Monday, August 2, 2010

Class Paintings of Facebook

I have posted a number of the class paintings on my watercolor class facebook page. Here are the links:
Friday July 30 - paintings finished at home - click here
Friday July 30 - click here
Monday August 6 - click here

Friday, July 23, 2010

Transparent Glass Class

We had a great time today working on still lifes with glass objects. I've posted eight of the class paintings at

Monday, July 19, 2010

Painting Trees at SWA

This last weekend I conducted a three day workshop for the Society of Western Artists focusing on effective watercolor techniques for painting trees, branches and foliage. Here I am demonstrating on canvas.

And here are a few of the artists working away. We really did have a good time and I know I learned A LOT! I've put examples of some of the paintings on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Traveling Conversations

Here's one shot from our reception with Jean and Terri H. and friends. And below is a shot of the 'sketchbook' wall without the crowd in front. Sixty nine paintings from over five years!

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Class Session in Menlo Park

We started a new set of classes at Little House today. We really had some interesting paintings develop from our playing around. I posted 5 of them on the class facebook page - the link is below.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Conversations Workshop

We had a great time at McCellan Ranch for our workshop and just perfect weather. Here are a few of the participants busy creating.

Here are a couple of the short 'conversations' we created-

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Join us on Friday in Los Altos | Art Reception

This Friday is the reception for a five year long art project that I did with two of my best friends, Elaine Frenett and Jean Warren. Elaine and Jean are both professional artists and in 2005 they both moved away from the Bay Area. We wanted to keep our friendship strong and as we've always had our art in common we agreed to communicate through painting.

The July 2010 show at Viewpoints Gallery is a collection of 70 paintings that were part of our ongoing 'conversation' from 2005 to 2010. What I like about this collection is the strong narrative thread that encapsulates a moment in time that we wanted to share with each other.

We hope that you'll join the three of us on July 9, 5pm to 8pm, at Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos to help us celebrate the bond of friendship and art. The show runs through the end of July.

For fun we put together a book to compliment the show. It has all the paintings alongside a personal narrative for each one. If you're interested in this book it's available to order online. You can find it by clicking here: Traveling Conversations.

Hope to see you on Friday!

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2 watercolor class on facebook

We had a very interesting (to me) class today exploring transparent and opaque painting techniques. I've posted eight images of class paintings on July 2| Transparent and Opaque Please note that you can see comments and names by scrolling over the paintings. Click on date to see them all.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Find Class paintings on Facebook

To see the latest class paintings visit the Floy Zittin's Watercolor Classes page on Facebook: Click here. I've posted five images from each class - click on class date to see them all.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Workshop: Painting Trees, Branches and Foliage with Confidence

I'm running a three day watercolor workshop focusing on painting trees with confidence. The dates for this workshop are July 16th through the 18th, from 9am to 4pm, at The Society of Western Artists Gallery in Redwood City. For full details and registration information please visit:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Join us on Facebook

Since Facebook is more interactive than a blog I'd like to trial using it for my students. You can access the page for my watercolor classes by clicking here.

You don't have to be a member of Facebook to see the page. However if you are a member you'll be able to tag, or upload, your classwork so that your friends can see it too. Additionally, as a Facebook member, you'll also be able to 'like' this page Check Spellingwhich means you'll see any updates on your main feed. I fully encourage you to use the wall on this page to share watercolor resources and tips with your classmates.

Thank you for joining me in trialling a Facebook page for my classes and I look forward to this summer's watercolor painting sessions with you.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer schedule posted

The Summer schedule for classes at Hillview Center, Los Altos is online at:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lesson 73 - Painting a Floral without using a Brush

One of my mentors, Jean Sorensen, used to brag that she never used a brush in creating her paintings. She painted wonderful studies of trees and woodlands using stamping techniques and drawing with twigs and a palette knives. So for this lesson I decided to try using these techniques on a floral motif. The challenge was for everyone to experiment with new ways of creating texture patterns and to see if they could create something that looked like flowers without using a brush. We came up with lots of wonderful paintings. Here are a few.

Jean used a credit card and sponge to paint this arrangement.

Kay painted most of her piece with the edge of a cardboard strip. This was done on brown paper using white paint with the watercolors.

Anna cut out a potato in concentric circles and used it to stamp a pattern suggesting roses.

Bev made stamps from a wide variety of objects, including shoe soles and used these to create a vibrant design.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lesson 72 - Palms in the style of Sargent

This lesson was inspired by a painting of palm trees by John Singer Sargent. I was interested in the variety of dark hues Sargent worked into his painting as well as the calligraphic brush strokes he used to represent palm fronds. We began with lesson by looking at Sargent's work and copying a bit of one of his palm paintings. Then was worked on a painting of palms from a photograph using his style.

