The above painting required some planning. I had a photographic reference sent to me from my daughter of this cat laying on his back, his favorite pose. I tried to lay it out and come up with some way to paint him that might be interesting, other than just him in paint. I finally decided on using another reference photo where there were a large assortment of overlapping grasses and combined the two. I also decided to use a sheet of masa paper to enhance the texture and maybe create more interest. I have a tutorial on how to prepare and use masa paper with watercolor here.
The above is my take on a lunar landscape.
The above painting is a gouache resist. I was attempting to create a composition using shapes. I describe how to create a gouache resist here.
The artwork, above, are three of the paintings created by students who just finished a class on working with painting on masa paper and using rice paper collage with watercolor.
If you would like to view many more of these paintings you can click here or scroll to the top of the page and click on Student Art: Masa and Rice Papers and Watercolor in order to access the page.
I had so much fun working with this scene on masa paper. My sister has been generous enough to share photos of her journeys along the east coastline of Lake Michigan. She is a “lake girl”. I fell in love with the colors of this scene and the chair waiting for someone to come and sit in it. Thank you, Sis!
This lion was painted on masa paper, a rice paper that can be crinkled, soaked in water, toned, dried and glued to the surface of watercolor paper in order to provide a watercolor artist a different surface to paint on. The textural possibilities are varied and, oftentimes, very interesting. They, generally, take me longer to paint, but the extra time spent is well worth it. I have several tutorials. The first one is located here. The update is located here.
If you would like to view a selection of the paintings I have completed on masa, just click the tag, masa paper, under the title of this post.
The above three paintings were created in the Exploring watercolor class, this spring. They worked on the basic skills and techniques from learning the different brushstrokes, some basic techniques (wax resist, salt, sponging) and basic color theory. They created paintings of foliage and trees, little people, buildings, and a scene that was backlit.
Leslie Vrchota3 Masa Paper
Sue Mendenhall3 Abstract Rice Paper Collage
Jan Reche3 Realism Rice Paper Collage
These last three paintings were created in the Watercolor Masa and Rice Paper Collage. We spent the first two weeks learning how to tone, affix and paint on masa paper. The last four weeks were spent on learning how to use rice paper collage in our watercolor paintings. I think it is one of the most difficult techniques to learn and everyone did great. They began by creating abstract rice paper and watercolor collages and gradually moved through them into incorporating collage into realistic images.
More student paintings from these classes may be viewed by clicking here or clicking on Student Art: Spring Classes in the pages bar at the top of the blog.
Thank you to all my students for sharing your work here.
The above paintings were both from reference photos that my daughter brought to me years ago. They are both from a zoo outing in Florida.
I was totally drawn to the shapes and the value contrasts in both of them. The top one, rocks and water, had a fascinating abstract quality to it. The second one was interesting because of the shapes of the birds; one leading into the next.
Masa paper continues to be one of my favorite surfaces.
This week I returned to painting on masa paper. I found a wonderful reference photo of this old tree on wet canvas and it drew me in to want to try it.
Those of you, who have followed my posts, know that this is my favorite watercolor surface. I have a beginning tutorial here if you are interested in trying this yourself. I have posted multiple masa paper posts and you can view them by clicking the tag called masa paper under the title of this post. I paint and lift and paint and lift on this surface. I work until I like what appears. There is waiting time in between because the pigment soaks through the toned masa paper to the coldpress watercolor paper I have adhered it to.
I welcome any questions you may have in the comment section below and will answer them as best I can.
There was no other reason for trying this image than to see if I could paint these detailed shapes and capture their reflections. This was painted using a reference photo from “Artist’s Photo References Buildings and Barns” by Gary Greene.
The most difficult part of this entire piece was trying to decide what to include and what not to.
The above painting was painted from a reference photo book for artists. These old railway bridges dot our landscape in the midwest. Many of them are not in use any longer and are chained off and have signs warning people not to walk on them. There are others that are still kept up and used daily. I remember a time that I could lay in bed at night and hear train whistles in the distance. Once in awhile, in the wintertime, I can still hear that occasional train to the east of me. It is quite distant. It requires that winter “hush”, when snow covers the ground, in order for the sound to be carried here. It always takes me back. This also reminded me of that movie “Stand By Me”.
A thank you to wetcanvas.com for the reference sharing they do. I used two photo references for the above painting.
Took me some time; this one did. I was bound and determined to get this barn down the way I saw it. The barn and the cows are from two different photos. I thought the barn , by itself, might look too plain or flat or static, somehow.
This is another painting on masa paper (tutorial here). Carol King has completed her first two paintings on masa paper here and here and doing a fantastic job with it!