Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How to Paint an Old Brick Wall





Old Tredegar
9" x 12"
Watercolor painting








The painting above is an example of an old brick structure painted using watercolor.  My reference material for this painting was a photo of an old abandoned foundry located on Belle Island in Richmond, VA on the James River.  The brick structure was crumbling with vines and trees growing around and inside the structure. 
 
Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper (I used Arches 140 lb. paper – 9” x 12” size)
Watercolor board
Masking tape to anchor paper
Brushes:
Round brush – your choice of size
Flat brush – 1/8” or ¼ “ in size
 
Paint: 
  • Burnt Umber
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Sepia
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Cadmium Red Pale (Light)
  • Crimson
  • Grumbacher Red
  • VanDyke Brown
  • Sap Green
  • Hunter Green
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • White
     
Painting Instructions:
Lightly sketch your painting with very little detail.    Draw in the large tree trunks; however, the branches will not need to be sketched in with a pencil.  These can be painted with your brush after the foliage is in place. 
Check your perspective.  If you are happy with your perspective, use a ruler and a pencil to draw lines for the bricks.  

Note: The lines are not all parallel to the top and bottom of your paper, but will be angled to an “invisible” point to the right of your painting.  If you need to do so, align your ruler to your vanishing point in the distance on the right with a masking tape “X”  and place your ruler on that “X” as you lightly draw your pencil lines for your bricks. 
 
Background Foliage, Foreground and Sky:
It is easier to work from top to bottom on a painting to prevent your arm/sleeve from dragging across your wet work when working from bottom to top.
 
Sky and Trees:
Using Cerulean Blue paint the sky working wet on wet from top to bottom.  While the sky is still wet, drop in Sap Green for the trees.  Allow to dry.  Foliage will be added later in the painting when the tree trunks and branches are added.
 
Background Foliage:
This is the foliage that can be seen behind the arched opening in the brick wall.
Moving from top to bottom working wet on wet, paint the background with a light yellow green and then drop deeper shades of Sap Green in various areas for the tree foliage.  While this is still set, drop in a deeper shade of green mixed from Sap Green and Ultramarine Blue.  Allow to dry.  Again, additional foliage, branches, trunks and limbs will be added later.
 
Foreground and Foliage on Right:
Wet the area for the greenery on the lower right.  Drop in various shades of green:  Sap Green, Sap Green mixed with  Yellow Ochre and Sap Green mixes with Ultramarine Blue.  Allow to dry.

 
Sidewalk area:
Wet this area with clean water and paint in this area with Payne's Gray and green.  Deepen this near the greenery.  Leave some of this area unpainted.  While still wet drop in some  spatter of Sepia and Payne's Gray for pebbles. 
 
Now for the fun part – painting the brick wall!
 
Brick Wall:
Apply wet on wet a light base of yellow ochre on all the brick area.  Allow to dry.  Prepare several colors of paint for your brick.  Use different shades of red, orange, gray, etc.  Using your flat brush, paint the brick wet on dry using the pencil lines you drew in previously as your guide.  Vary the color of the bricks that are placed side by side and alternate your pattern so that no 2 edges are lined up.    This can be time consuming; however, it does not have to be perfect.  Remember this brick wall is part of a building which has fallen to ruin.  There are sections of the arched entry where bricks are missing.  Allow the bricks to dry. 
 
Prepare a light wash to Payne's Gray, Sepia,  Yellow Ochre and Sap Green.  Using the photo as a guide, paint the wash over the bricks deepening the wash in some locations and keeping it light in others.  Drop in green to indicate the moss growing on the brick in some locations.  Allow to dry. 
 
The brick had various locations with white brick from paint, etc. over the years.  This can be achieved by using one of two methods.
 
  1. Use a small piece of sandpaper and sand off the paint in various areas to expose the white paper, or
  2. Use Chinese White Watercolor paint and a dry flat brush to add areas of white.

I used white paint in this painting. 
 
