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How to Use Sight Size Drawing for Accuracy – and a Watercolor Portrait

Lull 10×7 Watercolor on Plate Finish Bristol The Trifecta: Grid Method, Sight Size Drawing and Watercolor Glazing Artists have developed many tips and tricks to improve accuracy and results in art-making. For drawing a light scaffolding of shapes and angles under watercolors, I find the grid method and sight-size drawing both beneficial. In painting – I love the gossamer affect and shape-control you get with watercolor glazing. If you’re unfamiliar with these methods, let’s talk about them a little with this watercolor portrait (above) as an example. Using Sight-Size and the Grid Method together: The reference photo and the drawing are the same …[Continue reading]

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Resources for Making a Monotype from Plexiglass – with Watercolors and Water Soluble Crayons

Berlin Breakfast 7×10 Light Field Monotype (sold) Monotype Video Course I’ve been listening to podcast interviews with other artists while filming a dark field monotype course. Hearing other artists discuss their journey reminds me about what I didn’t know when I first started printmaking. It’s important to roll time back, and recall the minutiae of our own beginnings with any art process, if we want to teach it well. Don’t you think? I’m excited to start editing and narrating the clips, because this course will demystify some of the assumed requirements to making monotypes. The wall in my studio is covered with 6 …[Continue reading]

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Monotype Ghost Print of a Cat – and links to Monotype Artists

Dozing 6.5 x 3 Monotype Ghost with watercolor and colored pencil (sold) Inspiration from Other Artists Thank goodness monotype artists share their work online, or we wouldn’t have any painterly printmaking to look at from the comfort of our coziest researching-the-internet chairs. Every artist who ever clicked the publish button on a blog post or social media to share images of their work gets a grateful hat-tip from me. Sharing your art takes a certain amount of grit and courage, because everyone has an opinion. One person who adores your painting might be best friends with another who hates it. But as we’ve …[Continue reading]

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5 Tips to Get 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]

light field monotype portrait

What’s the Difference Between Dark and Light Field Monotype Prints?

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]

summersunday72

Tips for Drawing and Painting the Figure in Watercolor

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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How to Save a Failed Watercolor with Pastel – Ferris Wheel Spin

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]