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Showing posts from February, 2012

Victoria Workshop 2012

We had a little bit of everything, warm sunny weather, wind & rain then the last day a light dusting of spring snow.
Even when you think your painting isn't working, when you stop and look you can see how far you have come.
This was only a three day workshop, we worked on one painting every day to learn tecniques...and yes many felt as if their paintings weren't working... ...until they can step away and see.

Tips: Tearing Paper

I'm here in Victoria BC teaching a workshop meeting wonderful new friends / students, everyone always has such wonderful ideas to share so I will be posting a few new tips so you can feel as if you have joined us.
Tearing paper:It seems like tearing paper should be really simple, but many people have problems with it, (especially the heavier weight papers). If the paper isn't tearing easily the student feels frustrated and ends up cutting it leaving one side with a sharp cut look while the others have a deckle or feathered edge. The problem with that is if you want to float your painting (meaning exposing all of the edges of the paper) one side is not the same.To tear, fold the paper in half, watermark side up (watermark is the side where the manufactures name is spelled correctly) this is called the front or felt side. You can use both sides but the advantage of this is that the snap of the paper will be on the back giving you a better looking edge on the front side.
Tearing pa…

BIG Brushes

I found this very funny, some of my new friends in Victoria BC have purchased the brushes that I like, they were so surprised of the sized of the size. They had fun and pretended they were swords.
I know when many people get them they can be a little intimidated by their size - but that's the point, sometimes size matter. It is much easier to work an area in a few quick strokes then to overwork it with too many small ones or the other thing that happens is that color is drying faster then you can work.
the five sided handle is extremely comfortable and fit naturally in your hand, the other wonderful thing about the handle is the way it's cut helps to prevent the brush from rolling on the table and across the painting.
The brush set I have available on my web-site and in my workshops are what I consider the most important brushes to have.
# 30 Natural Blend for Watercolor & Gouache This is a mix of Kolinsky Red Sable, Russian Blue Squirrel, and Russian Black Sable, along wi…

Painting Flowers Step by Step: Radiant Reds

Painting Flowers Step by Step: Radiant Reds
Flowers are gorgeous and joyful in a bouquet or a garden, but I love to paint blooms up close, so I can bring to light their intricate, often convoluted, forms. I paint in watercolor, what I consider the most fluid and expressive medium. Watercolor lets me do a lot with a little. I paint with lots of water and though I don’t use much pigment, I get intense, vivid results. My basic practice is to apply water to the paper and then paint, allowing the color to move on the paper.Red is challenging because you have to keep it fresh and clean if it is to retain its vibrancy. For this painting I wanted to keep the lighter colors in the foreground so the viewer would come close and look inside the flower, and then peer more deeply into space, into the background and the shadows.
Step 1: After making a light pencil drawing on a sheet of Arches 300-pound, cold-pressed paper, I applied water to one petal. With a No. 30 brush, I let Winsor red, permanent …

Painting a Pansy: Step-by-step

When painting small flowers like pansies, it’s often hard to recognize a good composition from a poor one. The immediate response is usually to clump the small flowers together and make a bouquet. I recommend, instead, treating the pansy as you would any other flower: Focus on shape, shadow and color—the elements that can transform these small wonders into a bold composition.


1. Mixing Naples and Indian yellow, I started with the lightest petals and worked one petal at a time, filling each petal with water and adding the color to the outside edge with a No. 14 brush. Applying the color only to the outside edge left enough area white so I could later place a complementary color and not have it mix with the yellow and turn muddy.

2. As the surface started to dry and become more matte in its finish, I mixed carbazole purple, French ultramarine blue and quinacridone magenta to make a purple. Using a sweeping motion, I applied the purple with a No. 14 brush, starting at the center and movi…