Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Blog...

To those of you who have been following me, I have moved the active blog to a new location...
Hope you can join me there!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Intertwined - a new watercolor

Okay, a new painting..."Intertwined". This piece will be showing at the Art and Antique Studio and Gallery for the months of September and October.
The masking on this painting was pretty intensive; there was a ton of detail. I have to admit that I love getting lost in the mechanics of producing a work like this. This piece is painted on a half sheet (15 x 20 inches) Arches 140 lb. cold press and was created with my layering technique (see older posts for details on the process).

I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think and thanks for your patience between posts. Now that I am in school, it takes much longer to produce my paintings. I have just started another piece on canvas, a landscape. I'll post it as soon as I complete it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

ShellABration - watercolor on canvas

Yeah! Another eight by eight inch watercolor on canvas painted for the Art and Antique Studio's ART of Eights Project. This is such a fun little art project to be involved with. You can find out more on their website: http://artandantiquestudio.com/ArtOfEightImages.htm
I have completed a few of these little gems and they really are fun. I have sold a couple of paintings through this project and the exhibit looks so nice as all the paintings, although in very different styles of the different artists, all of the paintings are the exact same size and shape.

I love painting watercolor on canvas. It's such a nice experience to feel the "bounce" and life of the canvas under my brushes.

This piece was done with my Layering Technique explained in previous posts. My husband dubbed it, "Shell-A-Bration". The sunny colors make it feel like a celebration.
I love hearing from you. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Birds of a Feather - watercolor

Have you seen this piece yet? It ended up as a half sheet painting, but it started as a full sheet. After completing the painting, I realized there was just too much in the background. I found that by using two white mat corners I could test cropping options and ended up cropping it to this as the final piece. It is framed in a simple gold frame with a white mat.

The birds were really fun to paint! They each had such character and the colors that resulted from the layering technique were surprisingly pretty.

I named this piece, "Birds of a Feather".

Monday, July 18, 2011

Painting Is Named

Thanks to everyone who helped to name the basket painting below. It shall now be dubbed, "Mom's Back Porch". People here on the blog and on my Facebook page all had wonderful, fun and thoughtful suggestions. Jane Barnwell is our winner. Part of what helped her to win was the fact that she added such a touching memory of her mom that was brought about by viewing the painting. Touched our hearts.
Thanks again to everyone! We really enjoyed reading the suggestions, and they may be used on future paintings!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Help Me Name This Painting

Okay, this is my latest painting and I just can't think of what to name it! Comment below and give me your suggestions and the winner will receive a boxed set of 5 cards with this image.
The winner will be announced next week.
Love hearing from you!
Thanks in advance for your submissions!!!
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just completed Breakfast Nook

Well, since I went back to school (yes, after 35 years I have gone back to take a few classes at our local community college!) it has been harder to find time to paint. I usually work on my paintings a few times each week, so they are taking much longer to complete. This isn't too bad, though, as I have time to ponder what I'm doing and where I am going with each piece...between homework and classes!

I call this piece, "Breakfast Nook". I used a photo reference that I took last year while plein-aire painting at a garden in Vero Beach, Florida, with my friend Barbara. The home was just as lovely as the gardens and I shot several reference pictures while going into the old home for lunch. This was the entry way to the house off of the front porch. I loved how clean and simple the room was and how the light from the gardens outside gently fell on the table.

The layering technique that I employ is most easily seen in the background and on the lazy susan on the table.

Let me know what you think. I really do enjoy hearing from all of you!
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Annuals - Completed

Ah, the finished painting.

Once this little guy was completely dry, I took it outside and applied four or five very thin coats of Clear UV safe spray varnish.

You can see that I glazed a lot of color and darker values onto this piece, but the first two layers just glow through!

This piece will be posted for sale on the Art and Antiques Art of Eights Project web page.

I love hearing from you!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Annual Watercolor on Canvas Final Stages

Now for the big "reveal"!
I use a masking fluid pickup tool to lift the dried masking. It is a great little tool, inexpensive and very clean and efficient.