Lavonne worked with a series of palms and used lots of warm darks.

Selma concentrated on one tree in front of a waterfall.

Celine has a pair of palms balanced by a small hill.

Carrie came up with a very stylized row of trees leaving lots of white areas.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lesson 71 - Rocks and Water

This lesson had two goals. First we wanted to make a blob of paint look like a group of rocks. We did this by using sharp edges, creating texture, wiping or scraping out light planes and adding dark accents. The second problem was to consider compositional arrangements of dark rocks and white rushing water. We began by playing with cut out paper shapes to get ideas for possible layouts. Finally we developed one of these designs into a painting. Here are a few of the results.

Karen used a credit card to scrape out planes and texture on her rocks.

Kazuyo's rocks are defined by lines and dark accents.

Bev's rocks with the orange colors and square tops suggest the southwest.

Carol used a palette knife for her texture and created an interesting variety of rock shapes and sizes.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lesson 70-Monochromatic Portraits

The purpose of this lesson was to reproduce a portrait from a photograph paying special attention to values or lightness and darkness of each area. We worked from black and white photographs, either old family photos or ones taken for this project in black and white. The photograph was transfered to watercolor paper using tracing paper or a grid system, or by projecting the image. Once the information about features and shapes was established we could concentrate on judging the value relationships in the face. As a final step we tinted areas with color using a light glaze. We really got some wonderful results for the short time we have to work.

Denise worked from a picture of her mother and added light glazes of color at the end.

Nancy began with a photo she liked that had strong side lighting.

Another Nancy started with a graduation photo of her mother.

And Emily started with her mother's wedding photograph.

Leslie worked from a photo she took of an interesting face.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lesson Change

At the request of one student ! we will be switching the order of a couple of the classes. Next week we will be working on portraits and everyone should come prepared to work on a realistic, monochromatic face.

Lesson 69 - Flowers with a Border

An interesting way to create depth in graphic design is to play with a subject and a border. The subject can overlap a border or disappear behind a border and the border becomes part of the overall composition. In this lesson we played with this idea using a floral subject. Besides the challenge of designing with the floral shapes, there was also the problem of deciding on the colors of the background and of the border itself. We did come up with some very successful paintings. (Note - the degree that the paintings are skewed is due to my photography.)

Selma worked with a bouquet of tulips and a dark gray border.

Jan used a dark border with a light wash behind her flowers.

Carla used a blue green band to tie her dark shapes together.

Rita surrounded her flower with a very dark background and lighter borders.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lesson 68 - Yellow Green, Red Violet Complements

Yellow green and red violet are a complementary pair and sit opposite each other on the color wheel. When mixed together they create a perfect neutral gray and when used side by side they enhance and brighten each other. We began this exercise by exploring colors on our palette and finding which were true complements that would create a true neutral when mixed. These were not always the obvious choices. After finding a complement pair we explored varying value by creating light and dark versions of our hues and varying intensity be creating semi-neutrals. Finally we used this complement pair in a painting.

Lois chose to paint a floral and used the complements in the background as well as on the flowers.

Denise worked on a landscape. Notice how she used the yellow green - red violet in the sky.

Elaine worked with red and green fruit. Set side by side each enhances the other's color.

Carol glazed layers of yellow green and red violet to bring out her floral shapes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lesson 67 Two Point Perspective

Every so often we have to review perspective theory. This session we tackled two-point perspective where we are looking at the corner of a building. The subject was a street corner, or a corner store and the challenge was to depict architecture retreating in two directions. Here are the results.

Nancy chose some old buildings in Murphy, California.

Mike mistakenly painted on the back of his backing board but still came out with an interesting painting.

Kay worked on a complicated business built on a hill.

Celine drew her painting in pen and ink and added light watercolor washes.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lesson 66 Calla Lilies - Negative Painting

This lesson was inspired by a project in Karlyn Holman's book, Watercolor - the Spirit of Spontaneity. The idea was to begin with a wet in wet underpainting and to superimpose flower shapes. We tried actually cutting out calla lily shapes and positioning them on the underpainting. We traced around these shapes and painted the background in darker to define the flowers. Here are a few of the results:

Kazuyo painted around her shapes with washes that matched the underpainting so that her flowers almost appear transparent.

Karen painted her background much darker but the initial painting still shows in the flowers.

Emily's flowers have an ethereal feel.

Lavonne began with a textured background and warm colors.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Workshop Day 2

Here are a couple images from the second day of the workshop. Kathy's painting is done on canvas and Martha's on paper - both sealed with gesso. I love the way the two have such different styles even though they began with the same reference material.