Tag Archives: colleen

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.

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.

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.

This original painting has sold. Prints can be made upon request with the size and surface of your choice. Prices vary.

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.

 

 

 

Light Catcher

Light Chaser – Final

Painting #1 for my 14/28 February Furry Friends challenge. “Light Catcher” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I painted this “wet-to-dry,” meaning I first saturated the paper completely, then dried it back to damp and painted “alla prima” until the paper was completely dry.

I used three primary pigments; Phthalo Blue (GS), Pyrrol Red, and Hansa Yellow Light throughout.

I first drew an outline of the figure and shadow edges directly on the watercolor paper, using a 2B graphite pencil. While the paper was quite wet, I painted the background with all three colors, letting them mix on the paper and painting around the whites. I moved into the figure with the top right ear, then to the right side shadows, keeping the paint at milk strength. I like to put the paint down, then “S-caress” it out to leave soft edges. I then just painted the gray shadows by mixing the red with the blue to get a rich gray. I started the left ear with a tea-strength red, then added some of the gray mix for shadow areas.

I painted the eyes last. I started with the yellow and blue, then added some of the red to create a more neutral green for the far eye. I used the same colors for the near eye (in shadow), painting around a sidewise T-shaped highlight. While the eye was still wet, I dropped in some of the gray mix for the pupil and the darker ring around the middle. I let it dry, then carved around the edges with a thick almost black mix of red and blue. After drying off the eye again, I decided the near eye had to be more in shadow, so I glazed over everything except the highlight with a darker green. I let that dry, then glazed over that with an orange, mixed with the red and yellow. I let it dry again, then painted over the highlight with a tea-strength phthalo blue (except for a tiny spot of pure white).

I did not use any masking or white paint. I did, however, use Magic Eraser to lift out a critical highlight in the far eye, just at the bottom edge of the eye.

I painted the edge of the gray shadow shapes with a toned-down orange (mixed with the red and yellow and a bit of blue) to give the fur a glow. I called out a few hints of hair and fur with some calligraphy strokes. Done. I think it took about an hour and a half. I will have to check the video clips for sure.

I quite like it… Personality abounds.

Available for purchase. $185 (plus tax or shipping). Includes a custom mat without outside edge dimensions to fit a standard 11″X14″ frame. Please include the title of the painting in the comments during purchase.

Update 2/7/20! I made a change. Can you tell where?