Saturday, January 29, 2011

Painting Tile, Bricks, or Stonework

The Avenue
Watercolor 9" x 12" Mats to 14" x 16"

In my watercolor above, The Avenue, the stonework behind the sign is a major part of the painting.    Many times, brick, tiles or stonework (even if not the focal paint of the painting), play a major role.

The following are the steps involved in painting bricks, tiles, or stonework.

  • Lay down a wash of the light shade of the wall.....the lightest color that will be the "mortar" of the brickwork, etc.

  • While the background is still wet, add some deeper shades of paint in the same color family or contrasting shades to add interest and realism to the background.

  • Let this dry.  Prepare the color desired for the brickwork.  Dip a "kitchen" or rectangular sponge in the paint and place in the location for the bricks.  Remember to leave areas of the background showing for the mortar. 

Let dry and then complete your painting.

Happy Painting!





Saturday, January 22, 2011

Watercolor Painting or First Aid?

Winter Aspens

The painting above, Winter Aspens,  is the finished product.   The paintings below were done by student's in today's watercolor class and will show the painting during the various steps.

Susan's Painting with Gauze in Place

Removing the Gauze
Tracy's Painting with Gauze Removed
Watercolor painting lends itself to texturization.  One of my favorite techniques is the use of surgical gauze to works as if MAGIC!  The background trees/foliage was painted with the surgical gauze texturization method.    The following are instructions for surgical gauze texturization. 

Adding texture to a painting can be accomplished in many ways….one interesting way to add texture is the use of surgical gauze.

How and why does it work?

The gauze will absorb the paint and leave a mark when lifted. The difference in color from light to dark formed by the weave of the gauze will leave an interesting design.

What is important to remember when using this technique?

Manipulation of the gauze to make irregular patterns will create more interesting designs. The watercolor paper must be wet to hold the gauze in place before the paint is applied.

When should this technique be used?

This technique can be used to create spider webs, foliage, basket weave, etc.

How to texturize using surgical gauze

• Wet your watercolor paper with clear water. This will hold the gauze in place.

• Use a single layer of gauze if your gauze is doubled.

• Using your hands, manipulate the gauze into place purposely placing it irregularly on your painting unless a regular pattern is desired.

• Rewet any areas that may have dried.

• Using a flat brush, apply the paint. One single color or several colors can be used depending on the result you are trying to achieve.

• Let the gauze dry and remove it.

• Add any details with a round brush if there are areas that are not the consistent color or pattern you would like.

Texturization can add much detail and interest to you paintings and create designs that are not achieved easily by other methods. Use of surgical gauze is one of these methods.

Give this technique a try!

Happy Painting!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Down the Snowy Lane

Down the Snowy Lane
Watercolor 9" x 12" Mats to 14" x 16"

How to Paint Snow
In watercolor painting, much of the snow is painted by simply allowing the paper to show through and painting the shadows.  The snow is not actually "painted" at all.  In my watercolor above, Down the Snowy Lane, you can see the shadows and "bare" areas of the ground are painted with the following colors:
  • Ultramarine Blue
  •  Payne’s Gray
  • Burnt Umber
  • Sepia
  • Yellow Ochre
Leave the areas of the snow in the brightest light completely unpainted. 

The snow on the tree branches were "painted" in the same way.  Parts of the tree with snow were simply left unpainted. 

During this cold winter, find a winter scene to paint, fix a nice cup of hot cocoa and enjoy painting the winter weather!

Happy Painting!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"IF" Technique

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

My watercolor above, Winter Aspens, uses the "IF" technique to make the large trees in the foreground.  Being able to mask out these trees, makes it much easier to paint the sky and the background trees and shrubs in an unbroken line.

What is the "IF" method? 


One can use the “IF” method to mask large areas for watercolor painting. “IF” or ironing freezer wrap is a quick and easy way to mask large areas. It is not as messy and much faster for large areas than using liquid masking fluid.

The instructions are simple:

• Using a sharp pencil drew the painting on your watercolor paper making a dark pencil mark, but not pressing too hard into the paper to leave an impression.

• Place the freezer paper, waxed side down, over the area to be masked. Carefully trace this area onto the freezer paper. Secure the freezer wrap with small pieces of masking tape if needed to keep the wrap from slipping.

• Remove the freezer wrap from the sketch and cut the shapes from the freezer wrap using scissors.

• Apply the freezer paper, waxed side down, over the area to be masked on your watercolor paper. Make any adjustments necessary.

• Using a hot iron (linen or hot setting) and working quickly, press the shape onto the watercolor paper.

• Allow the paper to cool before painting.

So IF you need to mask large areas, give the “IF” method a try!

Happy Painting!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011 - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

New Year's Day is often a time to make resolutions for the coming year.  My cousin, Jim White (aka Tennessee Granddaddy) posted the following definition of a New Year's Resolution in his blog:

What is a New Year’s Resolution?   A resolution is nothing more than a promise to yourself to change something you do for the better.

If you plan to make a New Year's Resolution, think about that definition and consider my suggestion:

Be realistic in your goals. 

Would I like to be able to do a watercolor painting every day?  Of course, I would  --- I would definitely enjoy painting it.  BUT, is that a realistic goal?  Of course not!  So, I considered my present time commitments and decided a completed painting a month would be a realistic and attainable goal.    Does that mean I can't do more?  No, it simply means that I will fit into my schedule time to paint one watercolor per month. I will paint whenever I have the time, but set a goal to paint at least one per month!

The most important part of making resolutions regarding your art and setting realistic goals is to never let the goal become more important than the art!  When you lose enjoyment of your painting to attain a goal, you miss the point of what painting for enjoyment is all about.

Happy New Year and Happy Painting!