Wanting to learn to draw and paint.

I want to share a few thoughts with you about drawing and painting. If you are becoming frustrated with your painting skills and it seems like you can paint to a certain point, but you know something is wrong? Something just doesn’t look right or you wish you just knew how to proceed and improve your skills. This is why you are frustrated, you do not have a solid foundation to work off of. Remember: VERY IMPORTANT; also draw in the direction of the form. Once you are a master of drawing then you may shade in opposite and various directions. Once you completely understand drawing and your skills can hold their own and understand form and shapes {how to bring them to realism} then painting will be easier and you wont be as frustrated. Trust me with this.*********
***********TRUST ME::::::::once you learn to draw and control value and use the warm and cool tones to your advantage the painting and form will be easier. Always draw in the direction of the form or shape of the objects you are drawing. I will be adding video demos in the next few weeks which will help.

I suggest and recommend you go back to learn the basics  and fundamentals in drawing. Drawing 101…….I have several post regarding drawing and improving your skills, in the search tab in the menu. Also, in the menu there are tabs regarding drawing and papers.

Start with re-learning the values in graphite; the H graphite pencils, [warm tone] and B graphite pencils [cool tone]. Make a value scale from one to ten; the first block is just paper white and the tenth block is the darkest you can get the block. Number five is middle tone; therefore number two block light until block five and block six to ten shaded in gradual increments.as seen in the graph. Learn what each pencil can do for you. Notice the hardness and softness of the graphite. H’s are hard and B’s are soft.

Then work on perfecting a sphere. Use a 4H to begin, once drawn well, then add a 2B to the core, the darkest part.

Art lessons

Hello, I am still here working on artwork and busy with family; end of school year obligations. I bought new photography software which turned out to be much easier than I anticipated…..a good thing. Designing new headers and learning new concepts in the digital world. I keep saying I am going to clean my studio…….BUT……I know where everything is! In the new header you can see parts of my studio and myself holding a current watercolor, which I have been trying to find time to work on. I am taking advantage of the nice weather and walking a bit longer and more often.002

See…..I know where everything is! LOVE it.

Updating Rose’s progress.

003 Here you can see Rose added brighter greens to the geranium leaves and the plant is starting to pop.


Notice the difference between the door glass reflections; the difference from just making the panes darker. The first picture is the recent; we added a cool black [Mars black] with a dot of a navy blue. This allows and counts for depth in the glass refection. Now, look at the bricks in the wall closest in the left picture; notice how they do stand out and or pop more in the left or first picture. Just by adding the black has an effect on the brick [left picture]. The goal is to play lights and darks against each other. The highlights on the brick may not even need a lot of lights to make them more realistic. All that is painted from depends on how far you would want the painting to be realistic. For myself, I need to take it to the next level. Also consider lavender as a base for shadows, add a bit of lavender for a cool or warm shadow. Lavender works very well with grays and browns.

************Very important you need a full range of value in your work. Most people are afraid of using 9′ and 10′ dark, but you need the entire range for realism. Plus this goes for the light values as well.

working with Inktense pencils

Just fabulous color pencils slash watercolor medium capability. Here are two examples of new artwork by Becky and Hannah. So far so good. Starting to work with Inktense is a learning process. Here is a color chart to help explain how each color does change when wet. A chart is needed and very helpful to understand the colors and how they react and change to water.

There is an entire value range in each color. Note that each color has the potential to and range from very light to intense darks. Not shown on the charts each color can be used to produce an extremely light shade of the color when using dry. When using water you can spread the color out with water to produce a light hue. 019  018


Becky and Hannah’s start of an Inktense project. 

012Notice how you can use the colors to stay as solids and wash the others to blend. As well as the butterfly, just a wet brush through the black to shadow the yellow.



002So far Rose was able to get this far. The wall needed to be separated or to look as though there are two walls. Painting the wall coming towards you in a few darker tones allows the bend to take place. Adding purple to gray paint will allow a natural recess in distance space.

