Tag Archives: watercolor tutorial

Teaching Day – Secondary Colors and Wet-into-Wet

Purple Beach

This is a wet-in-wet demonstration for my college watercolor class today.

We were also learning how to mix pretty secondary colors. For this painting, I used a cool red (Quinacridone Rose) and a warm blue (Ultramarine Blue).

The background just started as a purple study, but when I turned it vertical it looked like a sunset sky over the water. After it was dry, I added the deep water horizon, the hint of a faraway island, and the palm tree. “Purple Beach” 

If interested in purchasing this painting, click the add to cart button below. $50 without mat or frame. $4.50 shipping if paying through PayPal with a PayPal account or debit/credit card. Additional shipping charges for check payments or those who live outside the Continental U.S.

Thank you for subscribing! If you have not already turned it on, you have two options in the right column of the blog; either RSS feed (click the orange/white icon) or by email (click the words “Subscribe to Colleen Reynolds, Artist by Email”).

 

“Purple Beach” $50 (no mat or frame)


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)


I hope you will subscribe to this blog (to save me from talking to myself) in order to stay apprised of all this goodness. In the right-hand column, you should see two ways to subscribe. Click the orange & white icon for an RSS feed, or a click the linked words, “Subscribe to Colleen Reynolds, Artist by email”.

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.

Don’t forget to subscribe – two options in the right column of this blog.

 

16th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge – Mrs Cluck

Mrs. Cluck – Final Painting

Mrs. Cluck continues my efforts for the Facebook 30x30DirectWatercolor Challenge.

This is a small work created on Arches 140lb cold press, painted without any drawing and wet-into-wet. I used my #14 Lowe-Cornell round brush throughout. Pigments used are Raw Sienna Light, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Pyrrol Red and Cobalt Blue (all Daniel Smith).

Mrs. Cluck – 1st Stage

I saturated the paper, then dried it back with a towel (see previous blog posts). I began by painting the shadow side of the bird with Raw Sienna and Hansa Yellow Medium.

Mrs. Cluck  (Headless chicken) – 2nd Stage

I then found the bird by painting around with a background color, using the cobalt and pyrrol red, then dropping in some of the raw sienna as well. This created a silhouette of the main subject. In some places, I purposely let the yellow color bleed into the background color, in other areas I kept a white “reservoir” edge.

Mrs. Cluck (She found her head) – 3rd Stage

To find the chicken’s comb and wattle, I dropped in the Quinacridone Red while the yellow pigment was very wet. After hinting at the head wet-into-wet, I had to let the painting dry back a bit to the damp stage.

Mrs. Cluck – 4th Stage

After the paper was damp (not wet), I painted some darker shadow shapes in an around the chicken’s head.  I added some soft shadow indications in the feathers, legs, and feet.

Mrs. Cluck – Final Painting (Click on image for a larger view)

After the painting had dried some more to almost dry, I touched in some more shadow details to finish the painting.

Mrs. Cluck, 7.5″x5.5 watercolor.  If interested in purchasing this painting, it can be had for a mere $150 (with frame & mat). In July, “Mrs. Cluck” will be “goin’ to the show.” She will be a part of my featured artist show with Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery in Carson City. Check payers and those who live far, far away will incur additional shipping charges. Taxes additional, where applicable.

Mrs. Cluck $150 (with frame & mat)


I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions.

Thank you for stopping by.

14th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor – Finch on a Fence

“Oh my goodness! How cute is that Finch?”

“Finch on a Fence” – Fixed a bit

This little guy flitted to a white fence just as my husband and I were walking past with our extra zoomer lens on the Canon Rebel SLR camera at the ready.

“Good Catch!” Now the debate. Is it a House Wren or a House Finch? I just cannot tell. I’m going with a House Finch, because I want the title to be, “Finch on a Fence” <smile>

Continuing with my Facebook group’s 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge, I painted this wet-into-wet without any pre-drawing. It is a small 5.5″x7.5″ little guy. It is actually probably very close to the size of the bird itself.

