11
Oct

recharge10x1872

Figurative Watercolor Painting – Recharge – and Building Your Own Art Photo Reference Library

Building Your Own Art Reference Photo Library In the last post, I described scheduling your own photo sessions to create a still life painting art reference library.  Your inspiration meter might spin past 100 while considering painting and drawing materials designed and snapped in your own space, with your favorite things, or your most loved people. The painting above – Recharge – is from a photo session done over a decade ago, and I still paint and draw from images I took in that photo session. A little planning with a camera, good light and a few costume changes on your favorite persons …[Continue reading]

3
Oct

viognierapples203072

Linocut print – Viognier and Apples – and Linocut Ideas

About the Linocut This little still life linocut above is freshly framed and ready for exhibit in the POD Gallery I’ll be occupying this weekend at the Ventura Artwalk (see the map below). If you’re near Ventura, California, come and say hello! Really – it would be swell to meet you in person! Linocut Ideas If you’re looking for ideas to make a linocut print, I have an approach to share that’ll result in a whole series – especially if you like still life. The arrangement above was the result of a scoop through the kitchen to collect items with bright colors. A …[Continue reading]

29
Sep

elconductor11x1572

Beginning Watercolor painting – El Conductor – and the Ventura Artwalk

Be an Art Boss In Santa Barbara, California on Thanksgiving, a few decades ago, I took a photo of our feast. A turkey centerpiece, with a bowl of rice and a platter of green beans. A Mexican paper maché man under a sombrero with the words El Cuatrero (the rustler) scribed across the brim watched over our culinary adventures. You can see a black and white copy of the reference photo taped above my work in progress below, with the aforementioned turkey and green beans. Since I’m the boss of me, a few changes meandering into this watercolor. Mister turkey became a pot …[Continue reading]

27
Sep

charmed8x9.572

Pencil Drawing: Charmed – and How to Get Good Ideas for Art

Finishing Artwork After a Long Pause I started this pencil drawing on a plane while crossing the country. Have you ever sketched to pass the time on a plane with music or an audio book? Highly recommended. Time passes very quickly while you’re immersed in your own little flying art studio. 🙂  The unfinished drawing sat propped against a wall in my studio, until piles of projects inched it backwards, and the drawing fell down behind the table. Months later, I dropped a paintbrush that rolled under the table.  While crawling underneath to retrieve it, there she was, suspended in power cords, looking …[Continue reading]

24
Sep

stackablenaps2.10.7x7.72

Mat Board Collagraph: Stackable Naps

Making a Mat Board Collagraph Plate Let’s make a collagraph printmaking plate from a scrap piece of mat board! I’ve got some process photos, blog posts and video tutorials for you. To source the mat board, you can order it on amazon here, or visit your local art-framer and ask if you can pilfer the scraps of mat board they recycle after cutting mats for clients (Note: this material is also called mount board in other parts of the world.) Cutting Pieces of a Puzzle Using a sharp blade, cut very shallow outlines of relevant shapes as though you’re making a puzzle, and …[Continue reading]

21
Sep

silk aquatint portrait

Silk Aquatint: Bandana

What is a Silk Aquatint? Silk aquatint is a variation of a printmaking method – Aquatint – that traditionally uses an acid bath, a metal plate, a blow torch and some pretty caustic materials.  This version – a home-studio, no-acid, Do-it-Yourself silk aquatint uses plexiglass as a plate, synthetic silk and acrylic paint. By most accounts, this alternative was invented by Massachusetts maritime painter and printmaker Donald Stoltenberg (1927-2016) Silk Aquatint Print – Wait, What?? The premise – on a larger scale – is this: pretend you took an 8×10 sheet of plexiglass, and you painted one side black, and then attached an …[Continue reading]

18
Sep

AsleepinRome5.20.72

Drypoint Engraving – Asleep in Rome – and the prints of William Hankey

Printmaking Nomenclature Question: What’s the difference between an etching and an engraving in printmaking? See the answer at the bottom of this post. Helpful folks like to point out mis-categorized printmaking terms, and errant tools used in the art studio that were MacGyver’d to get the job done. You and I both know that people have good intentions in their corrections, and we may inadvertently guide innocent beginners down a dark path of misinformation when inaccuracies are sprinkled willy-nilly in a how-to post. I’ve been corrected here, and on my youtube channel many times, so thanks to the process-sticklers out there for keeping me …[Continue reading]

6
Sep

afternoonwithwyeth20x24

Watercolor: Afternoon with Wyeth – and a New Documentary on Andrew Wyeth

Inspired by Andrew Wyeth One of my favorite artists is Andrew Wyeth. One of my favorite books about him is Andrew Wyeth – A Secret Life by Richard Meryman.  In the watercolor above, Meryman’s book is draped over the arm of a chair as an ode to both the author, and the artist. I was amazed at Meryman’s ability to open a door, and pull you over the threshold to sit at a table of Wyeth children on a wintery night – with words. I was in those rooms, watching eager kids draw, and then pause to listen, startled, as their father N.C. Wyeth …[Continue reading]

