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Tag Archives: still life

We just completed our fall beginning drawing class.

We began with blind continuous line drawing.

Audrey Schultheis

Audrey Schultheis

We progressed to continuous and broken line drawing…

Joel Harmeyer

Joel Harmeyer

…with an emphasis on cross contour and form:

Andrea Harneyer2

Andrea Harneyer2

We studied and drew objects that had negative space that helped define their shape.

Betty Bercot3

Betty Bercot3

Andrea Harmeyer5

Andrea Harmeyer5

We studied perspective and drew interiors.

Audrey Schultheis4

Audrey Schultheis4

We studied value from still life…

Betty Bercot6

Betty Bercot6

…and photos:

Dawn Amstutz 4

Dawn Amstutz 4

We practiced all our skills the last night of class using an Elegant Writer” calligraphy pen to create a line a wash drawing.

Dawn Amstutz6

Dawn Amstutz6

Joel Harmeyer5

Joel Harmeyer5

If you would like to view more examples of their work click here.

Thank you to all the students who agreed to share their work here!

We just finished up our last watercolor class of this school year. I always save this class to finish out the school year. Each week, we use a different technique in our paintings. Sometimes we change the support we work on. Sometimes we add another medium to watercolor.

The first week we worked on a toned masa paper support.

Nancy Longmate5

Nancy Longmate5

Masa paper is a type of rice paper that you can crinkle, wet, tone and allow to dry before gluing it to the surface of your watercolor paper. Once that dries, you can paint on that as your support. The student who created the above took the process a step farther and collaged other papers onto the surface of her watercolor painting. If you would like to try this technique, I have explained the process here.

The second week we worked on a gesso juice prepared surface.

Henn Laidroo2

Henn Laidroo2

We made a mixture of acrylic matte medium, gesso and water and brushed it onto the surface of our watercolor paper. Before that dried, we scratched into the surface with a credit card. Some of us added rice papers and/or craft sand to the wet surface. Once that dried, we used that as our support to paint on. If you would like to try this technique, I have explained the process here.

The third week we worked with ink and watercolor.

Judy Notestine3

Judy Notestine3

This offered the most possibilities. We could choose to paint with ink and use varying values, splatter, draw with it with an eye dropper, a razor blade, or nib or spritz our applications of ink with a mister (spray bottle with water). The above ink and watercolor was also created on a grunged background. Here are some ink tutorials:

drawing with ink and razor blade

drawing with an eyedropper and spritzing

drawing with a nib and spritzing

using an elegant writer and watercolor

The fourth week we worked on a gouache resist.

Linda Flatley

Linda Flatley

In this technique, we used gouache to coat any area of our painting that would require color later. Once that dried, we coated a layer of waterproof ink over the top and allowed it to dry. Next, we rinsed the entire painting with water (hose is best) to remove the ink from the gouached areas. This leaves a block print-like image. We then paint the white areas once the surface has dried. If you would like to try this, I have explained the process here.

The last thing that everyone tried was a self portrait combining watercolor and collage. They could work on any surface they wanted to and could collage with any papers they wanted to.

Laura Lindsay

Laura Lindsay

Kathy Smierciak4

Kathy Smierciak4

We use a glue made with acrylic matte medium and water. There are many posts within my blog that discuss citrasolv collage and rice paper collage. Just insert either in the search block below and you will find explanations of these in the event you are interested in trying these techniques.

All the student’s works for this class can be found by clicking here.

Thank you to all the artists who have shared their work here. Have a great summer break!

bottles

I am still working with the elegant writer calligraphy pen. I introduced this pen as a drawing medium, recently, to my last beginning drawing class. I think it is excellent as a drawing tool as well as fun to use with watercolor. Here, I have used it to draw a still life of clear glass items.

Click here for an explanation of how you can use this pen for drawings and watercolors.

 

I was really sad to see this class end. The group worked so well together, learning from each other, asking questions, and eager to learn more. They always had assignments done, and often did two paintings.

Exploring Watercolor is the class we offer that gets the artist started with watercolor.

Here are examples of some of the things we do:

Todd Dunn5

Todd Dunn5

The first night is devoted to introducing the different brushes and their uses, the palette and how to set it up. They learn wet-in-wet, wet on dry and dry brushing applications and we talk about how to make convincing and rich  darks by using mixtures of dark colors rather than rushing to neutral tint or just paynes gray and ending up with a flat dark. The above painting shows darks created with mixtures of colors and has evidence of the three different ways to apply watercolor.

