Friday, July 22, 2011

Watercolors from my mind

Three I painted a few days ago to limber up and to enjoy landscapes from my mind to palette and brush to paper. All are painted 140lb. cold press watercolor paper with a #20 round sable brush.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Raining Yellow

When it rains, it pours and on this sunny, hot day, it was pouring yellow. I naturally paint yellow wet-on-wet and let this first bright wash go desert, bone dry. Next I paint her top, jeans, and sun cast shadow in juicy wet-on-dry and let it go dry. What the heck, it's not in the photo, but this is MY painting...I paint a puddle of yellow at her feet. The background goes in wet-on-dry accept for the garbage can. I wanted that a nice rich wet-on-wet. Next the side walk "grey" goes down wet-on-dry and then turned upside down to get a little bit of blending going on. Why blend with a brush when you can blend by holding the paper up, down, side ways and every which-a-way. What's a sidewalk without gum on it! Got some chin link in there and the deed is done!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Controlling The Flood: potential first assignment

I think that phrase aptly describes what watercolor painting is all about. My on-going watercolor class titled "Controlling The Flood" at The School of Light and Color in Fair Oaks, Calif starts next Tuesday. I will have 15 students and a growing waiting list. This may be the first assignment. It is a "simple" painting that I believe will give my students a good idea of what I mean by controlling the flood. I painted this scene of trees and water today on a sheet of 140 lb. Arches cold press paper. Image size: 8 inches by 10 3/4 inches. I worked on an art clip board with my reference photo clipped to it and my paper taped down. I wet the paper and quickly (and in one go) added my sunset and reflection colors. Before these color dry, I tilt the board slightly to get them to run down a bit. When I am satisfied with the run down, I lay the board flat and let this first passage of colors dry. Next I paint in the shoreline colors (wet-on-dry) and tilt the board slightly in a vertical orientation so that my colors run parallel with the shore line. I also scumble the top of the foliage to feather it out a bit (the photo shows this up side down). I then start to pull down the reflected trees. You can see how wet the shoreline paint still is. I make sure to have a little color variation in the trees and some ripple effects. While most of the reflected trees were still wet, I run my brush across them to created larger ripples. There are no ripples like this in the reference photo, but I'm going for more drama in my painting rather than trying to copy the photo. One's fingernails are great for scratching out some lighter branches in the shoreline. This is accomplished just before the paint dries but not while it is too wet. If you do it while it is too wet,the paint you scratch off gets filled in again as the neighboring wet paint flows into the scratched indentations. I then paint the trees (non-reflected) in. When the entire painting is bone dry, I cut out a paper mask that covers the sky and water but leaves the shoreline revealed. I take a toothbrush, dip it into some paint, and splatter it onto the foliage to add more texture. And just like that, shazam!... my little master piece is done. Time to leave the studio and go home to cook dinner. ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT IF YOU EVER WANT TO HAVE ME COME TO YOUR NECK OF THE WOODS TO CONDUCT A "CONTROLLING THE FLOOD" WORKSHOP, CONTACT ME, AND WE CAN DISCUSS HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Last week's Lobenberg acrylic portrait workshop

< I painted this in acrylic on an 11 inch by 14 inch non-white canvas. I was showing my workshop students how you start with a BIG flat brush and paint in the mid value flesh color. After that is dry (about 12 minutes),the darks and lights are painted in. You need not even come close to painting in the final hues that you see on the face, because at this stage you are only interested in establishing the basic features and darks and lights. Once you are satisfied that you have established a likeness, you can then start refining the facial hues and features. This final portrait is about 75% complete. The only thing left to do is to refine the facial hues and features just a wee bit more. The entire painting was done with flat brushes.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Watch he comes!

My talented, fellow art buddy, Mike Bailey, president of the National Watercolor Society and workshop teacher who is always painting up a storm in his hometown of Santa Cruz, Calif., will be coming to my fair city of Sacramento, Calif. to teach a five day watercolor workshop! The workshop is titled "Watercolor Beyond the Obvious". The venue will be University Art (one of my workshop stomping grounds) here in Sacramento. The dates are August 15-19. Email Marleen Merchant at or call her at 916-354-2832 to register or get more info. Marleen informs me that there are a few spots left. Mike came to my Sacramento City College class not too long ago, and did an extremely informative and super dynamic watercolor demo that my class just ate up! I don't often promote people on my blog, but believe me, I make this dude an exception! Check out his blog. By the way, that's Mike on the right with nationally renowned watercolor artists, Nick Simmons (left) and Ted Nuttall (center).

Friday, July 8, 2011

3 more from my net

My first crab water color painting "pinched" me, so I said a few nasty words and tore that sucker up. My first turtle was just OK, but it got the boot, This is my first star fish, and I like it as well as this second crab and second turtle. Hey, that's the fun of water color screw up and your painting becomes "toast"! Gives you a renewed respect for the challenge of water coloring. No pain, no gain!

Monday, July 4, 2011

More fish in my net

Some are small and one is way big! All are in watercolor on 140 pound cold press, 11"X13". Wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry. A lot of spontaneous, fast brush movement...the only way to catch fish in my book...gotta be quick or they'll get away!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

"Controlling The Flood" at The School of Light and Color

This July 19, I begin an on-going watercolor class at the nationally renowned School of Light and Color in Fair Oaks, California. I have titled the class "Controlling The Flood". My students will learn how to paint very juicy watercolors with a combination of four watercolor skill sets and the art of "letting go". You can go to the school's blog to read my most recent post and check out the school's offerings by going to their website.