Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WCW #17 Paint Outside of the Box

Happy Watercolor Wednesday to you! This post is a little late today because I've been operating on island time. Mr. Pat and I have been enjoying deep sea fishing, bay fishing, with a dash of eating good island food and shopping. That explains all of the beach scenes for this week. And all of these paintings are outside of my comfort zone. Okay, all of watercolor is outside my comfort zone, but by focusing on the modern florals, I felt I was making progress. Painting a different subject has brought me back to square one mainly because I'm still relying on an ability to draw or sketch out what I'm painting...even if it is with a brush. I figured a Nautilus would be pretty easy to paint. It's just a spiral, right? The reference was actually a sand representation, so it had the basic shape, but not the colors. I could, and should, have pulled up a reference photo, but I didn't. I created my own extra-large Nautilus overtaking the sea!

This abstract was inspired by some pillows in our condo. The colors reminded me of the beautiful deep sea colors, so I thought that would be a great title page for this latest journal. I've said that I like the smaller size before, but after painting in another journal close to this size, I'm finding that I have more room and freedom to create works. I'm truly loving this journal.

To capture the feel of yesterday, I decided to paint this scene. The saying comes from an accent piece in the condo, and the umbrella was inspired by an Instagram post of a beach scene in Italy. I opted to paint one umbrella and add the flip flops. I do like how the boardwalk turned out. I used a mixture of Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber and Payne's Gray. All of the blues are a variety of  Cobalt, Cerulean and Thalo. I also used Viridian mixed in to create various hues of aqua. With all of this risk-taking, I'm happy that I discovered something in the process. I painted the ocean colors on either side of the boardwalk, first. Then I decided to add the umbrella. I wasn't sure how it would turn out given the transparency of watercolor. But because the values of the umbrella were same, just more pigment, I was able set the umbrella on top of the water, and even the boardwalk. This was a happy accident and surprise, and I do think knowing this will help me with my florals.

I think this one is my favorite so far. I watched Ohn Mar Win paint some loose coral shapes, and decided to do the same. I did google a reference photo this time, and while the fish are a little misshapen, I do like the depth and variation of the scene. For the corals in all of the paintings, I used a combination of Cadmium Red Hue, Alizarin Crimson, and Cadmium Yellow.

Thanks for stopping by, and until next week paint your heart out...and dare to take a few risks!


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

WCW #16: Getting Closer

Inspiration Sister & @georgiousdraws 
Happy Watercolor Wednesday everyone! This post is all about working toward the goal. If you follow me regularly, you know that I have two weekly posts: WCW and #100 Days. I am so excited to bring this week's post to you because the painting above was inspired by two people.

First, my sister sent me this quote and asked if I would incorporate it in a watercolor painting. Without hesitation, I dove in. We all have lost someone who has inspired us, guided us, reared us, and my sister and I lost our dad last August. Our dad took time to ensure that we both matured in the Lord and grew to be women who serve others. He left quite a legacy and shoes to fulfill. But how would I approach adding flowers? The reference photo included daisies, and I have quite a lot to master in watercolor, including painting 'white.'

Saturday, July 1, I was scrolling through my Instagram home page when I stumbled upon @georgioudraws gorgeous modern floral. I have been practicing each day to imitate her style as well as others I follow daily. I love the layering of different aspects of modern florals along with the deeper values up front. The painting above is the result. My only challenge now is to replicate this three more for my mother, one for my sister and one for it is suitable for framing.

Thanks for stopping by! Please let me know how your process for finding inspiration. Until next week, paint your heart out!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

#100 Days #11

Chihuahuan Desert
Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! Hopefully, you are enjoying a nice long weekend this 4th. Today's post features three pieces. It was another busy week in education land. While teachers usually have their long summer's nap this time of year, many are out in full force attending professional development in order to hone skills and find that one nugget that will help students be successful. This week was no exception. I was able to spend three days with 25+ educators delving into best practices for teaching reading. It was a wonderful experience!

The first piece, above, was inspired by this little guy, below. I purchased a pair of quail [at least that's what I think it is...] many years ago in Juarez. I have always been drawn to Mexican art on pottery and figurines. So the painting above incorporates the feel of those patterns.

My favorite figurine
This next painting was the favorite of the week. Perhaps it was the simplicity, or perhaps it was the quote. Whatever the draw, Instagram followers and fans seemed to like this one the best-- 

This week's favorite
This week wouldn't be complete without my personal favorite. I like this one because I am beginning to experiment more with layering various patterns and values of colors. The painting below represents what I have been working toward since learning brush lettering last year and picking up watercolor this year. I'm getting closer to my ideal, but I still have a long way to go.

