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Tag Archives: Watercolor

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.

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Ruth Karau3

Henn Laidroo2

Cindy Guzik2

The above three paintings were created by artists in the Advanced Watercolor class this session. I chose them because they fit the season. The students who work in this class have completed all the classes I offer in watercolor and wish to continue working as a group. They must finish three paintings in a six week session. They work on individual projects of their own choice. If  you would like to view all of their work click here  or scroll to the top and click on session 2 Advanced Watercolor.

The Watercolor Landscape class also ended this week.

Tammy Enrietto2

We studied composition and where to place a center of interest.

Carol Spallone

We studied division of space and value contrast.

Meghan Mills5

We painted either a big sky painting or large foreground painting.

Kara Morris 3

We created a painting on a grunge background and discussed the benefits of using the technique for certain subject material.

Janet Nichols2

We learned to paint little people.

If you would like to view all the art work from landscape class click here. 

You can also click by scrolling to the top of the page and clicking on Watercolor Landscape.

Thank you to all the students who allow me to post their art here.

I  just completed two more classes this week. The first to finish up is a new class offering. It is titled Advanced Watercolor and is open to students who have taken all of the other watercolor classes that are offered at least once. Each student is given goal sheets to complete on each painting. They are to set a goal to complete 3 paintings in the six week period. Many of these students have already been completing a painting a week. This offers them more time to work on larger works or works that are more involved or have mixed media techniques that require more time. There are no specific assignments and the artist can explore techniques they have already learned or new ones. There is a sharing session and group critique at the end of each class session. I am there to mentor, answer questions, or demonstrate when a student needs to see a technique done again. Some students work beyond my expertise and I am just there to encourage.

One student, in this session, made a book of watercolor portraits of witches. Below are some of the witches she included in her book:

Marilyn Bultemeier2

Marilyn Bultemeier3

Marilyn Bultemeier5

Some students worked on painting using negative space, Some used collage in their work while another experimented with painting on watercolor canvas. One student chose to study rock and water and how to best paint them. Another student is writing and illustrating a children’s book and yet another did a gouache resist. If you would like to view all 40 of their paintings click here.

The other class that ended was Beginning Drawing.

We began by drawing in continuous line both blind and looking. I spoke of cross contours in their work and how they should be included to show the shape of objects.

Here is a self portrait using  blind continuous line and cross contour:

Dennis Foote

We learned about negative space and how to look for those shapes that help to complete a drawing:

Heather Terrill3

We studied perspective:

Chris Petersen2

We learned about value and making different marks to create interest in our drawings. We practiced value by studying the value changes in a set of photographed eyes and also by cutting a picture in different shapes. This helped to get our mind off of drawing a complete drawing at once while we practiced making value marks.

Alison Metzger6

Sydney Salway5

We gridded photos and learned how to enlarge the photo on our drawing paper so that it would have the right proportions to grid properly:

Heather Terrill7

Everyone worked on drawing their self portrait:

Alison Metzger7

We worked on still life in class and at home:

Sydney Salway

Chris Petersen6

If you would like to view all their drawings click here.

Thank you to all the students who continue to allow me to post their work here.

 

Every year the Granddaughters and I head for Jury Pool. This painting was painted from a photo I took two years ago and features the orange and green slides. I have another started that has the pool in the background with numerous little people enjoying a hot summer day poolside. No special technique was used with this painting. I did liquid frisket some of the small design areas on the bathing suits and some of the bolts on the slides.

The above painting is of a basket/hat vendor in Mexico. About ten years ago I took a trip to a resort on the coast and watched as these vendors strolled up and down the beaches looking like gigantic clumps of baskets.

I began this painting by painting monochromatically in paynes gray. I then washed in splatters of water and allowed that value painting to run, tilting the board this way and that. I did not wash any white gouache into this and just painted the scene. After that, I added two figures and a bird to create more interest. The figures and the bird are cut out of a magazine and glued on using acrylic matte medium and water mixture.

 

 

The paintings, above, are gouache resists. It is a process involving the use of ink, white gouache and watercolor. I enjoy experimenting with all sorts of images when I create these. They all turn out different. If you would like to try this I have a tutorial here.

My Grandchildren have been back and forth this summer sharing all sorts of activities with me. This summer I taught them how to grid a portrait from a photo reference, size their format for proper dimensions and grid their watercolor paper to help them draw their Dad’s.

The following is what they came up with.

9 year old

The photo reference for the above portrait was from a Christmas photo.

10 year old

The above photo is the same Dad as the 9 year old’s but at a recent rock concert (making a funny face).

11 year old

Photo taken at rock concert.

I was amazed how easily they caught on to gridding and how happy they were when they saw they could see where to put their drawing lines in relation to the grid lines. They needed very little help from me. Noses and mouths were what they needed help with, but not much. We used a very simple grid and  divided the paper into 9 sections. I have described how to do this in this post. It was a great exercise in math. They were able to see how math can be important in everyday activities. Children soak things like this up so quickly!

 

Laura Butchko

Kara Morris3

Jim Wulpi5

 

Jan Reche

Diana Ringer2

Linda Flatley2

The above paintings are just a few from the spring classes in watercolor this year.

The beginning class learns about their supplies, basic techniques in application such as wet-in-wet, wet on dry and dry brushing. They learn about color combinations and value, texture and techniques to enhance texture. They learn to use masking fluid. We talk about things we need to be concerned with when painting trees, clouds, buildings and little people. If you would like to view more of the Beginning Watercolor  paintings,  there is a temporary gallery set up here.

