Monthly Archives: May 2021

Mother Dear for Mother’s Day

Mother Dear, watercolor, 12″x9″

My father began an obsession with black and white photography in the mid-to-late 1970s. He had a lot of “hobbies,” and he never did anything halfway. If he was going to do a thing, he was going to do it right. His obsessions may have been short-lived, but when he was in the enthrall of one, he was “all in.” He had a bunch of 35-millimeter cameras and all sorts of lenses and filters. This was well before digital photography was possible. He loved the darkroom.

All in the family acted as his models from time-to-time, under the heat of his tin-can spotlights and make-shift photo studio. The black and white photograph of my mother that served as the starting point for this portrait really captured the personality of our mother (but I can’t seem to find my digital copy of it right now, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Ha!)

I started the painting as a demo during a portrait workshop, therefore, I do not have the first stage of the painting on video. After the workshop concluded, I saw my mother looking out at me and felt quite happy with the portrait, and posted it on social media. One of my brothers said something wasn’t quite right. Everyone’s a critic, right? After staring at it for a few days, though, I agreed. Back to the studio. I only recorded video on the second stage of the painting.

After a few weeks of looking at it some more, I decided it still needed something. The last stage I did not record, but I added the darks on the right of her face (See first image).

I’ve excerpted a 3-minute section of the second stage of the painting process.

Supplies questions answered before you ask for this tutorial:

Paper: 140 lb hot press watercolor paper, sized to 12″x9″
Paint: Sap Green, Manganese Blue Hue (in this segment)
Brush: #18 Round by KingArt 9020 Series.

Click the image below to watch the clip.

Pigment Strength and Paper State in Watercolor

I have been teaching watercolor lessons now for about 11 years. I started with a small class of four students in my Salt Lake City studio, just after I had graduated with my BFA in painting and drawing from the U

Video Preview

niversity of Utah. After moving to Nevada in 2017, I started teaching with two colleges. I now teach watercolor classes to matriculating students (those receiving credit toward a degree)  for the Western Nevada College as well as for the Truckee Meadows Community College community education program, called EPIC.

THEN in 2019 I opened a studio with a business address in Carson City, where I teach private classes and workshops. Through through the years, l I have learned a lot about introducing folks to watercolor painting (and I still have much to learn).

Hands down, though, the most challenging aspects of watercolor painting are understanding how to vary the pigment strength and learning about when to paint on wet, dry, or damp paper. In this video I talk about brush control methods and timing. Why do we paint light to dark? How do we achieve a fresh wash of paint? How do we achieve soft, lost, or hard edges?

In this quick 3-minute summary of a longer video I touch on the broad points.  I have excerpted parts of a longer 25-minute tutorial.  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 before I can call it “official.” I may change my mind about a subscriber platform as well. I have to ponder and research some pros and cons. For now, enjoy some free content on the Patreon channel.

Supplies questions answered before you ask for this tutorial:

Paper: 140 lb hot press watercolor paper, sized to 12″x16″
Paint: Transparent Pyrrol Orange by Daniel Smith
Brush: #18 Round by Kingart 9020 Series 9020.

Let’s watch the short clip, shall we?