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Showing posts from June, 2013

Painting White Tulips Step-by-step

The conventional way of painting white flowers is to paint the negative space surrounding the flower. The other technique is to treat a white flower like any other flower, only with much less paint, letting the white of the paper represent the brightest hues. The principal idea in the latter method is to paint the lines that imply the shape and let the white of the paper represent the flower.

The key to painting a white flower is to keep it simple. Don’t overdo it! There’s usually a sufficient amount of pigment in the wash bucket to break up the stark white of the paper; you may only have to add a little bit of color to imply the petal’s shape. Another general rule is to work in this sequence: Apply water and then color.

1. I drew the flowers in pencil on a sheet of Arches 300-lb, cold-pressed paper. Using a No. 30 brush, working one petal at a time, I applied water almost to the pencil line. The leftover color in the water of the wash bucket was enough to break up the stark white of th…

Tip: PrimaTek Colors / Natural Stone Pigments

When painting Rocks Sand or Sea Glass here are some wonderful colors you can try from Daniel Smith Watercolors
I really enjoy painting with theses pigments because they are natural, come from the earth and are not a synthetic from the lab. I love the way the pigment granulates and settles on the paper. Especially the Rhodonite, Ziosite and Hematite for rocks, and for glass Fuchsite Genuine, Serpentine Genuine among others. You can really get interesting and unique effects by using these colors but try not to over mix them if you can, otherwise is can flatten the results you might be trying to get.  There is something magical about adding these natural stone pigments and incorporating them into  a painting, especially if your composition includes a landscape or other natural formation such as rocks. Prices range from $8.69 - $26.57  For orders over $75 you will can request a free dot card so you can test the full range of available PrimaTeck colors. To receive a 10% discount on your …

Workshop in Cloudcroft New Mexico

I always have a wonderful time in Cloudcroft New Mexico. Big skies, lot's of Elk, happy students, it's a charming little town and a beautiful place for a watercolor workshop at 9000 feet. This will give you a quick idea of what the area and workshop are like. We are planning the next one for 2015, I hope you can join me then, hope to see you there.

Tip: Make Your Own Light Table

In workshops when sketching a composition on to watercolor paper I like to use the windows as a light table. This way we can sketch our drawing on to watercolor paper with minimal lines, but sometimes windows or light tables are not available. In that case we will use graphite transfer paper, but the problem with that is the graphite can easily smudge, leaving a residue which can mix with the water giving you muddy color. The other thing that can happen is depending on how much water you use the graphite lines can disappear off of the composition. We can always work with what is avaialble but I have found when doing a workshop some organizations think they can't afford a light table due to the expense. Light tables run for around $40 to $299 depending on the size and are available at art stores. So here are some affordable ideas.
Use a Glass Door as a Light Table Just go to a sliding glass door, make sure there is enough light coming through, tape the tracing to the door then plac…

Summer and Fall Workshops 2013

I was just in Boone North Carolina at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff teaching a workshop, we had lots of fun and the dates are already set for the next workshop. June 1-5, 2015  You can get an idea of our workshop here on YouTube 
Next I'm off to Cloudcroft NM in the high desert mountains if you would like to join me I have a few openings left. To view a full listing of my remaining 2013 workshops click here

Tips: Tools to Apply Masking Fluid

Most often people will use an old brush, incredible nib or Masquepen but depending on the flow, coverage and detail you want. There are a couple of other things you can try.
Lets say you want a nice continual flow of fluid to leave detail areas white. Consider an embossing tool (used for paper, foil, clay etc) or a calligraphy pen, both feel good in your hand and hold a nice amount of fluid. The flow of masking or drawing gum can also depend on the brand you use. Personally I like Pebeo drawing gum because it's thinner and applies easily.
Examples from students
 When signing paintings with a dark backgrounds Karen Richards like to use a Calligraphy pen to her apply masking. Once the composition is created she applies a light wash, lets it dry then signs her name. She will then continue with the painting then when done remove the masking to reveal her signature.
Karen Richards
Calligraphy pen
Pebeo Drawing gum
Revealed signature --- To get basically the same results Linda likes to use an e…