I took the mask off this piece after only two layers because I didn't want to go too dark too fast. I wanted to see what had transpired and then go from there.

As you can see, the values are still a bit light. I love to have strong value contrasts from very light to very dark as this adds lots of drama to the painting.

I can still see a small bit of the graphite I applied, so I know where I want to add some darker glazes.

I used a variety of colors from my palette and glazed on white a few layers in small areas using a number six round natural hair brush.

Be sure not too scrub your layers on, just gently float them on. If you scrub, the canvas has a tendency to let go of the color previously applied. This is good if you don't like an area. With canvas you can lift all the way back to the white quite easily, but I didn't want to lift on this painting. I was happy with what was there - it just needed some punch.
Stay tuned, the big reveal will be in my next post!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Annuals - Watercolor on Canvas Technique

The first application of paint!
This is such a blast! I use a large, soft bristled brush to gently float water over the entire canvas. Have lots of paper toweling on hand as this gets very drippy and messy.

I use three colors that relate to the primary colors: New Gamboge, Quinacridone Magenta, and French Ultramarine Blue. These are just my go-to colors. They seem to work so well and blend nicely.

I dribble the wet pigment into the water on the canvas, and allow it to flow and blend. Don't tip the canvas too much or you will create a solid color or just mud. Notice that I apply the colors somewhat carefully, adding the blues to where I will develop darker values and lighter, wetter, warmer dribbles into areas that need to remain lighter.

Allow this to dry thoroughly. Then apply masking to the next darker value (value number two). Just remember that the masking saves the lighter areas. Your whites are already saved, now save the next darker color. Do the same for each application until you get to the darkest darks.
Apply the next layer of paint in the same manner as the first, but use stronger pigment with each application. You can also switch to a different color trio if you like.

I use a small spritzer to control the wetness and flow of the colors. I can also use it to "wash" off color that is too dark or the wrong color. To blend the pigment use a very light spritz, to wash color use a more forceful direct spray. Be sure to allow the color to drip over the sides of the canvas. I love to work on gallery wrapped canvas because the pigment flows onto the sides and creates lovely patterns. I don't have to frame it when I'm done, either!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Annuals - Next Step

Okay, back to the Annuals painting...
values with a graphite pencil. With each layer of paint much of this graphite will lift off, so I pencilBecause I will be using lots of water and very wet pigments on this piece I gently scrub in my darkest in quite a bit to see where I am going.

You can see I use quite a bit of pencil so that I will have graphite left after each application of paint to help me navigate my way through to the end.

Just be sure you don't push too hard with your pencil. Use a soft lead so that you can deposit a good amount of graphite without damaging the canvas or scratching through your absorbent ground.
You can mask either before or after this step to save the whites (value number one).

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Watercolor on Canvas - Annuals

As promised, I took some process photos of this project so you can see how I work.

This is an 8 by 8 inch canvas which I painted for the Art of Eights Project through Art and Antique Studio and Gallery (http://artandantiquestudo.com/Artof EightsImages.htm).

I used Golden White Absorbent Ground mixed with water (1 part ground, 2 parts water). I applied this mixture onto my canvas in 4 to 5 very thin applications, allowing each application to dry thoroughly before I added the next.

Once all the ground was applied and dried, I created a pencil sketch of my subject. This piece was created from a scene in the Eau Gallie Arts District in a beautiful garden center.

My next step is to apply masking fluid to any area that I want to remain white. There are only a few small areas in this piece, so the masking went very quickly.

I also tested some quinacridone colors to see which might look nice in this piece.

More to come...stay tuned.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Preparing a Canvas for Watercolor

I have been asked often how to prepare a canvas to make it work with my watercolor and layering technique.

