Category Archives: Landscapes / Lifescapes

Artist’s Reception

Wall of Art

I had a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family during my featured artists show at the Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery in Carson City.

Five paintings went to new homes! More are ready to be adopted. The show will be up through August 3rd. I will be painting live at the gallery during the Carson City Wine Walk from 1-5pm on the final day. Come witness my denouement?

If you live far, far away and are not able to physically visit the gallery, Jeffery Pace, the gallery owner, takes call-in orders too! (775) 885-ARTS (2787). I would be happy to send you digital images and a price list of all the remaining paintings in the show.

Thank you to Dee, Joanie, Laura, Anette, and Betty for loving my paintings enough to take one home. I am most honored. All sold paintings are available for print-on-demand giclee print orders. Pricing depends on the requested print size. Taxes and shipping additional. To discuss send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I appreciate all comments, suggestions, and questions. Thank you for stopping by.

“Solar Summer” 11″x11″ Watercolor – SOLD!

“Mrs. Cluck” Watercolor 5″x7″ – SOLD!

“High Desert Spring” 5×7 Watercolor – SOLD!

“White Roses” 7×5 Watercolor – SOLD!

“All in a Row” 11×7 Watercolor – SOLD!

 

Teaching Day – Secondary Colors and Wet-into-Wet

Purple Beach

This is a wet-in-wet demonstration for my college watercolor class today.

We were also learning how to mix pretty secondary colors. For this painting, I used a cool red (Quinacridone Rose) and a warm blue (Ultramarine Blue).

The background just started as a purple study, but when I turned it vertical it looked like a sunset sky over the water. After it was dry, I added the deep water horizon, the hint of a faraway island, and the palm tree. “Purple Beach” 

If interested in purchasing this painting, click the add to cart button below. $50 without mat or frame. $4.50 shipping if paying through PayPal with a PayPal account or debit/credit card. Additional shipping charges for check payments or those who live outside the Continental U.S.

Thank you for subscribing! If you have not already turned it on, you have two options in the right column of the blog; either RSS feed (click the orange/white icon) or by email (click the words “Subscribe to Colleen Reynolds, Artist by Email”).

 

“Purple Beach” $50 (no mat or frame)


Quail in the Bush – 20th Painting for June 20th

Quail in the Bush – Watercolor 5″x7″

This cute “Quail in the Bush” painting had to be another compromise with my competing painting requirements; challenge vs watercolor classes. He started as a demonstration for my community education watercolor class, where we are focusing on the fundamental topic of texture. This week we played with adding cheesecloth, alcohol, bleach, lifting, wax, scraping, and more, to watercolor pigment. After doing some texture inspiration studies, we did a “paint along” using a photo of a quail my husband and I saw on a walk the other morning, as our reference.

During the walk, we had our super zoomy lens on the camera. Those quail do scurry fast away from scary humans. With the zoomy telephoto lens, he didna even know we caught him in the act of being super silhouetted in the morning light.

Source Photo

I do not have images or video to illustrate the painting progression, as usual, so we’ll just have to rely on descriptive text this time.

To begin, we decided on a small format (5.5″x7.5″) Arches 140 lb cold press paper. We taped the edges all around, ’cause we knew we were gonna get wet! The only pre-drawing was a soft diagonal line to indicate the distinction between the foreground and the background. I like to set up elements on a diagonal to create a sense of movement. We also penciled in an oblong diamond shape for the quail placement. I could have done a better job of keeping the bird out of the center, but in the end, the plume is placed quite nicely at the golden mean cross-section of the whole composition. Nice! I wish I could say it was intentional. ha!

We used wax resist sticks to save some random twigs and dots for the highlights on the bushes, and to save the critical highlight on the back of the quail’s back and head.

We painted the background wet-into-wet. We wet the area above the diagonal line with clear water, then dried the paper back slightly. We caressed in some Ultramarine Light (Holbein), Hansa Yellow Deep (Daniel Smith) into the wet. We let some blue and yellow show independently but created soft blends of the two for a nice olive green blur.

After the background dried slightly, we puddled some blue, yellow and Pyrrol Red (Daniel Smith) into the bottom left corner, then pushed cheesecloth (with the strings “pulled about” for an organic look) into the wet paint. We dabbed strong pigment (all three colors) on top of the cheesecloth to make it “stick.”

