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Watercolor – Cottage Kitchen – and getting past the ugly stage in watercolor painting

Cottage Kitchen 18.25 x 12.25 Watercolor on paper (Sold) Getting Past Ugly in Your Art Making art often stalls in the Ugly Tunnel. 🚙 On your pilgrimage to a finished watercolor, there’s a crossing in the journey where the pigments, composition and overall look of your work in process can get ugly. It’s important that you avoid stopping there. 🗺 It would be easy to walk away from the art at this stage, because none of it looks encouraging. This is especially true if you’re not sure how to paint through the discouraging scenery. Nevertheless, keep hiking. We wish each stage of a …[Continue reading]

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Light Field Monotype: Countenance

Countenance 10.5 x 8.25 Monotype with Colored Pencil on paper (sold) What is a Light Field Monotype? Monotypes are a hybrid between painting and printmaking. The name monotype has the root “mono” meaning one. Monotype printmaking results in a single image. These beautiful prints cannot be printed in quantity or an edition, like other, repeatable printmaking methods (woodcuts, etchings, etc.). Light Field Monotypes are painted or drawn with oil paint, printmaking ink, water-based paint, or other transferable media on the surface of a smooth, unetched plate. The ‘Light Field’ refers to a clean plate; you start with an open, unpainted, light field, and …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor – Summer Sunday

Summer Sunday 6 x 7.5 Watercolor on BFK Rives paper (Sold) Painting the Figure I’ll just come right out and say it: People are discouragingly hard to draw and paint. You can sketch a landscape or a still life with room for error; if your trees lean, or your bowl rim burps, it’s not a big deal. But if you paint the figure, and one eye is higher, or the hands are too small, brace yourself for unease, and maybe some comments and corrections. We unconsciously incorporate elements of our own likeness in every figurative portrait, because we can’t help but draw and …[Continue reading]

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Ferris Wheel Pastel – Spin – and saving a failed watercolor with pastel

Spin 21 x 14 Pastel over Watercolor on paper (Sold) Pastel Over Watercolor The painting above started as a watercolor. I knew it was overcooked at the three-quarters finished point – so I tossed it in a flat file to dry, with plans to feed it to the shredder. A few weeks later, I spotted the forgotten watercolor, and wondered if it might be a candidate for one of those “anything goes” art supply experiments with pastel over the watercolor. (Do you do those too? This painting was another example of pastel over watercolor.) Goofing off with pastels over an expired watercolor can …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor Floral Still Life- Milk Pitcher Roses – and Finding Your Collectors

Milk Pitcher Roses 14.75 x 13.5 Watercolor Floral Still Life on paper (sold) Artistic Affinities This watercolor floral still life was very influenced by my grandparent’s New England home. My Italian grandparents purchased their circa 1700’s house in the mid 1940’s in Connecticut. The center of the house was buttressed by a quarry stone chimney with a hearth on each face, upstairs and downstairs, built by Native Americans. The mantles were lined with hand carved, moveable-part curios, and there was an acquisition story to go with each treasure. The house was decorated with international sensibilities, because my immigrant grandparents collected things that spoke …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor Sketching – Chateau Landscape Study, and art links for you

Chateau Landscape Study – moleskine watercolor sketch Summertime Pace of Art-Making I traveled to France to work as crew twice with a wonderful company called WorkshopsinFrance.com. The bank of travel photos and watercolor sketches made on each trip is a dip into time travel, and a mine of inspiration. When I scroll through the photos, or flip through sketches, I want to make more art from scenes rich with Provence-flavored atmosphere. While perusing a watercolor sketchbook this weekend, I realized that many of the subjects I rendered are not my usual painting or printmaking fare. My studio work is primarily figurative and still …[Continue reading]

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Monotype printmaking – Picnic Nap, and Five Printmakers to follow on Instagram, Vol. 2

Picnic Nap 8×6 Monotype Ghost with Watercolor & Colored Pencil (Available in my Etsy Shop) Using Other Media on Your Monotypes This monotype ghost print looked a little dubious all by itself (see below), but it had potential. The mark-making still visible in the thin veil of ink was interesting, but the tonal variations were too close together, and it needed more contrast to read as two embracing figures. Other Art Supplies to the rescue! This monotype ghost print, before I added color with wet and dry media. Do you paint your ghost prints too? If You’re New to Printmaking If you’re unfamiliar …[Continue reading]

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Pen and Ink Study – Frenchy’s Cove and Ten Reasons for Beginners to Make Small Art

Study for Frenchy’s 5 x 8 inch Pen and Ink/Watercolor sketch Painting Small Studies In the chain of Islands off the coast of the town I live in, the coves and anchorages all have names. Some are based on geographical features – like Keyhole Rock (see below) – and others are named after the history of the place. There is a popular anchorage on Anacapa Island island called Frenchy’s, named after a hermit who enjoyed company. Anacapa is the closest island to us, so we went out to have lunch in Frenchy’s Cove on Mother’s Day, and I snapped a bunch of photos …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor – Queensboro

