Category Archives: Watercolor Floral

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)


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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.

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.

 

#17th Painting 30×30 Watercolor Challenge – Sidewalk Grace

Sidewalk Grace

To continue my Facebook group #30x30DirectWatercolor challenge, I found inspiration on my walk with my husband last Saturday. A beautiful bush of coral roses was overhanging the sidewalk of a corner house. This painting is based on a reference photo taken then.

I wanted this painting to be quick and impressionistic. And I pulled it off this time! It took me only 20 minutes to complete. Yippee! After wetting the paper and drying it back to damp, I added some clear wax scribbles to make sure I did not lose all the white sparkle. Yes, you can add wax when the paper is wet. Thank you to Cheryl Keaveney for discovering this in one of my classes!

I used three reds, Quinacridone Coral (Warm), Quinacridone Red (Cool), and Pyrrol Crimson (dark cool), and Cascade Green for the foliage. All were Daniel Smith Colors.

Stage 1

To begin painting on the damp surface, I mixed up the gray by combining Quin Coral with Cascade Green. I painted around the flowers to call out the figures from the ground. See Stage 1 photo.

Stage 2

Stage 3

I began painting the roses using the Quin Coral, leaving white spaces in addition to the waxed scribbles. I touched in the Quin Red at the back of the flowers, in this case on the left of the blooms, since I wanted to have the light coming from the right. I then added the darker Pyrrol Crimson behind the Quin Red.

Stage 4

I painted in some stems and leaves to connect isolated blooms to the bush, and painted with the green over the top of the reds, leaving some of the red areas to peak through.

I dried off the painting just a bit and added some stronger coral in short curved gentle strokes to indicate the petals on the roses.

Stage 5

I added a few more darks and details and called it done.

It had a lovely little experience painting these almost abstract roses for some “Sidewalk Grace”

The painting is 7.5″x5.5″ on 140lb Arches cold press paper. I used only my #14 Lowe-Cornell round brush, except for my signature. I signed the painting in coral with my liner (rigger) brush.

If you’re interested in purchasing this painting, it’s YOURS for $100 with white black core mat, plus $7.00 shipping to continental U.S. customers, paying with a credit/debit card or with PayPal. Check payments and customers living in faraway lands will incur additional shipping charges. Taxes additional, where applicable (NV residents).

Sidewalk Grace – Final

Sidewalk Grace $100 (with 8×10 mat)

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

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13th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor – George’s Gift

George’s Gift

The lucky 13th painting comes in a day late because I really did need a recovery day.

Now I have to paint two in one day to catch up.

But… The Miller-Reynolds Manor had a surprise visitor for the weekend, so the doubled up painting session may have to wait.

This painting is based on a flower arrangement given to me by my previous visitor week or so ago. My good friend George Schkudor from Ogden, Utah. I love daisies and mums because they are so long-lived.

For the challenge, I am still painting without a pre-drawing and wet-into-wet. I did use a clear wax crayon to save whites on the light side of the main spider mum. I intended to go a little “wild and crazy” with the paint application, so I had to save some of the white. I wet the paper thoroughly on both sides and let it “cook.” I prepared some cobalt and ultramarine blue as well as some quinacridone red and rose in my palette mixing area. I try not to draw paint directly from the paint wells because then I cannot control the pigment strength.

I dried back the paper a bit with a paper towel and started carving around the white mum with some red and blue.  I put some shapes of green (mixed with the ultramarine, new gamboge and a little of the quin red) in and around some purple “flowers.”

I splattered some of all the blues and reds all around. I lifted some color back with a palette knife. I added iridescent medium and texture medium. I scraped back some more, with the palette as well as my fingernails. I sprayed the bottom third of the painting with my water bottle (misting spray). I tilted the painting and let the wet paint run down. I added some dark green leaves, and let them swim around in the wet and texture medium. I mixed up a gray with all the colors, leaning toward purple and painted the mum petals a bit on the dark side of the flower. I scraped some more petals to create the purple mums’ petals. I added some loose and indistinct calligraphy strokes using Rose of Ultramarine and Quinacridone Red. The paper was still wet, so the strokes diffused nicely.

Painting and source bouquet

Loosey goosey fun, it was! Here is a photo of the painting with its source (under yellow light, so the colors look a bit different.

The challenge is keeping me in the paints. ‘Tis good. Now away to visit with the patriarch of the Reynolds Family, my most senior of brothers.

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If interested in purchasing this painting, “George’s Gift” for $100 (plus taxes and/or shipping, where applicable), just click the “Add to Cart” button below. Check payments and orders outside the continental U.S. will incur additional shipping charges.

“George’s Gift” $100

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

 

11th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor – White Roses

“White Roses” – Click on image for a larger view

Continuing with the #30x30DirectWatercolor challenge, here is my effort for day 11. I have spent much of the day preparing for a couple of watercolor classes that I teach tomorrow, so I had to make this one quick; which sometimes works in my favor. According to my video recording, this took me about 37 minutes from start to finish.

See my previous blog post to admire the source photo, which of course I adapted.

I used a lovely “separatey,” combination color, called Shadow Violet, plus my Cobalt Blue Violet, Hansa Yellow Medium, Cascade Green (all by Daniel Smith), and my trusty Ultramarine Light by Holbein.

I wet the paper thoroughly, both front and back. While the paper was “cooking” in the water, I prepared my pigments in the palette.

After the paper had soaked properly, I dried it back with paper towels and my terry towel “squeegee” so I could hold an edge, but still have soft transitions.

With my #14 Lowe-Cornell Round brush, I started by carving around the white shapes of the roses with the Shadow Violet and Ultramarine blue. Again, as in accordance with the Facebook challenge, I did not do any pre-drawing.

I painted in the foliage area with Cascade green and Hansa Yellow Medium, some Ultramarine Blue and Shadow Violet, letting all the colors swim around in the wetness. I then worked on the shadows on the flowers, starting with light (weak) pigment with grayed down violets and blue. After the paper had dried back slightly, I built up the petal and foliage shapes with stronger pigment. When the paper was dried back to damp almost dry, I added some final calligraphy strokes for the stems, petal shapes, and leaves. I signed the painting using a #0 liner (rigger) brush with long thin hairs.

The painting, “White Roses,” is 7.5″x5.5″ painted on 140lb Arches brand cold press.  I do have video clips of the painting process. I may edit it someday. Stay tuned! (A 45-minute video tutorial link ($6) is available. Contact Colleen for details).

This painting has been updated: See blog post Whites and Watercolor for June 7, 2019

And NOW! you can subscribe to this blog log, either as an RSS feed, or to receive notifications via email. Just click the appropriate icon or link in the top right-hand column of this blog page. A big shout out thank you to Melissa Elliot for showing me how to make that happen.

If you’re interested in purchasing this painting, you can buy it now via PayPal for $165 (w/ exquisite white gold frame and white mat). Just click on the “Add to Cart” button below. You do NOT need a PayPal account, just a valid credit or debit card. Shipping is $15 for Continental US orders. Check payments or international orders will incur additional shipping charges. The painting will be mailed via the U.S. Postal Service. Nevada customers subject to sales taxes (sorry).

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

White Roses, $165 (w/ frame & mat)