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Carole Smith5

James Toole

Joyce Racine2

Linda Gerbers

Loren Bergren2

Pat Bassett5

Sharon Smith4

The above paintings were completed by the students in the Exploring Watercolor Beginning class that just ended.

This is the most difficult class I offer because of the magnitude of information and skills that are covered in a short period of time.

Many of these paintings are painted with student grade paints because I don’t want anyone to invest in the artist grade until they decide they are going to continue painting.

We learned basic strokes such as wet in wet, wet on dry and dry brushing. We learned how to soften an edge and the difference between a soft and hard edge. We studied value and how to create a dark by mixing several dark colors together. We learned the difference between opaque and transparent and made a chart of our own colors in order to determine the ones that were more opaque. We learned how to use salt, a sponge, masking fluid, splatter and how to make a rubber band brush for grasses and texture. We learned to grid and measure a format so the grid will work on the surface of our paper. We painted trees, skies or water, and little people. We spent one night discussing color and learning the color combinations that work well for artists.

If you would like to see all of their paintings click here. Thank you to all the students who shared their work here.

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Kathy Cron

Diana Adkins

Jennifer Hope2

Mary Anne Berron

Sydney Salway

John Glascow

The above paintings are just a few of the paintings from this Spring’s Beginning Watercolor Class that ended this past week.  Every single person in this class works hard each week. There are new topics covered each week. Students are encouraged to complete a painting, using the technique or topic discussed, each week . We covered the basic strokes and learned about brushes, paint and paper. We learned that we needed to partner with the water and that there would sometimes be “happy accidents” where the water shows us something new and how to allow that to happen. We learned how to make foliage and trees and clouds and buildings. We learned about color and value and how to make better colors that were not flat. We learned about frisket and wax resist and the magic eraser. We learned to paint “little people”.

If you would like to view all 35 of their paintings click here.  You can also scroll to the top of the page and click on the page titled Student Art: Beginning Watercolor Spring 2018.

Thank you to all the artists, from this class, who gave me permission to share their art here.

I just finished teaching our fall session of Beginning Watercolor.

Kay Byerley4

Lizzy Smith3

The first thing we worked on was learning wet-in-wet, wet on dry and dry-brushing strokes. We practiced brushstrokes and painted a back-lit scene for our first assignment.

Lizzy Smith

Carole Smith2

We talked about ways to create texture and foliage and trees. We also discussed greens and adding other colors to them.

Jennifer Howey3

Kay Byerley3

We discussed ways to create skies, clouds and that similar washes could be used to create water.  Each student created a large sky or a large foreground painting.

Carole Smith4

We talked about how to paint buildings and learned to grid reference photo and size our format and grid it. This helped us to get the perspective correct on the buildings.

Jennifer Howey

The fifth week we talked about color combinations and specific colors that fell in either the light, medium or dark tonal ranges.

Carole Smith5

We finished by learning how to paint little people into our landscapes.

Thank you to all students who shared their paintings here. If you would like to see all their paintings click here. You can also scroll to the top of the page and click on Student Art: Beginning Watercolor.

oldtrees

The second technique we worked on in Watercolor Plus class was painting on Masa Paper. This is one of my favorite surfaces to work on. I have a tendency to be very edgy and the toned paper seems to help break that up a bit. If you would like to try this technique, I have a tutorial here.  …or type masa into search box below and view many more examples of this type of painting.

Beginning Watercolor class ended this week, too.

Jane Coffee

Jane Coffee

The first week included an explanation of supplies and how they were to be used. We practiced wet-in -wet, wet on dry and drybrush applications. We talked about how to create darks and that a solid color is always more beautiful if more than one color is allowed to mix on the paper rather than the palette. We discussed allowing the water to do the work and become our partner.

Megan Mills2

Megan Mills2

The second class was devoted to learning the color wheel and the basic color combinations. I taught them how to crop and then grid a photo reference and their watercolor format for the difficult perspective paintings.

Marilyn Bultemeyer4

Marilyn Bultemeyer4

The third week we talked about different ways to render trees. I introduced and demonstrated the use of liquid friskit, salt, saran wrap, scumbling, Pointillism, sponging and using a rigger for tiny branches.

"Kat" Franke4

“Kat” Franke4

Dawn Amstutz

Dawn Amstutz

The fourth week we talked about buildings, their perspective, how they are put together with shapes and to look for their cast shadows and how the foliage may fit around them.

Betty Bercot5

Betty Bercot5

The fifth week was devoted to learning to paint “little” people to insert into our landscape paintings.

On the last night of class, I introduced the “Elegant Writer” Calligraphy pen and how it could be used with watercolor.

If you would like to view other examples of their work click here or scroll to the top of the page and click on the Student Art: Beginning Watercolor spring 2016 page.

Thank you to all the students who participated and shared their artwork here.

 

 

 

 

 

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 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! 🙂

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.

 

century tree

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.

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.