Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hanford Gallery

Hanford Gallery

Since we moved to East Tennessee, I have become associated with Hanford Gallery.  This is a unique gallery showcasing various mediums of art created by artisans in East Tennessee.  In addition to my watercolors, there are oils, acrylics, pottery, etchings, wood turnings, glass work, metal sculpture, jewelry, textile art, etc.  All art is displayed in a setting created from architectural antiques of wood and metal. 

The gallery is located in the Turkey Creek Public Market in West Knoxville and is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Each artist spends some time in the gallery one day a month.  So, stop by if you are in the area and see some wonderful artwork.  You might even see me doing a watercolor or sketching demo.

Happy Painting!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quick as a Rabbit!

Pencil Sketch

Sketching?  Why?
Sketching is a shorthand form of drawing - a way of putting a thought, feeling, or object down on paper as "quick as a rabbit!"  This quick and easy way of getting ideas down on paper is an important part of training to become a better artist.  Sketching develops your mind's eye and your hand coordination.  It is a way of making a clearer study of the things around you.  The sketches can be used as a study of ideas for paintings or drawings or can simply stand alone. 

What Do I Sketch?
Keep an open mind and rely in your creative nature to discover unusual items.  Look around your house - you will find interesting objects every where.  You may want to draw from sight or take photos from which to draw.   My sketch above is of one of the many rabbits we have in our yard.  I have taken many photos and used a photo for the sketch.  These little fellows are just too fast to sketch without using a photo!   The following are a few tips to ensure successful sketching:
  1. Choose a subject that appeals to you - then you will be willing to spend some time drawing it.
  2. Select something with texture and design.
  3. Adjust your technique to fit the subject (lose, bold strokes or tight, controlled, delicate strokes).

What Do I Need?
The "equipment" needed for sketching is minimal.....a few pencils, paper, and an eraser.  I sketch book with a hard back is easiest to use and will keep you sketches in one place.  This gives you an opportunity to look back at your sketches for reference and be amazed at your improvement and skill. 

Why am I talking about sketching on a watercolor painting blog?  You don't have to be great at drawing to be successful in painting.  BUT, the more one draws and sketches, the more observant one becomes and the more creative the painting becomes........and the most important part.....IT'S FUN!

Happy Sketching!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

It May Be Snowing, but..........

Spring watercolors

It may be snowing n your area, but we can dream about Spring......and paint it too!

I have been working on some cards, bookmarks and small paintings using Spring subjects.  The items above are a sample of a few of these items.  These are easy and fun to create.  They satisfy my tendency to paint Impressionist style works as well as add a little detail for interest.

I started out by creating my background by applying a wash of clean water on the entire sheet of paper.  Once the shine had disappeared, I dropped the colors I wanted for my background flowers and greenery, plus a bit of "blue sky" too.  Random placement on your paper makes for a better and more realist "flower garden!"

Watercolor Tip
Prepare all of the colors you plan to use BEFORE you apply to water to your paper.  Once the paper is wet, it is necessary to work quickly in order for the colors to mix and swirl.

Let the background dry completely.  After the background is dry, select the areas where you would like to add butterflies, ladybugs, stems, etc.  I cut my large sheet of paper into smaller sections to prepare cards and bookmarks; however, a large sheet of paper can be used to create a large painting.

So, pick up that paint brush and paint yourself into Spring!

Happy Painting!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

What Do I Paint?

What Do I Paint?
Sometimes one of the hardest parts of a painting is selecting WHAT to paint.  Many people paint only one type of painting:  portraits, landscapes, still lifes (sounds wrong doesn’t it, but it is proper English for this type of painting), etc.  However, many artists paint a variety of different types of paintings, while other artists specialize in only one.    The more one paints, the more one tends to lean toward one type of painting over another. 

Once you have determined the type of painting, then picking one subject is the next difficult task.  I say, paint them all…………….in time!  J   

Once the subject is selected, then one must determine how to present that subject…..up close, distant, a part or the whole?  It is a matter of preference and what one is trying to convey in the painting.

There are many ways to paint the subject:  from memory, on location, or from a photo, picture, etc.  I like to use photos when painting landscapes – IF I can’t paint on location.  Even painting from location, it is hard to complete the entire painting at the scene and a photo can be used to finish the painting or to deal with occasional bad weather. 

If photography is not one of your many talents, a photo book or even a post card is an excellent way to paint a landscape.  Many times, photos are taken from an angle that would be difficult, dangerous, or impossible for the artist to produce, but a professional photographer has the wherewithal to do so. 

The photo book piuctured at the top of my blog  was a gift from my daughter-in-law and will be an excellent source for many of my landscapes.  My watercolor above, Rushing Waters, was based on several photos from this book as well as a photo taken on location.  Each of the photos offered a different perspective for the rocks, the tumbling water, and the background.   Many thanks, Abbey, for this wonderful, thoughtful gift!
Regardless of the type of painting, the subject, or the method – just paint!

Happy Painting!