Category Archives: Colleen’s WHAT? Series

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.

Resist, Wet or Dry? – Watercolor How-to Art Tip (WHAT?)

I am going to create a series of short posts on painting in watercolor. My goal is to post something at least once a week. I hope you will join me as I learn and experiment in watercolor.

The tips will be sometimes basic, sometimes investigative, sometimes just for fun. I hope to keep the tips short and informative. They may have accompanying video, as in this post, but may also be just text and images.

Without further ado then, let’s dive in to today’s topic; working with watercolor resist. “Resist” refers to a method of preserving the white of the paper before paint application.

In this test, I have used two methods, wax resist crayon and masking fluid. My wax resist is a clear wax resist crayon, Susan Scheewe or Dick Blick brand. My crayons came in a 4-pack, but there are many options out there (especially around Easter-Egg-painting-season). My masking fluid brand of choice is Pebeo Drawing Gum. I like this fluid because of its mid-tone gray and “inky” consistency.

For this “test,” I am applying the wax resist and masking fluid both on dry and wet paper. Check out the video below to see the results of the test.

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