Queensboro 18 x 14 watercolor painting on paper (sold) Upcoming Video Courses My studio is a tangle of audio cables, lights, tripods and video equipment. I’m filming new courses for my online school Belinda Tips. If you haven’t registered for your free account over there, go ahead and do that so you’ll get notified when the new courses are live. I’m working on an in depth class on monotype printmaking, and another on grid drawing for a watercolor painting of a floral still life. Everything from selecting the best flowers, to arranging and photographing them, printing, grid-drawing, and shading the sketch, and then …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor Painting – Winter Cat Garden, and watercolor links for you

Winter Cat Garden 8×10 watercolor on Strathmore Plate Finish Bristol (sold) Shades of Gray for your Watercolor Palette Here is a Winsor & Newton demo video of three different grays to consider for your watercolor palette. Each of them are mixed with manganese blue and carmine for variations and tonal shift transitions into beautiful color options. Davy’s Gray, Payne’s Gray and Neutral Tint are the three grays in the demo. I have one of them, but I’m considering adding all three. Do you use them in your palette? Scout’s version of a Winter Cat Garden is an occasional nibble of catnip. Fortunately, he’s …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor – Klondike

Klondike 8×10 watercolor on fabriano artistico paper (available in my Etsy shop) I’ve been following Marc Taro Holmes‘ 30×30 project (read his first post about it here). Have you? His close up shots of the watercolor pigment Lunar Black by Daniel Smith were so lovely, I scrambled to my box of watercolor tubes to see if I had a variety of black watercolors in my arsenal, and I did! You know how that goes, right? My ToDo list got squeezed to make room for a 40 minute monochromatic watercolor sketch of my sister. The phrase ‘You have to strike while the iron is …[Continue reading]

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Architectural Watercolor: Albanian Apartment Building

Study for Albanian Apartment Building 10 x 7 Watercolor on paper (sold) Jewel Watercolors from Winsor & Newton With summertime approaching in the US and Europe, painting with watercolors in the garden could be in your future. Especially with the news that Winsor & Newton has stocked their previously limited release jewel tone watercolors. I felt a need (not a want – but a need) to have that aqua green, smalt and quid violet after watching this video, so I ordered them on Amazon. So far, only the smalt has arrived, and it’s beautiful (clouds, skies, water, shadows!). I predict some experimental washes …[Continue reading]

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In Remembrance of Charles Reid (1937-2019)

Charles and Judy Reid, Los Angeles 2009 Charles Clark Reid (1937-2019) I was adding a photo and a link to a blog post on my Facebook page, when I caught this announcement on the Charles Reid Page as it scrolled into my feed: On Saturday I lost one of the most incredible people I have ever met who also happens to be my father, Charles Clark Reid. August 12,1937-June 1st, 2019 Charles Reid had fans all over the world. We will miss him so much. He will live on through his magnificent work.Sarah Reid I had to read the post twice to believe …[Continue reading]

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Collagraph with Carborundum – Sinking In

Sinking In 5.5 x 7 Collagraph Print (Available in my Etsy Shop here) How to Make a Collagraph using Carborundum This collagraph was build on the back of a piece of mat board. Wanna build one too? (If you’re new around here, and you’ve never seen a mat board collagraph, here is a playlist of tutorials on my YouTube channel to help you get started.) Read on…. Collagraph Plate Making Process After sketching a young woman’s face and hair with watercolor on the verso of a scrap piece of mat board, I used a standard #11 exacto knife to incise lines around shapes …[Continue reading]

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Color Monotype – California Incline, and Making Quick Monotype Studies from a page of Thumbnail Photos to Loosen Up

California Incline 8.5×10.5 Monotype with colored pencil Printmaking Play Date Here is a printmaking exercise for you. Print two sheets of thumbnails from paintable images snapped on your phone. Let’s make some light field color monotypes, but loose and fluid… no fussing allowed. If you don’t already have a folder of compulsively harvested art reference photos on your computer, walk around the house and snap some, or go for a walk, and collect some simple, visual magic. Some of the “drive-by” landscape thumbnails I’ve snapped from the passenger seat, printed as inspirational reference for a monotype marathon loosen up exercise. Artist Reference Photos …[Continue reading]

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Monotype Ghost Print – Italian Vacation and Art Links for You

Italian Vacation 4.75 x 4.5 Monotype Ghost Print with Watercolor and Colored Pencil (sold) Inspiring Art Links for You Marc Taro Holmes is embarking on a 30×30 challenge that’s a variation on the usual month-long painting commitment. He’s made 30 small monochrome studies using digital software (see them here) and he’s going to paint one per day for 3o days in the studio with no reference photos or live landscape views. There’s more to it. Check out his post here. If you’re on the west coast of the United States, do you know about the California Society of Printmakers? They host an artist …[Continue reading]