Tag Archives | watercolor

16
Jul

clementinecaboose8.5x21300

Watercolor Still Life & Artist Tools for help with Painting Values

Good morning! Did you know Winsor and Newton publishes a series of mini painting-tip videos? (You can subscribe to W&N here.) This week’s tip (watch it here) is about same-value color fields to create depth, add interest, and suggest atmosphere in broad passages where you might otherwise use a single, flat color. Very useful, I think. Do you already do this in your work? What is Value? Value is a challenging concept for many new artists. The directive to “squint” to find them, looking back and forth to compare source material and the painting in process can be frustrating if you don’t know what …[Continue reading]

27
Jun

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Watercolor – Open Morning (& mixing greens in watercolor)

Now that I’m finished with Spring art festivals and overseas travels, it’s time to sort the studio and plan summer paintings.  I’m almost finished with two citrus watercolors similar to this one. While mixing yellows and greens for grapefruit, oranges, and citrus leaves, I refer to Jeanne Dobie’s Making Color Sing. I like what she has to say about mixing green in watercolor: What are the best pigments to mix with green? Begin by selecting aureolin yellow, the most transparent yellow pigment. Many students reach for yellow ochre to mix in their greens, believing it is a natural landscape or earth-tone yellow. While …[Continue reading]

19
Jun

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Watercolor – La Maison Rouge (and busting through Creative Block)

When is it hard to paint? Not because of squeezed schedules, demanding jobs or illness; I’m talking about when you have time set aside to be creative, and you don’t jump in because of distraction, creative block, self doubt/fear, or not knowing where to start. Yeah, THAT list of obstacles. We’ve all been there.  I’ve missed my watercolors more times than I can count. The interesting thing – to me – is that creative block is purely an adult issue. (Give a child you know some paper and crayons, and watch the magic.) This implies that being artistically stuck is wholly and deeply …[Continue reading]

14
Jun

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Watercolor: Study for Roussillon (& Ochre pigments)

There’s an incredible ochre mine in the Vaucluse region of Provence. On a recent trip, fellow workshop attendees and I walked around Roussillon and marveled at the color of the soil. The earthen cliffs in late afternoon sun are a solar flare of orange against foliage and sky. Many of the buildings in the village are burnt orange or red, instead of the usual Provence beige or gray stucco. At a distance, the color of the architecture looks as though Roussillon sprouted from the soil. It’s a lovely nod towards their ochre mining history. Shops sell linen table cloths, printed in bold patterns …[Continue reading]

5
Jun

whatrewedoingtoday

Watercolor: What’re we doing Today (& Digital vs Paper Books)

If you visit here often, you might know I’m an Audiobook fan.  I recently finished listening to News of the World, Born a Crime and The Demon Under the Microscope, and I loved all of them. I’m challenging myself to read (listen to) 25 books in 2017, which is lofty – for me – but aim for the stars, right? If you’ve never listened to an audiobook while painting and drawing, you can give it a twirl for free with this link. Download your first book for free, and if you don’t like it, cancel out of Audible, but keep the book. 🙂 Not a bad test, …[Continue reading]

30
May

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Watercolor: Isle sur la Sorgue Cafe & Back from France

I’m home from France, fresh over jet-lag and loaded head to toe with inspiring photos, ideas & new friends. I’m particularly marinating in game-changing tips and tricks from watching Carol Marine teach attendees of her workshop. Carol Marine is a seasoned and generous instructor. She casually sprinkles workshop attendees with her hard-earned painting, drawing and seeing knowledge, and she doesn’t hold anything back. She’s earnestly helpful, potently encouraging, and incredibly articulate about process. Her painting method is something to behold, but what made me swoon was her work ethic. Carol’s conviction to practice her art is a non-negotiable priority. The rest of us juggle other priorities, which leads to …[Continue reading]

6
May

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Watercolor: Early Bird Breakfast

We haven’t lived in the home that inspired the watercolor still life above for over a decade,  but during the years while raising kids there, I took thousands of photos, and started painting full time, which buoyed my conviction towards being a better “noticer”. White tile counters are reflective. The shiny ceramic surface broadcasts the color and shape of everything on and above them, so my kitchen counter at dawn became a new painting opportunity every day. We filled bowls with bird seed on the ledge outside, and happy hour gathered at dawn with feathered, chirping and squeaking over a hearty breakfast most mornings. My bird buddies didn’t stick …[Continue reading]