 
Details:  Adding foliage and tree trucks and limbs
Using the previous mix of greens (light and dark) and a small sponge, add the foliage in the top section of the painting as well as through the archway.  Also, drop in some of the green onto the brick wall to indicate where greenery is growing over the top and up from the greenery near the walkway.  A brush can also be used if you prefer to add the greenery.
 
Using a round brush, paint in the tree limbs and tree trunk using VanDyke Brown and Sepia.  Refer to the photo above for placement. 
 
View your painting to see if any additional details need to be added in the painting.  When you are satisfied, sign you name.
 
 Congratulations!

Happy Painting!
Karen
 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Abstract Pumpkin



Abstract Pumpkin
Acrylic
8" x 10" Panel

In the acrylic painting above, I painted the pumpkin in an abstract manner with the “hint” of other pumpkins in the background.   This painting does not fully meet the definition of abstract art, but represents more of an Impressionistic style of acrylic painting.    My painting style is Impressionistic; however, this painting tends a little more toward an abstract painting – perhaps a mix of both styles. 

 

Definition of abstract art:  Abstract art seeks to break away from the traditional representation of physical objects and explores the relationship of form and shape often without recognizable images. 

 

Definition of Impressionistic art:  Impressionism was an art movement that started in France around 1870 which attempted to capture the fleeting “impressions” or “feelings” of a scene rather than detailed realism. 

 

Below are the instructions to capture the painting above:

 

Supplies Needed:

Painting panel – I used a painting panel which had been primed with yellow ochre paint to enhance the light and background in the painting. 

Flat brush and round brush - size of your choice

Palette or disposable palette paper

Acrylic Paint:

  • Ultramarine Blue
  • White
  • Cadmium Red Pale (Lt.)
  • Crimson
  • Sepia
  • Burnt Umber
  • VanDyke Brown
  • Sap Green
  • Yellow Ochre

 

Painting Instructions:

Lightly sketch in shape of the pumpkin with very little detail. 

 

Background:

 The background was painted using Sap Green and Ultramarine Blue.  I painted from bottom to top working around the pumpkin shape sketched on the panel.  Use deep shades around the sides and bottom of the pumpkin. 

Add lighter shades of green, brown and orange in various locations in the background to imply the shapes of other pumpkins in a field behind the pumpkin. 

Pumpkin Body:

Starting with deep shades of orange mixes from Cadmium Red Pale, white and yellow ochre, paint the shapes of each the pumpkin sections.   After the pumpkin sections are painted, go back into each section and add lighter shades of orange, brown, green and white to indicate light and shadow.  Refer to the photo above.  However, deepen the area where the sections meet for shadows and around the outside edges adding bits of green as well.

 

Pumpkin Stem:

 The stem is painted with a deep shade of green mixed from Sap Green and Ultramarine.  Deepen with Sepia and Van Dyke Brown.  Add highlights of white for light areas. 

 

Details:

By the nature of this painting style, details are not desired.  However, check for areas of light and shadow and add those as needed. 

 

Review your painting – step back to see the overall painting and add any additional paint as needed.

 

Sign your painting!  Congratulations!

 

Happy Painting!

Karen

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!



Pumpkin Patch
16" x 20"
Watercolor Painting


Happy Thanksgiving!

May you enjoy a wonderful day with family and friends counting your blessings!

Happy Painting!
Karen

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How to Paint Fall Leaves


Forest Floor
Watercolor painting
16" x 20"


The painting above titled “Forest Floor” is a watercolor painting of various colors and species of leaves.  My reference material for this painting was a photo of the leaves laying on a trail in the Great Smoky Mountains which was taken during a recent hike. 
 
Tip:  To paint successful leaves, go outside in your yard or a park and pick up several leaves to view when painting for assistance with the veins, stems, coloration, etc.

Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper (I used Arches 140 lb. paper – 9” x 12” size)
Watercolor board
Masking tape to anchor paper
Brushes:
  • Round brush – your choice of size
  • Liner brush or script brush
Paint:  colors of your choice.  I used the following in the painting above:

  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Umber
  • Sepia
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Cadmium Red Pale (Light)
  • Crimson
  • Grumbacher Red
  • VanDyke Brown
  • Sap Green
  • Hunter Green
Painting Instructions:
Lightly sketch in the leaves as well as any other items; i.e. sticks, acorns, etc.   that you would like to have as a part of your painting.   
Background:
Wet the area round the leaves.  Masking is not necessary for the stems as they will be darker than your background and can be painted on top of the dry background.  Notice the leaf shapes in the background?  These are painted last after the remainder of the painting has been completed.    Allow the background to dry.
Leaves:
Paint each leaf separately and do not paint leaves which are side by side until the wet leaf has dried completely or the paint will run into the unpainted leaf.
 
Wet the shape of the leaf with clean water.  Starting with the lightest color in the leaf, drop in the paint allowing the water to move the paint in the wet areas of your leaf.  While this paint is still wet, drop in darker shades of the same color as well as bits of green, brown, Sepia, etc.  Allow your leaves to determine the paint you need to use.  Allow to dry.
 
Stems, Stick, Acrons, etc:
Using a round brush, paint the stems and other forest items in your painting.  Stems are painted using light VanDyke Brown and then painting down one side with Sepia to allow the two colors to blend while wet. 
 
Details:
 Look at your leaves and using your liner brush and either Sepia or VanDyke Brown paint the veins with a light hand.  Do not paint every vein you see, only a few.   This painting is not intended to be a botanical rendering, but a representation of a forest scene. 

Background Leaves:
Using a wet round brush, lift some of the paint in the background in the shapes of various leaves.  While this area is still wet, use various shades of green, sepia, VanDyke brown, etc. to add the shapes of leaves using very little paint. These leaves are in the background and are very indistinct.  Allow to dry.
 
View your painting to see if any additional details need to be added in the painting.  When you are satisfied, sign you name.
 
 Congratulations!

Happy Painting!
Karen
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What Color is White?

Dusty
9" x 12" watercolor






The watercolor above of our dog, Dusty, is an excellent example of painting white.  I am always asked how to paint "white" when "white" paint is typically not used in watercolor painting.




Have you ever wanted to paint a room in your home white?  I have.....and then I went to select the paint and wondered how may colors of white are there?!!  There are literally hundreds of shades of white paint. 




The same holds true with our white dog, Dusty, in the painting above.  Dusty is what one would consider a white dog.  We rescued Dusty as a 2 year old and his name was selected by his previous owner.  She did an excellent job of naming this fellow.  He is white, but he has a steak of "dust" down his back and around his muzzle.  Therefore, painting this white dog had to include some "dust." 




I painted Dusty from a photo as a camera does not pick up the slight differences in color that the human eye can.  Although I used the photo for basic shape, I looked at my subject in person (Dusty) to pick out the colors. 




Dusty's fur contains shades of yellow ocher, raw sienna, burnt sienna, burnt umber, ultramarine blue, cadmium orange, sepia and Payne's gray; all of these colors are very diluted.  And, one can always use white paint.  It's your painting and you set the rules!




It is best to study your subject in real life to catch all the rich nuances of color hiding in fur or any object whether the color is white or another color.    Rarely are any colors simply one shade, but made up of various shades and values of a color with other colors in shadows or highlights.






I'll provide instructions on how to paint the picture above of Dusty; however, the process of painting white works for any subject.









Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper (I used Arches 140 lb. paper – 9” x 12” size)
Watercolor board
Masking tape to anchor paper
Brushes:
  • Round brush – your choice of size
  • Liner brush or script brush
  • Fan brush
Paint:  colors of your choice.  I used the following on the fur in the painting above:
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Umber
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Sepia
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Black
  • White
  • Rose Madder



Painting Instructions:
Lightly sketch in the shape of your subject.  If you are painting fur, drawn lightly in the locations where "clumps" of fur are located.   Prepare washes of the colors needed for your subject. 



Look - really look - at the colors in your subject.  What colors do you find in the white fur?  Mostly gray?  Mostly browns?  A mix?  This is the hardest part of the process of painting white....really looking at the subject and selecting the colors that are part of the white. 


