Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Flowers in Mendocino CA

If possible I always like to share some of the photos in the workshops, we have such a good time and I am always so impressed with my students results of their paintings. In April we  had a wonderful class in Mendocino. Instead of trying to do a new painting everyday they decided to take on the challenge of more complicated compositions with lots of shadows perfect for Springs vibrant color.

 Funny students - Thanks Maria LOL

First time student.  Very successful
The wonderful thing about many newbies is that they do not have a preconceived idea of what they can and can't do and don't get caught up in what they think the rules should be. They simply have fun and just try with remarkable success. 

Some of the most frustrated students are the ones that think they know it all and are unhappy when they are using their usual techniques expecting different results. It is better to let go, have fun and breath..and if you are struggling that's good because then you are learning something new.


 Love this photo...Barbara looks like she is blooming out of the flower.

 Great Job

 Stand back   I always tell my students to stop being on top of your painting, take a moment to step back to get a new perspective.



 Thank you all to my wonderful students for making this class so enjoyable.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Rocks, Sand, Sea glass" May 28–31



I just finished a wonderful workshop on flowers in Mendocino my next workshop at the Art Center is "Rocks, Sand, Sea glass" May 28–31, 2012 This class is always fun, fun fun ...people always try to pick the sand off of the paper but it is really the illusion of the watercolor. I will also be doing Rocks in Jackson Hole WY in July for those of you that can't get to the coast. We will call it "From the Rivers edge"


Mendocino, CA   May 28–31, 2012
"Rocks, Sand, Sea glass" 
To register and for more information
http://www.mendocinoartcenter.org/Spring12/OConnor2.html


Jackson Hole, WY      June 29 - July 2 
"The Rivers Edge" 
To register and for more information visit in Jackson Hole, WY
http://www.artassociation.org/education/painting_drawing/w12-RiversEdge.html

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Glazing (layering) in watercolor


Glazing is a term for layering or stacking color, for instance think of different sheets of colored glass or tissue paper one stacked on top of the other. You are able to see through the transparent layers to the ones below, glazing in watercolor is the same idea but instead using thin washes of transparent color. For the cleanest color mixing and purest glazes use only the most transparent color. The reason is these colors allow light to pass through and reflect off of the papers surface leaving beautiful jewel-like effects.

Here are only a few of the transparent colors you may want to consider, New Gamboge, Indian Yellow, Winsor Red, Alizarin Crimson, Carmine, Permanent Rose, Quinacridone Magenta, Winsor Violet (Dioxazine), Indanthrene Blue, French Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Antwerp Blue, Prussian Blue, Viridian, Winsor Green (Yellow Shade), Perylene Green, Hooker’s Green, Permanent Sap Green among others.

More opaque the colors have a greater coverage and are useful to tone down color mixtures but they can easily flatten a wash, leave a chalky residue or even give a muddy appearance. Some suggested colors you may want to avoid when glazing are the cadmiums, cobalt’s or other earth colors. Such as cadmium yellow or red, Cerulean Blue, Manganese Blue Hue, Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Green, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Sepia and Indigo.

Why Glaze (or Layer)
Watercolor always dries lighter, 10% when applied to dry paper and 25% when applied as a wash. If you try to speed up the process without building layers color can appear weak and wimpy, glazing helps to deepen or modify color and change the colors hue. This very effective technique can give paintings the illusion of depth, for instance in landscapes it helps to give the impression of and distance with different layers and multiple shading such as in the leafs of trees and grasses. It also gives the impression of light and luminosity such as in skies or the delicate glow in a petal. Glazing like so many other techniques gives a degree of excitement with its unpredictability, and can be very rewarding.

How to Glaze
Each layer must be completely dry before the next is applied, remember you are stacking multiple layers of color and if you apply the next layer too quickly you can easily lift the previous layer and mix it into the current one ruining the effect, and depending on the colors you have chosen possible turning the color into mud. How you check if a wash is ready for the next application is to touch it with the back of your hand and if it is cool to the touch it is still too damp. Another thing when using this technique is that to use soft brushes because if the brush is too stiff you can easily lift color and end up with unwanted brush lines.

How many layers is enough?
Every artist will have a different approach and idea of how they will want to use this technique; some artists like to use up to 50 – 100 very thin layers of color, which usually entails covering the entire sheet with multiple washes. This technique is very time consuming but the results are beautiful and can be well worth the effort, many of these paintings focus on larger shapes of glazed color (such as a sky) with minimal subject areas.

Other artists like myself just don’t have the patience for that many layers and are quite satisfied with much less, approximately 3-4.  Here the wash instead of being applied to the entire sheet is limited to selective areas and by localizing these spaces I am able to get rich color depending on how much water and color is used. 


Transparent Color


What is transparent color?

Think of it as thin layers of colored glass that you can see through to the reflective paper surface underneath creating a jewel-like effect.
These make for some of the cleanest color mixes. Without turning muddy.

On the other hand Opaque colors on are heavier denser and cover more but if you mix too many together the color can get more muddy.

Here is how you can tell.
The quickest way is to look at the symbols on the side of the tube of paint.  It will usually say or have a symbol 


  T    (transparent) 


  ST   (semi transparent) 


SO   (semi opaque) 

  O  (opaque)


If by chance you want to increase the colors transparency and luminosity then add a little Gum Arabic to the color mix.

Testing your colors
If you do not have a chart or it is not clearly indicated you can do your own testing. Paint a black line on piece of paper using India ink, let dry, then using different watercolors with a reasonable amount of water dilute the color so it flows easily, then paint over the strip. Once dry if you can easily see the black line the color is transparent, if you see a hint of color this would be semi transparent, others where the strip is not or hardly visible would be opaque. If needed you can add a little Gum Arabic to a color wash to give it greater transparency.