The Watercolor Plus class worked on six different mixed media approaches with watercolor. They painted on masa paper. They worked with ink and watercolor and chose all sorts of different techniques with ink. One example using ink might be this technique. They used citrasolv collage and watercolor. They used white gouache to glaze a painting. They did a gouache resist.  Everyone painted on a textured gesso surface they created.

If you would like to view a gallery of the  Watercolor Plus class paintings click here.

Thank you to all my students who attend my classes and share their art here!

My Watercolor Plus class has been working away on trying to complete a painting a week; each one using a different medium with watercolor.

The photo reference for the above painting came from one of my students. Thank you to Dawn!

If you enlarge the above painting times three,  you will be able to see

the different rice papers I used for the nest leaves and grasses and the citrasolve collage papers I used for the adult bird’s feathers.  Just another way I enjoy working with watercolor.

For more on citrasolv click here. For more on rice papers and watercolor click here.

 

The above two paintings were painted on toned masa paper. It is one of my favorite supports to paint on.  If you would like to learn more about how to prepare and tone masa paper and some of the things you can do with it click here and here.

This painting was painted on a different support that I made with gesso juice. You can learn all about how to prepare and paint on this surface here. I have improved on creating different effects with this surface by sometimes adding white craft sand to the mix and sometimes torn pieces of rice paper.

I just finished Beginning Drawing and Creative Challenge Classes.

In drawing class we covered blind continuous line, contour line, cross contour, negative space, perspective and foreshortening, value and the different ways to make marks for shading with a pencil. We worked from still life and photos, both. We learned about the measurements of the human face and practiced self portraits in the mirror. We learned how to grid as well as how to measure real life objects with our pencil.  Below are a few examples.

Laura Butchko: Blind Continuous Line

 

Sonny Ulrey: Perspective

Sonny didn’t get a chance to finish this the night we studied perspective. I don’t mind this, though. Sometimes saying less is more.

Leona Smith5: Self Portrait

 

Jennifer Howey5: Still life and Perspective

If you would like to view all of their drawings please click, above, on Student Art: Beginning Drawing Spring 2017 or just click here.

In Creative Challenge we studied:

Nancy Longmate

…creating a center of interest on or near a “sweet spot”.

Linda Flatley4

…different ways to attract our viewer’s attention.

Jan Reche2

…shape and design and several ways to create a still life.

Melissa Scare3

,,,division of space and making no two passages the same. This particular painting is a portrait of the artist using symbols.

Janet Heffley2

…value. Everyone created an underwater painting.

Henn Laidroo

…color. the above painting was for an assignment using only secondary colors.

If you would like to view many other paintings created in this class, click on Student Art: Creative Challenge, above, or just click here.

Thank you to all my students for sharing your art here.

I am trying something new again! This technique is one that will keep me trying for years to come. I always like techniques that take time and that don’t allow me to be so hasty as to ditch what I am working on. This technique satisfies my desire to explore and to fix things in an existing watercolor that has taken a wrong turn. The above painting is my first attempt.

I learned about this technique from an article I read in the February 2017 issue of Watercolor Artist. There was an article about the artist Nadine Charlsen. She shared a step-by-step tutorial of one of her paintings, so I tried it. Please understand that my first attempts probably leaves out a whole host of things she does that I have been a bit hesitant to jump into in this first try. I strongly encourage you to look for this article or watch how she works on a few You Tube videos. I think this technique lends itself to a whole host of individual ideas as to how each artist may approach doing the same thing.

My first step was to draw the image I wanted to paint and wash in my darks with paynes gray. I think you could use sepia or van dyke brown in this stage, too. Whatever you think lends itself best to rendering those darks.  Nadine Paints her paintings on easels, so the paintings are upright as she paints. I was chicken, so this was painted with only a slight tilt.

Once the first step was dry, I dropped large puddles of water all over the painting. This breaks up some of the hard edges and softens the background. I wait for this to dry. I took stiffer brushes and rubbed out some areas where the color bled too much to my liking and to save portions of the painting that I wanted to appear lighter.

The above step was the most time consuming. I painted the color of the items in the booths and and on the opposing side of the alleyway. My painting was becoming  full of edges, again, and looking too perfect and not at all atmospheric. After the color dried, I tilted my board and began washing white gouache over the surface, top to bottom. I dabbed areas of darks and some of the color areas so they did not become too overpowered and washed out. I allowed this watered down wash to trail down the surface of the paper. I did this three times until I got the above look. I waited for that to dry before moving on.

I thought the previous step had washed out too much of the roof area and softened some of the foreground too much. I went back in and touched up some of the colors, the roof and the foreground chair. I spritzed water on the surface to break apart some of the edges that were created by that. Once that dried, I tilted the board and washed white gouache all over areas where I wanted it to show up. I blotted some of that wash with a tissue and rubbed small areas with a stiff brush to further soften an edge.

In the final step I worked on the foreground chair and the people, brightened areas of color and filled in things that looked a bit unfinished.

I think the point of dropping and spraying water onto the surface of the watercolor is an attempt to bring out a mood and to soften the edges of a scene. I think it gives air and depth to a scene. I felt like I could do anything I wanted and still bring something worthwhile back to the scene. Sometimes it looked like it was destined for the trash. At other times it began to look better than anything I had ever painted before.  I will be teaching these things to my students in their next class. We will probably have a messy good time of it. I hope!

Oh! Nadine uses Khadi paper, mostly, and sometimes 140lb Arches rough. I used the Arches rough because that is what I had on hand. I will try the Khadi at some point.