Lorri Medaugh5

Lorri Medaugh5

I also ask them to paint a backlit painting the first week. This gets them working with their darks from the beginning. It has been my experience that artists first bridge to cross is getting that contrast between light and dark. In watercolor, many artists fear getting dark too fast. One of my students chose a back-lit photo of hers that she had taken on vacation of a back-lit koi pond. I really liked the abstract quality of this. Note how her darks are washes of several colors mixing together on the paper.

Linda Flatley4  Analagous

Linda Flatley4 Analagous

Beth Akey 4   Complimentary

Beth Akey 4 Complimentary

Alan Pareis5   Primary

Alan Pareis5 Primary

The next week we learned about color and which ones were opaque and which were more transparent. We discussed color combinations and identified them on the color wheel. They all designed their paintings this week to a chosen color combination.

We also began practicing softening an edge and learned the difference between a hard and soft edge.

Alan Pareis2

Alan Pareis2

Lorri Medaugh4

Lorri Medaugh4

The next week was all about trees and how to paint them. We talked about using a liner or rigger to create the tiny branches. We learned how to use a sponge and frisket, about pointillism and scumbling,  dropping salt and splattering; all to create textural effects in our trees. Every painting these students brought in was fresh and new and they all brought their own take to the scene they created.

Susie Covitt5

Susie Covitt5

Todd Dunn4

Todd Dunn4

During the fourth week we painted studies of clouds, skies and water. What fun when they learned about tissue paper and lifting wet paint and swiping with a sponge or making wax resist clouds and frisketed foam on water. They were able to use their skill of softening an edge in these, also. We talked about how to paint reflections in water and how to save the white of  moon or sun and soften around the edges of the sun.

Susie Covitt2

Susie Covitt2

Linda Flatley2

Linda Flatley2

During the fifth week we practiced painting “little people” described before here and here. They learned simple dimensions of the human form, how to allow the colors to run together and how to ground them into the surface they were standing on by running a shadow off of them.

Beth Akey

Beth Akey

The last night of the class, we touched on buildings and how they are man-made shapes clustered together and that they cast shadows. They provide contrast with the surrounding natural forms.

Thank you to all of you who took this class and were willing to share your work, here, on this blog, for others to see. If you would like to see more of their work click here or scroll to the top of this page and click on Student Art: Exploring Watercolor.

 

Anna Bell4

Anna Bell4

We began this drawing class by learning to “see”, drawing objects, blindly, with what is called blind continuous line. We, then, drew continuous line drawings while looking, paying careful attention to the cross contours in our subject material.

Todd Dunn2

Todd Dunn2

We studied negative space and began to recognize when we could use the shape and space behind an object to help us describe the subject.

Alan Pareis3

Alan Pareis3

The students worked very hard to begin to see perspective and to measure the angles of lines with their pencils. They used a corner of a room as their subject.

Vanessa Fankhauser4

Vanessa Fankhauser4

During the fourth week, they cut photos in strips and practiced laying in three values. They worked from black and white as well as color photos to do this.

Alan Pareis2

Alan Pareis2

They studied the values they saw in a glass, still life study.

Myrna Nelson4

Myrna Nelson4

They learned to grid a photograph and measure and enlarge that photograph by creating a proportionate grid on their drawing paper.

Todd Dunn

Todd Dunn

They studied drawing their self portraits. If you wish to view a larger selection of their drawings you can find them by clicking here or by scrolling to the top of the page and clicking on the small label Student Art: Beginning Drawing.  If you click on each drawing, they will enlarge. Thank you to all the fine artists who took this class!

Roxanne Yoquelet

Roxanne Yoquelet

Roxanne Yoquelet4

Roxanne Yoquelet4

We began our class with an introduction to brushes, pigment and paper. We practiced washes and glazes and were introduced to three ways to apply watercolor (wet in wet, wet on dry and dry brushing).

Laura Lindsay3

Laura Lindsay3

Laura Lindsay

Laura Lindsay

We talked about different color combinations and practiced painting some of them.

Laura Lindsay4

Laura Lindsay4

In the third class it was all about trees and foliage and the different ways (sponge, pointillism, scumbling, salt, frisket) texture could be rendered in watercolor.

Roxanne Yoquelet3

Roxanne Yoquelet3

Laura Lindsay2

Laura Lindsay2

Roxanne Yoquelet2

Roxanne Yoquelet2

Then it was on to “Big Sky” and “Big Water” and how to allow the water on your paper to mingle color. How to splatter and how to let go of the reference material a little and allow the water to help create the painting.

Roxanne Yoquelet5

Roxanne Yoquelet5

Laura Lindsay5

Laura Lindsay5

On the fifth week, we discussed buildings and perspective and that they were composed of a collection of shapes that fit together.  I was knocked off my feet when I saw the two paintings, above! What beautiful work after only five weeks.

littlepeople2

littlepeople3

On the last night of class, we practiced painting “little people” to use in our landscape paintings in the future.