Transparent Colors - Are wonderful for paintings with multiple glazes transparent, they are bright and clean.
Winsor Lemon, Winsor Yellow, Aureolin, Transparent Yellow, New Gamboge, Winsor Yellow Deep, Indian Yellow, Scarlet Lake, Winsor Red, Rose Doré, Quinacridone Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Alizarin Crimson, Permanent Carmine, Permanent Rose, Rose Madder Genuine, Opera Rose, Quinacridone Magenta, Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Violet, Permanent Mauve, Ultramarine Violet, Winsor Violet (Dioxazine), Indanthrene Blue, Cobalt Blue Deep, French Ultramarine, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Cobalt Blue, Winsor Blue (Red Shade), Antwerp Blue, Prussian Blue, Winsor Blue (Green Shade), Phthalo Turquoise, Winsor Green (Blue Shade), Viridian, Winsor Green (Yellow Shade), Perylene Green, Hooker’s Green, Permanent Sap Green, Green Gold, Raw Sienna, Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Brown Madder, Perylene, Maroon, Perylene Violet, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber


Opaque Colours  - Can change the tone of the painting
Lemon Yellow (Nickle Titanate), Bismuth Yellow, Cadmium Lemon, Lemon Yellow Deep, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Turner’s Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Orange, Winsor Orange, Winsor Orange (Red Shade), Cadmium Scarlet, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Red Deep, Winsor Red Deep, Cerulean Blue (Red Shade), Cerulean Blue, Manganese Blue Hue, Cobalt Turquoise Light, Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Green, Oxide of Chromium, Naples Yellow, Naples Yellow Deep, Yellow Ochre Light, Yellow Ochre, Magnesium Brown, Light Red, Venetian Red, Indian Red, Sepia, Indigo,



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Warm & Cool Colors

Have you ever wondered about warm and cool colors and whats the difference. Warm color appear to move forward while cooler colors recede into the background. That's why when painting a landscape I prefer to use warm colors in the foreground then move to cooler colors and lighter values (meaning more water) in the background. If I was working on a floral I prefer to use warm or even a mix of color in the flower then use cooler colors in the shadows to give depth to my subject. 


Warm Colors
Cadmium Yellow Pale, New Gamboge, Cadmium Yellow, Winsor Yellow Deep, Indian Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Orange, Winsor Orange, Winsor Orange (Red Shade). Cadmium Scarlet, Scarlet Lake, Cadmium Red, Winsor Red, Rose Doré, Quinacridone Red, Opera Rose, Quinacridone Magenta, Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Violet, Permanent Mauve, Winsor Violet (Dioxazine), Cobalt Blue Deep, French Ultramarine, Ultramarine, (Green Shade), Winsor Blue (Red Shade), Cerulean Blue (Red Shade), Winsor Green (Yellow Shade), Yellow Ochre, Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Brown Ochre, Magnesium Brown, Burnt Sienna, Light Red, Venetian Red, Brown Madder, Perylene Maroon, Perylene Violet, Burnt Umber, Vandyke Brown, Sepia

Cool Colors
Lemon Yellow, (Nickel Titanate), Bismuth Yellow, Cadmium Lemon, Winsor Lemon, Lemon Yellow Deep, Transparent Yellow, Winsor Red Deep, Permanent Alizarin, Crimson, Alizarin Crimson, Permanent Carmine, Permanent Rose, Rose Madder Genuine, Indanthrene Blue, Cobalt Blue, Antwerp Blue, Prussian Blue, Winsor Blue (Green Shade), Cerulean Blue, Phthalo Turquoise, Winsor Green, (Blue Shade), Terre Verte, Perylene Green, Permanent Sap Green, Olive Green, Terre Verte (Yellow Shade), Green Gold, Raw Sienna.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Staining colors

Staining colors are man-made dye-based pigments that stain the paper surface making it difficult to lift and return to the white of the paper. In general they are known for greater permanence and the hue is more intense, depending on the manufactor some brands stain more then others. If you happen to accenditally drop a little on your painting  if you catch it right away most times you can lift the spot of color out. If needed add drop of water on the spot then "blot" do not wipe.


Staining Colors in general
Bismuth Yellow, Cadmium Yellows, Winsor Lemon, Transparent Yellow, Aureolin, Gamboge Genuine, Bright Red, Cadmium Scarlet, Scarlet Lake, Vermilion Hue, Cadmium Red, Winsor Red, Rose Doré, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Alizarin Crimson, Permanent Carmine, Permanent Rose, Permanent Magenta, Winsor Violet (Dioxazine), Winsor Blues, Prussian Blue, Winsor Greens, Winsor Emerald, Oxide of Chromium, Hooker’s Green, Permanent Sap Green, Olive Green, Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Venetian Red, Brown Madder, Perylene Maroon, Vandyke Brown, Indigo, Payne’s Gray, Neutral Tint
Light Staining Colors: Gold Ochre, raw umber, cadmium orange, cobalt blue, gamboge, cerulean blue, magenta
Heavy Staining Colors: Phthalocyanine blue, phthalocyanine green, phthalocyanine violet, dioxazine purple (Winsor violet), alizarin crimson, scarlet lake, sap green, Hooker's green

Staining pigments include the Winsors which are Winsor Yellow, Scarlet Lake, Winsor Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Winsor Violet, Winsor Blue and Winsor Green.
Non-Staining Colors: Emerald green, permanent rose, manganese blue, aureolin yellow, cobalt violet.