Wednesday, August 27, 2014

At Long Last… and a Video too!

 Finally… at long last… woo hoo!
Thank-you, thank-you, everyone... for being patient with me.
 This is the second installment of my blog series… 
step by step watercolor.
In my last post, I had shared a bit about what kind of materials 
I like to use when painting my watercolor sketches, 
as well as a bit about my palette. 
I mentioned that I would do a colorful veggie sketch...
but actually was inspired by this lovely bunch of flowers I found 
at the Ballard Farmers Market, while visiting Seattle.
(No worries...I'll definitely do a veggie sketch on another post.)

I decided to put a little video together, so you'd have 
a true step by step experience.
The biggest take away I believe, will be 
the way I like to use my color wet into wet,
 and glaze over color, 
both, when wet & dry.
Many have asked me how I get such vibrant color…
I do believe it's the combination of mixing paint,
 to create great color
(not straight from the tube all the time)
as well as layering, 
one on top of another.
And of course, leaving some sparkling white of the paper 
to keep those little shimmers of highlight, on your subject.

Here's a little
step by step...
Take a peek and see what you think…



The sketch in this video is done in my Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook ...
a perfect paper for watercolor and glazing.

Next post will be another glazing process- maybe veggies… 
then we'll roll into some how to's... of the script handwriting 
that I like to do on my sketches and my signature block.
Stay tuned…. 

Feel free to leave any comments or questions... 

Check back if you're interested 
or join this blog site by signing up on google connect.
( see connect block in left column.)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Step by Step… watercolor

I'm sooo excited to be doing a series of blog posts about this 
fun, fun, loosey, goosey outta control process of watercolor!
Frequently, I've been asked about my process...
the paint I use, the palette, my signature block 
and…. most often, how I get my colors.

 What better place to share then here!
Above is a selection of brushes that I use on a regular basis.
There are a couple of pricey brushes here, as well as a few inexpensive ones. 
I am a big proponent for trying different supplies to find what feels best to you... 
In my experience… I generally see, that quality 
does matter with those end results.

From left to right: 
Cotman square wash 1"
Royal & Langnickel (2 of them) 1/2" angle
Loew-Cornell #10 filbert
Windsor & Newton 1" angle
Princeton Neptune #4 quill 
Isabey #12 Squirrel Mop 
all watercolor brushes…

In a nutshell… the square brush is for making background washes, 
and strands of color.
The two angle brushes are cheaper brushes that I use for most of my small sketches. 
I love the shape, as it allows for a thick or thin stroke. 
They are great for glazing colors. 
Because they are inexpensive… I usually keep a few on hand.
The filbert brush is great for smaller work too. 
It feels good to use on curved shapes and smaller solid areas.
The 1" angle serves the same purpose as the smaller brushes, 
just covering a larger surface.
And lastly… the quill and mop brush allow for loading up of water & color 
 to achieve a loose wash, or free form shape, 
or mingling of color…
whatever your fancy.

For anyone that likes more detailed info about brushes, 
their content, shape and purpose...
I've included a couple of helpful links below.          

and… the palette...
and… the paint...

My paints are a selection of Holbein and Windsor & Newton 
with an occasion random tube thrown in.
I think I found a couple of Yarka brand 
(really dated paint that I've had for a long long time) 
and a few Sennelier in my repertoire. 
For the most part 
I am a Holbein-Windsor & Newton kind of chick.
I tend to like Holbein brand a lot, 
because they are more saturated and brilliant in color. 

Holbein Artists' Watercolors are imported from Japan. 
Holbein's colors are known for their brilliance, 
with clean and crisp characteristics. 
Their content is designed in a way, that makes them 
ideal for preserving brushstrokes 
and color vigor over long periods of time.