29
Aug

FlakingSails7.5x6.72

Watercolor: Flaking Sails – and Artist Newsletters and Email Lists

Why Should Artists Build an Email List & Send Newsletters? I can hear you groaning over that question from way over here. You would rather paint or draw than write. Words aren’t your strongest wheelhouse? I get it; you don’t know what to say. And yes, like me – you speak with your hands, so while writing newsletters, you can’t flail and gesture with said hands, so words come out stiffer and less You-ish. I know, I know.  Here – take a deep breathe, have a cookie 🍪 and sip this iced tea 🍹 while we review some solid reasons to reconsider, and …[Continue reading]

20
Aug

Cloudy-Tide-Pools

Watercolor: Tide Pool Brocade – and the challenge of painting clouds in watercolor

Painting White Clouds in Watercolor If you’ve tried to paint white clouds in watercolor, you know that the trick is to Not paint the clouds, but instead, paint and “feather” the sky around the clouds, and the shadows of the cloud bellies, etc. The white of your paper represents the clouds, so your brush and hand have to be restrained to leave areas clean and clear. I think this is the biggest challenge in white cloud painting with watercolor. Painters see everything in paint, and color choices and values, but when painting white or bright reflections in watercolor, the painter has to stack …[Continue reading]

12
Aug

studyforqueensboro9.5x972

Study for Queensboro – and Collecting Imagery for your Paintings

Watercolors of Places I’m fortunate to have a gaggle of friends and family with abundant creative mojo for lassoing photos as potential painting fodder. I receive padded envelopes of hard copy photos in the mail, text messages with artfully cropped vistas (usually fresh from the moment the image was captured), and a variety of seascapes, garden shots and figurative photos emailed in batches. (Example: The reference imagery used in this painting, this painting and this painting were each generously “loaned” to me by friends and family.) Far Away from Home Another great perk of gifted imagery from your squad is the opportunity to …[Continue reading]

7
Aug

glendale72

Watercolor: Glendale and Painting your Places

Paint your Life My first home after re-locating from the East Coast a few decades ago was a stucco, 1950’s ice-cube-tray styled apartment building in Glendale, California. The scent from my neighbor’s orange trees and the hazy, filtered sunlight made up for what the space lacked in character, and trying to capture the not-new-england atmosphere in watercolor was challenging and full of memories. (I started painting again, intermittently, while I lived there, so that’s something.) I love following other artists and bloggers who document their towns and rooms in their art – like Barbara Muir, Karen Hollingsworth, Colin Page, Eve Mansdorf and Charles …[Continue reading]

3
Aug

betrothed10x7.72

Color Monotype – Betrothed with Printmaking Process Photos

Color Monotypes in the Studio I’m filming a color monotype video to demonstrate how something as simple as your choice of paper can make or break your printmaking adventures, especially if you’re printing without a press. I also want to demonstrate that a failed print can be resurrected with other media.  The exercise to repair your work – to at least give it a try – informs your creative map for the next printmaking projects.  By making adjustments to color, shape and values on a failed print, you’re learning what to avoid in the future as you adjust and edit parts that didn’t meet …[Continue reading]

31
Jul

Apple-Raft-Up8x10.72

Monotype: Apple Raft Up and a Printmaking tutorial video

Making a Color Monotype I’ve just published a tutorial video (you can see it below) showing the process to make a full color monotype on a sheet of mylar (also known as drafting film) on your desk – no press required.  I hope the tutorial video inspires you to give monotypes a try. It’s number four in a series (you can watch them here) on various ways to print a monotype without a press. I’ve used water-soluble printmaking inks in this one, mixed on another sheet of mylar used as a palette. The printmaking paper was kozo (mulberry) and there are instructions described …[Continue reading]

20
Jul

PrimaryParasols12x18.72

Watercolor: Primary Parasols and Artist’s Negative Self Talk

Artists’ Negative self talk: Your Brain is listening (Pssssst! I’m writing this post to myself. But we’re friends, so I”m sharing.) I could fill a lake with all the naysayer comments I’ve heard from artists when they talk about themselves. You know the verbiage, right? “Oh, are you a painter!”      “Not really; I dabble and make a lot of mud.” “Are you painting these days?”      “No, I’m busy with other stuff, and besides, I suck at it.” “Oooo, that one came out nice!”   “Not exactly, look at how I mangled this figure.” “Are you an artist?”     “Me? I …[Continue reading]

Site by Spunmonkey