Tag Archives | watercolor

21
Nov

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Watercolor – Bunny’s Tutor – and What’s the Best Size for Paintings?

Does Painting Size Matter? What size do you make your art? I paint watercolors and build printmaking plates in small format. Every piece of art I ever made was under 8×10, with an occasional hurdle into 11×14 – until I started to sell at Art Festivals.  In a comment on last week’s post, Marie E. asked: How have you decided on the size of your work? I have been trying to enter some watercolor competitions… It seems that larger works are the norm. Why have you made the decision to go smaller with your work? Do you find that it sells better? Is …[Continue reading]

14
Nov

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Watercolor – Italian Door – and encouragement to photograph your life

The Power of Photos in Art & Life I’ve been fortunate to travel in Europe with my watercolors and a camera. I worked as crew for Workshops in France  during an amazing lavender field plein air excursion taught by Carol Marine in Provence. A decade before, our family went to Rome, and wore out the shutter buttons on our cameras trying to capture the atmosphere so we could take it all home in photographs.  I don’t think you have to travel far and wide to collect subjects for art, but any rendering of great fun in life done with pigments is bound to be good. At the …[Continue reading]

29
Sep

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Beginning Watercolor painting – El Conductor – and the Ventura Artwalk

Be an Art Boss In Santa Barbara, California on Thanksgiving, a few decades ago, I took a photo of our feast. A turkey centerpiece, with a bowl of rice and a platter of green beans. A Mexican paper maché man under a sombrero with the words El Cuatrero (the rustler) scribed across the brim watched over our culinary adventures. You can see a black and white copy of the reference photo taped above my work in progress below, with the aforementioned turkey and green beans. Since I’m the boss of me, a few changes meandering into this watercolor. Mister turkey became a pot …[Continue reading]

20
Aug

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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

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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

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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]

9
Jul

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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]

21
Jun

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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]

11
Jun

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Watercolor: Copper Mine and artistic influence from your family tree

Spontaneous Inspiration – Or Is It? This copper mine in the watercolor painting above was visible from the car on a road trip from Mexico to Arizona years ago. My traveling companions were kind enough to pull over and let me take photos for art reference, because, look at all that geometry! If I dig into why something so industrial appeals to me, ten seconds of pondering leads to memories of my family’s business in precision tool and die machining. I grew up around mechanical engineers, injection moulding equipment and drill presses, all wafting noisily in the scent of machine oil.  How much …[Continue reading]

24
May

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Watercolor: Artist’s Studio and Art Supply Storage

Making Art on the Couch I am very fortunate to have a studio (a spare bedroom in our home) and unless I’m showing art at a festival, or framing, I spend most days in there, writing, or working with art supplies and an audiobook (I’ve just finished this one) starting in the still-dark hours of early morning. When my husband comes home in the evenings, if I want to continue drawing or painting, I keep a tote bag of supplies handy that I can move around the house. The tote bag has a travel palette of watercolors, a few brushes, a pencil case, …[Continue reading]

17
May

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Watercolor: Snow Finch and Rubies – and Art-Making as a Salve for Grief

The Comforting Quilt of Art My mother in law passed away unexpectedly as I was leaving for the San Diego Art festival, and my husband was flying east for a business trip. Parallel to festival commitments, and business travel, the process of juggling out-of-state loss began; death certificates, additional travel, burial arrangements and notifications. While we were in different cities, on phone calls, getting adjusted to the forever-ness of this new absence, I took respite in night time art-making.  Emersion in pigment swirling, shape-making, and the wonder of stacked, transparent colors is both an escape from sad thoughts, and comforting, solid company.  Painting …[Continue reading]

3
May

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Watercolor: Citrus Sun Catcher – and painting in public

Painting in Public I just finished loading gear into my car for the Sierra Madre Art Fair (California) this weekend. If you’re local, stop by and say hello!  I finished the watercolor above last weekend at the San Diego Artwalk. (If you signed up for my mailing list there, welcome!)  This week, I started a new painting to work on at the Sierra Madre show.   Painting in public – whether as a plein air painter, or an art festival demonstrator – can be tricky at first, till you get out of your own head. Then it becomes wonderful. Here are a few tips …[Continue reading]

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