Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lovin' Yupo All Over Again!

I go away from Yupo for awhile and sort of "forget" it is there. Then something comes up and I am back. What a fascinating thing it is!!!

George James made all the difference for me. His techniques are bright, fun, colorful, upfront applications. Just the way I love to work with watercolor. Click here for a 2 minute video of George.

I am joining my friend, Phyllis, in teaching a refresher Yupo class next Monday here in Florida at my Fine Arts Club. I decided to start off the refresher with some of James' basic techniques illustrated on a sheet of Yupo.

I created some samples to remind us all various things to try: variegated washes, flat and graded washes, cutting out, lifting with spray, lifting with objects, ghosting, value adjustments, and glazes.

And some of the basic tools of the trade.

Kleenex is a must. Good assortment of flat brushes. A foam roller. Watercolor paints and a sprayer.
After that the name of game is "innovate". What have you got that will make a mark, a stamp, or lift off color in an exciting way? Sponges, stencils, screens, stamps, etc.

Yupo comes in various weights and transparent as well. I love heavy weight or transparent myself. You can draw on it using a watercolor pencil which, of course, will disappear.

Valentine ATCs

This year I am trying something a little different and I thought I'd share my idea. Instead of more traditional Valentines for my grandchildren I am sending them an ATC Valentine. You know, Artist Trading Cards!

I am also sending them a letter telling them about ATCs and also sending them a website where they can learn about how to make them and a short video about it. There are lots of website about them, of course, but wiki-how has a nice short and sweet one. Click here.

Short and sweet...you know grandkids! The kids range from 4 to 20. Then the fun part: I am including a blank card and asking them to make one to return to me! My cards are all abstract ones so as not to make them feel they have to paint a picture on them. But the video shows all kinds. I'll let you know how this goes!

Note: I also bought a cool video called Strathmore Artist Trading Cards (by World of Art). I am thoroughly enjoying it!!! It's great to show to a group to get them started with this fun project as it uses all medias in making them!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Janet Roger's workshop Day Two

Well, one thing a workshop with a professional tell you is how much you need to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!. Wow.

I think portraits and figures are THE most challenging things to paint in any medium...but especially in watercolor.

These two portraits are my work for today and obviously need a lot of work...getting the colors, the expressions, the eyes, and etc. So much to learn.

We asked Janet for a lesson in "features" today and I have put her demo last on the blog today.

Blind Contour Drawing

Since I posted my blind contour drawing yesterday on my blog (scroll down) I have been contacted by Peggy Stermer-Cox who hosts a "blind contour drawing" blog site! Who knew?

How fun is that? The one to the left is the featured drawing right now (by Dan Haase). Click here to take look at this interesting blog!

My first introduction to blind contour drawing as in Betty Edwards now famous book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

If you haven't tried it, take a minute. No rules. Just do not look at your hand while drawing and do not lift the pencil or pen from the paper. And you do get better with practice. Start simple. It is sure practice to get you "noticing" details.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Janet Roger's watercolor portrait workshop

I attended day 1 of a 3-day Janet Rogers workshop today and as always came home pretty exhausted.

That is a sign of a good workshop! We started promptly at 9 and didn't leave until 4:30 with only about 1/2 hour for lunch! Yikes.

First comes my pencil sketch that I plan to paint tomorrow. Luckily I did it on drawing paper and so I can re-trace it onto watercolor paper as many times as I want to. This gives me less anxiety. Janet did about an hour of demo on features and drawing first.

The second image is my "blind contour" drawing of the same face. HA! Well...sort of a Picasso version, don't you think? Janet does this to loosen us up and make us look carefully at the photo.

The third image is a partly finished demo Janet did of another photograph. Notice the number of colors in the skin tones!!! Janet's rose violet, raw sienna, several blues, several greens. Amazing!

And the last image is of Janet herself.
What a pleasant teacher she is!

This workshop is being held at the Leesburg, FL Center for the Arts.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Van Gogh?

Here is Barb holding her Vincent Van Gogh doll with the detachable ear! (How fun is THAT!)
Click here for more including Monet and many other artists.

The dolls run $17.95 but there are also puppets for about $6.00. And mugs and tee shirts, etc. A fun website to browse. Where else can you buy Freudian Slippers and Sarah Palin paper dolls?

I am off to a 3-day Janet Roger's watercolor workshop at the Leesburg Center for the Arts. I'll try to blog some of our work and info on Janet . Although she is well known and a great teacher, this is my first time to get into one of her classes. Very exciting!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Pelicans: Old Friends

The fun of a rainy day is to cuddle up in the studio and finish up some odds and ends that have been previously started.

We are having much-needed rain here in central Florida today. A good steady all-day rain! Music playing and I am enjoying not only painting but watching some of my DVDs that have not even been opened yet.

I just bought Marcia Burtt's Mastering Plein Air Acrylic Painting. I am watching it in small sections...totally enjoying it. Feb/March will be lovely months to get outside and paint.

Also watching Strathmore's Artist Trading Cards DVD. Very fun!

The Pelicans was watercolor on 1/8th sheet of Arches 140# watercolor paper.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Florida birds part Two

Today my friend Claudia (see Claudia in photos) and I painted together in my studio. Nothing like having a friend over to get you in the mood for a painting.

We put on some quiet music.
First we talked about colors, supplies, brushes and paper (just a little) and I recommended Brenda Swenson's little book called Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook for a good starting off place.

You can still get that paperback at Cheap Joe's for only $8.99 and it's a real bargain.

In this painting there really isn't a lot of color...just some shading on the birds and a lot of fun oranges. Mostly we are working on hard and soft edges.

The rock was done mostly with a sponge and now I'll go back and put in more shading and a bit more detail on the rock. Claudia and I are planning on putting a dark background behind the birds. That should pop them out.

We are working on 1/8 sheet of Arches 140# cold press.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Painting on a Theme

Here I am getting in the mood for painting by going "on location". On Dec 31st we were on Daytona Beach.

And enjoying lots of.....

Florida Birds!

That's one of the themes for our show coming up in March at Hawthorne Park in Leesburg, FL.

I've selected a few pelicans to get me in the mood. Watch for more on them in a day or so.