The Windsor & Newton's are my standard, base… welcome home… 
I'm here for you paints.
They are known for their incredible quality and permanence as well.
Between the two, I've found the flexibility to make some luscious colors.
Definitely check out the new Windsor & Newton website
It's chock full of art supply information, 
as well as ways to connect with community
and share in the artists gallery.
I've been asked many times about my palette color choices.
Funny… I know it looks like I'm ready for a refill on the one above...
but I'd be remiss in not mentioning how long these colors last.
I love using this small palette for sketching 
I have a large palettes with big wells, for larger paintings.
This is one of my favorites for watercolor sketching right now.
The pages take layering of color… "glazing"... pretty well for a sketchbook. 
You can definitely see that the paper is substantial with a nice tooth for grabbing the color.
I have yet to try the Zeta series which is a smoother sheet.
And for the finale…Drum roll please…
my palette colors….
lemon yellow (H)
cadmium yellow(WN)
cadmium red orange (H)
windsor orange (WN)
cadmium red deep (H)
quinacridone gold (WN)
burnt sienna (H)
yellow ochre (H)
alizarin crimson (WN)
rose madder (H)
quinacridone magenta (WN)
prussian blue (H)
indigo (WN)
mineral violet (H)
cobalt blue (WN)
leaf green (H)
paynes grey (H)
permanent violet (H)
viridian (WN)
turquoise blue (H)
cobalt turquoise light (WN)
permanent green (H)
terre verte (H)
and a few extras… lilac, brilliant pink, lavender, cobalt violet light all (H)
a little sketch… a little water… and a beginning layer of wash starts the process.
I'll be breaking down the steps 
on how I do a color-FULL veggie sketch on the next post.

I hope this has been helpful! 
haPPy summer sketching!


Check back if you're interested… 
or join this blog site by signing up on google connect. 
(to sign up- see connect block in left column.)





Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Watercolor time...


Some days I find I am writing more than painting. 
Who knew? 
Some days I find I am building my website more than painting… 
Who knew?
Some days I find I am tending to others needs more than painting…
Who knew?
This path of growing an art life will always be riddled with stops and go's...
making that time spent painting 
so much more appreciated.

So with those moments…
I've been working in my S&B sketchbook painting a series of veggies. 

This time of year, brings back memories of summers 
on the east end of Long Island…
where a farm stand resides
on many a small town road.
Fresh strawberries abound, for making jam.  
and..veggies brighter than the sky, 
delight the eye with their homegrown goodness.
I got to thinking about my affinity for painting elements 
from different seasons…
the flowers of spring, fruits & veggies of summer, the leaves of fall… 
and the flowery greens of winter. 

I find myself returning to them, just like home.
In the wake of developing this little series...
I've been getting tons of questions and requests regarding my palette, 
my process, the brands I use, the glazing, the calligraphic words, 
and my little signature block.

I've decided to do a series here to provide answers to those questions.
Woo hoo! Went through a dry spell with words,
and now have an array of informative posts planned for you all. 
If you have any specific questions about my process, 
feel free to leave a note in the comment section.
I'll be posting once a week…
starting with my palette and brands of paint.

Grateful for all of your artsy support friends!






Monday, February 24, 2014

What's so BIG About January & February?

(working as an apprentice under the masters, allows one to explore 
the master's style… and later apply to your own works)
Part of my BIG for this year 
was a commitment to learning & growing…
a promise to myself to develop my own art with intent, 
as well as the art that I am teaching.
Kind of like those New Year promises that we make
that involve a gym, losing weight, and eating really healthy.
I am happy to say, that I haven't joined a new gym- 
haven't been drinking green blender drinks either...
 but I have kept the commitment to develop my art 
and I am really happy with what I feel is happening.
Part of the BIG 
was taking two online classes while juggling the rest of life.
Turns out to be one of the best decisions ever!
The quality of the two classes, along with the content has stretched me, 
pushed me, disciplined me, and opened a sense of freedom 
beyond what I was accustomed to in own my process.
So… the recommendation's go like this…
Studying with the Master's
a Jeanne Oliver class with some all-time favorite teachers 
(including my beloved Junelle Jacobsen)...
and Full Circle Workshop with Misty Mawn.
Both are in process, but are accessible online for a year or more.
Both have been instrumental for creative growth bigtime!
The charcoal sketch above and two pieces below are from
The variety of work Misty teaches is amazing, and the techniques she shares, 
soooo allow you room to build upon. 
The parallel I found here, 
was whether working from 
the "masters" or working 
from a "master"…
you're going to learn about yourself & build upon your own style.

