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The Beginning Watercolor class also ended this week. I only had three students for this session. That meant we were able to cover quite a bit of material in a six week session.

Gayle Brown2

Gayle Brown2

The first week we learned about the watercolor paper (we use Arches 140lb coldpress right from the start), brushes and practice painting wet on dry, wet in wet, and dry brushing. We practiced washes and compared mixing colors on our palettes and mixing colors on the paper. Their first assignment was to paint a back lit scene.

Gayle Brown

Gayle Brown

The second week we learned how to create trees in different ways. This included using a sponge, pontillism and scumbling. I also introduced liquid frisket and showed different ways it could be used.

Kathy Gordon

Kathy Gordon

On the third week we talked about man-made objects and buildings, perspective and how to grid our paper to assist with drawing our buildings. We talked about how buildings are man-made and composed of geometric shapes. We also talked about how we could look for negative space to put our buildings together. I also taught them how to soften a line by tickling a hard edge while it is still wet.

Rose Clair5

Rose Clair5

On the fourth week we discussed clouds and the different techniques we could use to create them. We also talked about painting water and waves and what we can use to create snow.

Rose Clair

Rose Clair

Kathy Gordon5

Kathy Gordon5

The fifth week was devoted to learning to paint little people.

On the last night of class we worked on an elegant writer painting. They were not able to finish these for me to photograph but all three had a great start!

If you would like to view more of their paintings, please click here or scroll to the top of the page and click on Student Art: beginning Watercolor in the list of pages. You can enlarge any of the above paintings by clicking on them twice.

Thank you to all my students who contributed their art to this page.  🙂

We just finished our 2015 class on Watercolor Landscape.

Ruth Karau4

Ruth Karau4

We discussed elements of composition as they relate to composition. We discussed how so many landscape paintings are devoid of little people or animals making the scene look empty. We all designed our paintings to include little people or animals.

Sue Joseph3

Sue Joseph3

Melissa Scare2

Melissa Scare2

The next week, we discussed value changes in the landscape and how the artist can control that. The whole class crated paintings using the Elegant Writer for this assignment.

Cherie Droege2

Cherie Droege2

We talked about buildings and man-made objects in a landscape and created landscapes with man-made objects or buildings in them.

Henn Laidroo2

Henn Laidroo2

Jan Reche4

Jan Reche4

We spent a session on  big sky, water or snow paintings and techniques for making clouds, waves and snow.

Cindy Guzik

Cindy Guzik

For the last week, everyone painted a landscape that could be on the front of a Christmas card.

If yu would like to view any of the above paintings in a larger form, just click on it twice. All the students’ paintings can be viewed by clicking here or by scrolling to the top of the page and clicking on the Student Art: Watercolor Landscape tab. There are over 70 student paintings in that gallery.

Thank you to all my students for their hard work as well as contributions to making this class experience so enjoyable…and for sharing your work so others can view it.

julypasture

I experimented, here. I liked the sky in the reference for this scene and added the horses.

I see the snow has begun to fall for our Holiday posts and this one is going to look a little funny with the snow coming down. Sorry about that. I know I can turn it off but kind of like that we get this treat once a year.

winterbarn

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had our first snowstorm of the season this past weekend so only fitting that I was working on a snow scene. The above painting was drawn and painted on a grunge background. I then drew the scene with the Speedball Elegant Writer and then painted it.

autumn

I have been raking leaves. I was thankful that we have had some mild and warm days to do this task. I believe the trees in my painting may be old cottonwoods. I liked the bright light.

I added the cows.

I chose to use a piece of watercolor paper that I had previously grunged as I described in this post.

riverscene

I have also been working on this river scene. This is Elegant Writer and watercolor. The pileated woodpecker was added.

I have noticed that many of my landscapes have been so empty. I am experimenting with adding wildlife and little people to them.

Thank you to Wet Canvas for the reference photos for these paintings.

7 yr old

7 yr old

8 yr old

8 yr old

9 yr old

9 yr old

I have been spending the week with my three grandgirls again and it has been chock full of summertime fun. We used the rain day to settle in and draw and paint. The above is what they came up with. They each selected a reference they liked from wet canvas reference library and set to work drawing them and then tracing over their lines with the “Elegant Writer” I have been experimenting with.