My favorite--getting closer to the goal every day!
Thanks for stopping by everyone. And for those of you who have served our country: Thank you! And to us all...stay safe and have a great time this weekend!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

WCW #15: Inspiration

Inspired by the beautiful pink blooms on our Crepe Myrtle tree
When I began this journey in March 2017, I really didn't have a plan for my progression. I just started painting. In order to do that, I have been relying upon other's pieces and demonstrations to produce my art. While I have several unique pieces, today's post is all about drawing inspiration from what is around me. The painting above is inspired by two photos I took of the flowering Crepe Myrtle in our yard. Every year, the showy tree does not fail to produce gorgeous blooms and foliage.

Crepe Myrtle Leaves-close up
I began with the leaves and the woody stems. I used a simple shape for the leaves with a watery concentration of Sap Green and Viridian Hue. As I added the leaves, I also dropped in more concentrated colors to add variation. Then I painted the woody stems in Burnt Sienna, Payne's Gray, and Raw Umber mix. By touching the base of each leaf, I was able to transition from the brown to the green gradually.

Crepe Myrtle Blooms
Next, I decided to treat the blooms with a wet-in-wet technique. This produced the lacy effect of all of the individual flowers which make up the total bloom. Instead of wetting the entire area, I dotted clean, clear water where I wanted the blooms to go. Then I dotted Permanent Rose in the dots of water and all around until I had the desired shape. After the pink hue dried a bit, I added hints of the stem and round balls for the buds.

What I love about watercolor is this entire process took less than an hour. I was able to incorporate all of the techniques I have been learning over the past few months, and it feels good to produce something that is all my own.

Please leave a comment below and let me know how you draw inspiration. What is your process for producing your art? I'd love to hear from you. Until next week, paint your heart out!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

#100 Days #10

My favorite from this week
Happy weekend to you! I feel this week's journal update will be lacking some. June is an extremely busy month for me. One would think that when school ends, the fun begins...but the opposite is true when you are on the team to help prepare for school start-up in August. Because of the frantic pace, I didn't have the patience to slow down to practice. At any rate, I post whether the art is great or not so great. Thanks for stopping by!!

Most popular post on IG this week
I just keep repeating these words over and over!

Monday, June 19, 2017

#100 Days #9

Life can get monotonous, but break the monotony,
and a desire for the routine returns!
Here's hoping you are having a wonderful first day of the week. Like Watercolor Wednesday, this week's #100daysofwatercolorexercises post is late as well. Last week, I spent time with teachers in developing best practices for teaching reading. This week, I'm the learner with my own teachers learning best practices for teaching writing. When I'm home, however, I'm putting as much time as I can into watercolor. The painting above was born out of shear exhaustion and an appreciation for the daily routine I had developed for practicing watercolor.

Just a few berries and leaves
The next two paintings, above and below, are catch-up paintings for Instagram. See Watercolor Wednesday #14 for the details, but both of these were inspired by Introduction to Floral Watercolor by Jenna Rainey.

Practiced layering leaves and color to add depth and complexity
I will leave you all with this last image...a favorite of mine. I attempted to add layers of leaves in this painting as well as add distinct centers to the flowers. I did follow Jenna Rainey's composition on page 25 of her book. After following her expert example, I am left with more questions than answers. Nonetheless, progress is being made each day, and I'm glad I have time to catch-up and practice. Next week will be busy as well, but not nearly as busy as these two weeks have been.

My question for you is, what do you do when you cannot paint? How to you keep the creativity flowing, if you don't have the time?  Please share your thoughts and ideas with me. Until next time, paint your heart out!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day!

Card for my Hubby
Happy Father's Day everyone! Today's post is a tribute to all of the hard-working dads who devote their time and attention to their families. Above is a card that I painted for my husband. Simple is best for a masculine card, I always say! I hope you all are enjoying burgers, hot dogs, and family fun today.... Stay cool!!

WCW #14: Flat Brush Practice

Analogous Colors and Flat Brush Marks
Happy Father's Day everyone! Yes, that should read 'Happy Watercolor Wednesday,' but last week was a monster of a week. It was hard finding a moment to breathe, must less post. Some weeks I will have to be okay with 'better late than never.' Because it's been hectic, I decided to work with a book by Jenna Rainey at Mon Voir. The book is Introduction to Floral Watercolor. I cannot seem to get enough inspiration or practice! Her book is definitely for the beginner, but there is something for everyone. She is also coming out with a book in the fall called Everyday Watercolor. You can pre-order on Amazon, and now is a great time to do so because it's only $15.17!

Introduction to Floral Watercolor

In addition to working with this book over the past few weeks, I've been dabbling with some galaxy painting. I decided to use a flat brush technique for the 'galaxy' below, and to achieve the tri-color effect, I swiped my 1" flat into red, yellow and orange.

Tri-color wash

To finish my galaxy, I added some Copic white splatters and 'stars'. This is not your typical galaxy by any means, but I had fun watching the colors mix and meld together!

