April 24th, 2013
I’ve got a few new paintings to show you from my studio and from the classes and workshops I’ve been teaching.
At University Art in my afternoon class we’ve been working on landscapes. So, here is the next painting we’re tackling… A little church in Mendocino. The path leads down to the beach. It’s from a photo I took while teaching at the Mendocino Arts Center. I’ll update my progress as I work on it.
I started (using only my favorite 3 colors: Winsor Blue Green Shade, Permanent Rose and Winsor Yellow) with a light wash over the sky, leaving large areas of white for clouds. I might need to come back and do another wash over parts of the sky… we’ll see.
Then light washes over the church and landscape using the same three colors.
I added some masking fluid drops to the rose bushes and foliage in the foreground and then did another wash. And, one more time, more masking fluid drops and shapes, another wash.
In the meantime I started adding details to the church using mingled colors (same 3 as above. The windows in the church now have an almost stained glass look.
I’ve been slowly adding wet into wet washes on the foliage in and around the church .
I love it! Really fun!
Here is the very beginning of a portrait I’m starting for my morning class at University Art. I’ve darkened it so that you can see the pencil lines.
So far I have just two washes. The first, very light, over the boy on the left, my grandson, Ethan. Then another wash with a few strategic lifts to suggest some light and volume on his face and neck.
Next week I’ll start Aiden.
This is the portrait I worked on in my workshop in Oakland of my granddaughter Eva.
Same three colors, by the way… layers and layers of color, softening edges in some places.
Still a long way to go, but a nice start…
April 7th, 2013
In this six week session at University Art in Sacramento, I’m guiding my students in painting some little landscapes. I’ve worked on two pieces… Very simple color schemes, as usual. Winsor Blue Green Shade, Thalo Yellow Green (Grumbacher), Permanent Rose, Perylene Green and a bit of Cobalt Blue in the wet into wet painting.
One is painted wet on dry paper, which is in my comfort zone. The other is painted wet into wet. You can see I’ve finished the wet on dry piece, but not the wet into wet. I really admire artists who paint wet on wet paper and am trying to incorporate a bit into my work.
Next Tuesday we’ll be working on a little landscape with a building…
Charlotte Harris, one of my University Art students photographed my progress on this painting. Almost as good as a video. Thanks Charlotte!
March 11th, 2013
Watercolor paper expands when it is wet, creating an uneven surface to paint on. For control and a flat surface, artists soak and “stretch” their paper. The paper is soaked in a tub of water for about 10 minutes then laid out on a hard surface, such as a plywood board and taped or stapled down. As the paper dries it contracts and becomes tight like a drum. Then the artist can paint on the paper with no buckling or dips. It becomes and ideal surface for watercolor.
Materials for stretching:Use 3/8” plywood boards. Sand and seal board before using. Paper Size Board Size (Includes 2 1/2” border on all sides) Full Sheet – 22” x 30” 27” x 35” Half Sheet – 15” x 22” 20” x 27” Quarter Sheet – 11” x 15” 16” x 20”
Or, use thick (3/4”) gator board. Gator Board is light-weight, can be stapled into and wet paper can be taped on.
140 lb watercolor paper (I recommend Arches) cut or torn to size
Squirt bottle of water
Kraft tape (a brown tape, 3 inches wide, that comes on rolls)
Or: Lukas Wet Adhesive Tape 40mm (1 5/8 in. wide) (Jerry’s Artarama) I haven’t used this yet, but one of my students says it’s great. It’s a white tape and can be used on wet paper to adhere to gator board.
Instructions:1) Fold and tear (or cut) paper to size 2) Cut tape to fit four sides of board 3) Measure and draw one inch boarder on all four sides of paper 4) Soak paper in tub for 10 minutes (set timer) 5) Lay down paper towel on board 6) After 10 minutes, let extra water drip from paper 7) Lay paper on top of paper towel on the board 8) Spray shiny side of Kraft Tape evenly with water. Hold up until tape straightens out. 9) Lay tape on the one-inch boarder so that the tape overlaps the paper by one inch. 10) For large paper you may also staple edges of paper to board to add extra strength. 11) Let paper completely dry till it is as tight as a drum. I usually let my paper dry overnight. 11) Paper is now ready for painting. 12) Do not remove from the board until you are completely finished with the painting. 13) To remove the paper, cut along the tape with a utility knife. 14) You don’t need to remove all of the tape from the board. Alternative method: Stretcher Bar Stretching of Watercolor Paper 1) Buy 4 stretcher bars for stretching canvas… any sizes. (2 long, 2 short, or all the same length) 2) You will need to plan for a 1 – 1 ½” border. 3) Soak paper for 10 minutes 4) Staple (with staple gun) The middle of each side Then the corners (folding corners) Then filling in about every 1 – 2 inches, or so 5) Let dry. 6) This method will dry faster than the board stretching.
March 2nd, 2013
*(Most of my paints are Winsor & Newton brand, but I also like Daniel Smith, Grumbacher and Cheep Joe’s products.)
When I am using a limited palette, I usually pick 3 colors, for instance:Winsor Yellow, Permanent Rose, Winsor Blue Green Shade Thalo Yellow Green (Skip’s Green), Permanent Rose, Winsor Blue Green Shade, Winsor Violet Winsor Lemon, Alizarin Crimson, Winsor Green Blue Shade Winsor Orange*, Winsor Green – Blue Shade, Winsor Dioxazine Violet Using a limited palette is great. It will teach you how the different colors interact with each other, how to get the most varied results with the least hue choices, and how to get very subtle neutrals by mixing on your palette, or by glazing layers on your paper.
There are limitless combinations to try, all with different results.
I prefer to use transparent staining hues that way I can use lots of glazing (thin layers wet over dry)