I like to experiment in my Art Journal before I do a final painting. This step helps me choose the final images, words and colors that I want to incorporate into my painting.
I used watercolor paint, watercolor crayons, colored pencils and some acrylic paint to create this art piece. However, the journal page did not accept the paint and water very well since the paper was not absorbent or thick enough. But all in all, this was a good learning experiment.
I first drew the door and stone bricks using a water soluble black pen. Then I added watercolor paints which activated the pen lines. I enjoyed experimenting with this technique and plan to do more similar paintings.
Here is the backstory on this painting. I began working with watercolor paints. The flowers were originally orange and yellow. I wasn't satisfied with the painting. And I realized it was the orange that was bothering me. I'm not an orange person.
I went in with oil pastels and changed the colors of the flowers to pink and purple. My painting came out darker than I had intended. But at least it was a learning experience for me - and I was brave enough to post this painting.
For this technique, Deena "uses either YUPO or Strathmore Series 500 bristol 4-ply plate surface for her textured paintings. Both have extremely smooth surfaces and are less absorbent than traditional watercolor papers. This allows the paint to flow more freely, resulting in more intense colors."
I was searching for an article on how to draw more loosely. Instead, I found this interesting post, Six Ways to Better Drawingwritten byHelen South, (About.com Guide). I especially liked the following suggestions:
When I do a watercolor painting, I usually do a pencil sketch first. For this painting, I took a risk and drew all of my flowers with Liquid Frisket. After the latter dried, I added a blue sky, green grass and some text stamping to the background.
I rubbed the frisket off with my fingers and then painted in the flowers. I'm satisfied with the final result but I do see some areas that I can improve upon in subsequent paintings.
I actually did this painting in my Art Journal. I wanted to create a casual painting so I wasn't focused on perfect.
The frisket I used is Grumbacher Miskit (liquid frisket) which is orange in color. For best results, the frisket should be removed within 24 to 48 hours. This is the first time that I tried this product and I like the way it performs.
On Empty Easel, I discovered two videos (featuring artist Linda Baker) on How to Pour Watercolors using masking fluid to control the flow of paint. Linda's videos make the process look very doable even for beginners.
I'm adding this technique to the top of my To Do List.
My inspiration for this chair came from a furniture catalog. I used graphite pencils, watercolor paints and watercolor crayons on 140# watercolor paper. This is the kind of chair to snuggle into, on a rainy day, with a good book - or Nook - or Kindle?
And instead of a cup of tea, you might be sipping a Cafe Mocha or a Frappuccino - with your cell phone nearby.
Today, I finished sketching a very intricate drawing. I opened up a new set of Prismacolor fine line markers and began inking the drawing.
Suddenly, the pen started skipping and the nib almost bent on the paper. I was not pressing hard. No matter what I tried, I couldn't salvage the drawing. All those sketching hours were wasted! I think I'm going back to using Pigma Micron pens.I did a quick whimsical sketch (below) so that my day wasn't completely lost.
I was sorting through some of my watercolor paintings when I came upon this copy that I had taken of one of my original paintings.The color was much richer in my original art. So I took the copy and reworked it a bit in Photoshop Elements. But I still want to find the original art.
The moral of the story - to me - is: It's time to reorganize my art work - and art supplies. Do you ever misplace paintings - or even supplies?
In a past issue of Watercolor Artist, there's an excellent, and comprehensive, article by Charles Reidon how to stop overworking your watercolor paintings. He provides four valuable tips to achieve this goal:
Once you start losing your concentration, stop.
Don't go back and make forms more defined.
Don't add small darks at the end of the painting.
When you make a stroke that's "off," stop.
I think I'm going to keep his tips by my side when I do my next watercolor painting.
Reid also suggests that you study the watercolor paintings of John Singer Sargent.If you visit Reid's site, you'll find that he keeps it beautifully simple in his paintings. I especially admire his Venice paintings.
Here is a painting by John Singer Sargent, entitled Gondoliers' Siesta (1910). (Note: I just realized that I'm continuing to follow Michelle Ward's Challenge: To Learn Something New. And that's a good thing.)
I purchased a new laptop - and a new printer - and upgraded from Photoshop Elements 3 to Photoshop Elements 7.Well, it's back to Square One, on the Learning Curve, in regard to all three purchases.
I just tried to edit a watercolor painting, which I did today, in Photoshop Elements 7. And I wasn't able to change the font color.So, I booted up Elements 3 and I easily changed the color of the font. The joys of new technology!
I was recently inspired by aPochoirprint (from the 1920s) which I saw online. Instead of using the stencil process, I reinvented the print by turning it into a mixed-media work, using watercolor painting and art stamps.
The original print consisted of a man and woman - and more detailed background. I chose to portray only the woman and a couple of trees.
About every three months, I like to review my goals for 2009.This year my major goal was to draw daily. Due to my recent vacation and family visits, I neglected to draw daily.
Since I hadn't been practicing, I felt a little rusty when I worked on the watercolor (below). But I decided to recommit to my goal and continue to do a daily drawing or more.
I believe drawing is like any other skill. The more you practice, the better you become - and the more satisfied you are with the end results. Then one day, after a lot of hard work, everything seems to fall into place. And you are surprised at the progress that you made and the skill that you have achieved.
Set aside some time today and revisit your Goals for 2009.
I only had time for a quick watercolor painting today. I had to take my Shih Tzu, Tia, to the Vet this morning.
This was her second Vet visit in two weeks - She has a UTI. Hmmmmm.....Gave the Vet $159. last week and $116 this week. Did you ever notice that big bills seem to come in bunches. We just replaced our ride-on lawn mower and then our air conditioning unit needed $600. of repair work. And the unit is less than five years old. I know these financial bumps in the road happen to everybody.
I think I need to set aside a few more hours, later on, to make more Art to soothe my soul. I find it very healing to work at my Art. So, here's my little coffee cup painting. I played around with the colors in Photoshop Elements.
Here's a quick watercolor painting experiment that I did this afternoon. First, I put a wash of blue ink on some vintage sheet music from the early 1900s. I then applied Gesso in the middle of the page. I dried the Gesso with my trusty heat gun. Next, I made a quick sketch of a female face - and applied watercolor paint and watercolor pencil to enhance the image.
I've tried this Gesso/watercolor technique before. It's interesting how the Gesso background allows you to (both) wipe out areas of paint - and add additional paint to your composition.
My goal was to make a quick watercolor study - and not strive for perfection. Sometimes, I think you can learn more from your materials when you work fast.
At my last watercolor class, we worked with masking tape and/or Mylar. I chose to work with masking tape.
First, I added a wash of ultramarine blue to the middle of the watercolor paper. To create some foliage, I tore very thin strips of tape and pressed them along the bottom of the painting. I covered the strips with a wash of yellow paint.
Since I wanted to paint birch trees, I tore off small pieces of masking tape to cover my sketched tree limbs - leaving varying degrees of thin, horizontal white spaces. I filled in these spaces with burnt umber paint. I then stroked on some light-colored branches. Next, I used a sea sponge (coated with burnt umber) to add brown leaves.
When the paint dried, I removed all the masking tape. I added in some more leaves using the sea sponge technique. I then stopped painting. I'm going to take my unfinished painting (see below) to my next class. I want it to be critiqued by my Instructor and fellow classmates so I can get a better idea of the next step to take. I don't want to overwork the painting - LOL - like I did last week.
In the meantime, I wrote up this tutorial in case you might want to try these ideas.