Category Archives: Watercolor Floral

Golden Winter Berries

My two-step demonstration painting for the Thursday watercolor class, “Golden Winter Berries.”  I gave the class a choice of three images, chosen because of the variety of edges we needed to depict, whether lost, soft or hard. Most chose the photo with the berries. 

We began with a 7.5″x5.5″ piece of Arches140 lb cold press paper taped to a piece of gatorboard.

I wet the surface completely. While the water soaked in a bit, I prepared my colors. We used New Gamboge, Pyrrol Red (both by Daniel Smith), and Ultramarine Light (Holbein).

I created a pile of medium-strength golden yellow by using mostly Gamboge, a little red and a little blue.

I mixed another pile of medium-strength brownish-red by using mostly red, a little yellow and a little blue.

Finally, I mixed up a pile of just Ultramarine blue.

I re-wet the paper, then dropped in all three colors, leaving some areas white, but letting the paint swim together to leave a lost edge.

After drying off that layer, I moved all three colors to the mixing area, this time in thick strengths. I wiped the brush through the three pigments and painted the branches using calligraphy strokes. I painted the berries, with two short “C-strokes” reflecting each other, to create a berry with a highlight. I then added some dark shadows, especially between the berries.

I used my rigger brush to sign my painting. I decided I liked the branches growing up, rather than hanging down. I then used the rigger to add more “twiggy” branches, and few outline strokes around some of the berries, using all three colors.

The painting took about 25 minutes (It has taken me longer to prepare this blog post  <smile>).

Today, I have two more days left in February, but I have three more paintings to complete my goal. Which means, I must paint at least TWO furry critters today! Stay tuned…

Subscribe?

Subscribe today! You'll learn about watercolor, even have access to process videos from time-to-time. Did we mention, your subscription is FREE!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: CRM Endeavors Exploring Watercolor, 400 W. King St, Carson City, NV, 89703, https://colleenreynolds.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

I hope you will consider subscribing. You can easily sign up with the form above or in the right sidebar (on a computer) or below (on a mobile device).

Brusho® is Back!

Thanks!!!

Exciting news! I have been asked to exhibit my art in the Western Nevada College art gallery from April 1st – May 15th, 2020, where I teach art as an adjunct faculty member.

In thinking about what I would want to exhibit, I have looked around my studio and home for large pieces that would “hang together” well for a show, whether old or new.

Rhapsody in Spring

My husband’s favorite piece of my artwork is “Rhapsody in Spring” (orange poppies) which I painted in 2013, along with three other full-sheet-sized (22″x30″) paintings using the same medium, Brusho®. The other three paintings in the series sold. I recently just reframed “Rhapsody in Spring” with a blue metallic frame, and she looks fabulous! I must say. I would really like to show her off in this exhibit. But… right now she is one-of-a-kind in my collection of Colleen Reynolds original works.

Then a Facebook memory showed up featuring some little calligraphy cards I painted in 2016 using Brusho. See “Tiger Lilies” and “Dancing Irises”. Cute or what? And a Facebook friend suggested he’d sure like a “lick mail” letter with one of those designs.

Long story short, the “forces” are telling me to play with Brusho® again, right?

I have fiddled with them a bit over the last few years, but I have not embarked on any serious artwork with them for over five years.

That was a big lead-in to explain why I have diverted from my Furry Friends challenge for the last two days. I have been re-discovering my Brusho® Pots.

Brusho® is a watercolour pigment made in England. All the colors are extremely intense (bright). Each color comes in a pot of pigment that has been crystallized into a fine powder. When the crystals are sprinkled on to paper and water is added, the pigment explodes into wonderful random bursts of color, looking much like fireworks. It is a very exciting medium to work with.

It does have its challenges though. 1) The pigment stains the paper almost immediately, so I have to work fast to achieve a variety of edges. 2) It also goes really dark (low value) really fast if I use too much pigment. And, 3) as I mentioned, all the pigments are extremely intense (bright), which means they all compete for attention on the page.

To combat the intensity and value issues, I like to dissolve and dilute the crystals with water and paint with them as I would regular watercolor.

 

But practice is needed. I painted the little original card  “Thanks!!!” (see first image above) as a warm-up. I did send it off to that hinting friend. I have also begun another Full Sheet painting so “Rhapsody in Spring” may have at least one partner at the College Gallery show in April. It needs to be painted and framed in less than a month. Yikes! Will I make it?

Or maybe I will just not hang any Big Brusho paintings in the upcoming exhibit?

