s right, just the ones you find on any store shelf. The wax is all in the sunflowers and their leaves and stems. Make sure you push really hard on the crayon or your paint applications may not slide off the wax. I find it best to do all my wax applications prior to painting but think that more wax can be applied in a layering effect. If you want contrast, however, strive for contrasting colors between wax and watercolor applications.

The subject for this painting is just north of me by about 13 miles on my back roads trek to my daughter’s farm. There is a farm on a cross roads that has a gigantic garden and a vegetable stand. In August they have a huge plot of sunflowers blooming right next to the road. It is a site to see!


The above painting was created with the use of regular Crayola crayons and watercolor.


After drawing the subject, I applied crayon where I thought it was needed. The reference photo does not show all the places I applied the white crayon. The white was the most difficult part of this painting because it is not visible against the white of the watercolor paper once it is applied. I was able to tilt the board this way and that, under a light, and see some of it, but had to remember where I had gone with it while I worked it in. For this reason, I worked the whites into the surface in one sitting working from the left side of the page to the right so I could remember where I had applied it. I was able to use colored crayons on the flowers of the vase portion because the base color of the vase was an off white. Crayon applications will be most visible if they are a contrasting value or color to the watercolors you use around them.  The wax of the crayons resist the watery applications of watercolor.  Also, make sure you apply the crayon to the surface with a lot of pressure. Light applications of the wax crayon does not show up as well because it does not lend enough resistance for the watercolor to slide off its surface. The crayon lays on the top bumps of your textured coldpress watercolor paper ( even more so with rough watercolor paper). This effect helps to add texture to your finished painting.



In the next steps, I painted the flowers and vase and few petals laying at the base. All the speckled whites in the petals of the flowers and strands of spiky grass-like stems are where I had applied crayon.


This is the first application of my background. It sort of set the pattern of what I wanted to happen and I waited for it to dry before the final application of color.

orangeflw   finished painting

In this final step, I darkened the background and the shaded side of the vase to pop the flowers forward and accentuate the light.

I use crayon resist in a lot of my watercolor paintings to accentuate little light spots sparkling off the edges of things, especially if I want it to appear textured.

My students created their paintings for this week using wax resist,  tape resist or both for this week’s assignment. It is a handy technique to have when faced with needing to save whites or add texture to a watercolor.

Thank you to Wet Canvas for the photo reference for this piece.

The above painting was painted on soaking wet watercolor paper. I soaked 140 lb coldpressed Arches watercolor paper in a tub of water until it was completely saturated with water (about 5 to 10 minutes). I then lifted it out and flattened it onto a piece of acrylic with a wet sponge smoothing it out from the center to the sides. Make sure there are no air bubbles underneath the paper.  Presence of air bubbles can be seen by a bulge in the surface of the paper. It should lay completely flat to begin. I then begin applying watercolor pigment. It disperses rapidly, at first, so the color is rather weak and light. I usually try to select areas of color. Yellow where I want yellow and red where I want red. I may use several different hues of the same color. They will meet and run together. Once I have the base colors in, I start to shape darker areas in and pay attention to the paper as it dries. The drier it becomes, the more detailed my painting becomes.  If I don’t like what I have created or make a big blooper, I run the image under the tap and begin again. There will be some residue of staining pigment left behind each time I rinse but this may enhance the final painting.  Before the painting dries, completely, remove it from the acrylic. Because the paper is so wet, pigment does seep around to the backside and can adhere it to the surface of the acrylic and cause tearing during removal. I then lay the drying painting on one of my drawing boards to dry completely. There will be some rippling as it dries, but all of mine have gone flat after being stowed in my portfolio. You can view another painting done, using this technique, here.

I would also like to thank my students for allowing me to, once again, share one of their works from the second fall session here.  The second fall session was one of the most rewarding sessions I have ever taught. I thank you all who participated!  🙂

The above painting was inspired by a photo I took last July as the Queen Anne’s Lace began blooming where I painted plein air this summer.  This is a view from standing in the shadows of the large pines to the north of the property and looking over the fence to the north west.  The texture in the foreground shadowed area was created by painting and splattering with frisket in several layers as I painted in the darks.  I am enjoying this project of painting Indiana and am noticing the beauty of my State through new eyes. There is so much to share at one small location. Oh! The queen Anne’s lace was dotted in and splattered using gesso.

The above is the beginning of a painting that I used a mixture of sand and gesso on to add to the texture of a painting.  I mix clean craft sand with white acrylic gesso and apply it to areas of my paper where I want to accentuate the texture. In the above image, you can see the mixture as foliage on the trees, not yet painted. In the lower portion, the lighter yellow, rough-looking areas are other areas of the mixture.  The light grasses along the bottom were painted with plain gesso, allowed to dry, and  painted over with watercolor. The gessoed areas usually appear lighter than the areas that are not gessoed. At this point, I splattered frisket and painted in some extra frisket grass blades along the bottom.

I am always studying Chris Carter’s loose value paintings for anything I can pick up. I noticed in many of hers that she created a path of darks for the eye to follow. I attempted to set the values in this scene’s foreground, here.  I was drawn to the way the darks wove through the wildflowers and other weeds.  I also began painting more grasses and green leaves in the foreground.

At this point, I decided what I wanted to accentuate in the painting. There was a long strip of light in the upper third of the painting that was blocked in by a treeline in the distance. There were also clumps of white wildflowers (not Queen Anne’s Lace)  that twisted their way to that light area. I painted the distant treeline and the leaves on the middle ground trees. This helped to act as a guide to balancing the foreground I had yet to do.

In this step, I added the flowers in the scene. NO LIE! These flowers were really there!  ( A big thank-you to Al for teaching me to be more aware of my surroundings!) Where I had to add light value flowers over dark, I used white goache and added yellow or violet watercolor to it. The clumps of white flowers were dotted in with gesso and a brush. The frisket was removed and I touched up the values to finish the painting.

  finished painting

I have a climbing rose on the north side of my yard that blooms but once a season with large multiple blossoms against my picket fence. This is a plein air of them while sitting on my patio.

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.

I have followed Stephen Quirke’s blog here for about a year, now.  I have been totally inspired to try to learn to watercolor, quickly.  Most of the art I create quickly has been line drawings. Other than those, I usually spend several evenings in order to create something. I knew, in order to stay inspired and come at this slowly, I would have to set a time limit for myself so I chose two hours and the brush gets put down. I know, I know. That is longer than most of Stephen’s work, but it’s a start. I also decided that I would have to limit any drawing to a quick line here or there to divide my paper so I would not get carried away and run off the page.  This is my first attempt. I finished in one hour and forty minutes and decided it was finished as anything else I might add would run over my time limit. 

I will continue to attempt to paint quickly and post them afterwards. I learned this can be as valuable to studying a subject as the continuous line drawings. Thank-you, Stephen, for the inspiration to paint fast!