The problem with acrylics is they dry extremely fast. Unless you are looking for fast drying paint then you are in luck, but for artist that need more blending  from the paint then try to use a blender extender in the paint. The extender has a shine to it though even when dry. So, play around first to see the results for yourself. In the following pictures these are Rose’s acrylic painting she wants to finish from years ago. The problem can be in matching tones and values of the colors used in another time. It can be done if you can read value and tone in color. I suggest using glazes to add the realism. Use this technique for oils as well. If you try to match existing  colors you most likely will be repainting the painting. This is where I can teach you to improve your artwork.

Okay, lets break it down:

1. Use the blender extender to equal parts to a paint color you want to use. You can use water but the color will dry flat and a value lighter.  For example;009

We worked on the bottom of the urn. we added a thin layer of a terra-cotta color with blender mixed in a shade darker than the urn. You can even use two shades darker to start to shade and develop depth to create more form or realism. So the darker color went into the cracks and around the sides of the urn. The value of the lightest will be on the highest closest part of the form and the values will reverse in paint; lightest to darkest in value and color.

REMEMBER:  the dark values are towards the back/sides or the parts of the forms that are the most far from you. Anything cool tone color will sink in space and appear away from you. Light values will come towards you in space. This is physics, law of the universe and the way God designed it!

In the above picture you can see a shine which is the blender. It does settle a bit once completely dried, but you can steal it once dry with a protective  acrylic spray and the blender wont be seen. In the  picture below look closely at the bottom two leaves against the urn. These two have been glazed with paint and blender to start to create form and shape of the leaf itself. Look at the upper leaves they are flat and need realism. Stay continued to see this painting develop.


TIP: You can place a wet paper towel over the paint, cover with tin foil and place in the refrigerator. Should last a good twelve hours.

TIP:  If your canvas becomes rippled because of being sketched from leaning on something all you need to do is water the spot on the back and use a hair dryer to tighten up canvas. That should work, may need to do twice.

Color wheel

The color wheel is now added under painting tools!

Happy Healthy New Year to everyone!

Hitting the wall!

Yesterday an artist friend and student of mine were taking about when as an artist we “Hit the wall” when painting or drawing or whatever medium it is. This particular brain freeze of where to go next? How do I put the background in or where do I go from here? It can be a question and answer of simple as skill level needing to be developed and there is the “Hitting the wall”. Most times artist want to give up at this point, but DON”T! This is a crucial time of learning, the art juices are flowing. Press through and don’t put the artwork away and think you will come back and finish because that time usually never comes. Sit the artwork aside for a few days but continue to view the artwork and let the composition speak to you. Let the artwork speak to you and see what parts bother you or figure out what just doesn’t look right. Sometimes I do Not like to show anyone my artwork to a certain stage and I respect that, but someone may see something you do not. A constructive critique is key to any artist.

For myself when painting this last watercolor of the kids in the pool I found myself “Stuck” on what to do with the background. I love painting in realism in any medium, but I also need a balance of subdued color or style for a happy balance in composition. The problem is getting there. I see other artist works that I know I have the same skill level of realism, but how they achieved the balance is a learning process I need to work more in. Watercolor is an ideal medium for loose wash techniques and most artist paint watercolor in that style, but I don’t or have a hard time of breaking free from controlled layers of color or photo realism. This is where Life drawing helps with timed poses and self teaching of “Letting go” from adding too much realism. It’s funny because I have artist friends that tell me they wish they could paint watercolor like I do and here I am wanting to paint looser. Go figure. I don’t think it is has to do with not being content on how I paint I don’t want my compositions to speak “seen it” already. Artwork can become seen and done it, Next! There are some artist that paint and their skill level is amazing but the artwork is steal after twenty paintings completed the same way. That is where I am at, I think? The car watercolor before this pool painting I don’t mind total realism through out because the composition is strong. There is the happy balance once again. Being an artist is a struggle, especially when emotion is attached. That is what an artist is made of, a bag of emotion trying to escape through paint. Add life, experiences in life and it reflects in our artwork and how we have a need to create through all these experiences. Maybe it is growth in our work? It is what makes us accomplished artist? Instead of thinking about it and never really have the answers of these questions being asked through-out time it is best to pick a brush and work it out! Will I get there eventually? I think so, but artwork is never really finished. I guess the finished artwork or when I call it finished relates to where I am at that particular time in life. Too profound today with unanswered questions. Time to pick up the brush, put some Neil Young on and paint…….:}