 

 

These are the other three (sold) large Brusho® paintings in the “Big Brusho” Series from 2013-15. Click on the images to see larger views in new browser tabs.

Rhapsody in Summer

Rhapsody in Fall

Rhapsody in Blue

Peaches!

Peaches!

Another day away from my furry friends of February challenge. I taught two classes in my studio today, back-to-back. “Peaches!” watercolor 7.5″x5.5″ on 140 lb Arches cold press. Click on the image to bring up a larger view in a new browser tab.

This is an impromptu demo painting of some peaches. Photo by Jackie Estes of her very own juicy peach tree from last summer. “How would I approach this painting?” She asked. So I showed her. 

We used New Gamboge, Quinacridone Rose (by Daniel Smith), and Ultramarine Blue (by Holbein). I started wet and swimmy by dropping in areas of color on the really wet surface, letting the colors mix on the paper. After it was dry, I then called out the hard edges on the peaches and around the leaves. Fun. I like the variation of in-focus out-of-focus and the contrast at the focal point.

Sometimes it is good not to have enough time to “finish” a painting <smile>.

The painting is for sale, $95 (plus shipping $7 and taxes where applicable). Price includes a white mat with a black core, backing board, and a cellophane bag covering. The outside edge of the mat is 10″x8″ to fit in a standard-sized frame.

$95

 

 

Cosmos

Cosmos Too

For my class at the Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in Reno, we painted a simple flower painting, using my “Dot & Pull” method. I adapted my little painting style from creationsceecee on Youtube. I’ve adapted it a bit to include a soft background and based my creations on flowers in my garden, rather than imaginary ones. In this case, I used the cosmos flower as my inspiration.

Sunflowers Three

Last year, I also adapted the same method to paint sunflowers.

All the paintings are on 140 lb Arches cold press watercolor paper, sized down to 5.5″x7.5″. In a 5″x7″ black core mat that fits into an 8″x10″ frame opening quite nicely. I am hoping to have a number of them to offer for sale during future Carson City Wine Walks. My Carson City studio, Exploring Watercolor, will be on the walk map, beginning in April.

Anyway, it was a day away from February Furry Friends challenge. I will need to get back to them soon.

I did have to take another day away to prepare for another college class. You will be able to read all about that in my next post (I still need to take photos).

Spiked – Drawing

Spiked – Final, Graphite 7.5″x11″

Portrait #18 of my 30 x 30 Portrait Challenge, “Spiked” 7.5″ x 11″

This is another preparatory drawing for a watercolor painting (I hope). Events conspired against me today, keeping me away from studio time. Sigh.

First, I did a contour drawing of the shadow shapes. See stage 1.

Stage1

I shaded in the first level of value to separate the dark from the light. See Stage 2. This is often my favorite stage of the drawing, but I always have a hard time not taking it further.

Stage 2

Stage 3

I began to shadow in the dark darks of the hair and shoulders…

Stage 4

I found myself lost in the drawing, adding all the subtleties of the next layers of value. I try to draw in the same order as I would paint, from light to dark. I want to capture 5 layers of value; highlight, halftone, core shadow, reflected light and cast shadow; just like my teach, John Erickson, told me in college.

After putting the drawing away for a moment, I noticed the shoulders were too small. After that final adjustment, I decided to stop. 56 mins. A good prep for a watercolor painting. Stay tuned!

Bittersweet Endings

Temperature Bias Color Wheel (Primary/Secondary Colors)

My summer watercolor class with Western Nevada College finishes tomorrow. The ending will be greeted with both relief and sadness. I have had a wonderful group of students to help me through my first semester of teaching college watercolor. I have wanted an opportunity to teach watercolor at the college level since I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2009.

While applying grades to art is stressful, both for the instructor and the student, I am sad because my “relationship” with this group now ends. I will miss them. Sigh.

Lesson on calligraphy strokes

I have taught a lot of watercolor classes in the private sector and found it to be quite rewarding. However, I have truly enjoyed being able to teach a more progressive approach to learn watercolor – where I can start with basics and build toward more complex concepts.  I had the opportunity to impart a solid foundation of techniques and concepts that students will hopefully build upon going forward. However hated the grade, it does encourage students to actually practice and comprehend the material.

Lesson on monochromatic harmony and value

“The White Lesson”

I won’t lie, creating any new curriculum means hard work; building lesson plans, designing assignments, a schedule, and a grading scheme takes much time and attention to detail.

