Tag Archives: painting

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.

Resist, Wet or Dry? – Watercolor How-to Art Tip (WHAT?)

I am going to create a series of short posts on painting in watercolor. My goal is to post something at least once a week. I hope you will join me as I learn and experiment in watercolor.

The tips will be sometimes basic, sometimes investigative, sometimes just for fun. I hope to keep the tips short and informative. They may have accompanying video, as in this post, but may also be just text and images.

Without further ado then, let’s dive in to today’s topic; working with watercolor resist. “Resist” refers to a method of preserving the white of the paper before paint application.

In this test, I have used two methods, wax resist crayon and masking fluid. My wax resist is a clear wax resist crayon, Susan Scheewe or Dick Blick brand. My crayons came in a 4-pack, but there are many options out there (especially around Easter-Egg-painting-season). My masking fluid brand of choice is Pebeo Drawing Gum. I like this fluid because of its mid-tone gray and “inky” consistency.

For this “test,” I am applying the wax resist and masking fluid both on dry and wet paper. Check out the video below to see the results of the test.

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Tree Swallows

“Tree Swallows”

“Tree Swallows” drawing

Painting #12  of 15 for my Big Bird March (extending in to April) Challenge.  These lovely tree swallows landed on a fence just for me. The females are brownish gray, the fellas are shimmery black, but both have white bellies. Aren’t they adorable? They are overlooking the Empire Ranch Golf Course in Carson City, Nevada.

The painting is 7.5″x11″ on Arches 140lb cold press. I used Phthalo blue, Pyrrol Red and New Gamboge all by Daniel Smith. I have video. This may turn into an online class.

I drew up a value study beforehand, the same size as the eventual painting. I then traced up a contour drawing to my watercolor paper.

The painting is for sale, for either $99 (no mat), or $150 (with mat with black core). Select your “variant” at checkout on my Sellfy site. Click the Buy now button below.

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.

Bachelor Party

“Bachelor Party”

Painting #8 in my Big Bird March (but continuing in April) challenge. This is my “Bachelor Party” painting, collaged from a selection of photos of some house sparrows who hang outside my kitchen window. The female sparrows visit also, but they are more camera shy. I think the males may actually consider me a threat when they “pose” and glare at me through the window. This is a 7.5″x11″ watercolor painting on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on each image to see a larger view in a new browser tab.

“Bachelor Party” Drawing

I have skipped blogging about a couple of bird paintings. The paintings are nothing I want to brag about. I have quit counting the number of total birds, since this one alone means 10 separate birds!

Rather than give you a long written explanation of the painting process, I will just include an accelerated video of selected clips in the painting process. If a picture is worth a 1000 words, how many words is a video worth, I wonder?

Anyway, I used just four pigments throughout the painting; in order of their appearance in the video, Pyrrol Transparent Orange, New Gamboge (both by Daniel Smith), Ultramarine Light (Holbein), and Quinacridone Rose (Also by Daniel Smith).

I quite like the somewhat abstract nature of the painting and drawing. These guys will probably end up on a note card some day, or as a packet of bird cards. My usual rule is I don’t make prints of paintings unless I no longer have access to the original painting. So I may wait to see if this little guy sells? Or I may make a coronavirus exception to the rule? I’m not sure yet.

Enjoy the video of the painting process. There are no words, just moving pictures (worth thousands and thousands of words).

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, it is available via my Self Shop https://Self.com/CRME-Exploring-Watercolor. For details, you can click the convenient button below.

As always, I hope you will consider subscribing to this GREAT blog. See sign up option to the right (on a computer), or below (on a personal device). Thanks for stopping by.

Flamingos

Flamingos

Continuing with my Big Bird March Challenge…This is the 6th painting (but 9th & 10th in terms of bird numbers). The painting is 7.5″x11″ on Arches 140lb cold press. Click on images for larger views in new browser tabs.

I took a break from painting the bird challenge to teach a last workshop before the great economic shutdown; then took another three weeks or so, to create seven video tutorials.

Some time in the video editing immersion period, I did this quick direct painting of these flamingos. I used Pyroll Scarlet, Manganese blue, Phthalo blue, and Raw Sienna Light; all by Daniel Smith.

The painting was quite a challenge. I was distracted (and probably frustrated) with video editing. I couldn’t seem to achieve the effect I wanted, when I wanted it. In the end, I pulled out the palette knife (a tip from a Bev Jozwiak workshop) and started moving the paint around in the bird feathers, background, and water. I put the painting away in my take-home bag and went back to video editing.

I pulled it out again to show the home critics, and I thought, “Hmmm, tha’s not so bad!” hahaha. Especially for going in without any drawing to start. One home critic said, “Ooh, cool. Flamingos.”

This experience did make me realize that I much prefer to begin with a drawing. I really like the drawing process. It helps me to understand my subject and allows me to paint with more abandon.

In an effort to promote my new Sellfy Product Platform, I’m offering this painting for whatever price you want to pay. Well, sort of… I’m starting the pricing at $10, just to cover the shipping and handling.

My Sellfy Shop is called CRME Exploring Watercolor. Click the link or the image to go to the site. Thank you in advance.