“How did you DO that wet-into-wet without a drawing?” you ask.

Well, I like to saturate the paper, then dry it back with a towel, so I can hold an edge, but still have soft watery blends of color. See previous blog posts on that process.

For this painting, I used my #14 Lowe-Cornell round brush on Arches 140lb cold press watercolor paper.

I mixed up a green tone using Hansa Yellow Medium and Phthalo Blue (GS) both by Daniel Smith.

Finch on a Fence – 1st Sta

I painted around the shape of the bird and fence, leaving them both white. I caressed in a bit of the blue and yellow to the pre-mixed green, just to avoid letting the green get lonesome. I had also pre-mixed my “black” using Pyrrol Red and Phthalo blue, so I caressed in a bit of that to the green too, to knock back the intensity a bit.

After creating the white silhouette, I painted the shadow shapes on the bird’s body, letting the dark bleed into the wet green background. I left a few random white sparkles, plus a very deliberate white highlight in the eye.

Finch on a Fench – Stage Two

I really enjoy how the dark gray bled into the background green, giving the sense of the wind ruffling his feathers. I then carefully put in the bright Pyrrol Red on the top of the head and on the breast. I added a bit of Perinone Orange to keep the red really bright and intense.

I painted in the legs and talons, taking care to make the forward leg darker compared to the back leg. I carefully measured the length of the talons against the bird’s body, so I didn’t make them too small. Birds have BIG feet, man!

I weakened the gray mix and hinted at the white

Finch on a Fence – Stage 3

fence on top and on the front. I liked the cast shadow from the Bird’s tail, which I painted with a weakened phthalo blue and a bit of muddy gray the same strength. I was quite happy with the painting at this stage. And it would have been a completely bona fide wet-into-wet one- go-at-it painting. But alas! One of the house critics came by and offered that the background was pretty boring.

“Yeah, I know. It is.” So, when the painting had reached the damp, almost dry stage, I added hints of foliage behind the white fence. I signed it with my calligraphy brush, because dang it, if I can’t find my rigger brush!

Voila! My cuter than a dang bug’s ear (though, is a bug’s ear really cute? I mean, how do we know that? Intellectually, my brain thinks a bug’s ear would not be cute?) “Finch on a Fence” watercolor painting for the day.

If interested in purchasing this painting, click the “Add to Cart” button below. For a short time, this painting will be available for $150 (with black frame and white black core mat). Shipping $15.00 to Continental U.S. customers, paying with PayPal or a credit/debit card only. Check payments and faraway folks will pay additional shipping charges. Taxes additional, where applicable.

After July 8th, this little fellow is “goin’ to the show!” at Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery in Carson City. Artist’s reception July 18th from 4-7pm.

Finch on a Fench – Final painting

Finch on a Fench, $150 (with frame & mat)

Don’t forget to subscribe to this artist’s blog.. so educational.. and a little bit entertaining to boot! If I do say so myself.I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

Recovery Day – If a Tree Falls…

“If a Tree Falls…”

Hello There! It occurs to me that today is the 13th because it says so at the top (or is it the bottom?) of this post. I had to do a quick left head swivel to look at the very cool desktop calendar of Colleen Reynolds’ art, just to confirm it is not also Friday! Whew! The 13th AND Friday did not collide. I am safe for the day from bad luck, right?

Today is recovery day after a marathon two days of teaching and teaching preparation. I taught two classes yesterday – one college watercolor class in the morning, starting at 9:30, and one in the evening for a community education program. Fortunately for my back, both classes were given at the same college campus and taught in the same room.

I arrived at 8:30 to allow time for hauling all those supplies into the room for setting up. The morning class went well. We practiced basic brush strokes and talked about grading and supplies, etc. The students did not have access to class stuff before the first day of class, so one of the bags I had to haul to the temporary art room (regular classroom under renovation) was a bag full of palettes, paint, brushes, etc. to get everyone through the first week. Some of the supplies belong to the school, so I had to retrieve things from a completely different building (two flights of stairs away). No storage is allocated for “Art teaching” in the temporary geology room, so said supplies had to then be returned to the other building after class. Sigh.

