Monthly Archives: April 2021

Flying Geese to Finish Off a Painting

Each morning I walk along the Carson River just a few blocks from my front door. There is quite a lively wetlands full of bird life along the river and the adjoining golf course. The water attracts geese by the hundreds. I enjoy their honking morning arrival as part of my morning ritual. As the source for this painting, “Fly Away Home” (study), I captured a whole flock in flight with my iPad camera.  I did not know it at the time of the picture, but it was one of the last days I would see the flocks before they migrated to wherever they go after their spring babies are big enough to tag along, maybe Canada? They are Canadian Geese, afterall.

Fly Away Home study

Fly Away Home (Study) 5.5″x7.5″

The larger version of this painting sold from my local gallery, but this small study (image size is 5″x7″) is still available for purchase.

I have excerpted the part of the painting where I painted a small landscape in preparation for a landscape workshop.  The small painting took just over 50 minutes (at least of recorded video). I have the  complete video available on my Patreon channel, www.patreon.com/exploringwatercolorcolleenreynolds where paying subscribers will have access to both this 3-minute WHAT video, as well as the full-length video. My expected official launch of the Patreon Channel will be June 15th. I still need to populate  the channel with lots and lots of videos, both public and private, before I can call it “official.”

Supplies questions answered before you ask for this video.
Paper: 140 lb hot press watercolor paper, sized to 5.5″ x 7.5″
Paint: Quinacridone Rose, Ultramarine Light, New Gamboge – all mixed up into a nondescript gray tone.
Brush: #14 Round by Lowe-Cornell (The Lowe-Cornell brand with a red stripe was replaced by Kingart 9020 Series #14 in 2020. The Kingart series brush has a gold stripe)

Let’s watch the short clip, shall we?

Painting a Textured Flower Center

"Three Brothers" Watercolor painting by Colleen Reynolds

“Three Brothers” watercolor 5″x7″

I completed this little sunflower painting some time ago, as I was preparing for a workshop on painting flowers and landscapes. I confess I like the small study better than the larger version. There is just something about sunflowers that give a lift to my spirits. And when the painting comes out as cute as this little darling, my spirits do soar.

I have excerpted the part of the painting where I paint the centers of the sunflowers. The whole painting took just over 45 minutes. I have the  complete video available on my Patreon channel, www.patreon.com/exploringwatercolorcolleenreynolds where paying subscribers will have access to both this 3-minute WHAT video, as well as the full-length video. My expected official launch of the Patreon Channel will be June 15th. I still need to populate  the channel with lots and lots of videos, both public and private, before I can call it “official.”

Supplies questions answered before you ask for this video.
Paper: 140 lb hot press watercolor paper, sized to 5.5″ x 7.5″
Paint: Pyrrol Red, Ultramarine Light, New Gamboge
Brush: #14 Round by Lowe-Cornell (replaced by Kingart 9020 Series #14)

Let’s watch the short clip, shall we?

Dot & Pull Method – Color an Ink Drawing

“Geraniums” Sketch and wash, micron pen and watercolor

How fun is it to draw? I sometimes truly just enjoy a drawing session. If I really want to challenge myself, I do it in ink. This makes me think carefully about angles, proportion, and the relationships between shapes and elements.

I had convinced my gardener husband to buy some geranium starts to populate our potted flowers. Since it took a little convincing, I thought I’d better preserve the flowers for prosperity. I first sketched with a black ink micron pen en plein air, adding a zentangle pattern called Florz to the background. A few days later I decided to add paint. This back in the studio under lights and camera. Luck for you, right?  I do not have video of the plein air drawing, just the painting part.

The original painting sold to an artist friend in Utah. Thank you, my friend. You know who you are.

For this 3-minute video demonstration, I am showing the “dot & pull” method for adding color to an ink drawing.

I have excerpted parts of painting the red blossoms and the foliage below. The whole painting took about 20 minutes. I hope to have the complete video available at the launch of my Patreon channel, where paying subscribers will have access to all these 3-minute WHAT series videos, as well as a bunch of other full-length videos. The channel is built, but the populating of the channel still needs to happen. Stay tuned for the expected “launch date” of June 15th.

Supplies questions answered before you ask for this video.

Paper: Sketch paper, 140 lb watercolor paper in a spiral sketchbook by Canson. I can’t remember the size at the moment. I have two sketchbooks from the same maker, and I don’t actually remember which one I used at the time.

Paint: Quinacridone Rose, Pyrrol Red, Cobalt Blue Violet, Cascade Green, and New Gamboge all by Daniel Smith; plus some opaque Lavender by Holbein.

Brushes: #14 Lowe-Cornell 9020 Series Round.

Let’s watch how it all happened. The video will premier on Youtube on April 11th @ 7am PDT.

Painting a Stormy Sky – Watercolor How-to Art Tip (WHAT?)

If you want to improve your watercolor painting, I’m told, paint a sky a day. I believe I heard this from watercolor painter, Iain Stewart. Maybe it was Thomas Schaller? Maybe both?

High Country, Watercolor 11″x7″

I just finished a workshop on creating distance in landscapes. I painted a lot of different skies in preparation. My painting, High Country, acted as one of those practice paintings.

In this video I have excerpted and edited the sky section from the raw video of the completed painting. I finished the sky in about 8 minutes. The whole painting took just under an hour. The secret to a good sky is to LEAVE IT ALONE! Easier said than done, right? The less you touch a sky, the better. This is almost always the case. I may have touched this one a little too much, but I did manage to leave it alone for the last 52 minutes of painting.

Supplies questions answered before you ask.

High Country in frame

Paper: I painted on 1/8th sheet of 140 lb watercolor cold press. It may have been Arches brand, or it may have been Saunders Waterford. I’m not sure. The painting is on show at the Nevada Artists Association gallery in Carson City right now, so I will have to wait to check for sure.

Paint: Ultramarine Light by Holbein, and Daniel Smith pigments: Cascade Green, Cobalt Blue Teal (just a wee bit), Raw Sienna Light, Indanthrone Blue, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, and Pyrrol Scarlet.

Brushes:1 1/2″ flat brush, a #18 KingArt 9020 Series Round, a Quiller 1″ flat, and a #0 Liner (for my signature)

Tabletop easel: Easelite by Gary Collins

Let’s watch how it all happened. The video will premier on Youtube on April 5th @ 9am PDT (new time). Happy Easter for those of you who celebrate.