Thursday, November 24, 2016

Painting with Old Photos

     Here is a short video I made using an old photo and a template which sent me out of time and into a happy afternoon of water color practice.  Click and enjoy.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Karlyn Holman Demos the Elegant Writer

   When you spend a lot of time browsing art supplies in specialty stores, you will see the "Elegant Writer," a water-based marker designed for calligraphy artists. Using the Elegant Writer with water color is surprising.
    Learn from this video by an artist I admire.  ~ Gayla

Koi Watercolor Template

9x6 on 140# cold pressed paper
  Templates help you start painting snip-snap! As we know, drawing takes a while and erasing can be damaging. The template below, stretched to 4”, I cut for my students ahead of class. My prep-work had us painting in no time.

     You don’t need to paint this project as shown.
 Google “Koi pond images" for real life observation and inspiration.

1. Draw around the fish template, reversing and turning it in different poses.
2. Remember NOT to shake up the masking fluid . . . then  "mask" the fish with extra care so the pigment stays out of the fish. And don’t forget to mask food bits for the hungry fishes.
3.   Masking was used to highlight the water, but using a clean brush to pick up some of the blue before it dries will work, too -- and often better.
4. When all is dry, paint the water using the wet on wet technique. Notice the blue is not all the same density in color.
5. When this is very, very dry, rub off the masking. Don't panic if some pigment made its way into the fish. Work it into the fish with a little clean water on your brush.
6.    Paint the fish spots then use a very small nibbed “permanent” pen for tiny eyes. One touch of the pen will do.
7. Lastly, make it appear as though water is flowing over the fish or they will seem to be on TOP of the water rather than IN the water.
Resize and cut out the template
      Here is the template image to print on #65 (lightweight) card stock. Stretch this to 4” or more on a computer or draw by hand.

     Some priceless advice: Because this project requires major drying between steps, fast-track your learning by painting two or or more of the scene at the same time.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Secret of the Mind of Water Color Painting

     I truly thought I would NEVER conquer water color painting. Acrylic I conquered.  Oil I conquered. But watercolor eluded me . . . until recently when I learned the secret. 
     For 2 years, I enrolled in adult education classes with teachers who have ridden the watercolor bull enough to attempt a class of students who whine, "Watercolor is hard!" 
    The intriguing beauty of colors mixing into new colors and recognizable shapes keeps me at my paint table. 
     And I continuously watch watercolor channels on YouTube. The Mind of Watercolor is likely to be my very favorite. Steve Mitchell says water color has a mind of its own, and he is so right.
     I have tried to paint every day, and believe me, I do not hesitate to trash my many awful efforts.
     By observing so many artists who have learned to read the mind of watercolor, I think I have figured out the secret.   And the secret is . . .

   "Paint what YOU see;" "Practice like your life depends upon it;" and "Paint with a group of at least one other person."

The P-Word

   Training our brains to guide our brush is all about the p-word, "practice." We usually hear watercolorists substituting the p-word with the phrase "painting studies."
     To motivate myself to get more practice into that short space in time where distractions are minimal and the idea of painting is most exciting, I have templates ready to trace around rather than lose time drawing.
     This is where I use the internet, magazines and photos, and my printer to make templates.  Above are examples of some real geese I printed on #65 (lightweight) card stock.  The purple one was before I realized I had white card stock on hand so I could print them in color as a reference.
     Note: They can be put into Word and resized according to your need.
     Finally, and with great care, I cut them out with small scissors and now have all the geese I need for practice-practice-practice.  Here are my practice geese..
These were so much fun.