Author Archives: reynolds

Tree Swallows

“Tree Swallows”

“Tree Swallows” drawing

Painting #12  of 15 for my Big Bird March (extending in to April) Challenge.  These lovely tree swallows landed on a fence just for me. The females are brownish gray, the fellas are shimmery black, but both have white bellies. Aren’t they adorable? They are overlooking the Empire Ranch Golf Course in Carson City, Nevada.

The painting is 7.5″x11″ on Arches 140lb cold press. I used Phthalo blue, Pyrrol Red and New Gamboge all by Daniel Smith. I have video. This may turn into an online class.

I drew up a value study beforehand, the same size as the eventual painting. I then traced up a contour drawing to my watercolor paper.

The painting is for sale, for either $99 (no mat), or $150 (with mat with black core). Select your “variant” at checkout on my Sellfy site. Click the Buy now button below.

Curious Finch

“Curious Finch”

I may be back online with this bloggin’ thing?

Where were we? Oh yes, painting birds for the Big Bird March challenge, that went in to April because of the covid-19 worldwide catastrophe.

This is painting #11 (15 was the goal), “Curious Finch” is 11″x7.5″ on Arches 140 lb cold press watercolor paper, painted wet-in-wet. I magically collaged (in my mind) several photos of one little finch who varied his pose for me on a fence for a whole 30 seconds (maybe more)? The early morning light just made his little yellow belly glow. At least I think he is a male? The little birds move so fast. When they are out of the sun, they are somewhat green-ish in tone. Click on images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I really cannot remember what pigments I used for sure. I think three different yellows, Hansa Yellow Light & Medium (cool & warmer), plus New Gamboge (warm). I probably used Ultramarine Light by Holbein mixed with Pyrrol Scarlet and Transparent Pyrrol Orange (Daniel Smith) to make the brown tones? But I may have used Phthalo Blue instead of Ultramarine. I will check the video clip. Maybe I will post a Youtube preview of the video soon too?

In other news, after much time, money, and fussing…it appears my MacBook laptop and blog are operational again. I am still working on getting the upgrade to the failed video capture device working (No audio! Why? Why? Why?). I also still need to sort out which streaming application and virtual meeting platform I will use to deliver my online watercolor classes for June and beyond.

AND so I can GO LIVE on my Facebook business page for the next Virtual Wine Walk, scheduled for Saturday, June 6th, 1-4pm. Save the date/time!

Zentangle Mandalas

With all this computer fiddling, I have had no time to paint. I do have lots of projects waiting in the wings of my mind; more birds (I have become quite the birdwatcher) and farm animals. It is a good thing my friend Dee has been inspiring me to Zentangle. So soothing… and a little bit of painting too. You can see some mandala tiles I have tangled and painted.

“Curious Finch” is for sale, with mat $150 or without $99. Specify which “variant” you prefer during checkout on my Sellfy product site. Click the green Buy now button for a longer description. 

 

Baby Ducks

Painting #10 of my Big Bird March (continuing in to April) Challenge, “Baby Ducks.”

This painting is based on some photos I took in my Utah days at Fairmont park in Salt Lake City. Momma had a lot more children, but I focused on just these three. The painting is on Arches 140lb cold press, 7.5″x11″ (or 1/8 of a full sheet). Click on images to see a larger view in a new browser tab.

I drew the value study while communing with my kitties the night before. I like to do the drawing the same size as the painting, so I can trace up my drawing outlines to the watercolor paper. I feel I do better on the painting when I have done a drawing beforehand. It helps me to know my subject when I’m in the middle of flowing paper.

This time, I painted while hanging with my Little on Google Hangouts, so it may be a “little” incomplete. Mainly I need to retrieve a highlight in Momma’s eye, so she doesn’t look blind.

Stay tuned for a video preview and other updates. I am typing this now to to test my blog software capabilities, which has been acting “fussy” – grrr.

Two Americas

Two Americas

Painting number nine in my Big Bird march (but continuing in April) challenge. This is my “Two Americas” painting, collaged from a selection of photos I took back in my Utah days at both Eagle Bay and the Tracy Aviary. The eagles in my source photo both had broken wings. I tried to minimize the visual damage to their wings, and I put them in a natural setting rather than the cage in an aviary.

This is painted on 140lb Arches cold press sized to 7.5″x11″, or one eighth of a full sheet of watercolor paper. Click on the image to see a larger view in a new browser tab.

