Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yellow Pot with Green Apples

I painted this still life this afternoon to prepare a lesson for the intermediate watercolor class I am teaching at Riverside Art Center.  The painting is 11" x 14" and it is painted on 140 lb. Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper from a source photograph from Wet Canvas by AnnaKate. I took some compositional liberties by moving the tea cup down in front and overlapping the pot and adding an apple in front. (see below)  I fell in love with this yellow tea pot when I first saw the photograph.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Red Dahlia

I finished the red dahlia painting yesterday - I am still wondering if I shouldn't make the green background darker, but for now, I am leaving it alone.

The painting is 22" x 24" and is painted on 140 lb. cold-pressed Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper.  This is what I would almost consider a conceptual piece since the process almost overtakes the painting - the purposeful, controlled application of the mask, and then the controlled pouring of the paint with the masked lines, changing the subject into my concept of the flower, rather than a photographic replica of the subject.
I poured with acrylic inks, and then finished the painting with watercolor.  Yes - you can paint over acrylic inks with watercolor if the inks have been diluted with water before the pouring process.  Most of the reds are the original pour - only the white masked areas and the shadows where the petals overlap, are watercolor.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Red Dahlia (WIP)

I finally got around to do the pouring for the 2nd painting I had prepared for the demonstration for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society on March 6th, and wasn't able to go because of snow.  The painting is 24" x 22" and is on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.

I had previously drawn the flower using a grid to enlarge the drawing on the paper.  Then I applied the liquid miskit with the sharpened wooden handle of a paint brush.  I poured this today - this is still with the miskit on the painting. I used watered down acrylic ink instead of watercolor for the pouring part of the painting because I like the intense color and the fact that the paint will not lift when I paint over it with watercolors. 

 I wet the paper and applied the paint with an eye-dropper on the wet surface trying to control the flow of the colors as much as possible.  The miskit helps to keep it in the specific areas- ex. the green running into the red, etc.

After the paint dried, I removed the miskit with a liquid mask remover and it is now ready for me to start the painting with watercolor to finish the painting.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I finally finished the first poured painting that I was going to use for my demonstration in Cincinnati (which was cancelled because of 9 1/2 inches of snow here!)

I call this painting "The Bells are Ringing" because these, of course, are Foxglove or Belladonna, and in addition to their name, greatly resemble bells.

This painting is 22"x15" and is painted on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold-pressed watercolor paper.  This painting is totally transparent watercolor and light areas were saved by the use of Pebeo liquid miskit.  I drew the fine white lines by using the sharpened handle of a paintbrush which has been dipped in the miskit.  Most of the paints were Holbein transparent watercolors.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Bells Are Ringing (WIP)

I got back to this painting of Foxglove today,  and am gradually finishing it from top to bottom - a slow process, but I am happy with the progress.  I will continue to post as I work on it!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Moonlight Becomes You

My daughter posted a picture of an old car covered by snow on my Facebook page and suggested that I might like to paint it because of my love affair with vintage trucks and cars. (at right)
Although I liked the car, I knew nothing about the photograph so I wanted to change it so that plagiarism wasn't in question.  I didn't particularly like the house behind it and really didn't think it looked real - and, of course, I didn't want to directly copy it.  I knew nothing about it, so  I changed the orientation, changed the color scheme, and the background - hopefully creating an original painting - not a copy of a photograph.  I suggested that the light source might be moonlight, not artificial light as is in the photo.

The painting is 11" x 14", totally transparent watercolor, and is painted on 140 lb. Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Bells Are Ringing (WIP)

I was invited to do a watercolor demonstration by the Cincinnati Watercolor Society - it was scheduled for this last Wednesday.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't cooperate and dumped many inches of heavy snow over western Ohio.  Our particular area received 9 1/2 . Needless to say - the meeting and demonstration was rescheduled for October 2, and I was left with 2 partially finished watercolors.

The particular technique I was going to demonstrate involved the application liquid mask before the step of pouring.  My task for the next couple of weeks will be to finish pouring and painting these pieces because the liquid mask cannot be left on the paintings - it will not be removable after a period of time, and I would rather not gamble. 

Step 1:  The first of these two paintings I call "The Bells are Ringing",  on a 1/2 sheet of  Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.  The drawing was loosly based on the flower Foxglove with much artistic license involved.  I then drew on my drawing with Pebeo drawing gum - my favorite mask.  It too me hours because I apply it with the sharpened end of a paint brush dipped in the mask.  I use this method because it allows me to do this with detail.
Step 2:  The next step is the pouring...first I prepared the paint which is actually acrylic ink mixed with water.  I mix the colors in individual small baby food jars.  I use acrylic ink because it will not lift and the colors are awesome when poured. I pour, wet-into-wet, dropping the paint onto the paper with an eye-dropper and moving the paper around allowing the colors to mingle and blend.

Step 3:  Using my watercolors, I begin to paint, from the top to the bottom - as I finish an area, I remove the mask.
As you can see, there is much detail and this is a long process...I would say tedious, except that when you love painting, it isn't tedious.  I will continue to post as this progresses.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Wayward Thistle

Yesterday I was mixing acrylic inks for a watercolor demonstration and was cleaning my brushes on a scrap piece of watercolor paper.  I began to see a painting in the abstract shapes and went on to develop it into this...what I call "The Wayward Thistle" because I feel it resembles a thistle plant.  I love working with acrylic inks - they are so beautifully intense and are wonderful for pouring, which I will be doing in the demonstration.  Because they are permanent once they are dry, you can paint over the color areas and don't have to worry about the paint lifting.