Tri-color Galaxy
Until next Wednesday [which will be on time], paint your heart out!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

#100 Days #8

In art and in life, it's always important to take time to play...
Good Saturday morning to you! This post will center on those lovely Hot Colors of Summer. I have a lot of work, work to do today, so my art time has been cut drastically. When that happens, the only thing to do is strengthen the basics. So this week, I spent a lot of time with analogous colors and brush stroke practice. I also decided to scan my art in to see if the colors come through more true to what I actually see. Let me know what you think! Until next week...Paint your heart out!

Warm Colors with Cool Purple...Concentric Circles
Summertime Galaxy...looks like taffy!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

WCW #13: Hard Edges

Keeping edges soft...
I am finally learning to either wet the paper first--or--blend out hard edges.
Happy Watercolor Wednesday to you everyone! Today's post is dedicated to hard edges, or the lack thereof. Being a watercolor newbie, it is easy to guess what I've struggled with most...the vehicle for the pigment or water control. Watercolor teachers, hobbyists, and YouTubers have all said the same thing: keep practicing, you'll get the hang of it. While that is good advice, I stumbled upon an artist that helped me fast forward the trial-and-error phase of my journey.

I introduced Louise De Masi in my previous post, WCW #12: Layers. Her care in explaining each move she makes with water and pigment truly helped. For the larkspur painting, I started with a 'shiny-wet' application of water. Then I dropped in pigment to watch the petals form. While I'm always mesmerized by the movement of the pigment, I was even more amazed by the lack of hard edges when it dried. That was one lesson learned.

For this painting, i took care to blend hard edges before they dried.

Another favorite YouTube watercolor instructor is Steve Mitchell with The Mind of Watercolor. I have mentioned him in previous posts as well. He, too, takes great care to explain each and every minute step he takes when watercoloring. The first painting represents weeks of study...not only painting the flowers, but controlling the water to achieve the look I desire.

I'm sure in the weeks and months to come, water control will continue to be a concern of mine as I know I haven't fully mastered the balance. But seeing some progress certainly helps me stay motivated to experiment and not worry about mistakes...especially when hard edges are unwanted.

I hope this post is a little helpful. Let me know how you learned water control while painting, or even what you are still struggling with. Together, I'll bet we can figure it out! Until next time...paint your heart out!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

#100 Days #7

Inspired by artist, Victoria Johnson. I recently
took her Skillshare course called Gestural Florals
Hello and welcome to June everyone! My husband and I finally booked a condo for our vacation this summer, so things are looking solid in that department. Now, I have to focus on a ton of work during the month of June in order to earn that one short week of rest! Oh, well! In looking through the journal this week, it seems I was stuck on a flower theme. That's okay. What I think that means is, I'm becoming more comfortable painting them!

A simple bouquet
I think it was Wednesday when I realized that May was over, so this was a nod to the month we associate with flowers. Then...I guess I couldn't quit with the flower thing motif! This painting was inspired by Instagrammer @myartsituation.

Most popular image on Instagram this week
I had a lot of fun with the 'Floral Arranger' picture. I drew inspiration from Instagrammer @georgiousdraws.

My favorite this week
This painting was inspired by Jenna Rainey of Mon Voir. She is an amazing artist, and last night I broke my #30dayswithoutspendingmoney pledge [by the way, that pledge has been broken about 20 times in the last ten days] and ordered her Floral Watercolor Booklet. They are still available as of today's post [June 3, 2017]. I cannot wait to get mine. I will do a feature post in the near future.

So, today's question is: What is your favorite flower...or...favorite flower to paint? Please leave a comment below. Until next week, paint your heart out!!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

WCW #12: Layers!

Earl of East London's Storefront @earlofeastlondon on Instagram
Happy Watercolor Wednesday everyone! It's the last day of May which means school is out, and my busy season of curriculum writing and presentations begin. I had so much to do this past weekend that I decided to scrap all of those plans and commit to a detailed watercolor interpretation of a storefront! That gets the job done, right? This piece required patience, sketching, and layering to come remotely close to the photo. To see the inspiration, head over to @earlofeastlondon on instagram.

Sketch and first layer
I intended to take photos of the process along the way, but I got so wrapped up in this project that I only ended with the two photos. The photo above contains the first steps of  sketching and light washes for the window panes, brick mortar, sidewalk, window sill, and the top of the window. I was working with a 1/2" flat for the window panes and that worked well, but I knew that the brick would require finesse with a small round or buy a 1/4" flat. Since it was Saturday when I worked on this painting...I bought the 1/4# flat. I'm glad I did, because that made the brick process much easier. 