Thanks for reading to the bottom [lol], I do read all the comments and I have to say some are crazy! Not exactly sure where they are coming from and please try to keep them to yourself. I need to add video as some have suggested, I still need to figure out how to get the flowers files out of scrapbook program. I am not the sharpest tack on the board but I have tried all that I know how to do on this computer. Anyway, if anyone knows please email the solution. Thanks.

Building an easel

The matt I have leaning against the watercolour  is not the correct size, it needs a wider size. The way the fence came out in the distance I like, especially the way the colors are subdued.

Building an easel isn’t hard if you have help from someone who likes using power tools. I had this easel from college that my Dad made me. Getting rid of it wasn’t an option, but after years in an attic the wood was old and somewhat smelly. The easel did sit outside on my porch for a few days just to air it out before I brought it back in. All the existing wood was re-screwed and reinforced with new wood. At first the plan was to take it apart and follow the plans with new wood, but I decided to just reinforce what I already had. “My First Watercolour” was painted on this easel! The top white surface I would use at all cost if that was the only sections salvageable. Staying re-connected to those artistic days is important to me, trying to take the influence of my art then into the present day artwork I am producing. The photography I work on this semester will have that particular goal and theme.

As you can see in the picture it is a top bolted from two steel bars too two post so that the top can change angles.  There should be two arm type bars on the sides that would help change angles and screw tight to hold the angle, but I didn’t make them as yet. The original ones are missing, but so far I like the ability to move the top freely, so I will see how this works out before I re-make new side arms. I am happy I was able to re-use and bring back to life what my Dad had made me. My Dad always said, “Don’t ever be afraid of where you come from!” and it’s true. When he made this for me it was about three feet larger which was large then but too large for my space today. Plus I added magic sliders so I can move it into the light when I am painting. It measures now about 40 inches wide. I also added a few pieces of wood to raise it a bit higher. The posts are suppose to be able to move up and down to height with bolts, but I just screwed the two post together. It is really hard and heavy to adjust height.

I had two jobs in college if being in college isn’t hard enough, I was  a little  embarrassed at this easel at first. { Embarrassed has “ASS” in there}  All my art friends had store-bought easels and I wanted one too! This easels was two and three times larger than anyones and homemade….sort of felt Amish! Now, I wouldn’t think of parting with it, it comes from Love. Jesus says there is nothing more important than Love.  I think there come a time when we have been through so much already in our lives and who really gives a crap what others think. It’s not that important what others think about me at any age, but it takes a maturity level before that clicks.

watercolor painting

I got pretty far last night and than this morning. Watercolor is all about adding layers of the same color to create form. In realism it is hard to just jump to the darker forming colors at the beginning. You must paint the form first. I want to work the entire picture first; then I will go back and put in the major details. I’d say the top child is about 70% done. The darks or darker values will go in last. I like to work the composition to a certain point, let the paper rest and go back with more dry brush wc. If you are impatient then wc realism will kick your butt and it will frustrate you. You must play by the watercolor’s rules. Watercolor is not to be feared….you can paint with any medium…you must respect the medium and learn how to use the paint and what it can do. Keep working on your skill and learn the medium.

It is extremely difficult to paint abstract anything until you know how to draw it realistically. How can you paint abstract  if you can’t draw it first? Start by working in life drawing; work on drawing skills and values of graphite. Start by drawing a sphere, if you don’t have a sphere [ball] get an egg and draw that. More later.