Watercolor techniques

There are amazing watercolor techniques out to try, here are some.

There are several artist that work with the results of one or all of these techniques in their work; it just takes time to try each way and figure out how the results work for you. Sometimes it is fun to play with these following techniques and see what the picture or painting turns into. It is a freer style way to work and can be very relaxing if you are just painting and enjoying the style. If you need a still life to work from I suggest a subject matter of nature; a daisy, a flower, a glass vase or a stream with rocks. Make a sketch on wc paper of a landscape and apply each technique to the individual parts; wax paper to rocks etc.

1. Use scran warp from your kitchen; take a piece of plastic wrap and pull at both ends until it is tightly stretched and lay it over a well wet surface with the color already down on your paper. Press the wrap down and you will see the markings it begins to make. Let it there on the paper for a few minutes, once the paper has dried a bit remove the scran wrap. You should have ripple type markings that work well for water and a wave effect.There are two paintings in this shot, the aqua painting on the top is upside down. Look closely at the scran wrap and see how it is pulled or sketched at the ends to create the wave shapes. Leave the scran wrap on for about a good half hour. Play with the design as well; press down the wrap and move it around.

2. Freezer paper works for a pointillism or a speckled look. Tear the freezer paper into pieces and lay the torn pieces down onto wet colored watercolor paper. The shape of the torn paper will be the design left by the freezer paper.

3. Wax paper works in the same way freezer paper does. Freezer paper gives you a more solid design because it is thicker than wax paper. Excellent look for rocks, dirt and ground. You want the freezer paper and wax paper to be flat on the colored surface.In this picture Kaitlyn is adding torn pieces of wax paper to create rocks. Fill in all the spaces and where the paper is seen you can paint in some darker colors or darker value of brown if you want to stay within the same color or hue. In the section where the green is that is the glaze wrap. Glaze is tricky to work with; put a lot of color down because the cotton glaze will suck up the paint. Add the color first and keep the paper really wet with colors. Add color after the glaze is in place as well.

4. Glaze cotton wrap works very well for landscape; trees, bushes. Wet your paper and place the glaze flat on the paper and then color. Leave until the glaze starts to dry. Remember to put down a lot of pigment.

5. Epsom salt will give you larger burst of whiteness and design vs, table salt. A larger salt granule will give you a larger burst. Place salt onto a wet surface of color, let dry and brush away salt.

The techniques will define themselves into shapes to work from. Go with the results! Use what the techniques have provided you and look at the results and use the results to enhance your painting. Experimenting with the techniques and evaluating what each one produces and how it can relate to your artwork will take a little bit of time to figure out how you can incorporate them into your work. Have fun!Kaitlyn’s masterpiece!  For the first time working with these techniques the painting is Fabulous! Way to go Kaitlyn!!!

Being an artist.

I was thinking about when people you are meeting for the first time and they ask “What you do for a living?”  It took me a long time to be able to say “An artist” in a prideful manner.  In my experiences people often have a raised eye brawl and look at you with disappointment that you don’t measure up somehow.  Not that you need their approval.  I think it is just human nature to want to be accepted on some level. Unless you are truly known for your art, then these people can’t wait to be seen with you. In college studios you’re surrounded by other artist usually a bit stranger then you and you fit right in no questions asked! Boy, do I miss my college days. I don’t know if for the reason of being young again or if I knew then what I know now? probably a little of each. Young people today have the same stresses just bumped up a notch or two; this I have noticed the past few semesters in the college darkroom.

 When I was teaching and someone would ask “What do you do?” and when I replied; “I am a teacher” I didn’t feel so convicted or out-of-place and somewhat respected. Maybe it’s just me? 

I believe that my art talent is God-given and If I feel ashamed about being an artist God can not honor my work or even bless and anoint it. Like I said it has taken me a long time to get to this point, and not that I don’t care what people think of me…..I have grown spiritually in my life and I like where I am in my life [this season].  Then I was thinking earlier today “I am not painting/drawing enough” and then in my studio I have recent artwork everywhere! Wow! The past six months I have been working my butt off with my portfolio. Then it occurred to me “Do not let the devil trip your ass up”! Whisper crap into your ear; always something negative “Your not good enough” or “Your art sucks”. I tell you ……it is Not you thinking all these negative thoughts! Don’t believe the lies of the devil. God loves you and has a great plan for your life. Just imagine what artwork you can create if you had a positive view of yourself. Plus, your artwork will flow with ease. Keep a sketchbook because you may not be able to paint all the ideas you have at once!

Composition is key. Taking 100 pictures of the same subject forces you to not only look at the subject differently; it forces you to see the composition outside your comfort zone.  Presses you to challenge your skills and the norm of the subject you are photographing. In so you will learn to see and recognize good compositions in the future. You want to provoke emotion in your art. The person viewing your art will stand in front of it much longer if you tell a story in the artwork itself. A subject matter that means something to them the viewer; a fond memory of growing up for example. You need to set the scene in your art and why would someone look at your work?  A strong title is important also. I struggle with composition myself from time to time. You want movement in your composition meaning lines, shapes and forms that have your eye going throughout the artwork.  A light source to establish the time of day and what feeling or experience do you want the viewer to take from your art? There is a lot to think about when it comes to composition. Just the look on someone’s face in your work can tell a story.

I like to photograph and use my own pictures for reference; do not use someone else’s artwork for your own unless you ask the artist. If then give credit to the artist whom took the picture.

I am going to start entering juried shows, I had some photography published in college and it has been a long time over-do and its time to turn my work up a notch!

American Artist Watercolor magazine is hosting a juried competition for watercolor artist named, “What do you love?”.  Here is the link:  www.watercolorcompetition.com for all the rules. Deadline for entry is August 6th, 2012.

I have a few competitions and dates written down somewhere and I will post in the next day or so. I have a great awesome composition in mind for this juried show and I will post the in-progress of this new piece. I did the photography today!

 

A new cat portrait in watercolor and color pencil size 11×14.

Well Milo’s portrait came out well. The colors are more vivid in person.  Ended up to be 11×14 framed.So, far the detail looks pretty good. It was a hard picture to do because the pictures were out of focus……….I have no idea why I have been given “cats” as subjects to draw lately? This watercolor is in progress, I need to add realistic details. The problem is I have been given blurry pictures! Awe.

I am not 100% sure on the background as yet. I am keeping the background simple, portrait like. In the artist tip section I have a fact about using tape to mark off the drawing section, in this picture you can see the tape. Plus when the artwork is finished and the tape is removed it leaves a nice crisp professional edge. I am thinking about an oval matt for this old kitty that has a few features that come with age. Kitty winkles!

With any medium creating realism is a Building Layering process.