Tag Archives: teaching

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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Curious Finch

“Curious Finch”

I may be back online with this bloggin’ thing?

Where were we? Oh yes, painting birds for the Big Bird March challenge, that went in to April because of the covid-19 worldwide catastrophe.

This is painting #11 (15 was the goal), “Curious Finch” is 11″x7.5″ on Arches 140 lb cold press watercolor paper, painted wet-in-wet. I magically collaged (in my mind) several photos of one little finch who varied his pose for me on a fence for a whole 30 seconds (maybe more)? The early morning light just made his little yellow belly glow. At least I think he is a male? The little birds move so fast. When they are out of the sun, they are somewhat green-ish in tone. Click on images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I really cannot remember what pigments I used for sure. I think three different yellows, Hansa Yellow Light & Medium (cool & warmer), plus New Gamboge (warm). I probably used Ultramarine Light by Holbein mixed with Pyrrol Scarlet and Transparent Pyrrol Orange (Daniel Smith) to make the brown tones? But I may have used Phthalo Blue instead of Ultramarine. I will check the video clip. Maybe I will post a Youtube preview of the video soon too?

In other news, after much time, money, and fussing…it appears my MacBook laptop and blog are operational again. I am still working on getting the upgrade to the failed video capture device working (No audio! Why? Why? Why?). I also still need to sort out which streaming application and virtual meeting platform I will use to deliver my online watercolor classes for June and beyond.

AND so I can GO LIVE on my Facebook business page for the next Virtual Wine Walk, scheduled for Saturday, June 6th, 1-4pm. Save the date/time!

Zentangle Mandalas

With all this computer fiddling, I have had no time to paint. I do have lots of projects waiting in the wings of my mind; more birds (I have become quite the birdwatcher) and farm animals. It is a good thing my friend Dee has been inspiring me to Zentangle. So soothing… and a little bit of painting too. You can see some mandala tiles I have tangled and painted.

“Curious Finch” is for sale, with mat $150 or without $99. Specify which “variant” you prefer during checkout on my Sellfy product site. Click the green Buy now button for a longer description. 

 

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.

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.

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…

“Western Tanagers”

“Western Tanagers”

Birds 6, 7, and 8 for my 15×30 Big Bird March (I did not blog about bird #5 as I did not like it). Is it fair to count three birds in one painting as three? My challenge, my rules, right? Ha! I have a workshop to teach and host this weekend, so I need to surge ahead of schedule. Click on the image to see a larger view in your browser. I painted on 140lb Saunders Waterford cold press paper.

We love seeing these beautiful Western Tanagers flashing past us in the Spring and Summer months. We managed to catch some photos of them in some evergreens. I often cannot distinguish the Tanager from the Oriole at a distance, the female especially. When we returned home, we compared the photos against “The Bird Book” and “The Google.” These guys (and gal) were definitely Western Tanagers. Real birders probably would not need to consult The Google?

I combined four photos to come up with the composition; one of the blurry tanager in the background, two for the female, and one for the main male in the foreground.

I painted wet-into-wet, using Pyrrol Scarlet, Hansa Yellow Medium, Phthalo Blue (GS) and Quinacridone Rose (all by Daniel Smith). I’m going to let the Youtube video of the painting stages suffice for the process description this time.

The painting is 7.5″x11″ in a custom white mat with a black core to fit a standard 11″x14″ frame opening. Shipping $7 (if the painting does not need to be shipped, the shipping charge will be refunded). $185

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

 

 

Coffee Shop Reader

Coffee Shop Reader – First Stage

Starbucks Reader – Final

Portrait #27 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Coffee Shop Reader” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

This is a WIP (Work-in-progress). I started wet-into-wet with a triadic secondary color harmony scheme; Cobalt Blue Violet, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, and Cascade Green by Daniel Smith. Though, I also used Raw Sienna Light for the skin tones. I painted in value layers, reaching the 3rd layer of value.

I had to stop prematurely due to other commitments. I hope to resume painting today and start the next.

I think it is a good start. Though, I need to warm up the skin tones, fix the fabric folds and straighten the bricks. Oh, and the hand could use some work as well. Major surgery? Stay tuned!

I did all those things I said I would do. What do you think? Better?

 

 

Creating Jack

Creating Jack – Final

Portrait #26 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Creating Jack” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

 

Photo courtesy of Alethia Harmon, the boy’s mother. Along with the previous portrait, the boy and his little brother were doing Halloween preparations. I had done the outline drawing directly on the watercolor paper the previous day.

I wanted to have a dominant triadic color harmony this time secondary colors for this painting; violet, orange and green.

Creating Jack – First Draft

I began by saturating the paper front and back. While the paper soaked I mixed up milky piles of Cobalt Blue Violet, Cascade Green, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, and Raw Sienna Light.

I dried back the paper to damp in the background areas and the shirt. I used a combination of the green and violet to create a dark. I used orange and violet for a base on the hair. The hair and face areas were still really wet, so I had lost edges between the foreground and background. I had some of the orange to the background as well. I used orange and Raw Sienna Light for the skin tones. I did bring in some Quinacridone Rose on the face and arm as well. I saved the arm and hand for last after I worked myself into “the zone.”

Creating Jack – Outline Drawing

This painting was a joy to paint from start to finish. It almost felt as if the brush moved around of its own volition. Fortunately, I have the painting process on video to go back and review, because I honestly do not remember much, after I made my first few decisions. I might need to adjust the far cheek? But I may leave it alone to preserve the freshness. Stay tuned!

Update 1/27/20: I did fix the far cheek (my initial drawing was actually correct). If you open the images in your browser, you can click between them to see the correction unfold, almost like a movie <smile>.

Clark Superboy

Line Drawing.

Portrait #25 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Clark Superboy” watercolor 11″x7.5 on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I created this painting and the next one (#26) (see next blog post) over two days. On the first day, I drew the outline drawings directly on the watercolor paper.

The photograph was taken by the boy’s mother, Alethia Harmon, as he was readying himself for Halloween excursions.  Apparently, almost Superboy was fascinated with 3D glasses.  I think he looks like a young Clark Kent transitioning into being Superboy?

I decided to use Triadic Color Harmony, using primary colors, red, yellow and blue. I liked how the blue of the outfit reflected up into the skin tones, hair, and glasses. I used a combination of Cobalt Blue by QoR and Ultramarine Blue by Schminke for the blue tones, Quinacridone Rose, and Raw Sienna Light for the yellow. I used a mix of Rose of Ultramarine and Transparent Pyrrol Orange for the dark hair and all the colors mixed together for the dark of the glasses.

This time I painted wet-on-dry, painting with tea-strength pigment. I started with the dark hair, then moved down to the face, then the underlying blue of the costume. I painted the base of the glasses with blues, so when I added the darks, the blue would be the highlights.  I built up the value layers, thinking the paint. T After staring at this overnight, I realize I need to even up the glasses lenses. Stay tuned.