Monday, June 24, 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 the paper.

2. After water is applied using a # 8 nylon synthetic  brush apply just a little color (Naples yellow with a touch of perm. Quin. magenta) to the base of the flower and pull out to the edge of the petal. repeat a few lines using a shadow blend of French Ultramarine blue and Burnt sienna mix. The leftover color in the water of the wash bucket was enough to break up the stark white of the paper.


3. Once I’d made sure each flower had a shape, I picked up a No. 20 round (a blend of natural and synthetic fibers) to start adding shadows with a mixture of French ultramarine blue and burnt umber.




5. The shadows make all the difference, as they define the flowers and convey the effect of transparency. To keep these areas from looking flat, I varied the areas of dark and light as I worked.6. Adding stems will add more color and help ground the painting. As I did with the flowers, I applied water first, then the color. For this green, I mixed permanent sap green and French ultramarine blue; I used a No. 8 to apply color to the outside edge of the stem. Then I allowed the color to run back into the center. To make the stem more interesting, I applied a stroke of quinacridone magenta along one side.

7. Adding stems will add more color and help ground the painting. As I did with the flowers, I applied water first, then the color. For this green, I mixed permanent sap green and French ultramarine blue; I used a No. 8 to apply color to the outside edge of the stem. Then I allowed the color to run back into the center. To make the stem more interesting, I applied a stroke of quinacridone magenta along one side.
8. For the background, I used my No. 30 brush and a wet-into-wet technique to help pull color into areas and to remove unwanted lines.





9. To help the flowers appear whiter and brighter, I deepened the color in the background. Notice how some pencil lines are still visible in places, a fact that never bothers me, because leaving traces of the process is part of the art inWhite Tulips (watercolor, 40×30).
White Tulips Palette
  • Naples yellow
  • Indian yellow
  • permanent quinacridone magenta
  • French ultramarine blue
  • burnt sienna
  • permanent sap green
  • indigo
You can find more step-by-step demonstrations and information in my book "Watercolor in Motion"

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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 entire order use coupon code TRP00560 at checkout.
To purchase color click here

Have FUN.
To view color chart information click here





Monday, June 17, 2013

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.


Friday, June 14, 2013

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 place you watercolor paper on top. This works well for both 140lb and 300lb paper. 

Portable Light Tables
You can purchase a portable light table from an art store for approximately $40 to $299 depending on the size. 

Make your own Light Table
This is a great idea for individual artists or small art organizations with limited budgets. 
  • Use a large shallow plastic container
  • Fill with tiny white Christmas lights then use the lid as your table-top (make sure the lid is smooth without ridges) for defused lighting line the container with wax paper then place the lights inside. 
  • Using the same idea of the large shallow plastic container go to Home Depot or Lowe's and get under cabinet florescent lights. These are ready to go units (you will need 2-4) then all you have to do is cut a hole in one end with a box cutter for the cord then use a multi-plug adapter. 
  • Try an old wooden dresser drawer, this works really well, just add the Christmas lights inside or use the under cabinet florescent lights. Then place a piece of Plexiglas or glass on top. The advantage of the drawer is that the lip of the drawer helps prevent the lid from slipping.
Plexiglas
You can use clear, white or frosted Plexiglas if you already have Plexiglas available you can sand the surface to make it more frosted which helps diffuse the light.

home made light table   


photo by DYI.corporate.mom

photo byArt Projects

The light boxes with lids are a great for activity for kids too, in a dark room they can play with sand, paint, etc on top of the plastic boxes. If you don't want to use electricity, either because of kids or your in a location where there is none, you can use tap lights available at most hardware stores, Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart etc (battery powered lights which can die out quickly)  

Here are a couple of links to some blogs with good photo and step-by-step instructions.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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

Monday, June 3, 2013

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
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To get basically the same results Linda likes to use an embossing tool. Used mainly for paper, foil, clay, leather etc the embossing tool is about 5 1/2 inches long with a wooden handle, stainless steel tips with a small round balls on either end. It holds a nice amount of fluid and flows well.

Linda

Embossing tool with wooden handle, stainless steel tip with a small ball on the end

Applying Pebeo masking fluid