Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sedona Blooms

 What a wonderful location for a workshop and so inspiring.

Some of you have wondered where is Boon he is here too.


The first couple of days may can get frustrated trying to understand how to flow the color and use the water. Holding the brush and how much pressure to apply. They can feel as if they were just thrown into deep water without a life raft as they continue on it is amazing to see how they develop. 

On the third day I love to see their faces with joy and amazement after they see their work lined up when we do a critique. Even people that are reluctant to share are pleasantly surprised with what they have done.

 These are not quite done they still need a little more detail and color intensity in the background but to see them all together was so much fun

Sedona Workshop 2012

 Sedona was an amazing location for a workshop red rocks, clear skies it was very inspiring. I enjoyed doing the workshop for NWAS Northern Arizona Watercolor Society. Along with some of the members we had 16 students from all over the country that came to join us

 There were many wonderful places to go for hikes after the workshop. Here is just one of them I am on top of the airport Vortex. You can see how the trees twist as they follow the energy as they grow  out of the rocks.

 It was such a treat to see the bright yellow balloon fly over the desert they actually came and landed right next to me as I was standing on an overlook and invited me to a champagne picnic - such a nice invitation but I was on my way to teach my workshop - perhaps another time. Funny how I saw the same one a couple of weeks ago in Calistoga, as it turns out that same balloon was from the same company here in Sedona and they sold it to the people in Calsitoga - what are the odds.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Louisiana Watercolor Society 42nd International Exhibition

I'm happy to say that my painting "Lets Dance" was accepted into the Louisiana Watercolor Society 42nd International Exhibition in New Orleans. I feel very fortunate to be included with so many talented artists.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Step-by-step: Stargazer Lilies

Learn how to control color using masking.

Stargazer lilies are basically white flowers with bold strokes of color in the center of each petal. The challenge here is to control color within a designated area and not allow it to flood to the edges of the petal. This is a good example of how using the right brush gives you more control over the medium. In this case, masking will come in very handy, allowing you to continue the flow of color without interruption.

Materials you will need:
Paper—½ sheet 300-lb. (640gsm) rough or cold press
Brushes—No. 30 natural-hair round, mop or hake • No. 14 sable/synthetic blend round • Nos. 3 and 8 synthetic rounds
Pigments—Carbazole Violet • French Ultramarine • Hansa Yellow • Indanthrene Blue • Indigo • Permanent Alizarin Crimson • Permanent Carmine • Permanent Sap Green • Phthalo Green • Quinacridone Magenta • Winsor Red
Other—Graphite pencil • Masking fluid

1. Draw and mask; then begin the petals.
Lightly sketch the flower, then mask the stamens and let the mask dry completely.
For the petals, prepare a mixture of some or all of the reds. Paint the petals one at a time as directed in the step 1 close-up.

1a. Petal Close-up: Apply water.
Using a no. 30 natural-hair round, apply water to the inside of one petal, almost to the pencil line.

1b. Petal close-up: Begin the stroke of red.

As the shine leaves the paper, load a no. 14 sable/synthetic blend round with your red mixture. Apply a sweeping stroke starting at the base of the petal and brushing out toward the tip. As you reach the tip, sweep and lift the brush for a tapered line.

1c. Petal Close-up: Stroke again.
To intensify the color and widen the stroke, apply another stroke over the first, again beginning at the base and moving toward the tip. Minimize the number of strokes and don’t brush back and forth.

1d. Petal Close-up: Add the details.
While the surface is still damp, use a no. 3 synthetic round to apply small dots of color of the same red mixture. Practice on a separate piece of paper first so you know how dry the paper needs to be for optimum results.

1e. Petal Close-up: Darken if needed.
If the color is lighter than you would like, you can apply more color, but the paper must still be damp enough, or you will lift out the first application. If this happens, wait until the first layer is completely dry before reapplying.

2. Darken the petals, then add the greens.
As the color from step 1 dries, it will lighten. If necessary, intensify and deepen your red mixture by adding a little Carbazole Violet to it; then apply a second or even a third layer. Once all the petals are filled with color, begin the stems and leaves using a mixture of Permanent Sap Green, French Ultramarine and Hansa Yellow.

3. Paint the background.
Let the painting dry completely. For the background, mix Phthalo Green and Indanthrene Blue; this will give you a crisp, clean color to complement the magentas and reds. If you think the mix needs to be darker, add a little Indigo. Paint the background one continuous section at a time, following the step 3 close-up.
Let everything dry, then remove the mask from the stamens by rubbing with your finger.

3a. Background Close-up: Start in the corner.
Begin with dry paper for the darkest possible hue. Cut into the corners using a no. 8 synthetic round. This brush will give you optimum control and a nice, clean edge.

3b. Background Close-up: … and work outward.
Paint out from the corners, using large sweeping strokes to avoid an overworked appearance.

3c. Background Close-up: Dilute with water as you go out.
Using clean water on a no. 30 natural-hair round, start pulling out the darker hue into the background. The resulting variations of value will add interest.

3d. Background Close-up: Continue pulling out color.
Following the forms of the petals, continue to pull the color out and around.

3e. Background Close-up: Finish the section.
Continue pulling color around with clean water on the brush, not stopping until you have filled that particular background section.

4. Paint stamens and details to finish.
Paint the stamens much as you did the petals: Fill each one with water, then add color as the shine starts to disappear. Apply a very light value of green along both edges of each filament to give them form. For the anthers (the structures at the tops of the filaments), use a mixture of Hansa Yellow, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and a little Carbazole Violet. When all the petals, stamens and stems are filled with color, reevaluate the overall painting and adjust values as needed.

This demonstration is excerpted from my book Watercolor in Motion (North Light Books, 2008). The demonstration also appeared in the article “Fancy Flowers” in the March 2008 issue of The Artist’s Magazine.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tips: How to Loosen the Cap on a Tube of Paint

I am often asked in workshops how to open a welded-shut tube of paint. Here are some ways you can try to loosen the cap.

  • Use the flame of a match to warm the cap from the tube then loosen.
  • Place the end of the tube in warm or hot water to loosen.
  • Pliers

Another way is to use a nonskid rubber mat (that is used to open jars) usually about 6 x 6 inches available at kitchen supply stores but this can sometimes be hard to find.

Sharron MacBride in my BC workshop shared her idea for a less expensive way to get the same results and much more easily available. Rubber shelf liners. You can find these just about anywhere, hardware, grocery, large chain stores etc.

Cut into a small square, and then unscrew the cap. If the cap is still to tight, loosen with warm water or match first then turn.

Calistoga Workshop March 2012

Wine, Spa & Mustard fields and interesting people what a colorful place to hold a workshop. You can even go for a balloon ride before the workshop.Will be back in October to see and paint the fall colors in the vineyards