Tag Archives: https://colleenreynolds.com

Snackie?

“Snackie” – First Draft

“Snackie?” – Final

Painting 7 of 14 for my Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Snackie?” is a 7.5″x11″ watercolor on 140lb Arches Cold Press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

This is a little dog who belongs to the granddaughter of one of my watercolor students (I think). Thank you for the source photo, Vikki!

I videotaped the process, so this may be one of my demonstration paintings for my upcoming March workshop. Attendees of the workshop will receive four video tutorials complementarily with the workshop fee. What a deal?!

I am also selling the four video tutorials separately. If you think you might be interested, click here for the details.

I have a few adjustments to make to this painting; to the nose and the top of the head. Right now, the whole video clocks in at 64 minutes. I’m trying to keep each tutorial to 90 minutes or less. 

I painted “Snackie?” using my wet-to-dry method and just four watercolor pigments; Pyrrol Red, Manganese Blue Hue, New Gamboge, and Phthalo Blue (GS), all by Daniel Smith.

Stay tuned for the updates.

Update 2/17/20: I made a few changes. Can you tell? Is it better?

Painting is for sale $185 plus shipping and/or taxes, where applicable. Watercolor painting 7.5″x11″ with a custom white mat with a black core to fit in standard 11″x14″ frame opening.

Smiling Beverly

Painting with model

Smiling Beverly

“Smiling Beverly” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140lb Arches cold press paper. A day departing from my Furry Friends Challenge. I participated in the Portrait Society of Reno’s weekly live model session. The lovely “Smiling Beverly” graced us with herself. She held a slight smile the entire time. Click on the images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I used Phthalo Blue (GS), Cascade Green, Quinacrindone Coral, and Raw Sienna Light. All Daniel Smith pigments.

I painted on dry paper, set at a 60-75 degree angle (on my plein air easel). For the first 20-minute sitting, I drew the contours of the major shapes.

I began painting on the second 20-minute pose. I began with the background, moving from the outside in. The background is a mix of Cascade Green and Phthalo blue. I then framed the face with the hair. I mixed phthalo, quin coral to make the first layer of light gray hair. I then moved on to the skin tones. I used quin coral and Raw Sienna Light. Around the eye sockets I put down a think layer of just phthalo blue. I exaggerated the light shapes at first, leaving them completely white.

For the second 20-minute pose, I concentrated on the features with a stronger mix of all three pigments. Painting the shadow shapes.

For the third 20-minute pose, I worked on the clothing and darker shadows in the hair. This time I added some RSL to the blue and coral for a richer more neutral gray tone. I put in some blue reflected light on the bottom of the chin and added some blue to the lights to give her a sense of being in outside light.

For the final 20-minute pose, I added some more darks around the features, added the glasses, and darkened the background green.

I have a few corrections to make (around the eyes and mouth) but I am quite pleased with the likeness achieved from the live setting. Stay tuned!

 

Fluffy Butt & Finding Nino

Fluffy Butt

Finding Nino

Numbers 5 and 6 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Fluffy Butt” and “Finding Nino” are both transparent watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140 lb Arches cold press. Click on the images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I painted both by first saturating the paper completely.

For “Fluffy Butt” I sketched in a basic contour edge really lightly.

I mixed up three different strengths (tea, milk, and cream) of a gray mixture with Phthalo Blue (GS), Indanthrone Blue, and Transparent Pyrrol Orange; all by Daniel Smith.

For “Finding Nino” I mixed up the same gray tones but added some New Gamboge with a touch of Raw Sienna Light for the eyes and ground.

For both paintings, I painted with the tea strength pigment first while the paper still had a sheen of wetness. The edges diffuse most on wet paper with wet pigment. I added first the milky tones,  then the creamy pigment, still in the really wet surface, to build up value and keep the edges really soft and lost. Going in with a thick pigment even on the wet surface allowed me to hold a soft edge around the head. I sprayed the whole painting with a soft mist to create some water burst effects, then let it dry at an angle.

While “Fluffy Butt” was drying, I began painting “Finding Nino” using the same process, but this time I did not do a pre-drawing but painted directly on the paper. I lifted out pigment around the eyes and nose. After drying the paper, I painted the eyes with yellow over the top of the gray tone. I added some yellow to the supporting background, so the eye color would not be isolated in the painting.