A huge thank you to Roxanne and Laura for giving me permission to share their paintings with others.

pmpknmonochrome monochromatic

I spent some time working with the simple color combinations we talk about and use all the time.  I try to cover these in every beginning class I teach and then keep tossing out reminders in the advanced classes.  Sometimes, our paintings just aren’t what they could be.  We confuse our viewers with too much color or don’t provide enough contrast with our colors. We know we can paint anything! any color we choose! We can create a pink horse, a green person, and change the grass to black and the sky to purple if we want! But we do need to be mindful of our viewer if we want our work to have contrast and read well for a viewer.

I sat down with 6 x 9 inch pieces of 140 lb Arches watercolor paper and practiced painting this pumpkin in the five color combinations I talk about in classes.

The first combination is monochromatic. That means taking one color and rendering your entire painting in that color or variations of that color. I chose paynes grey for this one. There could be many versions of a monochromatic. It all depends on how much of the painting you decide to leave white and how much you make your darkest darks and how much midtone values you include. I will save that exercise for another day.

pmpknanalagous analagous

The above example is an analagous color scheme of orange and yellow. Analagous paintings are those that have colors next to each other on the color wheel and one of the colors is usually dominant. I believe the orange is the dominant in this and could have stretched my color range to include red, but opted for a neutral of burnt umber instead. This one stretched my value skills because I chose to paint more of the pumpkin than in the monochromatic example. I had to use varying amounts of water to get the value transitions in yellow and orange.

pmpkncompliment complimentary

Complimentary colors are those found opposite each other on the color wheel. Mixed together, they can cancel each other out to appear black. Next to each other and they enhance contrast. I used no other colors than one orange and one blue to create the pumpkin above. Had I chosen to paint an apple, I’d choose red and green. Had I chosen to paint a lemon, I’d choose yellow and purple.

pmpknsecondary  secondary triad

This is where it gets fun! I could use three colors!  The secondary triad is composed of the secondary colors orange, green and violet on the color wheel. I liked this one, because it looks the most believable for the subject of a pumpkin. I liked how these three colors produced varying shades for all the shadows in this. I found this painting  more soft and relaxing, in appearance, when compared to the next one I tried.

pmpknprimary primary triad

The last color combination I tried was the primary color triad of red, yellow and blue. Wow! This one became so vibrant because I could use bright yellow and red to create my oranges and even the blue came through as vibrant on this one. I would call this my festive pumpkin. There seems to be more energy in a primary color painting.

Try this one with a simple reference and see what you come up with. These are the only color combinations I teach. It does not mean I stick with only those colors. I add other colors to my paintings. BUT, if I squint at them and there is not a distinct look of one of the above color combinations in them, I go back in develop the painting more until there is.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Thank you to wet canvas for the image of the pumpkin I used for my reference.

orangeflw

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

orangeflw2

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.

orangeflw3

orangeflw4

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.

orangeflw5

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.

spilledsaltdark

I painted the above painting with a dark background using a reference from wet canvas. Most everything was there for me with the dark background as the reference was against a dark background.

spilledsaltlight

Next, I changed the still life to sit in a light background.

The above paintings were done following the exercise rules of: Paint the same still life twice.  Paint one on a dark background and one on a light background.

I learned a ton! Even though I used a grid to draw both of these still lifes, note that they are not drawn exactly alike. But, they are both of similar style, probably same artist.  It was easier to follow the shadow shapes and tones in the dark still life because it was all there for me in the reference photo. I didn’t know it as I was painting the dark one, but my brain was logging a lot of information I’d need for the light background painting.

Then I moved on to the light background painting. This one was intimidating, at first. I realized I was going to have to have those background colors reflecting into  and through the clear glass. I knew I would have to use my light background colors in the lids of the shakers as well, in order to unify and balance the painting. I played with about six different colors on a scrap piece of paper until I came up with the blue, yellow and burnt orange combo. This was the most difficult of the two paintings. I enjoyed painting it, though,  because I was able to decide colors and how to use them. I was able to make it more my own.

Just for fun, I am going to add that I had the most fun getting the darks and lights on the metal caps and making the pepper look like pepper in the pepper jars.  🙂

Perspective of kitchen corner: Jan Mitchell

Still Life Study: Mary Larson

Portrait: Andrea Andis

Portrait: Sheryl Seelig

The above artwork are a few of the examples you will find on the Student Art 3 page. I just completed a Beginning Drawing and a Watercolor Portrait Class this week. Each session runs only 6 weeks. Many of the students return to take classes again.

I want to take the time to thank each and every student for their efforts and their incredible growth. Thank you, also, for sharing your work through this blog. YOU ROCK!!!!!