“Flamingos” – Pay what you want (over shipping charges).

All video downloads in my Sellfy Shop are 20% off through April 30th. Use the code PREMIER during checkout.

Stay tuned for the next Big Bird March blog post, featuring a redheaded tweeter.

If you have not already done so, I hope you will consider subscribing to this blog

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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

 

 

Changes with Spring

Daffy Bees (front of card)

Happy Spring!

Just when you think you’re going to have a good year… Sigh. The Ides of March definitely came calling this year. I know we are all trying to reinvent the way we go about our business and our daily lives. I am really not suffering too much. I still teach an online watercolor class at Western Nevada College, my husband is still employed, all the kitties are healthy, and so is the brother. No one I know has become inflicted with this modern scourge. Things could be a whole lot worse… But…  I have definitely had to make some adjustments.

The three big challenges for me and my little art business have been:

  1. The local studio/classroom/gallery is closed for business. My in-person watercolor classes are cancelled for now. My scheduled workshop in California was cancelled. My TMCC community education class in Reno was canceled. I had thought to begin my studio classes again in May, but that is not looking too promising either right now. The closure also means my “Exploring Watercolor” business will not be participating in the May Wine Walk as I had planned. The monthly Carson City Wine Walk was cancelled for April, and I am anticipating the May walk will be also.
  2. The shut down gave me the opportunity to complete my video workshop editing about three weeks early. That was the good news!
  3. A change to the copyright office fee schedule has me reconsidering how and when to post work on social media sites, my website, online market places, and this blog.

My plan for the near term to address these changes:

  1. In May, I will schedule weekly live streaming watercolor demonstrations. I still need some equipment to arrive, some practicing to do, and some decisions to make (YouTube or Facebook? Fee or free? Public or private?), but… “Lord willing and the river don’t rise,” I will do the streaming at 1pm (Pacific time) on May 7, 14, 21, and 28. Stay tuned for details.
  2. I hope you will consider purchasing one or more of my new video tutorials. See my Sellfy CRME Exoploring Watercolor Shop (click link) or this Website https://colleenreynolds.com/art-classes for options. I’m offering 20% off any individual course through April 30th. Use code PREMIER to apply the discount at checkout.
  3. I will continue creating artwork and video tutorials at home and in the studio. However, I will only post work publicly that has been previously registered with the U.S. copyright office.

    Daffy Bees (back of card)

    It is now economically imperative to register my works as groups of 10 unpublished works, rather than individually after publication. It is not clear to me whether posting an image of artwork or a video tutorial on social media constitutes publication, so to be safe, in future I’m not going to post any work until after I’ve got it “in the books” at the U.S. Copyright Office.

    Daffy Bees (Open card)

I have three more unpublished paintings and dozens of unedited video tutorials finished or in progress, but for this post, please enjoy my “Daffy Bees.” This was painted on note card stock with watercolor and permanent ink. It started as a class demonstration for seniors. Those seniors are now in “lock down” in their rooms at their Independent living facility in Carson City. No visitors allowed.

This is how the card looks when opened. I like to let the image on the front of the card leak on to the back. If you have any interest in ordering prints of this card, do let me know…

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.

Sold! What Did You Say?

What Did You Say?

What Did You Say? – Final

Portrait #2 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. “What Did You Say?” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

 

I made friends with this little guy just before Christmas last year in Boise, Idaho. I wonder if he will remember me when I visit again?

I sketched in a quick outline drawing directly on the paper using my lead holder (pencil) with 2B graphite. I exaggerated the forward tilt of the left-side ear to make the dog look more inquisitive.

The painting went really quickly. I will have to check the timing on the video clip, but I think the drawing & painting process took about 30 to 40 minutes total? I was trying something a little different for me. I still saturated the paper, front and back, but this time I did not dry it back to damp; instead, I went in while the paper was still really glossy wet.

I worked the shapes from the inside out, using thick paint. Instead of working light pigment and building up the values, I wanted to do more of an “all prima” method, achieving the correct values from the start.

I used Transparent Pyrrol Orange (TPO), Raw Sienna Light (RSL), and Pyrrol Red by Daniel Smith, and Ultramarine Light by Holbein.

I began around the snout and eyes, using strong pigment. I put a base of blue for the eyes and nose, being careful to paint around the highlight on the tip of the nose. I added TPO and red, letting all three colors mix on the paper, then drew the orange, yellow and red out to the hair. It was fun to watch the paint bleed out and leave a lost edge.

I used the RSL for the light hair at the top of the head, the bottom of the chin, and tips of the ears. When calling out the background, I rewetted the paper and applied a thinner mix of all the colors, creating a diagonal flow. I just hinted at the dog’s body so the focus stays on the face. I darkened the nose, eyes, and mouth with more blue, red and TPO. After the painting had dried off a bit, I added some calligraphy strokes to imply hair. I saved some random whites around the edges to create sparkle in the painting. I may want to lift off some brighter highlights in the eyes. What do you think?

Sold! Thank you, Denise Maxwell.

Update 2/7/20! I made two changes. Can you tell where?

 

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?