We blew with a straw into the runny pigment, up and to the right to create some twigs and branch effects. We puddled the same mix of colors into the lower right of the painting and blew a bit more with the straw. We splattered with all three colors over all the foreground. Some of the splatters crept into the wet background, creating some unintended water bursts. It was tempting to “fix” them, but we just let them be.

We mixed up a strong (milky strength) dark pigment with the blue and red and painted in the dark mounds for the quail to rest. The wax application kept us from losing our highlights. So far, we just pretended the bird wasn’t even a part of the painting.

Stage 1 – Quail in the Bush

After drying the painting slightly, I painted the silhouette of the quail into the penciled diamond shape. I took care now to create the curves. I saved the bird’s plume for last. I tried to do it with just one “smush” calligraphy stroke, but I ended up doing it twice because I didn’t have a good paint load on the brush. Now the plume was too big. Sigh.

We added some hints of branches, twigs, and grasses on the shadow side of the white wax highlights. We dried back the painting again and added a darker middle to the quail plume. We scratched a little with a sharp knife to connect some of the “blobs” of wax.

That is where the class demonstration ended. We discussed removing the wax and softening some highlights.

After returning to my studio, I removed the wax by placing the painting face down on some Viva clothlike paper towels, put a lint-free cloth over the back and ironed the painting. The paper towel “sucks” the wax out of the paper. I have video of this process (with a different painting) posted on my Youtube channel, click the link Wax Resist Removal.

Also on my Youtube channel you can see my studio adjustments (Or just click the arrow below).

If you’re interested in purchasing this sweet little painting, it can be done for a mere $150 with frame.

This little guy will be dressed up in a frame and hanging on a gallery wall for my Featured Artist’s Show with Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery in July 2019 (unless sold prior to the show). Artist’s reception July 18th from 4-7pm. I hope you can stop by?

If purchasing with a PayPal account or a credit/debit card through PayPal, you save a ton on shipping ($15). Check payers and those living outside of the continental U.S. will incur additional shipping charges. Nevada residents also have to pay sales tax.

I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.

Quail in the Bush $165 (w/ frame/mat)


 

18th Painting 30×30 Watercolor Challenge – My Neighbor’s Roses

“My Neighbor’s Roses”

Continuing with my Facebook group’s 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge, I painted this little study of the roses creeping over our back fence from the neighbor’s bushes. Now some might think this an intrusion, but each June we welcome the beautiful color. For this painting, I enjoyed the purple cast shadows resulting from the early morning light. My brother actually called my attention to the scene before he headed off for work. I have two amazing artistic resources in my household. My brother, who also paints, and my husband, who points a camera lens around to great effect. Both have taught me much.

I began painting without any drawing, with a wet surface, using my trusty #14 Lowe Cornell round brush on Arches 140lb cold press paper. I used a photo reference.

This time, I began painting positively with the figure, rather than the ground. I used four reds, Pyrrol Red (warm), Quinacridone Red (cool), Pyrrol Crimson (cool and dark), and Quinacridone Coral (warm). This time I used Sap Green (warm) and Ultramarine Light (warm) for the foliage. All pigments are Daniel Smith brand except the Ultramarine Light (Holbein). I used the Pyrrol red for the light side of the roses, and Quin Red in the shadows. This for the bunch at the left that was in the light. I wanted to indicate the right bunch was in shadow, so I used Quin red and Pyrrol Crimson for that grouping.

Stage 1

Stage 2

I mixed up a neutral brown with the Sap Green and Quin Red for the background fence. I skewed the green to blue for the shadow areas of foliage. I left a white edge on the left to indicate light direction, and let the shadow side bleed into the fence. I added straight Sap Green into some areas of the red for foliage indications. Adding the green on to of the red had the effect of neutralizing the leaves to olive green, but some areas showed bright and warm. I tried hard not to lose all the white sparkles.

Stage 3

For the cast shadows (my favorite part of the painting!), I waited until the paper had dried back some. I mixed the Pyrrol Crimson with the Ultramarine to achieve a nice violet mix. When I touched the shadows on top of the brown fence, the intensity was knocked back a bit. I loved the resulting violet tones. I added some boards and planks on the fencing using the same violet tone. For the light side of the angular support plank, I dry-brushed some Ultramarine Light.

