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]

17
Jul

SunPorchSaturday7x13.72

Watercolor Sketches: Sun Porch Saturday

Watercolor Sketches I rented a crooked-but-cozy Connecticut lake cabin on a trip to my home town a few years ago, and this sun porch was my favorite room. My grandparent’s house had a sun porch the length of the house, and my brothers and I spent many hours sprawled on the braided rag rugs, playing board games, trying to stay under the grownup’s radar. I tested the image in my favorite watercolor sketchpad to see if it would make a decent painting, or monotype or linocut or dry point engraving, etc. What do you think? If it was larger, and perhaps with an …[Continue reading]

12
Jul

Prong-Setting12x18.72

Watercolor: Prong Setting and Simplifying Drawings with the Grid Method

Personal Symbols in Art & The Grid Method The watercolor above – Prong Setting – was inspired by an early morning snapshot of the dining room and kitchen in the house where we raised our kids. The title refers to the upright chair backs, arranged like prongs on a ring. Families gather round a table to eat meals, and the chairs hold our little family gems together for conversation, fellowship and good food. 🙂 When we paint from our own photos, the reference materials are a spring full of familiar atmosphere, flash-bulb moments and personal histories. I believe we imbue those riches into …[Continue reading]

9
Jul

caricaturist13.5x9.25.72

Watercolor: Caricaturist and Creative Clarity links

Finding – as opposed to Losing – Your Art Time How is your art journey moving along?  Did you paint some watercolors, scribble some sketches, or doodle on a post-it pad during your fourth of July holiday?  If not, remind yourself that it’s Monday, and with the launch of a new week, we get to Start Again. On everything; art-making and intentional thinking to direct our day along a planned course, rather than a willy-nilly slippery-skid, random path. I get more lost than found at the helm of my artistic ship, but I try – super hard – to stay the course. Perpetual …[Continue reading]

27
Jun

bibliophile7.25x10.300

Watercolor: Bibliophile and using the Grid Method to transfer Drawings to Watercolor paper

The Art of Winding Down This watercolor painting started as a surreptitious iphone snapshot on a winter evening almost ten years ago. Reading (or painting) after dinner to close a long day is one of my favorite ways to wind down, and I’ve always enjoyed decompressing together with my family. Everyone in the same room, immersed in their own adventure through written words on a page, but still connected within the same four walls of our cozy rooms. Do you hang out with your family while reading or painting too? Inspiration Station As artists, do you sometimes wonder about the visual legacy you’ll …[Continue reading]

21
Jun

vacationrental72

Watercolor: Vacation Rental and Links to Watercolor Tips

Painting Interior Spaces with Watercolor This watercolor was inspired by a reference photo taken in Florence, Italy a few decades ago. Old world charm, wrapped around a relaxed array of books, maps and tangerines from the market downstairs, all warmed with a wash of Italian light. I’ve loved window light spilling over rooms like this since I was a child.  I enjoy sinking my teeth into the challenge of trying to really see & render the values and temperatures that convey such a relaxed, invitational atmosphere. Using The Grid Method to Transfer Reference Photos to Paper I was waiting for a scheduled power …[Continue reading]

Site by Spunmonkey