Next, they activated the ink lines with a large round watercolor brush filled with water. The next day, they painted in their scenes. All three girls really liked working with this pen and want to do it again. It is great for talking about lights and darks with children. I also think it is a pretty good introductory exercise for teaching watercolor.

I always look forward to seeing what the girls come up with. I do have to help them with seeing angles of lines and widths of things. I talk about shapes and that it is sometimes better to break their subject into shapes and show them that the space between the animals legs or between the bars on the canoes is a shape. I try not to confuse them with too many technical terms all at once, but we did talk about shape, negative space and dark and light this time.

victorians

 

I began this painting several months ago. I guess I was anticipating summer and warm weather. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could render these Victorian beauties in some way. I do not consider myself very good at drawing and painting buildings. One thing I know I do not do enough is insert little people or animals into my landscapes. I get so caught up in the “thinking” part of putting landscapes together that I never include a story; and I like stories so much better! I used two separate reference photos to come up with the neighborhood and another for the “little cowgirl”. I made up the older person at the top of the stairs and modeled the dog’s form after the boxer who lives across the street from me. I can remember a time when those red boots and hat would have been my prize possessions, not to mention a man’s best friend to spend the summer with!

Little People are fun to paint. Here are a couple sketches to ad to the mix:

roofers

streetmusic

 

Rhino

Sydneysriver

 

The above two paintings were created by my Granddaughter and me this past week. I first learned about this technique by reading Carol King’s post about a new technique she had tried after viewing a video by Karlyn Holman.

This was a fascinating procedure and we will try some more of these. They work well for drawings and wash or finished watercolor paintings. I may even teach this in my beginning drawing classes as those students are always eager to learn something new, as well as the watercolor artists. It is a great technique for studying value and ads some interesting effects to the paper.

We began with an ink drawing, using the “Elegant Writer” calligraphy pen by Speedball. I purchased the finest point I could find. It said it had a 2.0 F tip. We both drew the compositions in light graphite, first, and then traced the lines with the pen.

Rhino2

Sydneysriver2

 

In the next step, we took a large round watercolor brush (wet) and worked it up next to the inked lines where we wanted to add shadow or a darker value. The ink begins to run and the artist begins to see green and pink tints show up, along with the gray. Once the ink has been wet and dries, it can not be activated again. Understandably, we did not need to touch all the lines because some areas must remain white. Karlyn suggested we spray a fine mist over the entire drawing to set the lines we had not activated. Otherwise, we might activate them when we add color via the watercolor pigments we planned to finish our paintings with. I got a bit carried away with my mister and will need to correct that the next painting I attempt using this technique. Mine ran more than I wanted; BUT!! it did set the line and I had no more running after this. Below is what we came up with after activating the lines, shading our drawings, and setting the remaining lines to preserve the whites:

Rhino3

 

Sydneysriver3

The rosey or pink color can be enhanced or brought out more by blotting the wet runs of ink with a tissue. The scribbled leaves were wet by flinging water with our brush on the inked scribbles. This prevents the leaves from becoming watery blobs and preserves the textured marks we made with the pen. Karlyn demonstrates all of this in her video.

We allowed that stage of our paintings to dry and then painted our scenes with watercolor.

Rhino

Sydneysriver

My nine year old Granddaughter has been painting since she was a toddler. That helps when we work together on projects like this, but she was so intrigued with this technique and wants some of these pens for home. She remained interested in the process throughout. Just saying! If you have young artists at home, this is fun!

Another blogger who is working with this pen right now is Ruth’s Artwork. Click here to see her most recent painting with this technique.

churubuscosunflowers

 

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!

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.

Kathleen Smierciak2

Kathleen Smierciak2

The first week we worked on anything ink and watercolor.

Linda Flatley2

Linda Flatley2

Jan Reche2

Jan Reche2

The second week we worked on Gouache Resist.

Mary Smierciak

Mary Smierciak

Sue Joseph4

Sue Joseph4

On the third week we learned how to make gesso juice, apply it to our paper and create texture in it.

Melissa Scare

Melissa Scare

Roxanne Yoquelet

Roxanne Yoquelet

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.

Nancy Longmate5

Nancy Longmate5

Ruth Karau3

Ruth Karau3

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! 🙂