I will be in Bend, Oregon in August giving a workshop on my "California Vibe Watercolor Portraiture" style. I was fortunate enough to be contracted about a year ago to conduct this week long workshop for "Art in the Mountains", a prestigious workshop venue that hosts some of this country's best watercolor artists. Check out the link here. My California Vibe portrait style is not too formulaic. I approach each CA Vibe portrait with differently with a sense of play and experimentation. This does.t always spell out success, but it sure is fun and exciting! What is in common to all the portraits is fun and expressive color, textures, shapes, and brush movement. But to conduct my workshop with too much free form can often be too much for my students to grapple. They can easily get frustrated. These two portraits of a same young man has a simple, free form plan that I think they can sink there teeth into. The painting model is too take a 3 to 4 inch flat brush as well as a large round brush and quickly lay down some large, free form washes, wet-on-wet and with a set of from three to no more than six colors already mixed and ready to go on the painting palette. All the colors need to be on the light end of the value scale. Then it is time to walk away and let the colors do their thing while drying. The second and final operation is to render the facial features, darker values, a few more glazed-in colors, and some textural touches like splattering. The first painting is the more complex one with about six different hues while the second one takes a more moderate approach with a minimal range of hues. What do think of this approach, dear reader? By the way, in their Sept. issue, the European magazine "The Art of Watercolour" will have an article on my California Vibe style of self-portraiture. I'll be sure to post photos when the time comes.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
You are overlooking the beach with your wife, another couple, and a big picnic cooler at 3 p.m. waiting for the Fourth of July fireworks to light the night sky on beautiful, blue Lake Tahoe. That's about six hours of waiting, lake gazing, people watching, convivial conversation, and eating. I don't know about you, but with six hours to blow, I need my sketch pad to practice some figure drawing what with all the beach "models" cavorting about. All sorts of shapes, sizes, and positions! Not easy, but great practice. I often like to populate my landscape paintings with people and practicing on getting down quick gestural figures is just what the doctor ordered. These were drawn directly with an ultra thin Sharpie pen and followed with washes made with a water-soluble black Tombow pen and a Niji Waterbrush. The all-plastic Niji brush holds water in the handle that is delivered to the brush tip by squeezing it a bit… no need for a separate container of water! Here are the tools below:
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Just completed this watercolor painting today done on a half sheet of 140lb. cold press Arches watercolor paper. This young lady was one of my students in an art class that I taught last semester at Sacramento City college. In the first photo, she looks like one of the zombies in "Village of the Dammed", a horror film I saw at the kiddy film matinee around 1958. The village children had no pupils!!! Scared the poop out go me!! Thank goodness there was an intermission, and I won one of the burlap sack races that were held up and down the theater's two aisles. But I digress. Most of the painting was done in Mission Gold watercolor paint. I was sent a sampler of nine different tube colors from Weber Art. They wanted me to try it out and give them my opinion about this relatively new product. I liked it! Bright, saturated colors, and they definitely stack up to all the other professional grade watercolor paints out there. Mission Gold is manufactured in S. Korea and can be purchased through most of the online art catalogs. Some colored conte was added into my student's most beautiful and bountiful hair of which I am mostly lacking, but I digress again. Sorry. Go to weberart.com to read about this fine product.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Weber Art Company sent me a sample set of Mission Gold Watercolor by a Korean manufacture called Mijello. It is a super saturated watercolor paint. Even when it dries on the palette, a wet brush can easily activate it again without any rough scrubbing action. Go to weberart.com and check it out. This is my first test painting with this product. So far, it's looking very promising.