Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lesson 26 - Sketching Pets

The goal of this lesson was first, to work on sketching techniques and second, to tie a group of sketches together to make a composition. We worked from photographs and did four, four minute ink sketches on one sheet of watercolor paper. Later we added watercolor wash leaving white areas to unite the drawings. Below are four examples of what artists came up with.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lesson 25: Introduction to masking fluid

This is a simple project using masking fluid. The first step is to draw on several blossom shapes and then coat these shapes with masking fluid using the back end of a brush or skewer. After the mask is completely dry, a wet in wet wash is added. This wash must also dry completely. The mask is removed and the details of the blossoms are added.

Mary added a playful, colorful wash behind the poppies.

Ellen has removed the mask and is beginning to detail the blossoms.

Sandy has finished the daisies and added an out of focus third flower.

Elaine has created a beautiful play of shape and color.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lesson 24: Design Game

The challenge: Create an abstract beginning with a magazine food photo. Cut or tear a magazine photo of food into roughly 3" section. Choose 3 or four and glue to a sheet of watercolor paper.

Here Jan has glued on four sections randomly. Next find a way to connect dark and light shapes.

Here Leslie has begun working out a design by connecting red areas with a ribbon and dark brown areas with angled pieces. The goal is to match colors so closely that in the end one cannot tell which area is photograph and which is painting.

Theresa has her design further along. Using the color palette of the photograph creates a harmonious design.

Marilyn was able to match the reds and greens to form a fractured image.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lesson 23 Back-lit Produce

When an object is lit from the back the form is flattened and is defined by a narrow band of light along the edge. For this exercise we set up, photographed and painted simple fruit shapes back-lit by strong sunlight.

Evert kept the strong sun-lit areas white on top of the fruit.

Alice found interesting shadow patterns on the granite countertop.

Susan depicted the fruit using bold, dark shapes.

Jessalyn used rich wet in wet dark washed to create dramatic shadows and reflections.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lesson 22: Painting a still life using only three colors

For this exercise we set up several small still life arrangements and each of us created a painting using only 3 tubes of paint. Some chose to use three primary colors which give the widest range of color possibilities. Others chose to work with colors they were not comfortable with or wanted to experiment with. In both approaches the paintings were cohesive color-wise because of the limited palette. It was interesting to compare paintings of the same still life set up from people using different three color choices.

Kay and Jan used the same set-up. Kay's colors resulted in more muted tones; Jan used primaries which gave brighter reds and yellows.

Emily and Dan used the same set up. Here Emily's choices gave more muted tones while Dan's use of the primaries yielded brighter colors.

Lesson 21: Snow on Evergreens

Snow is white; evergreens are dark and therefore paintings of snow on evergreens will utilize a wide value range which can yield dramatic images. In this class we considered arranging value shapes to create different size areas of light and dark. We also discussed modeling snow mounds with glazes to give them depth.

Jo chose to focus in on one small branch

Elaine rendered crocuses peaking through the snow.

Bev played with a variety of cool colors, interesting shapes and levels of snow clumps.

Linda created deep shadows on the snow and left bits of pure white to make it sparkle.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lesson 20 Fall Foliage

Oh dear, it looks like it's been a couple months since I last published a post. I have been doing LOTS of painting but have not conducted any classes so got out of the rhythm of updating the blog. So, here goes. This is the first lesson in a while so we just had fun playing with fall colors laid on wet paper. We put down two layers of wet-in-wet washes. The idea was to create different size foliage shapes and then, after the paper was dry, to add a few branch details with line work.

Jean's first wast with the purples and blues shows through her foliage shapes.

Carol added quite a few trees and a road to create a landscape.

Alice found a nice rhythm with the placement of the vertical trunks.

Rita created a focal area with detail, splatter and line work.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lesson 19 Night Scenes

Can you make an interesting painting which gives the illusion of darkness or low light?

Jim darkened all but a small area to create a sunset.

Lois used deep darks in the hills and water to give a sense of low light even though the sky is relatively bright.

Nardia used warm colors and dramatic darks to create a glow between the hills.

Even though the sky is not very dark the grey color around the yellow sign makes the letters glow in Carol's painting.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lesson 18 Sketching with Pen and Watercolor

For this exercise we went outside and spent 45 minutes sketching with a Sharpee pen - drawing around shapes working from a focal point outward. Later, inside, we added watercolor washes. This procedure produced charming line and wash drawings.

Ellen used just a few 'out of register' washes for a loose feel.

Helena used washes to bring out the white chairs and fountain.

Mary left a pathway of white skips running through the drawing.

Camilla filled in shapes carefully to form charming patterns.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lesson 17 - Painting in Carl Larsson Style

Carl Larsson was a Swedish illustrator known for depicting family life in the late 19th, early 20th century. He was a master draftsman and used line and light washes to create appealing paintings. Here is one in his style I did in class of grandbaby Ezra.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cupertino Artist of the Year

Here I am receiving the award for the Cupertino Artist of the Year.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pleasanton Wine Stroll

I'll be demonstrating painting on canvas at the Alexander's Gallery, 608 Main Street, Pleasanton, as part of the Pleasanton Summer Wine Stroll on Thursday, July 17 from 6-8pm.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lesson 16 - Lifting out fish shapes

This lesson is adapted from a Cheng-Khee Chee workshop exercise. The goal is to pour paint onto a saturated sheet of paper and lift out fish shapes with a clean, damp brush or sponge. The first step involves playing with the poured paint and watching for interesting areas to develop. When the paper loses it's sheen it's possible to lift out the paint back to white, or almost white paper. And then, when everything is completly dry add color and detail to the fish shapes.
Here are some examples.
Jane created a mottled green wash and lifted out a koi shape.

Marcia was able to pour an intense orange.

Teresa used the spots of blue/violet to balance the fish shapes.

Rita created some deep browns with a school of small fish.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Studies

Here are a couple more small studies.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Small Studies

I've been experimenting with small bird studies on canvas. Here are a few - all 8" x 8".

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lesson 15 "What should I put in the background?"

I frequently get asked "What should I put in the background?" looking at a painting someone has already invested significant time working on. The time to consider this is much earlier and the best way to see what works is to try studies of a small sample of the subject. Here Nancy has considered eight possibilities.

Each of these gives a different feeling and Nancy liked the drama of the bright blue green.
Here is a larger study.

Carol chose a compliment of the yellow flowers for her background.

Marge used a light version of the green found in the leaves for her study.

The second part of this exercise was to lay a background wash of on dry paper. By keeping the paper tilted and keeping a wet bead at the lower edge of the wash it is possible to paint around a subject and end up with a smooth background of color. Georgina was able to lay down an absolutely smooth yellow background.