The college has a fantastic learning platform for instructors and students, called Canvas. Inside the learning system, I create modules that include the assignment and resources for a given lesson. I can post my syllabus for easy reference. I can schedule due dates and submission criteria and time frames. I can track attendance, use a speed grader, communicate privately with each student about a specific assignment. I can make announcements to the class as a whole or communicate within a closed messaging system with an individual student. I keep learning more little tricks and new features in the system. I often miss selecting a required feature or forget to “publish” the module, or have the date set wrong. My first class group has had to help me work out the little kinks. If any of you are out there reading this, thank you!

I have tweaked and improved my “plan” as the semester progressed. I am scheduled to teach the same class for the Fall semester. Fingers crossed, the enrollment numbers will give me the opportunity to apply my lessons learned.

Lesson on analogous color harmony

The best feature of the learning platform? I can copy all the work, with all the lesson plans, files, settings, and announcements to the next semester – 90% of the preparation work is done! So cool! The hard work transfers! Yay!

Bittersweet. It is ending, but I had this experience, now, with these students. I hopefully imparted my passion for watercolor on to another dozen folks, who will perhaps become passionate watercolor advocates in Northern Nevada? I teach at a small college and live in a small town. Maybe I’ll see them again? And now I have a month off before the Fall semester begins. Carpe diem. Today is good.

New and exciting happenings are on the horizon, Stay tuned!

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

 

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!

 

Fire Lilies (maybe?) Paintings 22 & 23 for Direct Watercolor Challenge

Day 2 of “patio plein air.” Paintings 22 and 23 of the 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge. This time I had to paint the blooming orange lilies. I have had several discussions on social about the name of these beautiful lilies. Our best conclusion is that they are the “Asiatic Lily, Orange Matrix” version of lilies. Nice!

Stage 1

I had no video camera to record the painting process, but I did remember to take a few process photos.

Stage 2

I began on wet paper with no pre-drawing. Though, because of the dry Nevada open air, the paper dried quite quickly. I painted the centers of the flowers first with the two warmest yellows on my palette, Hansa Yellow Medium / Deep, plus Permanent Orange (Daniel Smith). I painted the ends of the lily petals with Quinacridone Coral and let the coral swim into the yellow. I then added Quinacridone Rose (cool red) to turn the petals around the bend.

Stage 3

I added some foliage indications with Sap Green (Daniel Smith) and Ultramarine Light (Holbein). I added the Lily buds first with sap green and then the added Permenent Orange in the middles. While the paint was still quite wet, I put in the lily bud centers with one calligraphy line stroke and let the line diffuse.

Trying to paint so many lilies on such a small surface (7.5″x5.5″) left me confused as to where one flower ended and another began. Whew!

I added some light wet yellows and oranges to the top left to hint at more lilies beyond and added hints of new lily underbellies with the Red Rose and Red Coral in the bottom right.

“Fire Lilies” – Final Painting

After the painting dried back a bit, I added the stamen ends with the cool red and a new color Rose of Ultramarine (warm violet), stems with the coral. I couldn’t see the pistils, so I did not paint them. I added some of the Rose of Ultramarine to the foliage and ends of the petals.

I did not care for the painting while painting it, so I set it aside and painted another, focusing on larger flowers, painting one complete flower before moving on to the next.

Fire Lilies Too – Stage 1

Fire Lilies Too – Final Painting

I used the same colors and sequence as the previous painting.

For this one, I left the foreground indistinct instead of the background, painting the colors wet into wet in the foreground.

I let this one be more of a vignette and left the background white and untouched.

After a few days of “staring time,” I quite liked both paintings.

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

 

 

Summer Solstice

Pots and Blooms

I do not know how it dawned in your neck of the woods, but in Carson City, Nevada, Mother Nature gave us a beautiful midsummer day on June 21st

Note, this blog post is a bit delayed. Those of you who watch the calendar will note that this posted on June 24th? Though, I did paint the 21st painting of the 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge on June 21st. I just have to catch up on the blog-0-sphere.

We experienced a perfect day with a temperature of about 78 degrees (F), a slight breeze, and blue, blue skies. If you have not experienced a clear blue sky in the mountain west of the U.S. (Nevada, Utah, Idaho), you have not experienced a blue sky.

Anyway, on this midsummer day, I could not bring myself to paint indoors. I took myself and my art supplies out to set up on the back patio table instead. Our backyard flowers happened also to bloom in midsummer glory; mini petunias in pots, coreopses, fire lilies, geraniums, snapdragons, roses, daily lilies.. all in splendiferous bloomage.