Garden Leaves
Earlier in the week, I followed along with Louise De Masi on Skillshare. She teaches a fantastic course called Herbs in Watercolor. She is an excellent artist and educator. She breaks each step down and clearly talks you through what she is doing and why she is doing it. For example, she always starts with a yellow-green wash layer for all of her leaves working from light to dark. Okay...I do know that is what we're supposed to do in watercolor, but I've worked with acrylics most of my life, and the opposite is true. So, I'm having to retrain myself a little 😃! The veins of the leaves are a little heavy, and I think I have a fix for that after Louise's feedback.

Working in Layers
Thanks for taking the time to stop by today! Please leave a comment below and let me know your processes for building depth to your watercolor paintings. I'd love to hear from you! 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

#100 Days #6

Most popular post last week
Good Sunday morning everyone! I have been a busy painter this week, and one thing I've noticed is now that I'm approaching 50+ days on this journey, I'm beginning to plan my paintings more, sketch more, and study my subjects more. While this is a good also means that I'm spending more time on my art...again, this is a good thing...but now I'm heading into the busiest time of my work season. Ugh! This simply means I may be stepping back to work more on skills and less on 'art' so to speak. Here are a few of this week's favorites--

Vitex from my garden
This painting is of a favorite flower in my garden. I've admired this flowering shrub/tree in other people's yards, and I finally have one of my own.

Pink Flowers
A friend gave me a brochure of a florist, and on that brochure was a black-line drawing of the flowers you see above. So I sketched them out and painted them the color I wanted them to be!

My favorite this week
And these cuties were inspired by a vase my Mother's Day flowers came in. The vase has a white background with all sorts of circles and whimsical flowers painted all fun to paint!! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Papertrey May Blog Hop

Papertrey May Blog Hop: Gran's Garden
Hello everyone and Happy Papertrey Blog Hop! There are about five things I cannot believe this evening...but I'll only share two: #1) I cannot believe May is almost over...and #2) I cannot believe I actually finished a card for this Blog Hop! To be honest, the end of school is likely worse than the beginning of school simply because there are so many loose ends to be tied up, awards, and making sure kiddos are set for graduation! Sooo....I debated whether or not I had time for a post today...but I remembered a challenge I set for myself several Blog Hops ago, and that was to create an 'all-over' pattern, single layered card. Well, my card isn't perfect, but my self-inflicted challenge has been met!! I do think it comes quite close to the inspiration for PTI's May Blog Hop Challenge. Take a look at the gorgeous inspiration photo:

Blog Hop Inspiration
Papertrey's May Blog Hop Challenge by irtsya
I am in love with the whimsical pattern and the florals. I tried to capture some of the colors using Stormy Sea, Pale Peony, and Berry Sorbet. For my card, the Gran's Garden stamp set was perfect as was the sentiment from Cutaway Tags: Spring. While I should get back to 'schooling,' I think I'll take a peek at all of the other awesome cards! There is still time to play get Hoppin'!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WCW #11: Using References

Modern Florals
Happy Watercolor Wednesday everyone! This week's post begs the question: Is it better to use a reference or not to use a reference? I would imagine for the more experienced artists, either one would likely be a personal preference. While I like the painting above, I did not use a reference for the composition. Perhaps that's why when I was painting it, I felt like everything was going well until I started adding the pink blooms in the upper left corner. As more elements were added, the composition began shifting for me, and I felt as though I was losing control over the piece. I think one thing that helped me most has been my experience with card-making. That's when I added some interest with smaller flowers of a different color, and then all was well...or at least better...again.

In my Blueberries composition, I was looking at a photo, and I found it was much easier and comforting to have a guide for the placement of the berries. Once that was accomplished, I used the photo to get a feel for the leaves. I then added those as I saw fit since the photo only had one or two leaves displayed. It does seem odd to have only a few 'blue' blueberries, but the photo was taking by a person I follow on Instagram, and the blueberries are only now beginning to ripen.

Yellow Flower Wreath
This painting is a combination of a watercolor wreath on Instagram and the yellow flowers I painted earlier in my journey. It was nice to be able to repeat a flower I had learned earlier in a different form or composition. So, for now, I think I do much better using a reference. For the next week, I'm going to focus on using references to help strengthen my composition skills.

In the meantime, how do you like to paint? With a reference or without? Please comment below...I'd love to hear from you! Until next, paint your heart out!!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

#100 Days #5

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope your weekend has been restful. We were expecting some rain this morning, but it passed us by. Nevertheless, it is a cool and overcast day...a great day to paint and relax! The "Tiles" painting above was inspired by tiles at a local Mexican food restaurant. Mine are a little more colorful than the inspiration, but I had fun practicing wet-in-wet and glazing.

Purple Flowers
I enjoyed painting this piece. Still working on composition, balancing colors, and floral design.

A Hot Mess
I believe the title says it all!! Thanks for stopping by!