Saturday, November 29, 2008

Let It Snow!

Our painting is now complete except for the snow and the bunny tail! Make a wash of white paint. Note: White paint is rarely used in watercolor painting. The white of the paper is allow to produce most of the white spaces in watercolors. However, when snow on top of an object is needed, white paint can be used. The wash is applied with an old toothbrush although a flat brush can also be used. I prefer a toothbrush. Don't make the wash too "wet" or it will not fall on your painting in a snow-like mist, but in large drops. If you are not familiar with this technique, practice on another surface first, such as paper towels, old cardboard, etc. Cover any areas with paper towels that you do not want to apply snow. Apply the "snow" to the painting. Allow to dry then add the bunny tail. The bunny tail is the tip end of a Q-Tip applied using school glue.

Sign your painting! Your "Bunny in the Evergreen" is now complete! I painted this as a Christmas card.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! My next post will continue with my Christmas Bunny in the Snow; however, I wanted to send Thanksgiving messages today and give a "seasonal" watercolor tip. Many thanks to everyone who takes the time to view my blog. I am truly thankful to have the opportunity to enjoy this blog and for so many other things that God has so graciously provided. May each of you enjoy a Thanksgiving Day full of family and friends and blessings.

Watercolor Tip of the Day: How to Paint Easy Fall Trees

When painting fall trees as in the painting above. Wet the tree are with clear water and drop in various fall colors. Let these color merge. While still wet, use a palette knife or edge of a credit card dipped in a dark brown shade and scratch in the tree limbs and branches. After this area dries, use a natural sponge to sponge in the fall tree colors for leaves.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Snow Shadows

The snow is not painted white, but is the watercolor paper which is left unpainted. Using a #4 round brush, we will simply add a wash of diluted Ultramarine Blue in various places on the white paper to add shape and shadows. Place the shadows near the base of the mountain, under the tree and the bunny. Add some drifts in various places to give shape to the snow. Using Ultramarine Blue, paint in the bunny tracks. We will let this dry and then add our snow flakes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanks for the honor!

I have been out of town on a business trip and did not have time to check personal messages or work on my blog. Was I surprised and delighted to find that I had been bestowed the Marie Antoinette Award for my blog while I was out of touch! What a wonderful welcome back from my travels!

Many thanks to Skip and Vicki -- I appreciate their thinking of me. Visit their blogspot at: You'll enjoy the visit...I always do!

Here are the rules for the Marie Antoinette Award:
1. Please put the logo on your journal - Real People - Real Blogs.
2. Place a link from the person, from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 if you can.
4. Put the links of those on your journal.
5. Leave a message on their journal to let them know.
6. Put the award on your sidebar/journal.

Again, thanks....I hope to be able to make my blog interesting and informative. Any tips or suggestions are always welcome.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Painting an Evergreen Tree and Bunny

I attempted to upload a video demonstrating the techniques used in painting an evergreen tree. However, there appears to be some difficulty with Blogger when downloading larger videos. I will describe the technique and try to video a shorter version to post at a later date.

I have switched brushes to a smaller 1/2 inch flat brush and have prepared 3 shades of paint - Sap Green, Hookers Green Deep and a mix of Hookers Green Deep and Ultramarine Blue. The lightest shade is painted first with deeper color applied in layers...leaving some of the lighter areas to show through. The deepest shade is applied last at the trunk area and on the branches to create shadows. The paint is applied in short strokes starting at the top of the tree and working down and from the center and lifting the brush to the outside creating the branches. The branches should be uneven...not completely symmetrical. The tree is allowed to dry before painting the trunk. The video below will demonstrate painting the trunk and the small bunny under the tree branches and you will be able to see the completed tree.

Once the branches of the tree have dried, use a #4 round brush to paint the tree trunk and small bunny. I used Raw Sienna for both. Paint the tree trunk and while still wet touch in a darker brown shade (I used Sepia) on the right side of the trunk to add texture to the trunk and create a shadow. Use a wet brush only and pull a little of the paint from the bunny where the head and neck meet to shape and contour the bunny. This is not a detailed bunny, but rather the illusion of a bunny hiding under the tree branches. Once the bunny dries, the flat brush can be used to add a branch or two across the bunny to place it under the shelter of the tree and ground it to the painting. The video below illustrates this section of the painting. My next post will add shadows and shape the snow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Technique - Wet on Dry Wash

This short video demonstrates a wet on dry wash in which the paint is applied to dry paper. As before, the paint is prepared in advance. I used a light Violet (purple) for the foreground mountain which is painted up to the tree. I then added Ultramarine Blue to the Violet to deepen the value for the mountain in the distance. A lighter shade of the darker Violet is applied in the tree area which can easily be painted over when the green paint is applied, but will show through the branches in some places. This paint is then allowed to dry before we proceed to the next step - painting the evergreen tree.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Techniques - ready, set, paint!

In watercolor painting, the first skill to master is that of laying a wash. There are several types of washes:

  • Flat Wash
  • Graded Wash
  • Variegated Wash

Washes can be laid on either wet or dry paper. Working on dry paper is best if you want the wash to cover only a specific area as you have more control over the paint.

TIP: Paint will only run into the wet area of the paper.

A wash can be painted on wet or dry paper. To learn to paint a wash (wet on wet), first wet the paper using a large flat brush. The paper should be evenly wet with no puddles in places. Prepare the paint by adding water to the paint and mixing in the open area of your palette. In a flat wash, the top and bottom of the paper is the same shade of color. Once the paint is prepared and the water is wet, work from the top to the bottom using wide strokes. The paint lines will merge and will even up when dry. Do not overwork the paper.

In a graded wash, start with a strong solution of color and dilute it with clear water progressively as it is painted down the page until the color is very pale. Tilting the painting surface will encourage the streaks of color to flow and blend into one another. A graded wash is excellent for a sky which is deeper at the top of a painting becoming lighter closer to the horizon.

A variegated wash, contains more than one color. Before starting to paint, prepare all the colors you will need for that wash first. If you want the colors to blend into one another, wet the paper first and then lay down successive bands of color quickly rinsing the brush between each color. When the paint is wet, you will be able to see the separate colors distinctly, but they will merge and blend as they dry. A variegated wash is often used in landscape painting for a morning or evening sky when pinks, reds, and yellows are wanted in addition to blue.

Tip: When painting washes over large areas, always mix more paint than you think you will need. The wash will be spoiled if you have to stop and mix more paint. If there is paint left on your palette, it will dry, can be sprayed with water to moisten, and used again.

The video below demonstrates laying a wet on wet wash for a sky area. This is my first attempt at a video...we hope to get better at our "movie making" with practice.