Golden makes a product called Absorbent Ground. I use White Absorbent Ground, mixed with one part ground and 2 parts water as a gesso on my canvas. It's important to use this mixture over any canvas before painting with watercolor. I like to purchase the pre-gessoed canvas then apply my ground mixture before I paint. I apply 4 - 5 very thin coats evenly over the entire canvas. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. This creates a beautiful, sturdy surface to work on with watercolor. It takes quite a bit of abuse and handles the masking and layering of pigments well also.
The most fun part of working with watercolor on canvas is that I can lift it completely if I choose. Use a wet brush and scrub the surface, then dab with a paper towel or dry cloth. It's a fun surface and has lots of potential.
Once your painting is complete, spray a clear UV coating over the canvas to waterproof it and protect it. I love to work with gallery wrapped canvases so that I don't have to worry about framing!
I am starting a new small canvas today. I'll try to post photos soon.
Here is one that I finished and sold recently. It is called "Eau Gallie Market".
Hope you enjoy it and let me know if you try watercolor on canvas!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Shore Spectacle, Pelican in Watercolor

This guy was challenging and fun. Here in Florida there are lots of pelicans and this guy posed perfectly for me. I worked on this piece for quite a while. When I removed the masking, the values in the water and the bird were too similar, so I glazed the water with a very wet, thin wash of French Ultramarine Blue to cool it down. It worked. The happy bird suddenly popped off the page. I was very happy with the result on this one.

For those who want to create these types of colors I used: New Gamboge, Quinacridone Magenta and French Ultramarine for the first pour/layer. Subsequent layers were created with combinations of these colors plus Quinacridone Gold, Permanent Alizarine Crimson, Pthalo Blue, and Burnt Sienna. The secret is to only pour with two or three colors at a time and to prevent the colors from blending too much (creating mud!). This means lots of layers, lots of drying time and lots of time to think about the next application of paint. My favorite thing about this technique is that I can create details and crisp lines with the masking fluid, yet keep the wet, gorgeous color blends with the layers of poured or very wet washes.

I hope you enjoy this one! And I love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave your comments!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Market Baskets

My most recent painting, titled "Market Baskets" was just finished yesterday. This piece was done on 140 pound Arches watercolor paper with my layering technique (see previous entries to learn my technique).
I saw these baskets at a fruit market one day when my friend Barbara and I were plein aire painting in Eau Gallie, Florida. When I saw the light glittering through the baskets, half in shadow, half in sunlight, I just knew they would make a great painting. I ran over with my camera and shot some reference photos right away. I could hardly wait to start working on drawings. Here is the result of the work.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Students at Work

My advanced students have been learning my "Layering" technique, AKA Pouring. This is a Palm Tree Study that I did as a demonstration, and they created the same painting with wonderful, and varying results.

The color blends in this technique are just so much fun! The movement in this piece is nice also.

This is the frosting on the cake, to tweak the final piece, and making it a work of art!

This is Dawn, who is removing the masking from her painting of a surfer. Everyone watched the "big reveal" and were excited to see what happened during the painting process.

As usual with these pieces, there are a few areas that need to be warmed or cooled with glazes of color as well as darkening values that were masked too early in the painting process.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Palm Fronds in Watercolor

This is a recent painting that was inspired by a photo from my friend Lin Sons. She took a photo of these frilly palm fronds in her backyard. Thus, I named this piece "Lin's Palm".

This piece is done with my Layering/Pouring technique. It measures 23 x 30 inches and is framed in a gold metal frame. It can be seen in person at the Art and Antique Studio and Gallery on Highland Avenue in Melbourne, Florida.

I really loved the lines and shapes in this piece. I also had fun working with darker values, especially in the background where some of the flora is almost hidden with glazes of blue. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mini Watercolor on Canvas - Beach Chairs

Watercolor on canvas is really fun. I did this little piece recently from a photo I took while at the beach last year.

