Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's my dreams!

Sunnyside Up
Watercolor 11" x 15" Mats to 16" x 20"

Spring really is just around the corner, but until Spring arrives we can dream about it or we can paint it!  One of my favorite flowers is a daffodil.  Not only are they yellow (my favorite color), but they are the early messengers of Spring! 

I had a great time painting this one-- it has a surprise technique!  This technique can be used for various subjects, but I especially like it for flowers.  Here is the surprise!

1) Do not tape down your paper before your sketch. Sketch in the flowers and leaves with little detail. Make the pencil lines dark enough on the flowers to be seen after the crumpling and wetting technique, but do not press hard enough to indent or scratch the paper.

2) Here’s the hard part………crumple the paper up in a ball as though you were going to throw it away. Concentrate on making wrinkles in all areas of the paper without tearing it….crumple easily.

3) Submerge the paper ball into water making certain it is evenly wet. Remove from the water and unfold carefully. Smooth onto your sketch board and tape along the edges. The tape will not stick well to the wet surface; however, it will hold enough to keep the paper in place.

4) While the paper is still very wet, float in the background of green and blue working around the flowers. I used sap green and Windsor blue; however, other shades of blue and green can be used with a pleasing effect. Use a large flat brush or mop to place in the background except for working around the flowers. Use a #6 round or similar size brush to work in the background around the flowers.

5) Let this dry COMPLETELY!

6)  Now you can paint in your flowers!

Have fun!  This technique must have been discovered by a frustrated watercolor artist who wadded up, threw away the painting AND then had second thoughts, pulled it out of the trash, smoothed it down and went to work!

Give it a try - if nothing else, you can release some frustration while you dig out of the snow and wait for Spring!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shelter in the Pines

Shelter in the Pines

Watercolor 8.5" x 11"  Mats to 12" x 16"

I have been highlighting landscapes these last few weeks; but since so many areas have had large amounts of snow, I thought I would take a break and show this seasonal snowy painting.  I enjoy painting birds and have done at least one scene for each season of the year.

Birds are interesting subjects to paint and can be very detailed, if that is your style of painting.   However, some very realistic paintings can be executed with a minimal of detail, such as my painting above.  I don't detail every feather and let one's imagination fill in the blanks.

Watercolor Tip
The snow was achieved on the branches by using masking fluid to keep the background color off as well as the branch color.  I painted the entire painting before I removed the masking fluid.  When the masking fluid was removed, the snow was a nice contract with the brown branches as well as the background.  The painting was finished by spattering a little white paint on for snowflakes!

Perhaps, this will be the last of the snow and we can look forward to Spring!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sam's Barn

Sam's Barn

Watercolor 11" x 15" Mats to 16" x 20"

The painting above, Sam's Barn, is typical of barns found in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Eastern United States.   The season in this painting is early summer with wild flowers blooming in the foreground and bright green foliage on the trees. 

This barn is another example of a flat tin roof using the technique I discussed in my last blog.  This is a good example of the same type of roof only with different colors more suitable for an old barn.  I used additional burnt sienna and ultramarine on this barn roof  than on my cabin roof. 

Watercolor Tip
A fan brush was used to add the tall grasses in the foreground.  I have found a fan brush to be quite versatile and can be used for many applications from grasses to fur.  If you have not tried a fan brush yet, I would recommend giving one a try.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Painting Flat Tin Roofs

Retreat at Hollow Rock

Watercolor 11" x 15" Mats to 16" x 20"

Landscapes have been the focus of my watercolor classes this session and one of my favorite types of landscapes includes rustic structures.....cabins, barns, etc. 

My watercolor above, Retreat at Hollow Rock, contains a flat tin roof cabin.  Tin roofs vary in color based on many different factors including age, climate in the area, and the surrounding landscape (wooded or treeless).  Also, the light or dark color of the roof is also influenced by the reflection of the sun.  The tin roof above was painted during midday sun and is much lighter and brighter than a tin roof painted in a shady area or in early morning or afternoon.

The materials used for barn roofing or sheds can vary from region to region depending on what materials are more readily available locally. Tin roofs have a certain rustic appeal. The types of roofs are most often found in rural areas of the United States. The following are colors useful when painting rusted flat tin roofs.

Burnt Sienna
Windsor Orange

These colors are also used; however, the instructions below used the above listed paint colors.
Burnt Umber
Paynes Gray

Sketch a flat tin roof and paint using the following steps.

 1. Using a ½ inch flat brush paint the roof using Windsor Orange.

 2. Add Burnt Sienna to the mix to paint the bottom panels and leave some areas white.

 3. Add Ultramarine to the mix and continue painting wet into wet. Allow to dry.

 4. Paint the horizontal sections of the roof with a rigger brush or a small flat brush on edge using Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine.

 5. Finally paint the diagonal lines following the slop of the roof with Windsor Orange and Ultramarine.

 6. The flat tin roof is complete, paint the remainder of the structure.
Corruggated tin roofs have a few additional steps to indicate the grooves in the tin.