Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How to turn a picture into a painting

Join me for a FREE Webinar.

Atmospheric Landscapes
Learn to keep things simple, focus on what's important, discover how to use the photo reference bank. 4 paintings demonstrations and much more.



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Your painting tools make a difference

Do you think any brush will work when watercolor painting?
When trying to paint large washes with smooth color, your brushes make a difference.

Do you ever wonder why your color is too weak or not enough strong enough?
it might be too much water.

Should you cut or tear the paper?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Copyrights Now here is something else to think of

When you sell a painting, does that mean you just sold your copyrights?
The answer is No
Unless you the artist, intentionally sell the rights, you still own them. This way you can make prints, license your designs and publish as needed.

What do you tell your customers when they buy a painting
Tell them in person, or when handing the painting over include a letter of authenticity, with a note that you retain all copyrights.

How does this apply to commissions
Before starting a project, have a discussion with your client, depending on the project and clients expectations, some will be flattered and it's not a problem for you to retain the copyrights while others may be commissioning you for a product or other specific reason where they want to control how the image is used. 

Depending on the type of commission 
Once you are hired, it is really is not so much your idea any longer, you are collaborating, so be clear with your client, and get it in writing before hand.

What if you take a workshop or online course
The composition, referance photo and all teaching materials are the intellectual property and belong to the original instructor. 


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Copyright infringement

Now here is a subject that isn't much fun to talk about, Copyright infringement, it never makes anyone feel good. Most people are not sure what was is and isn't acceptable, basically it simply means that you can not profit from another persons, intellectual property.
I know some people will get really upset when talking about this, but this is basic copyright law and these are the facts, you can check with any seasoned professional artist, organization or attorney. If you plan to "sell or show" your work it needs to be entirely your own concept, reference material and creation,
It's okay to look in magazines, or websites etc but don't copy them (that goes for picture or paintings), when you have an idea, change the elements and turn them into your own.
If taking workshops or online courses, when specific lessons are given, the copyright is still the intellectual property of the instructor, not the student.
Lessons are meant only as learning tools to help you understand the thinking process behind the painting, and as you learn how to gather your own reference materials you will then be able to interpret them into your own paintings.
For painting competitions, it must be entirely your own creation, in the show prospectus you will see that the organization will not accept work that is done in a workshop, online course, under any supervision, or someone else's reference material, it must be entirely your own.
As artists we all learn from imitation, and for those workshop paintings, you can give them to friends and family but don't profit from them, (basic copyright law). If you want to donate it ask the instructor and then credit them and the workshop.
Instructors spend many years perfecting their art and lesson plans, so if you decide to take your art to the next level, do it with your own creation just like they did.

If your intention is to sell paintings and you like someones else's photo ask them for permission to use it or license it for a fee, and always get it in writing. As far as competitions go, most organizations will say they in their show prosecutes that they want everything to be your own creation, from concept, reference photo, to painting.

For more information visit https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/index.html

Saturday, January 28, 2017

2017 Workshop Schedule

Here is my 2017 travel workshop schedule, I hope you join me. 

I have a few opening left for my next 2 workshops in Calistoga CA 

View Schedule




Tuesday, January 3, 2017

You don't have to be perfect

I received an email today of someone wanting to take my online Landscape course starting January 7, but was concerned that they weren't good enough. That made me just a little sad knowing how the fear of that feeling can hold us back. My response was....

...I can hear the hesitation and worry in your beautiful story.
I do think that this course would be perfect for you, it's not about perfection but more importantly finding the essence and conveying the emotion of what you see.

Since (as you say you are a perfectionist and never happy with what you do), I'm going to say right now take a deep breath, there is no right or wrong, or one way to do it. Where we get into trouble in a painting is thinking that it needs to be a certain way. We want to imitate and if it's not perfect we feel as if we have failed.

It doesn't have to be perfect, or like someone else's, or exactly like what you see, our creative self already knows what to do, finds beauty in imperfection but may need a little help with technique.
In this interactive course we will work with the flow of water, moving color, simplifying the landscape, and working in manageable sizes. I really think you would enjoy this course and it would be perfect for you.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Water lines, Grainy Washes, Excess Water


Hard Waterlines 
Reapplying water to an area before it is completely dry can dilute color and carry the pigment to the outside edges, where it will accumulate, leaving unwanted hard lines. The obvious solution is to allow areas to dry completely before reapplying water or color. If you do form a waterline, try to soften it with a scrub brush or reapply water and glaze over it.

Grainy Washes
Mineral pigments and sedimentary colors tend to create grainy washes. Leaving your palette uncovered allows dust particles to accumulate, which may result in unwanted texture. Using a hair dryer to dry the damp pigment can flatten the sediment in the wash.

Warping and Buckling Paper
Watercolor tends to pool on lighter weight papers, often causing warping and buckling. Keep tilting your paper and moving the color to prevent pooling. A hair dryer will speed up the drying process. Hold it approximately 10 inches (25cm) away from the paper and keep the airflow moving evenly, or you can end up with areas that have dried too quickly, leaving unwanted lines.

Excess Water
To help control the drying time, remove excess water with a clean natural-hair brush. These are more absorbent than synthetic brushes. You can also use the tip of a paper towel, but don't press too hard or you may lift color, leaving an uneven dry area.

Backwashes and Blooming
Two areas drying at different rates can create back- washes and blossoming. During the drying process, water from the wetter, slower drying area seeps into the drier area, resulting in a blossom. Sometimes these are "happy accidents," but they can also be a disaster. 
If you have a very wet painting, try to keep an eye on it until it is almost dry--you never know what you will come back to. If a blossom has started to form, reapply water and pigment while it is still damp to even out the area. Remove the excess water and let dry. 
Worth Noting:
• Hard waterlines appear when an area is over wet and the pigment travels out to the edges. (above, left)
• Absorb water with a brush tip. A natural-hair brush acts like a sponge and will lift excess water out of an area. Natural hair is more absorbent than synthetic fibers. (above, middle)
• Absorb water with paper towel. The edge of a paper towel easily lifts out excess water. (above, right)