Yes, this piece is layered (poured). I treat the canvas with Golden's White Absorbent Ground, several thin coats. Then I treat it just like I would any watercolor paper. The nice thing is that I can mask and dribble paint, and I can also easily lift! This little painting is now on my etsy shop.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tossed Salad Won the Prize

This little painting is one that I created for last weekend's Brevard Watercolor Society SPLASH event. This piece was in a challenge - Paint your favorite recipe. Each painting was to be 11 x 14 inches, matted and accompanied by the artist's recipe. I dubbed this one, "Tossed Salad".
Well, not only did I win the voter's choice for this contest, I also sold the painting to a wonderful couple from our area. Lots of fun!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Print Winner Announcement!

Contest Results (see previous blog post).

There were some great suggestions for the new name of the technique I have been experimenting with for this past year - and some were downright silly! People sent emails, posted comments on my Facebook page, and commented here at the blog.

We were searching for something simple, a one or two word description that was not too difficult to remember, yet very descriptive of the technique. I can tell that most of you read the blog entry describing the technique - thanks so much! The technique is modeled after Jean Grasdorf's "pouring" technique, except I don't actually "pour" the paint as Jean does. We wanted a name that would differentiate my method from hers.

Ken and I decided to give Pete Myers, of Oxford, Michigan the print, since he is the closest to our parameters for making the final decision. We will use his term with an addition of one word to make the technique name clear, concise and easy to remember. The small print is of "Cocoa Village Shadows", one of my most recent paintings employing this technique. It is matted and ready to frame.

Again, thanks to everyone for participating. I'll try to have more fun events like this in the future, so stay tuned. Watch for future posts of more paintings created with my "Macro Layering" technique!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bicycle Shadows

Introducing "Bicycle Shadows", one of my latest works. It was created on a half sheet of Arches 140 pound paper. This piece, as most of my latest work, was "poured".
A friend recently suggested that I come up with a different name for my process than "poured", as I don't really pour the paint. To create these works I use a value scale of 1 through 6, 1 being white and six being the closest color to black I can create from the colors on my palette.
I first create the drawing, trace the pencil sketch and then do a value study in various shades of gray and black marker. Then I transfer the drawing to my watercolor paper and mask the white areas. At this point I wet the entire sheet of paper with a puddle of water and allow it to soak in for a few minutes. Then, using a large round brush, either 14 or 16, I dip into the paint on my palette and dribble and stroke it gently onto the very wet paper. I use three primary colors for each application: my favorites are New Gamboge, Quinacridone Magenta, and French Ultramarine Blue. I apply the colors next to one another, not directly on top of one another, then I tip the board that holds my paper (I tape the paper to a foam core board with 2-inch masking tape) and I allow the colors to gently blend a little. The first application provides the 2 and 3 levels of value on my painting.
As I proceed through the painting I allow this to dry completely - usually overnight. Then, I mask the level two and three values that I want to save, and again wet the paper and apply the pigments. Each time I apply stronger and stronger pigments, never brushing to disturb the layers of paint below. I continue on with the process: dry, apply masking, wet the paper, apply the pigment. This continues until I reach those darkest values of deep color.
It's a fun, messy, and time-consuming process that produces colors and glow that I have not been able to achieve in any other manner.
If you have any ideas for a name for this technique I would love to hear them. My husband and I will go over the suggestions and if we pick yours, I will send you a small print of one of my paintings using this technique!
I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another Little Palm Frond

Another Little Palm Frond

Ah, it has been too long...
This piece is five by five inches, and it is watercolor on canvas. Yes...on canvas. I've been playing with pouring watercolor, well, I splatter more than I pour, but I have been experimenting with this technique on canvas also. So much fun.

The canvas must be treated with a white absorbent ground, then it will accept the watercolor pigments and even masking fluid beautifully. Once the painting is completed it must be sprayed with a UV clear coat to protect it.

One feature I love about the completed paintings executed on canvas is that the paint drips over the edge and creates beautiful color blends on the sides of the gallery-wrapped canvas. They are too pretty to cover with a frame!

This piece was just listed on my etsy shop and I have another one there also, which is a miniature on canvas.
Enjoy: http://watercolorgirl.etsy.com