Landscape Art

Can You add Watercolor to Collagraph Prints? Yes, you can, as long as the ink you used to print your collagraph dries permanent, and the paper you printed it on can handle wet media. (Here’s a post that covers the caveats of wet media on ink and printmaking papers.) (You can test a small swatch …

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Painting an Urban Watercolor on Clear Gesso In a previous post, I mentioned an experiment with an urban building facade, painted in watercolor on clear gesso coated watercolor paper.  You asked why, and what, and how, so lemme ‘splain…. What is Gesso? Gesso is an artist’s painting primer that feels similar to plaster. It’s applied …

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5 Article Roundup for Beginner Artists Beginning an art adventure that requires some skill-building is a lot easier with instruction. Practical, step by step painting tips can be found in library texts, blogs, youtube videos and online courses. Many of them focus on methods, techniques and broad-stroke approaches to making finished art that appears the …

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The Art of Wiping an Intaglio Plate Inking and wiping an intaglio print is almost an art. Watching a master printmaker ink and wipe an etching plate is similar to watching hands dance. The muscle memory of the printmaker’s hand movements is fluid and graceful, but deliberate. If you’re new to printmaking, it all looks …

How to Ink a Collagraph Print Read More »

Comparing Your Art Skills to Other Artists A direct message on Instagram from another artist about being a beginner got me thinking. Just starting out in the art world today makes it easy to compare our creative efforts to alllllll the other artists on social media, right? Do you feel overwhelmed scrolling through other artists’ …

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Watercolor Landscape Studies in a Sketchbook I’m testing another watercolor sketchbook with a series of small watercolor landscape studies featuring coastal scenes. I used a ruler to grid 12 squares across a double page of a Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchpad. (There may or may not have been accompanying crackers, olive tapenade and wine involved in this …

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Definition of Art We’re visiting the dictionary in this post, my friend. Painting, Printmaking and Drawing are all bound to creativity and expression. One of the definitions of art is ‘the conscious use of skill and creative imagination – especially in the production of aesthetic objects‘. Art-Making Intention Let’s break that down a little… The …

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How to Title Landscape Art for Sale I attended an opening for an exhibit I was in at the Santa Paula Art Museum. A pair of well-heeled patrons walked purposefully towards a beautiful oil painting of trees on a hill, descending into a soft focus, green valley. One said “Is that Santa Paula Canyon!? I …

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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 …

11 Reasons Beginners should Make Small Art Read More »

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 …

Painting Urban Scenes in Watercolor – Queensboro Read More »

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 …

Architectural Watercolors, and Helpful Art Studio Links Read More »

Color Landscape Monotype Printmaking Tips Here is a printmaking exercise for you. Make quick, small landscape color monotype prints from a page of Thumbnail Photos to Loosen Up. 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 …

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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 …

Monotype Ghost Print – Italian Vacation and Art Links for You Read More »

Experimenting with Pastels In previous posts, I’ve used stick pastels on top of monotypes – inspired by Edgar Degas’ beautiful treatments of dry media over printmaking inks. But until this piece, I’ve never worked with seemingly delicate little pastel pencils. The drawing above was an experiment to use cross hatching with sharpened pastel pencils over …

Pastel Drawing – Meandering to the Sea Read More »

Painting Your Neighborhood There is a chain of small islands off the coast of southern California protected as a National Park. Several of the islands are just off the coast of the town I live in, and two are visible, like curvy women, reclining on the horizon. This watercolor was inspired during an approach to …

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Using Photos from Friends in Art  I’m fortunate to have very generous family and friends when it comes to artists’ visuals.  My tribe sends me images to paint all the time. They might be walking along a street in New York, or eating croissants in a cafe in Provence, France, and voila! I get a text with …

Watercolor & Pastel – Gold Line in Little Tokyo Read More »

Productive over Perfect Fact: Perfectionism crushes creativity.  An effective way to recover from perfectionism is to start creating. That might seem counter-intuitive, but it follows the same contrarian path towards recovery as other challenging situations. Heartbroken over the end of a relationship? Go volunteer, and give of yourself. That outward act of generosity can backfill …

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Art Studio Prep for Winter Projects The obstacle course that is my studio has to be dealt with. I’ve been cleaning in here for a few days, a little at a time. I can see the floor now.  Small spaces get cluttered quickly, so I use two baker’s racks to store as much as I …

Watercolor Sketchbook Art and Art Studio Clean Up Read More »

Painting Clouds in Watercolor – Tips and Resources Painting Clouds in Watercolor If you’ve tried to paint clouds in watercolor, you know one of many tricks is to preserve the white of your watercolor paper. Have you tried to paint skies around your white clouds, or shade in the cloud underbellies? Have you painted clouds …

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How Does Moving Affect Your Art? In a recent newsletter (you can read it here), I described an impromptu art-making party in the temporary home of a friend who lost her house and studio in the Thomas Fire. Four of us gathered around a folding banquet table with borrowed chairs and tote bags full of …

Monotype: Gold Mining and Tips for Making Art after Moving Read More »

Exhibit Your Art If you’re a beginning artist, it’s incredibly daunting to exhibit your art on a blog or on social media for the public to view, judge, or critique. But it’s important, and here are some encouraging reasons why. Pretend we’re having tea on a porch somewhere surrounded by majestic pine trees – serenaded by …

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Simplify Before Committing Back in the day, when I quizzed established artists about best practices towards making art full time, the sculptor Ron Pekar gave me a great tip. He suggested limbering up by painting small studies in watercolor as though they would be cut into simplified wooden puzzles. Ron said beginner painters want to paint …

Tips for Simplified Watercolor Landscape Sketching Read More »