Just as "art learning" should be… 
I can see the BIG part of the past 7 weeks or so... 
to be that self-discovery 
that will only sharpen 
the process, and make my art 
and teaching better for the people I share with.
So grateful that we can learn so much from and with other kindred spirits
through this crazy thing called e-course!
…more master's study with Matisse..

Friday, January 3, 2014

It's a New Year with Promises...

"Every end 
is a
new 
   beginning"
- unknown

The decorations are down… the boxes are out,  I am surrounded by 
the memories of another holiday season ended 
while having entered a new year.
The first few days of January are always a time of 
reflection.
 Looking back and looking forward.
Taking inventory of the goods, the bads, and the continued dreams.
I love the concept of choosing a word for the year. 
I'm a big believer of making lists, planning and sticky notes.
(Ask my daughter… I really love sticky notes.)
So my personal word for this year is going to be… 
"BIG"
It may sound a little weird, but I am choosing this little word
because it personifies the whole process I want to see for myself in the coming year.
I love the fact that the word 
"BIG"
is so small.
Okay… here's the vulnerable part… 
I see myself as that  l i t t l e  word… 
with the capacity for BIGness.
I see a foundation that God has been providing for that BIGness
and I now believe it's time to 
step into 
that BIGness. 

Want to join me? 
Is it time to
step into 
"BIG"
for you too? 

"BIG"
in your art
in your believe
in your serve
in your connection
in your action
I'm planning on pushing the boundaries into 
"BIG"
this year 
in many parts of life
starting with 
a 30 day journaling project
with Lisa Sonora Beam

Journaling with art & word...
I'll be posting the process here, as I lean in.

Please feel free to leave your words and thoughts  
if you join me on this path…  
What boundaries will you push to grow 
into your own 
BIGness?
haPPy 2014!


Monday, December 2, 2013

It's That Time of Year… again...

I've been thinking about this past weekend…
that weekend of 
t h a n k f u l n e s s… 
that begins the lovely season of  
g a t h e r i n g...
gathering
our thoughts 
our lists
our plans
our food 
our gifts
our connections with friends
our connections with family…
g a t h e r i n g
all the little pieces that 
will make up the 
coming weeks.
As I work on some gifts from the heART
and prepare for boutiques...
and as I
g a t h e r
I am continually reminded of all the blessings 
that have been put on my path. 
It is in the spirit of gratitude, that I approach this season 
with eyes wide open and a full heart.

p.s. those sweet little woodblocks above, were created by moi in a wonderful online class 
by Junelle Jacobsen… the Art of Holiday Goodness - still available for sign ups.
Check out my etsy shop if you are interested in any woodblocks for gifting.  



Friday, October 11, 2013

Stretching Out of the Comfort Level.


Creativity takes courage.” 
~Henri Matisse 

Have you ever worked on a piece that caused you 
to stretch a bit out of your comfort zone?
Don't laugh... but initially, for me it was the use of textural products...
unryu rice paper, gesso, modeling paste and more. 
I was so accustomed to how my paints worked on a flat surface... 
on what I was most comfortable with.
It took quite a bit of trial and error to get my color to look pleasing over texture.
It was such a stretch in the beginning... 
and yet it became that gentle reminder 
to be brave in the "process"...
because that's where the
magic 
happens.

I chose to share this piece because it was based on one of the projects 
I know I mention Junelle a lot here, 
but I am a big fan of her online classes.
I've come to know the comfort in her style of teaching.
She has a way of connecting, sharing, and teaching to everyone.
from the beginner to the seasoned artist...
from the "baby lamb" to the "mature ewe"...
(she's a little cray cray for sheep)
all from her overwhelmingly big heart
and her most grounded soul.
If  you are interested in working with watercolors,
stretching your wings,
while learning some fun and playful techniques, 
that will free your soul to create beautiful art...
I highly recommend her Fall/Winter class online.
It starts October 22... with a warm & welcoming 
Open House on October 15th.
sign ups going on now...

Can't wait to see what she has in store for us.
I give it 10 hearts up!

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