Sunday, June 17, 2018

copying to learn a medium

limited palette of colors

copy of Julian Merrow -Smith's painting


My new gouache paints arrived and I could not be happier. I ordered a limited palette of cools and darks of each primary plus black and white to get me started. Looking for something to paint I chose an oil painting by an artist whose blog I follow, Julian Merrow-Smith. He is a British painter who lives in Provence and posts daily paintings he produces. I find copying a good painting helps me to improve my skills.

This painting so captures for me, the beauty of Provence. I learned a lot from this painting. For one, I have to get away from my mind in what I 'think' a tree looks like as my tree looks to be from the USA and not France. And my darks are not dark enough. But I am pleased with my first go round with a professional grade of gouache. All the greens had to be mixed, as my limited set contains no green.

Happy Painting!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

falling in love with gouache

Italian countryside in Tuscany
gouache on paper
3.5" x 5" sketch journal

I love gouache! I decided to give it another go. I have a very old set of cheap student grade gouache and I hunted it down. I mean cheap! I think I paid $6.00 for a set of 16!  But they still worked. I am trying to remember why I originally bought them. (It will come to me at 3 am.) So I started playing. I used a reference photo from my recent Italy trip.  I love them! I love that they are opaque. That you can layer. That you can lift off. That you can paint impasto or like transparent watercolor.
That in some ways they are like acrylic/oil when you paint with less water. But that once dry, you can fiddle more if you want. I think I have found my favorite medium. I have painted in transparent watercolors for many years and I usually had a tube of white gouache around to add a highlight here and there, but that was my extent of how I used it.

So I ordered a new set today. I think the set I currently have is over 12 years old and several of the tubes are dried out. But I was even able to cut open the dry tubes and re hydrate them. My new set arrives Saturday. (Don't you LOVE Amazon??) The new set is a professional grade paint and I can't wait to see how much better gouache can be.I can't wait.

I wanted to show you my very cool palette. It's an old milk glass egg  holder I found on eBay. How cool is that? It it perfect for any water media. I've decided to dedicate it to my new gouache obsession.


Happy painting!


#gouache  #gouachepainting

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Clean watercolors! (It's the little things)


Like most painters, I have several watercolor sets. Over the years I have found the colors I love most. This little box is my current favorite sketching palette. It's small and portable. Folds up nice and small, perfect for traveling and urban sketching.

But WHAT A MESS it was! I wish I took a before picture. It was gunky and muddy and I could not see most of the colors anymore. But what was REALLY frustrating me was that the colors were in the box willy-nilly, no rhyme or reason. So tonight I took the whole thing apart and did some major housecleaning. I refilled the low ones and scrubbed it all clean. Then I made the little squares on the right to experiment with different color configurations based on how I paint. I basically use a rainbow set up, with a warm and cool for each color. The neutrals are next and then Black, white and grey. In the neutrals there is a shimmer that I like to add sometimes. Then I made the little key on the right to keep with the paints. So when they get gunky and messy again, at least this will help me 'see' the colors. It feel great to be clean and organized. YAY!! Now to get painting...

Thursday, May 31, 2018

More Brusho


12" x 16" paper 
 Brusho crystals and ink

This is an experimental piece and I enjoyed the process of making it. After I finished the dragon fly, I felt the piece needed something more. So I added the ferns in the background. I wanted them to be soft and not over power the dragon fly, which is the main event. I also added a layer of shimmer on the wings using a neutral shimmer watercolor over the Brusho paint. I wish you could see the shimmer. It is magical because it is subtle and only shines in the sunlight. 




Saturday, May 26, 2018

Brusho crystals and watercolor


I've had Brusho crystals for awhile and recently started using them in a new way. I was watching a YouTube video and had an "a ha" moment. Prior to this video, I would sprinkle the Brusho onto wet paper willy nilly and was left with a colorful mess. Nice for backgrounds, but not much else. But the video explained that if I were to either sprinkle the crystals onto dry paper and then paint with a water filled brush...control! Or, make my drawing, wet the area to be colored and then sprinkle in the crystals....again...control! A whole new technique has opened up for me. This is a large painting. The dragonfly in on Arches 140 cold press paper that measures 12" x 16". 

I am also using another new product as part of this experiment. Daniel Smith's iridescent neutral watercolor. After this was all dry, I painted over it with the neutral iridescent and it SPARKLES, like a wing would do. Amazing. It is subtle and only sparkles in sunlight. 

I am having great fun experimenting and playing with my watercolors. I will post more as this evolves.  Happy Painting!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Boats are sexy...

Something about the lines of a boat are sexy...the way they bend around. Sleek and inviting...

This is a little sketch I did in my sketch book I keep on my coffee table. I often sketch at night while watching TV. I will freeze the TV if I see an interesting face or image. It's great practice and I highly recommend it! I usually have a sketch book with me no matter where I am. You just never know when a great picture presents itself.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I generally draw while I am watching TV when I am alone. I keep a hardbound sketch book on my coffee table with an HB pencil. Sometimes I see something on the TV that interests me, then I will freeze it for a time and sketch it- usually an interesting face. Or I look around the Internet for something to sketch. This was from a Pinterest post. I love to draw fairy art and this fits right into that.