Happy spring, everybody. I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful Easter weekend. The weather is finally warming up, the redbuds and cherry blossoms are in full bloom, my phlox are beginning their annual spring show, and the tulips will soon be on full display. After the long, cold winter I’m so excited to see these signs of spring.
Pink and white tulips in watercolor.
I’m still playing around with my new scanner this afternoon on yet another rainy day (goodness, when will it end?). Laundry and housework can wait; I’m having way too much fun.
Learning how to use watercolor pigments was certainly a challenge, but it was well worth the effort. I love the bright, transparent, highly saturated colors.
Cymbidium orchids in watercolor. This painting is based on a tutorial in Ann Mortimer’s book, “Orchids in Watercolor.”
What a beautiful scan. My watercolors never looked so good. The Epson Perfection V600 photo scanner is affordable, compact, lightweight, easy to set up, and a snap to use. Since I typically photograph my artwork in the evening, I was plagued with artificial lighting issues and shadows that I couldn’t easily correct in Photoshop without distorting the color. Bye-bye lighting issues and unwanted shadows. Hello gorgeous color.
The Epson Perfection V600 also solved a problem I was having with my camera capturing the texture of the cold press watercolor paper that I typically use. I don’t want that texture to appear on high-quality prints. Thank you so much for the fabulous gift, Mom, Greta, and my bestie, Tami. It looks like instead of doing housework and laundry on this rainy day, I’ll be playing with my new scanner.
Night fairy in watercolor on cold press Acquarello Artistico paper by Fabriano. This painting is based on a tutorial in the book, “Enchanting Fairies–How to Paint Fairies and Flowers,” by Barbara Lanza.
My daughter and I have an ongoing disagreement over this painting. My intent was to paint a male fairy since all of the fairies I’ve painted thus far have been female, but she insists that this fairy looks like a girl, too, because of its long locks and the way it’s sitting on the daisy. I disagree. I think it clearly looks like a boy. What are your thoughts–boy or girl?
This painting is based on a tutorial in Linda Ravenscroft’s book, “The Fairy Artist’s Figure Drawing Bible.”
I haven’t posted a painting in a while because I’ve been so busy with home maintenance and repair projects. I had an hour to spare this evening so I kept this painting sweet and simple. This painting is based on tutorials in Linda Ravenscroft’s books, “How to Draw and Paint Fairyland” and “How to Draw and Paint Fairies.”
I’m working on something a little more challenging today. I’m using a wet-on-wet painting technique this time, and I’m happy with the results so far. Here’s a preview:
Nothing better than taking a break from painting to take in this view. I designed this patio, and my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, niece, daughter, and I did all the heavy digging, lifting, placing of bricks, and planting. It was lots of work performed twice a year–spring and fall–over the past three years but the results have been well worth the effort. It’s fun watching my five dogs play or just mill around the garden while I cook or paint. Plus it makes for some awesome photo ops of my dogs (more on that later).
The first thing I did when I unpacked my art supplies was to grab a sheet of watercolor paper and start experimenting. I wanted to try out my tools to see what they could do. So I grabbed a cup of water and a couple sheets of paper towels, picked up a paint brush, and got down to business. It wasn’t long before my daughter, Greta, joined in.
So we stood there at the breakfast bar at 9:00 pm, still in our work clothes, and played. We tried wet-on-wet techniques (wetting the paper before paint is applied), dry painting techniques, using the paint straight from the pans or tubes, mixing colors, layering colors, adding ink details after the paint dried, adding ink first and applying paint afterward, layering multiple washes of paint, and lifting sections of paint with paint brushes or paper towels. Here’s the end result of our little play session:
Look at all these beautiful art supplies and the pretty box in the background where I plan to store them. I can’t wait to get started.
Once I decided to use watercolors as my medium I visited several of my favorite art forums and blogs and assembled a list of materials to help me get started. I purchased watercolor paint in both half pan blocks and tubes since I didn’t know which product would work best for me. Here’s a peek at my shopping list:
- Cotman Watercolors by Windsor & Newton–#654 Turquoise, #538 Prussian Blue, #322 Indigo, #502 Permanent Rose, #095 Cadmium Red Hue, #089 Cadmium Orange, #118 Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, #744 Yellow Ochre, #076 Burnt Umber, #731 Windsor Yellow Deep, #489 Permanent Magenta, #672 Ultrarmarine Violet, #379 Manganese Blue Hue, #637 Terre Verte, #311 Hooker’s Green, #447 Olive Green, #074 Burnt Sienna, #507 Pereylene Maroon, #554 Raw Umber, #465 Payne’s Gray, #217 Davy’s Grey, #331 Ivory Black, and #150 Chinese White
- Daler-Rowney FW acrylic ink in Burnt Umber, Evergreen, Olive, Black, and White
- Koh-i-nor ink nibs and holders
- Pigma micron 05 pens color set – 16 pens
- Derwent 6H drawing pencils
- Windsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Round Series paint brushes in various sizes
- Windsor Newton water color art masking fluid
- Acquarello Watercolor Artistico Extra White 100% Cotton (Grana Satinada Hot Pressed) paper by Fabriano
- Aquarelle Fontenay 100% Cotton paper (Fine Grain, Cold Pressed) by Canson
- Ultra-slim Light Panel light box by porta-trace
I found some of these items at Michael’s craft stores, some at a Benjamin Moore Paint store that had an interesting artist’s loft upstairs with a small selection of art supplies (and a coffee bar), and the remaining items at http://www.DickBlick.com. All totaled, this was quite an investment. The final bill was well over $500.