I think the imagery is a visual commentary on the state of the not-so-united-state of America at the moment. I will let the title speak for itself, and you can interpret it your own way.

As with my previous post, rather than give you a long, written explanation of the painting process, I will include an accelerated video of selected clips in the painting process.

I used just five pigments throughout the painting, listed here in order of their appearance in the video. Manganese Blue Hue by Daniel Smith, Ultramarine Light by Holbein, Quinacridone Rose, Raw Sienna Light, and Transparent Pyrrol Orange; the last three colors also by Daniel Smith.

Enjoy the video of the painting process. There are few words, just moving pictures. Moving pictures should be worth lots of words, right?

The painting is for sale via my Sellfy Shop https://sellfy.com/crme-exploring-watercolor. You can pay what you want! I just ask that you pay the cost for me to ship it to you. Click on the green Buy Now button below for more details.

Bachelor Party

“Bachelor Party”

Painting #8 in my Big Bird March (but continuing in April) challenge. This is my “Bachelor Party” painting, collaged from a selection of photos of some house sparrows who hang outside my kitchen window. The female sparrows visit also, but they are more camera shy. I think the males may actually consider me a threat when they “pose” and glare at me through the window. This is a 7.5″x11″ watercolor painting on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on each image to see a larger view in a new browser tab.

“Bachelor Party” Drawing

I have skipped blogging about a couple of bird paintings. The paintings are nothing I want to brag about. I have quit counting the number of total birds, since this one alone means 10 separate birds!

Rather than give you a long written explanation of the painting process, I will just include an accelerated video of selected clips in the painting process. If a picture is worth a 1000 words, how many words is a video worth, I wonder?

Anyway, I used just four pigments throughout the painting; in order of their appearance in the video, Pyrrol Transparent Orange, New Gamboge (both by Daniel Smith), Ultramarine Light (Holbein), and Quinacridone Rose (Also by Daniel Smith).

I quite like the somewhat abstract nature of the painting and drawing. These guys will probably end up on a note card some day, or as a packet of bird cards. My usual rule is I don’t make prints of paintings unless I no longer have access to the original painting. So I may wait to see if this little guy sells? Or I may make a coronavirus exception to the rule? I’m not sure yet.

Enjoy the video of the painting process. There are no words, just moving pictures (worth thousands and thousands of words).

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, it is available via my Self Shop https://Self.com/CRME-Exploring-Watercolor. For details, you can click the convenient button below.

As always, I hope you will consider subscribing to this GREAT blog. See sign up option to the right (on a computer), or below (on a personal device). Thanks for stopping by.

One Daffy Spring

Daffy 2020

Diverging a bit from the Big Bird March theme, I decided to seize the day and paint a bouquet of daffodils. We have three different versions growing in our yard, so I clipped a sample of each and put ’em in a vase.

Direct painting attempt

I was home without my regular studio painting options, so I used my QoR watercolor set. I first did a “direct” option, without any pre-drawing. I found myself confused over where one flower ended and another began. Still, I rather like the softness of it?

I adjusted the flower arrangement a bit, and decided to draw first. I used QoR warm and cool yellows, as well has the warm blue (Ultramarine) and a touch of the warm red (Scarlet, I think). I mixed them altogether to create a soft gray for the white petal shadows and the background. See painting stages below.

Drawing with Subject

It was a nice diversion to paint happy yellow flowers. I also liked painting from life. Can you smell the flowers?

How are your painting endeavors going? Have you had more time to paint during your time at home? Have you had time at home? I am splitting my time between home and studio. Both are solitary ventures. I surely do miss all of my regulars at the studio. Sigh.

At this point I am planning on delivering my May classes as 2-hour live broadcasts; May 7, 14, 21, 28, starting at 1:00pm (PST). I am still waiting for some needed equipment and to sort out my delivery platform. It should be interactive on some level. It looks like I will need to pay for a platform to broadcast live the whole two hours, so I will most likely need to charge a modest fee. I may go live the first day for free, just to test the system.

Anyway, I am still working out the details. Stay tuned. Thank you for perusing this blog post.

 

If you are interested in purchasing this painting for the price you want, please see listing on my Sellfy Shop (click Buy Now for details).

 

 

Flamingos

Flamingos

Continuing with my Big Bird March Challenge…This is the 6th painting (but 9th & 10th in terms of bird numbers). The painting is 7.5″x11″ on Arches 140lb cold press. Click on images for larger views in new browser tabs.