Stage 1

I attempted to capture it all but failed. So I flipped the paper over and just painted the coreopses, which were definitely the garden prima donna on this day. I just tried to capture the feel of them swaying in the wind. As a little girl, my favorite crayon color in the 64-pack was yellow-orange. Coreopsis!

I first just splattered Hansa Yellow Deep, Medium, Permanent Orange, and Sap Green (all Daniel Smith) in big splats on a slightly wet surface. I held my paper vertical, sprayed with my misting spray bottle underneath the splats to create drippy stems. (I only remembered to take a few process photos, since I did not want to drag a video camera out to the patio also).

Stage 2

I added more orange and green at the bottom of the yellow splatters and painted some foliage indications using pull-push calligraphy marks. I added some Ultramarine Light (Holbein) to blue down some of the leaves. I added more stem and leaf details and indicated some buds and “old” blossoms (darker orange and smaller).

Stage 3

I gave some of the flowers a little more shape and petal detail, but decided to leave most of the details out. I wanted to capture the overwhelming joy of the yellow-orange crayon colored flowers that greeted my eyes as I slid open the patio doors.

Summer Solstice – Final Painting

In the end, the painting made me happy.

If you’re interested in purchasing this painting for a mere $150 (with a gold frame and white black core mat), just click the Add to Cart button below. Pay with a PayPal account or a credit/debit card for $15 shipping charge). Those who wish to buy with a check payment or living far, far away from “CONUS” will incur additional shipping charges. Save the shipping charges and buy it off the gallery walls? Taxes additional.

This painting will part of the featured artist show with Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery in July 2018. I hope you can stop by.

 

 

“Summer Solstice” $150 (Framed)


I hope you will subscribe to this blog (to save me from talking to myself) in order to stay apprised of all this goodness. In the right-hand column, you should see two ways to subscribe. Click the orange & white icon for an RSS feed, or a click the linked words, “Subscribe to Colleen Reynolds, Artist by email”.

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

 

19th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge – Dangling Rose

“Jedi Rose”

For my 19th painting in the challenge, I had to combine two interests competing for my time. I am teaching “value” in my college watercolor class today. The students are required to do a monochromatic painting that combines washes (a flat wash as well as either a graded or variegated wash), calligraphy strokes, and general “light touch” brush strokes, that I call the “S-caress.” The final painting also has to show at least 4 levels of value; light, medium light, medium dark, and dark. I have the students decide on a theme for the semester as well. I usually choose one of the students’ themes whenever I do a demonstration painting. One student has roses as a theme. Which, if you know me, and have followed my painting progress on social media at all, you know I paint a LOT of roses. Easy choice. Ha!

I took this photo of a drooping rose the other day on my morning walk.

The small painting is on Arches 140 lb cold press and I used only my #14 Lowe-Cornell round brush.

I used a warm (quinacridone coral) and cool red (quinacridone red), which are both medium to high-value reds. I first painted a light variegated wash on a wet surface (dried back to damp), without any pre-drawing. As you can see in the first photo below, I did not quite let the paper get to damp, as my bead was running on the left. I had to work fast to catch it with each pass. Starting with a wet surface helps to alleviate stripes between bead passes.

I dried the painting off completely, then drew in my first value layer with 2B graphite, or pencil (Sorry, this is where I had to diverge from the challenge conditions of direct and wet-into-wet). I then painted the shapes inside the lines for the first layer of value.

After the painting was completely dry again, I repeated the drawing process for the second layer of value. One more layer of drying, pencil planning and I now had the required four distinct layers of value. I did add a few pull calligraphy strokes to indicate the edge of the branch and the side of the rose, but I purposefully left untouched areas for lost and found edges, which I find to be much more interesting than outlining with a solid line all around.

I had to have some pull/push calligraphy strokes to satisfy the requirements of the assignment, so I added some extra leaves with the same strength of pigment as the final wash.

I then found a #8B (really dark) graphite pencil and drew some contour lines, just because… I may erase the pencil layer. I’m not sure… still pondering. Your thoughts?

Photos are screenshots of video clips. I cannot make them behave and align with the text. I’m not sure why?

Stage 1a

Stage 1b

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

I do have narrated and edited video of the painting process. Shoot me a comment or send me a message if you’re interested in the $6 video link.

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

Jedi Rose – Final

Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up with all these freebie lessons, eh? No worries. I don’t even know if anyone subscribes, let alone who. It is all very private and stuff. I could be just talking to myself. Which is… not a bad thing. I tend to listen.