22
Sep

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Monotype: Winter Geraniums (when art is inspired by family photos)

Do you Paint from Family Photos? The reference photo for the art above was snapped in the mid 1970’s, in the rural Connecticut home my father grew up in. My grandparents bought & renovated the house in 1944, when it had already lived a full life as Old Meadowbrook Farm – a Country Inn and gladiola farm in the late 1800’s. This monotype, in it’s beginnings, with my reference photo on the right. The image was drawn in water-soluble crayon on a sheet or prepared plexiglass, and printmaking inks were painted in layers on the plexi. Images are Already Familiar The view of rolling …[Continue reading]

19
Sep

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Tips for Supplies – Travel Watercolors – and the cafe Les Terrasses

Traveling with Watercolors I see lots of great art supplies in the travel totes of my plein air friends and the artists I follow in the urban sketching movement. While packing for a trip to Provence with WorkshopsinFrance.com,  I tested light-weight, small watercolor sets to cajole my affinity for art-making on airplanes, in hotel rooms, on sailboats, and in gardens. Are you thinking about drawing or painting on an upcoming trip? Here’s a list (below) of the supplies I keep handy for roaming, with links. (Note, some of the links are affiliates, so if you make a purchase, I receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost …[Continue reading]

10
Sep

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Watercolor: Marigold Eruption and a video on John Singer Sargent

What to Paint Next I snapped a flurry of photos for painting ideas a few weeks ago. When I uploaded them to my computer, the composition on a few of them – especially as seen in thumbnail format (very helpful) – seemed just right for a little watercolor exercise.  I’ve loved window light in roomscapes like this since I was a child, and I reveled to paint another version of this appealing play of brights and darks in geometry composition.  There’s plenty of learning challenges in trying to see & render values and temperatures that convey a relaxed, invitational atmosphere.  Do you see how …[Continue reading]

7
Sep

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Watercolor: Cruising California Rt 126 and Inspired by Sketching Artists

How Many Times a Week Do You Sketch? Hi y’all, I’ve got some links for you related to sketching, drawing and doodling inspiration. Do you want to draw and sketch more often? (I mentioned this goal in a previous post here.)  I’ve been trying to sketch in the evenings – whether I’m sitting with my Mister, or in a gaggle of friends and family sprawled on someone’s couch. Arm yourself with a two-ingredient plan;  a pencil and a sketchpad.  Draw what’s in front of you, or tuck a few reference photos into your sketchpad.  You can still chat and listen while your pencil …[Continue reading]

31
Aug

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Leonardo Da Vinci book review and a Watercolor Study from Provence

Making Art Before we had Books I just finished listening to a book tracing the history of Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawing of Vitruvian Man.  If your art includes the figure, and you’re interested in the history of learning, check it out here. Toby Lester begins with the Roman military engineer, Vitruvius (born c. 80–70 BC, died after c. 15 BC), who authored ten volumes of architecture analysis.  Imagine – ten books describing (in hand-written latin) the constructive and aesthetic analysis of arches, columns, aqueducts, bridges and harbors – without a single illustration –  no diagrams, photos or drawings. With a scant 30-40% literacy at …[Continue reading]

23
Aug

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Artist reference photos from San Francisco and a watercolor – Cafe Coffee Date

Take a Camera on your Weekend Getaway We just returned from a whirlwind weekend in San Francisco, where we joined friends from Arizona. The four of us had non-stop exploration, and I had an opportunity to collect artist reference photos! We walked five miles a day (12,000+ steps, yeowza!) to gaze at shorelines and parks, dine at neighborhood cafes and watch a Giants baseball game. San Francisco couldn’t be more different from the spaces we occupy every day at home, which is always stimulating to the artist’s eye. Since we compressed San Francisco into a weekend, I knew there wouldn’t be time to …[Continue reading]

14
Aug

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Six Tips to Paint More When Time is Short – and a Watercolor: Quilted Aerial

Quilted Aerial 12.6 x 9 watercolor on paper This summer has been a whirlwind of events and family-fun with very little time for painting watercolors. I get rusty and a little distracted when I don’t paint regularly, so I look for efficient ways to shorten the path to my brushes. Here are six tips to paint more when time is short, because there’s a great deal of joy & happiness mixed into all those pigments, and we have to actively and deliberately go after it. 🙂 Six Ways to Paint More When Time is Short Pre-Draw your work.  Plan your next series, and …[Continue reading]

13
Aug

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Drypoint Printmaking: Fervent (& small, affordable printmaking press alternatives)

Making Prints without a Press On my youtube channel, one of the most frequent comments left on printmaking tutorials is how to make art prints and printmaking without a press. A press is an expensive investment, and they’re heavy, with a large footprint that’ll take up quite a bit of floor space in a room.  There are also many to choose from, so it’s understandable that beginning printmakers are overwhelmed. Press Alternatives There are workarounds for some printmaking methods (relief/block prints), but not all of them. Hand transfer of drypoint engravings, etchings and intaglio style prints is a lot of work, fickle in nature, and it might …[Continue reading]

8
Aug

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Do the people closest to you Influence your Artistic Journey?

  When I first considered leaping into art full time, I called several artists I’d heard about, introduced myself and asked if I could buy them lunch and pepper them with questions related to making art as a livelihood. All of the artists I called agreed to meet with me. One of them relayed that her journey started with no art experience, beyond some much-enjoyed watercolor classes. She didn’t have artist friends or family, and her job had nothing to do with art.  Once she decided to pursue art, she earnestly sought a mentor, and friendships with experienced artists. She attended art-related events, …[Continue reading]

30
Jul

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Watercolor Portrait of an Olive Vendor in Provence (& Hahnemühle paper Giveaway Winners!)

You Guys Are Awesome! Thanks to everyone who read and commented on the last post review and giveaway from Hahnemühle paper! Five lucky winners have been pulled from names tossled about in a festive Provence hat, and they are: Carolynn Pappas, Catherine Root, Donna Thibodeau, Jim Serrett, and Marti de Alva Congratulations on your new art supplies, my friends! The good folks at Hahnemühle will be in touch via email to ship samples your way. For everyone still curious about trying Hahnemühle papers, click here to visit the previous post, and check the links under the little sailboat painting on postcard paper for resources where …[Continue reading]

24
Jul

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Review of Hahnemühle Watercolor Paper and a Giveaway!(closed)

Hahnemühle sent a few pads of watercolor and mixed media paper to test and review in my studio. I’ve heard about Hahnemühle fine art papers, but never tried them. I’ve been happily enlightened. 🙂 Bamboo Mixed Media Paper I used graphite, ink, watercolor and colored pencils on Hahnemühle’s bamboo & cotton blend mixed media paper, and I loved it! The surface is natural white, very sturdy (125 lb) paper, and it has just enough tooth to catch colored pencil beautifully. The paper handled micron pens without any bleed, erased pencil with no pilling, and held passages of watercolor up on the surface brilliantly. …[Continue reading]

16
Jul

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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)

Mixing Greens 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 …[Continue reading]

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