24
Apr

Swallowtail  29 x 21 watercolor on paper

Watercolor: Swallowtail (And thoughts on Artists & Loneliness)

I’ve been working in shorter fits and starts this year, because, you know, life is full.  I’m relatively efficient at the transition between calamity of boisterous family time & social events, and the submarine dive into alone art-making in the studio, even if only for an hour. With family, a social life, new-projects and the business side of being an artist, studio time can get pretty squeezed if I’m not careful to prioritize it, and press it like quick-drying grout between the tiles of space on my calendar. I’m sure many of you reading this are experts at this shuffling. When I first considered art full time, I worked …[Continue reading]

7
Apr

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Watercolor: Peaches in a Mexican Bowl (& video demos from great artists)

Years ago, my friend VLB returned from a trip to Mexico and gave me this hand painted bowl supported on three little feet.  I put peaches in the bowl to ripen, and a still life watercolor sprouted from the scene. Tile counter grid-lines, back-lit peach orbs over curvy bowl shadows and watery reflections from an arbor on the patio outside all conspired to create a play on patterns.  (Photos of the process are below.) It was a fun little study for a larger painting, and inspiration beyond the painting to find & bake a good peach cobbler. 🍑     Eric Kim is an ambitious, young, talented …[Continue reading]

2
Mar

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Watercolor: Mexican Breakfast

This watercolor was inspired by a photo snapped after a whirlwind trip to Mexico City in the early 1980’s. The breakfast table was set in the early morning sun with newly acquired, hand thrown pottery, hand woven placemats, an antique weather vane, a ribbed tea pot, painted tile coasters, and a clay folklore figurine playing imaginary tunes from the sidelines. (The cat was added to the scene later, just because.) I’ve drawn, painted and carved woodcuts from this scene, and I love the bands of light and shadow dissecting the place settings across the table. Mexican Breakfast was painted on Arches Hot Press paper, and since I …[Continue reading]

24
Feb

youcanseethestarsfromhereweb

Watercolor: You Can See the Stars from Here (& creating before consuming)

A daily schedule with habitual, obligatory segments is something I associate with grade school, corporate offices and cats. But even still, I crave a creative routine. As an artist, my internal compass is calibrated towards distraction and mental-wanderings. I have Super-Hero-Skills in the fine art of Not-Finishing. (Here’s a great article about why we don’t finish things, and strategies for fixing that.)  My random pirouetting through life bewilders my engineer-husband.  My uninformed-but-ardently-thought-about theory is that perhaps artists need some routine to bracket all the meandering, so we don’t trip and fall off the planet. Little mazes of structure in each day are like protective sand-bag berms around floods of creative twirling. If I start the day …[Continue reading]

2
Nov

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Watercolor: Spearmint Float (& steps towards showing your art)

In the last post, I talked about back to back art shows in my Fall exhibit season, and one of the topics I heard over and over again from visitors at art events this year is related to identity and fear of showing their own art. Lots of artists visit festivals and exhibits to get inspired, stay up to date on the art scene and meet other artists. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I can *usually* sense an artist is in my booth when they’re nose-to-glass, furrowed brow, studying watercolor application and paper, etc.  So, I ask: “Are you an artist?” People almost always say “No, …[Continue reading]

29
Feb

PomegranatesWatercolor

Watercolor: Pomegranates (& three watercolor tutorial videos to get you started)

With only 26 days till Spring (and that means Spring Art Festivals & exhibit opportunities in regional shows) here are some inspiring watercolor tutorial videos (see links below) by three artist/illustrators on youtube to get your creative juices flowing. Prepare your paints, paper and brushes, as well as your reference material, and grab a sketchbook to jot down notes, and then watch some watercolor clips with a cup of tea before you dive into painting something! Do it, do it, do it! 🙂 Here is a 12 minute tutorial on mixing warm vs cool secondary colors in watercolor by Teoh Yi Chie. Here is …[Continue reading]

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