Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tis the Season!

Pears and Poms

Now that Thanksgiving is a memory, I can look forward to Christmas! When I saw a catalog filled with gifts of fruit, I thought I would paint some fruit as a way to get into the holiday spirit. Above is my painting, Pears and Poms, which was painted by inspiration from a Harry & David catalog! When one likes to paint, everything and anything can be an inspiration for another painting!

My favorite part of painting this watercolor was blending the paint on the pears and the pomegranates. Each fruit was painted first with clear water and then the colors were dropped in and allowed to blend. This is one of my favorite techniques and I don't think I have ever not been satisfied with the result. The water, the paint, and the paper have a "mind of their own" and create a unique blend of colors. The same technique was used on the pear leaves.

Hopefully, this will be first of many holiday season paintings! Remember as we jump into the hustle and bustle of the season - take a few minutes for yourself and paint! Tis the season!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The picture above titled "The Thief" reminds me of Thanksgiving. I drew this picture with pastels on black paper. Although this is not a watercolor painting, I wanted to share it with you during this holiday season.

May you enjoy this day with joy and thanksgiving in your heart with family and friends!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Autumn Cascades

I love the mountains - any time of year, but Fall in the mountains brings such brilliant colors that one can't help but smile and be happy!

This painting is one of many mountain streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When looking at this painting, I can almost hear the rushing water, feel the cool air, and the warm sunshine.

My favorite part of this painting was creating the rocks!

The rocks are painted with a wash of raw umber, burnt umber, ultramarine. Light washes are added with the darker colors added to the bottom, sides and edges of the rocks. Clean water was applied to the drying paint to add texture. The water pushes the paint outwards, breaking up its regular drying pattern, scattering the particles of paint. As they dry, the “watermark” can be seen, providing an appearance of wetness and texture.

The water is mostly "illusion." Much white area is left...the more white area, the faster the water appears to be moving. Water rarely flows in a straight line. Tiny flecks of paint can also be scrapped of with a knife when dry to add reflected sunlight.

Enjoy painting this one - you'll hearing the rushing water too!

Fall in the Birches

Fall in the Birches

This is one of my favorite paintings! Perhaps because Fall is my favorite season with bright colors of leaves, the crisp, cool air, and brilliant blue skies! When I look at this painting, I can feel the coolness of the air and the taste of a good crisp apple! This painting is a fun and easy one to paint...even for beginners. Very little drawing skill is needed.

The trees are sketched in lightly with little detail. Masking fluid is used to cover the trees. Single line branches can be left without masking fluid as they will be painted in using a darker watercolor paint.

Now for the fun part! The background foliage and trees are painted on a very wet background. First a flat brush is used to apply paint of various "leaf colors" in random places on the painting. Blue sky can also be dropped in. Allow colors to mingle and blend. After this has dried, use a sea sponge and sponge in additional foliage with the same bright colors.

When dry, the masking is removed and the trees are painted in with light washes of burnt umber and sepia. Sponge in leaves on top of the some of the trees. Vary shades of color to indicate shadows.

My hands get messy painting this one - I really get into sponging!

Enjoy! And Happy Fall!