Stage 4

I let the paper dry back even more, and indicated some petals on the rose bunch in the light with Pyrrol Red and Quin Coral. In the shady bunch, I used Pyrrol Crimson to indicate shadows. For these strokes, I almost just “scribbled” with the tip of my brush.

A note on the process images. I usually videotape when I paint. It helps me remember my sequence. It is a great learning tool, both for me and my watercolor students. But I really don’t have time (or the storage capacity) to edit every video of every painting, so this is a nice compromise, right? These process images are screenshots taken from the video clip, hence the blurry quality. The photo of the final painting was taken with my SLR camera, though, and shows the details a bit better.

My Neighbor’s Roses – Final Painting

If you’re interested in purchasing this painting, it can be had for the low, low price of $150 (she is all dressed up with her mat and ready for a show). Shipping is $15.00 if you live in the Continental U.S. and pay through PayPal with a PayPal account or a credit/debit card. Check payments and shipping to those in distant lands will incur additional shipping charges. Nevada residents have to pay sales tax (sorry).

My Neighbor’s Roses $150 (w/frame & mat).

I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.

 

Recovery Day – If a Tree Falls…

“If a Tree Falls…”

Hello There! It occurs to me that today is the 13th because it says so at the top (or is it the bottom?) of this post. I had to do a quick left head swivel to look at the very cool desktop calendar of Colleen Reynolds’ art, just to confirm it is not also Friday! Whew! The 13th AND Friday did not collide. I am safe for the day from bad luck, right?

Today is recovery day after a marathon two days of teaching and teaching preparation. I taught two classes yesterday – one college watercolor class in the morning, starting at 9:30, and one in the evening for a community education program. Fortunately for my back, both classes were given at the same college campus and taught in the same room.

I arrived at 8:30 to allow time for hauling all those supplies into the room for setting up. The morning class went well. We practiced basic brush strokes and talked about grading and supplies, etc. The students did not have access to class stuff before the first day of class, so one of the bags I had to haul to the temporary art room (regular classroom under renovation) was a bag full of palettes, paint, brushes, etc. to get everyone through the first week. Some of the supplies belong to the school, so I had to retrieve things from a completely different building (two flights of stairs away). No storage is allocated for “Art teaching” in the temporary geology room, so said supplies had to then be returned to the other building after class. Sigh.

The 3-hour class, though, gave me immeasurable joy. I love my ten students, eager to learn the secrets and intricacies of this watercolor medium for the next nine weeks of a relaxing summer term. Nine of the ten students have no other classes, except this one, so I expect lots of undivided attention.

After the morning class, I dashed home for a slight respite to feed myself and my furry beasties but returned with enough time to allow for a 2-hour setup period for the evening community education class. I am teaching my “kitchen sink” class where we add a lot of auxiliary materials to the watercolor pigment to create texture. It’s a fun class for expanding creativity, especially for students new to watercolor, but it does entail many extra hours of preparation on my part.

The class itself was a joy. I was having a blast throwing salt, painting mediums, spices, papers, chalk, crayon (and more!) into the paint on small 4″x6″ pieces of Arches 140lb paper. Lots of oohs and aahs were happening as we all just watched the interactions unfold on paper, without any pressure of creating “a subject” (See images below). I do have an hour-long video of creating the texture studies. If you’re interested in purchasing a link to the video for $5, shoot me a message in the comments section below or via my “Contact” page on this website.

“If a Tree Falls…” Deja vu?

The last 45 minutes of class, we created a small little “paint-along” watercolor sketch, based on a photograph I took on one of my morning walks. It is a little 5.5″x7.5″ sketch. We used sea salt, cling film, splattering, and a tiny bit of titanium white added to just three colors of watercolor; Ultramarine Blue (Holbein), Hansa Yellow Light (Daniel Smith), and Pyrrol Red (Daniel Smith).

We started with a very simple sketch to separate the composition into the diagonal tree shape, a background (top third), a middle ground (middle third) and a foreground (bottom third) We painted a wet-into-wet background first, dropping coffee-strength mixtures of our yellow, blue and pre-mixed neutralized green.

We let the background dry back a bit, then used the same strength of pigment to paint a wet-on-dry middle ground, using some dry-brushing and skipping some white areas for sparkle. We left the tree trunk area dry and white. We added sea salt and splattered into the middle-ground area with yellow, green, blue and a tiny bit of the red.