The 3-hour class, though, gave me immeasurable joy. I love my ten students, eager to learn the secrets and intricacies of this watercolor medium for the next nine weeks of a relaxing summer term. Nine of the ten students have no other classes, except this one, so I expect lots of undivided attention.

After the morning class, I dashed home for a slight respite to feed myself and my furry beasties but returned with enough time to allow for a 2-hour setup period for the evening community education class. I am teaching my “kitchen sink” class where we add a lot of auxiliary materials to the watercolor pigment to create texture. It’s a fun class for expanding creativity, especially for students new to watercolor, but it does entail many extra hours of preparation on my part.

The class itself was a joy. I was having a blast throwing salt, painting mediums, spices, papers, chalk, crayon (and more!) into the paint on small 4″x6″ pieces of Arches 140lb paper. Lots of oohs and aahs were happening as we all just watched the interactions unfold on paper, without any pressure of creating “a subject” (See images below). I do have an hour-long video of creating the texture studies. If you’re interested in purchasing a link to the video for $5, shoot me a message in the comments section below or via my “Contact” page on this website.

“If a Tree Falls…” Deja vu?

The last 45 minutes of class, we created a small little “paint-along” watercolor sketch, based on a photograph I took on one of my morning walks. It is a little 5.5″x7.5″ sketch. We used sea salt, cling film, splattering, and a tiny bit of titanium white added to just three colors of watercolor; Ultramarine Blue (Holbein), Hansa Yellow Light (Daniel Smith), and Pyrrol Red (Daniel Smith).

We started with a very simple sketch to separate the composition into the diagonal tree shape, a background (top third), a middle ground (middle third) and a foreground (bottom third) We painted a wet-into-wet background first, dropping coffee-strength mixtures of our yellow, blue and pre-mixed neutralized green.

We let the background dry back a bit, then used the same strength of pigment to paint a wet-on-dry middle ground, using some dry-brushing and skipping some white areas for sparkle. We left the tree trunk area dry and white. We added sea salt and splattered into the middle-ground area with yellow, green, blue and a tiny bit of the red.

For the foreground we painted with the same type of application as the middle-ground, just with stronger pigment and bit more of the red, still leaving the tree trunk white and untouched. We added more sea salt and wet splatter on top of the salt.

For the fallen tree trunk, we mixed up a gray tone with the blue and red and a tiny touch of the yellow. We dry brushed the coffee-strength mixed gray pigment to the front of the tree trunk, then applied cling wrap. I then used the blow dryer so I could remove the salt before adding some final darks and calligraphy strokes to the foreground and tree. I called out the shape of the fallen tree by adding darks behind and below the tree.

Sea Salt, Bath Salt, Wild Rice

Note: using the blow dryer did dampen the effects of the salt application. It is much better to let the paint dry naturally to achieve an accentuated burst from the salt (see salt texture study image to compare).

After an exhausting and somewhat comical effort to return everything to my car, I returned home to have my sweet, sweet lifesaver of a husband greet me at the door. He unloaded everything and hauled it all back into my home studio. Whew!

And I LOVED IT! All the students in both classes are just wonderful, funny, and eager to learn. See all the fun we had, creating textures in watercolor? Below are four more of the seven texture studies we completed. I confess, these are the studies I completed during my preparation day. I already have the photos processed, so…

To purchase “If a Tree Falls…” (with a black/copper frame and a white black core mat), just click on the “add to cart” link. Shipping is $15 if paying with PayPal or Credit Card for a Continental US order. Check payments and international orders incur additional shipping charges. Taxes are additional, where applicable.

If a Tree Falls.., $150 (w/ frame and mat)

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

Click on images for a larger view.

Lifting preparation, wax & unwaxed string, bubble wrap, water lifting with & without tape stencils.

Texture and granulation mediums

Chalk, crayon, conte crayon

Cling wrap, foil, wax paper