1st Layer:
I painted the eyes, nose ears and tongue first as I wanted to define the subject and work the fur around these areas.  The eyes in this instance are a mix of Sepia and Black.  Be certain to leave a white highlight.  Wet the area and leave this highlight dry.  If your highlight becomes flooded with color, you can always scratch a bit of white in the eye using a utility knife after the paint has dried or touch in a bit of white paint.  Define the eye with black.    The nose is a mix of Sepia, Black and Rose Madder as Dusty has a bit of pink in his nose.  Define the nose with bits of white as well.  Wet the entire area of the tongue.  Drop in deeper shades of Rose Madder toward the outer edges and allow to mix with the clean water to the center. Add details if needed.  Deepen the shades of color around the muzzle area to define the mouth.    I used a light wash of Rose Madder for the ears and dropped in some Payne's Gray to deeper the shadows.  Allow the eyes, nose, ears and tongue to dry before starting to paint the fur. 


Start adding some of the darker shades of color as shadows between the clumps of fur.   Don't do every hair, just the most defining areas as a base for the fur you will be painting later.   Use some warmer colors and some cooler colors for light and shadows. 


2nd Layer:
Some areas will need to be darker and you can begin to add a few lines for fur.    As discussed in a previous blog with instructions for painting fur, use the brush method that you find successful and that works for the fur you have selected to paint.   In my painting above, I used a small fan brush to add the fur around the mouth, but a round brush to paint the remainder of the fur.   Let the individual bits of fur "stick out" around the ears, eyes and top of the head.  Do not overdo on adding fur.  Sometimes less is more; and in this case with fur, that is definitely the case.  Leave some fur areas unpainted, it is not necessary to paint every single piece of fur on the animal's body. 




3rd Layer:    Look over the painting to see if you need to add any additional shadows, fur lines etc.  I used acrylic white to paint a few stray hairs over the eyes and ears.  Don't overdo this part. 


Now you know - what color white is.  Well, it's white and gray and yellow and.......


Happy Painting!
Karen























 



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mrs. Huggles



Mrs. Huggles - a Teddy Bear
Watercolor
9" x 12" on Arches watercolor paper


Now that everyone is up to speed on painting fur from last week's blog, as promised, this blog will provide instruction on painting the teddy paint painting above. 
 
Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper (I used Arches 140 lb. paper – 9” x 12” size)
Watercolor board
Masking tape to anchor paper
Brushes:
  • Round brush – your choice of size
  • Liner brush or script brush
  • Fan brush
Paint:  colors of your choice.  I used the following on the fur in the painting above:
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Umber
  • Sepia
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Rose Madder

Painting Instructions:
Lightly sketch in the shape of the bear. 
 


Background:
Wet the area round the bear on the right side up to the ear and head and under the bear.   I used a wash of Rose Madder to match the color used in the bow.  Apply the wash using a round brush and deepen the areas under the bear for shadows.  Let this paint flow freely.  Allow to dry.
 


Body of Bear:
Base Coat:
Use a round brush and various shades of fur color (Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Sepia, Payne’s Gray) and apply a wash of color on the bear.  Use darker colors to deepen the fur in areas around arms, legs, paws and around the bow.    Paint the pads of the paws with a light wash of Payne’s Gray and Yellow Ochre. 
 
Fur:
Using the same colors above and the method in the previous blog, paint the fur.  Be certain to vary the color and build from light to dark.  Refer to the photo above.  Allow to dry.    Caution:  Don’t get carried away….a light hand is often better when painting fur!
 
Eyes and Nose:
Nose:  Use a round brush and a wash of Payne’s Gray to paint the nose.  Leave some areas lighter than others and allow a little white to show through.
 
Eyes:  Outline the outer edge of the eye with Payne’s Gray and paint the pupil of the eye with Payne’s Gray as well.  Allow to dry.  Using Burnt Umber and Yellow Ocher, paint the iris of the eye.  Allow to dry.  Using a craft knife, scratch a white spot on each pupil. 
 
Bow:
I used Rose Madder and painted a plaid bow.  Allow the lines of the paint to follow the shape of the bow.  Deepen the area in the center for shadow.  Allow to dry.
 
Sign your painting!  Congratulations!

Happy Painting!
Karen