I took a break from painting the bird challenge to teach a last workshop before the great economic shutdown; then took another three weeks or so, to create seven video tutorials.

Some time in the video editing immersion period, I did this quick direct painting of these flamingos. I used Pyroll Scarlet, Manganese blue, Phthalo blue, and Raw Sienna Light; all by Daniel Smith.

The painting was quite a challenge. I was distracted (and probably frustrated) with video editing. I couldn’t seem to achieve the effect I wanted, when I wanted it. In the end, I pulled out the palette knife (a tip from a Bev Jozwiak workshop) and started moving the paint around in the bird feathers, background, and water. I put the painting away in my take-home bag and went back to video editing.

I pulled it out again to show the home critics, and I thought, “Hmmm, tha’s not so bad!” hahaha. Especially for going in without any drawing to start. One home critic said, “Ooh, cool. Flamingos.”

This experience did make me realize that I much prefer to begin with a drawing. I really like the drawing process. It helps me to understand my subject and allows me to paint with more abandon.

In an effort to promote my new Sellfy Product Platform, I’m offering this painting for whatever price you want to pay. Well, sort of… I’m starting the pricing at $10, just to cover the shipping and handling.

My Sellfy Shop is called CRME Exploring Watercolor. Click the link or the image to go to the site. Thank you in advance.

“Flamingos” – Pay what you want (over shipping charges).

All video downloads in my Sellfy Shop are 20% off through April 30th. Use the code PREMIER during checkout.

Stay tuned for the next Big Bird March blog post, featuring a redheaded tweeter.

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Changes with Spring

Daffy Bees (front of card)

Happy Spring!

Just when you think you’re going to have a good year… Sigh. The Ides of March definitely came calling this year. I know we are all trying to reinvent the way we go about our business and our daily lives. I am really not suffering too much. I still teach an online watercolor class at Western Nevada College, my husband is still employed, all the kitties are healthy, and so is the brother. No one I know has become inflicted with this modern scourge. Things could be a whole lot worse… But…  I have definitely had to make some adjustments.

The three big challenges for me and my little art business have been:

  1. The local studio/classroom/gallery is closed for business. My in-person watercolor classes are cancelled for now. My scheduled workshop in California was cancelled. My TMCC community education class in Reno was canceled. I had thought to begin my studio classes again in May, but that is not looking too promising either right now. The closure also means my “Exploring Watercolor” business will not be participating in the May Wine Walk as I had planned. The monthly Carson City Wine Walk was cancelled for April, and I am anticipating the May walk will be also.
  2. The shut down gave me the opportunity to complete my video workshop editing about three weeks early. That was the good news!
  3. A change to the copyright office fee schedule has me reconsidering how and when to post work on social media sites, my website, online market places, and this blog.

My plan for the near term to address these changes:

  1. In May, I will schedule weekly live streaming watercolor demonstrations. I still need some equipment to arrive, some practicing to do, and some decisions to make (YouTube or Facebook? Fee or free? Public or private?), but… “Lord willing and the river don’t rise,” I will do the streaming at 1pm (Pacific time) on May 7, 14, 21, and 28. Stay tuned for details.
  2. I hope you will consider purchasing one or more of my new video tutorials. See my Sellfy CRME Exoploring Watercolor Shop (click link) or this Website https://colleenreynolds.com/art-classes for options. I’m offering 20% off any individual course through April 30th. Use code PREMIER to apply the discount at checkout.
  3. I will continue creating artwork and video tutorials at home and in the studio. However, I will only post work publicly that has been previously registered with the U.S. copyright office.

    Daffy Bees (back of card)

    It is now economically imperative to register my works as groups of 10 unpublished works, rather than individually after publication. It is not clear to me whether posting an image of artwork or a video tutorial on social media constitutes publication, so to be safe, in future I’m not going to post any work until after I’ve got it “in the books” at the U.S. Copyright Office.

    Daffy Bees (Open card)

I have three more unpublished paintings and dozens of unedited video tutorials finished or in progress, but for this post, please enjoy my “Daffy Bees.” This was painted on note card stock with watercolor and permanent ink. It started as a class demonstration for seniors. Those seniors are now in “lock down” in their rooms at their Independent living facility in Carson City. No visitors allowed.