I went back to “Fluffy…” after he was all dry, and painted in some darks on the back, head, and under the tail. I added a hint of background to give him some context.

I quite like my fluffy kitties.

Nino was (is?) a fluffy black kitty who left me long ago and broke my heart. I have always hoped he wandered off and someone adopted him. He was only a year old when he disappeared. I surely loved that boy. Sigh. Here is me “Finding Nino” again.

 

 

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).

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?

 

Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman

Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman

Portrait #30 for my 30×30 Portrait challenge. “Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140lb Arches Cold Press. Portrait #30 on the 30th! Whew! Click on the images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I dashed off the sketch in the morning, then had to finish up two paintings after my watercolor class to meet the 30×30 goal, but I did it! Yay!

I saturated the paper front and back. While the paper soaked, I mixed up five “piles” of paint to a milky strength; Rose of Ultramarine, Raw Sienna Light, Pyrrol Red, Cascade Green (by Daniel Smith), and Ultramarine Blue (by Holbein). I then dried the paper back to damp.

Sketch

I started with the background, painting around the whites, letting the colors mix on the paper (rather than in the palette). I used the blue, RoU, and Cascade Green and a bit of Raw Sienna for the background colors.

For the hair, I painted the first layer with Raw Sienna Light, then moved to the skin tones, adding some Pyrrol Red to the mix. I used my S-Caress stroke to keep all the edges soft and indistinct. I fixed the shoulder width between the drawing and painting, bringing the shoulder and arm shadows in closer to the body.

I used a light layer of Cascade Green for the blouse base, then added some Ultramarine Blue and let the paint swim around to create the impression of a fabric pattern. The hardest part around the torso was the hand. Keeping it indistinct but accurate (I hope).

I mixed all the colors together to create a dark for the shadows in the hair. I used an Ultramarine base for the eye sockets and irises of the eye,  but painted the eyelashes and brows with the same murky dark. I used the Ultramarine Blue and Cascade green with some Rose of Ultramarine for the soft shadows in the face and neck. I could probably still fix some things, but I like the freshness of it as it is.

If you are interested in purchasing this painting for $185 unframed (plus tax and or shipping, where applicable). It comes with a custom mat, sized to fit in a standard 14″x11″ frame.

Just click the Buy Now button below. Easy Peasy.

Buy Now $185

 

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.

Analogous Color Geek Out!

Well I had a few scraps of 90-lb watercolor paper leftover from a card making exercise. Never one to waste paper, I just started playing with analogous color schemes. That turned into an obsessive need to paint all possible combination of 2-color and 3-color analogous color schemes around the color wheel, using primary and secondary colors.  Basically, I made two-sided beee-a-u-ti-ful bookmarks, then decided I needed to keep them all to make an “Analogous Color Harmony” reference for myself and my watercolor classes.

What do you think? Fun or work? I would appreciate your feedback. I did learn a lot about color in the process.

See… you can make the collection into a Color Wheel.

Soft Side “Analogous Color Harmony”

Vibrant side “Analogous Color Harmony Wheel”

The process? Here are the “simple” steps:

  1. Cut 2″x6″ paper strips, 90lb-140lb watercolor paper
  2. Paint two pieces of 2″x6″ paper with each color scheme (I did six 2-color and six 3-color analogous color schemes)
  3. Let dry
  4. Iron the painted strips if they are all “warpy”
  5. Spray with UV Acrylic semi-gloss varnish; 2 coats, let dry at least 1 hour between coats)
  6. Spray with UV Acrylic matte varnish; 2 coats, let dry at least 1 hour between coats)
  7. “Glue” the two matching strips together. I used Acrylic Gel Medium Semi-gloss for my glue (archival and permanent). This was the most complicated step, I will warn you.
  8. Let dry overnight
  9. Glaze again with Acrylic Get Medium or Cold Wax medium. One side at a time, let dry between layers at least 6 hours. 9a. If you use Cold Wax medium, buff out the wax after it dries.
  10. Use slicer or edger to cut uneven edges.
  11. Round off corners
  12. Punch hole at one end of each “bookmark.
  13. Arrange color swatches in color wheel order and attach with center hardware.

Whew! Quite a project. Now I want to do “Triadic Color Harmony” and “Tetradic Color Harmony” wheels. I may have to go buy some more of that “scrap” paper.