For the foreground we painted with the same type of application as the middle-ground, just with stronger pigment and bit more of the red, still leaving the tree trunk white and untouched. We added more sea salt and wet splatter on top of the salt.

For the fallen tree trunk, we mixed up a gray tone with the blue and red and a tiny touch of the yellow. We dry brushed the coffee-strength mixed gray pigment to the front of the tree trunk, then applied cling wrap. I then used the blow dryer so I could remove the salt before adding some final darks and calligraphy strokes to the foreground and tree. I called out the shape of the fallen tree by adding darks behind and below the tree.

Sea Salt, Bath Salt, Wild Rice

Note: using the blow dryer did dampen the effects of the salt application. It is much better to let the paint dry naturally to achieve an accentuated burst from the salt (see salt texture study image to compare).

After an exhausting and somewhat comical effort to return everything to my car, I returned home to have my sweet, sweet lifesaver of a husband greet me at the door. He unloaded everything and hauled it all back into my home studio. Whew!

And I LOVED IT! All the students in both classes are just wonderful, funny, and eager to learn. See all the fun we had, creating textures in watercolor? Below are four more of the seven texture studies we completed. I confess, these are the studies I completed during my preparation day. I already have the photos processed, so…

To purchase “If a Tree Falls…” (with a black/copper frame and a white black core mat), just click on the “add to cart” link. Shipping is $15 if paying with PayPal or Credit Card for a Continental US order. Check payments and international orders incur additional shipping charges. Taxes are additional, where applicable.

If a Tree Falls.., $150 (w/ frame and mat)

I appreciate all comments, suggestions, and questions. Thank you for stopping by!

Click on images for a larger view.

Lifting preparation, wax & unwaxed string, bubble wrap, water lifting with & without tape stencils.

Texture and granulation mediums

Chalk, crayon, conte crayon

Cling wrap, foil, wax paper

A Walk of Roses

Wow! I took a walk in the early morning light. The neighborhood roses are peaking.

We have white ones, pink ones, red ones, yellow and coral. ‘Tis a feast for the eyes. I can’t wait to paint a few.

I want to try using some textural effects since that is my focus for my Community Education watercolor class this week.

Or I am also teaching a college watercolor class for June and July. The class started yesterday. Maybe I will try some sumi-e style calligraphy strokes? 

Or maybe some wet-into-wet for my #30x30directwatercolor challenge? Stay tuned to see what happens?

I hope to update you all this afternoon on my painting prowess. Stay tuned.

I appreciate all comments, questions, or suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.

All photos are subject to copyright. Please no downloading or copying or using as a painting reference without permission.

5th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor – Abstract Splatter

“Splatter Landscape”

“Splatter Landscape”. In preparation for my watercolor class with a focus on texture, I created this little 5″x7″ abstract landscape using splatter techniques; splattering wet paint to a very wet surface on the bottom and wet paint on to a dry surface on the top. I used a few “pull” calligraphy strokes to “find” some trees and branches. I also brought out my little diamond-shaped palette knife to scrape back some highlights, and some “sticks” in the foreground. It was just a 20-minute study to watch how the paint moves. A good exercise, me thinks?

Thank you for stopping by. Click on the image for a larger view. I welcome all comment, questions, and suggestions.

Just click the button to purchase the full, narrated video download is available for only $6

 

See video preview below

 

 

4th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor – Carson River

“River of My Mind”

Today I painted a “double duty” painting. I have a class on texture starting tomorrow and I wanted to continue with the #30x30DirectWatercolorchallenge. So.. How about a painting that satisfies both? On my morning walk, I meandered along the Carson River, looking for waterfowl. Mysteriously, the plethora of geese gaggles usually resident along the river and in the adjacent golf course are all but absent? I hope there has not been an effort to cull their numbers? Alas, on the far side of the course, I did see several families of geese with teenagers in tow. They seemed very leery of me and my camera.

Leery Geese

It was, however, a beautiful morning with much to see and admire. This scene I did without pre-drawing, wet-into-wet, and sans reference. ‘Tis all from my mind, which may explain why the water seems to be slanting sidewise? Ha!  But it does feel very “textury”, so I did get some good practice for my class tomorrow. This is an 8″x10″ study on 140lb Arches Rough.

In my mind’s eye, perhaps I was combining the two scenes below? Next time, maybe I will use the reference while painting?

 .  

Click on images for a larger view. I appreciate comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.