This is how the card looks when opened. I like to let the image on the front of the card leak on to the back. If you have any interest in ordering prints of this card, do let me know…

Quarantines and Video Editing

Prelude: Perhaps you have noticed the absence of blogging on my part? Perhaps we do not notice that which is not, only that which is? At any rate, if you have been waiting with bated breath for my next bird painting… I apologize… the Big Bird March challenge had a coronavirus-related setback. It has taken me two days just to finish this blog post.

I have mostly been working on Workshop Video editing in my social-distancing time. See the images above. Click the images for larger views (then use your browser back arrow to return to this blog post).

3/28/20: You would think I would have much more time to paint and blog with all this social distancing and self-isolating?

I have actually found myself with quite a lot on my plate. First, there were all the cancellations of classes, and emails to announce said cancellations, and then the responses from and to all the hosts, and students, and then there were all the refund checks, and then the rescheduling of classes, and the updates of websites and social media accounts, etcetera, etcetera. Sigh.

Oh and book club? A great book, but it is was the fourth in a series, and of course, I wanted to read the first three, so I would have all the “back story.” I’m big on the back story. I only managed to read two in the series, then skipped to the fourth, so I could speak about it during our “virtual” book club via Google Hangouts. Now I still have one more book!  Which is wonderful. I don’t have to give up my new imaginary friends just yet (The Cormoran Strike detective series by Robert Galbraith, a.k.a. J.K. Rowling, for those interested).

In between all that, I thought it would be a marvelous time to get ahead on editing the videos for my video portraits workshop. I have actually spent most of my working-day hours on editing. I have two done. One is now “crunching” through the rendering and upload process (I’m told I must wait another hour and 30 minutes for the rendering to complete tonight).

3/29/30: I am now working on the third painting in the workshop series, “Little Cutie.” I actually was going to do a different painting, but… ah…. I had missing source video and audio. So I started from scratch and did a whole other painting. Which is actually good because this is the version of the portrait we actually did in the workshop.

“Little Cutie” is the most complex painting/video in the series. I thought I would break it into three video tutorials because the file size gets so massive. The drawing is about 40 minutes. The painting took an hour and 40 minutes (and after “staring time,” I still think I have a few corrections to make). The first stage of the painting is in the “video hopper” (aka Adobe Premier) as we speak.

The drawing video tutorial is up and ready. See Youtube preview.

In case you want to help out a… not-quite-starving-but-a-little-nervous-about-paying-the-studio-rent-artist in social…uh… isolation? (I was going to say purgatory – but that implies I’ve been a bad, bad artist)… All the full-length videos are for sale, either individually or as a package (the package purchase is the better deal, for sure). If you are interested, you can read the specifics under the “Colleen Teaches” menu of my very own website, www.colleenreynolds.com/art-classes (just click this link). The full descriptions of each product are located in my Sellfy Shop CRME Exploring Watercolor.

I created the Sellfy shop as a way to provide a video download product. I would be most celebratory if you happened to want to dance your fingers through the shop and give me some feedback? To pre-order the whole package, you can click the purdy green button below.

 

 

 

“Western Tanagers”

“Western Tanagers”

Birds 6, 7, and 8 for my 15×30 Big Bird March (I did not blog about bird #5 as I did not like it). Is it fair to count three birds in one painting as three? My challenge, my rules, right? Ha! I have a workshop to teach and host this weekend, so I need to surge ahead of schedule. Click on the image to see a larger view in your browser. I painted on 140lb Saunders Waterford cold press paper.

We love seeing these beautiful Western Tanagers flashing past us in the Spring and Summer months. We managed to catch some photos of them in some evergreens. I often cannot distinguish the Tanager from the Oriole at a distance, the female especially. When we returned home, we compared the photos against “The Bird Book” and “The Google.” These guys (and gal) were definitely Western Tanagers. Real birders probably would not need to consult The Google?

I combined four photos to come up with the composition; one of the blurry tanager in the background, two for the female, and one for the main male in the foreground.

I painted wet-into-wet, using Pyrrol Scarlet, Hansa Yellow Medium, Phthalo Blue (GS) and Quinacridone Rose (all by Daniel Smith). I’m going to let the Youtube video of the painting stages suffice for the process description this time.

The painting is 7.5″x11″ in a custom white mat with a black core to fit a standard 11″x14″ frame opening. Shipping $7 (if the painting does not need to be shipped, the shipping charge will be refunded). $185