Saturday, August 19, 2017

How to Use Washi Tape to Enhance Design

Washi Tape adds clean lines to any painting---
Hello, everyone! Today's post is all about a trend I've noticed on social media. I follow, and she has several paintings where she sectioned portions of her paper into geometric shapes. Then in each area, she paints little motifs in a variety of colors.

For my painting above, I wanted to capture the transition between summer and approaching fall. On this particular day, July 31, we were expecting a 'cold front.' About six days later, the front provided relief from the summer heat. I decided to capture that by using cool colors in some of the sections and warm colors in other sections.

Neglected collection of Washi Tape
In order to get the crisp lines, I use Washi tape. I have several rolls that I'm not all that crazy about, so I use them for various reasons, like holding dies in place for card-making, or in this case, masking off sections of watercolor paper to create vignettes.

Washi tape creates various polygons...
To begin, I section off my journal page using random widths of tape and angles. I am careful to place the tape as straight as I can. I also look to make certain my angles are sharp. Because I'm exploring, my designs are totally random.

Angles and triangles...

The next step is to watercolor! For each section, I applied clean, clear water. Then I dropped in paint to allow the colors to flow. For the second painting, I used a new set of QoR watercolors. I love how all of the colors flow and blend! After removing the tape, I wasn't really pleased with the wider gaps between each section. So I put it aside for a couple of days to figure out what to do next.

The reveal...
As I examined the gaps, I thought, hmmm, they are wide enough to letter in, so I decided to incorporate a quote into the design, That helped the piece feel more connected.

The final product
What I learned from this is it is always good to play with the supplies you have on hand. You never know where exploring will take you. I'm not finished with this notion of using Washi to create paintings. This session taught me a lot about what I like and don't like about using this technique. I cannot wait to explore some more!

Let me know if you try this technique. I'd love to see your project. If you post on Instagram, please tag me @caboney1 so I'll be sure to see your creation! Until next time, paint your heart out!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Watercolor Wednesday #20: Mixing Greens

This journey has taken me places I never dreamed I would go. I started out only
wanting to paint watercolor wreaths. What I have found out is...there is so much to learn
before event attempting to paint a watercolor wreath!
Hello and welcome to another Watercolor Wednesday! This post is partially about my journey learning watercolor. I've learned so much so far...but I also know that I have barely scratched the surface. What a delightful trip I've had so far! The painting above is merely a sketch. I am experimenting with mixing my own greens, and I was inspired by Angela Fehr's challenge: Green Acres.

You can find out more about this challenge by following this link: Watercolor Summer Challenge with Angela Fehr. You still have one more week to enter to win prizes. This week's challenge ends on Monday, August 7th. In her video she goes into detail about mixing primary colors to obtain various shades of green.

Green Acres Challenge--Ends August 7, 2017

For my own challenge, I decided to use three different yellows and one blue. My yellows were Pale Yellow, New Gamboge, Quint. Gold, and Cobalt Blue. Below are photos of the colors before and after mixing.

The pure colors...

...yielded at least 5 greens!!
Mixing my own greens have several advantages. To begin with, using premixed greens and attempting to vary the hues actually resulted 'more of the same' in my mind. I usually needed to add stronger blues or deeper yellows to the premixed greens to get variation. Because I used only one blue, I know that some of the mixed colors are quite similar, but they do react differently as I paint with them. For example, New Gamboge and Cobalt blue tended to separate on the paper and create lovely variations of the green without much effort. I also know that if I added a touch of Cobalt into the leaves, my depth and variation would be more unified. I have only just begun experimenting, and already I'm loving the results!

What are your go-to premixed greens? What are your favorite yellows and blues to use to mix your own greens? Please leave a comment below--I'd love to hear from you. Until next time, paint your heart out!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

WCW #19: Abstraction

When I don't quite know what to paint!
Happy Watercolor Wednesday everyone!! Today's post is all about the blank page. I am finding that the parallels between writing and painting are striking. Both involve paper, color/ink, and ideas. So what happens when nothing comes to mind in writing? Journal. Write what comes to mind. Don't stop to think. Just write. So, what happens when the ideas for paintings stop? Just paint. Don't stop to think. Dab the colors from your pallet and just go for it.

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I post most of my journal explorations on Instagram. I almost did not post the painting above, because to me, it was just randomness. Turns out, people really responded to it and seemed to like it. So, you never know. Those 'just do it' moments may actually turn out to be pretty great.

 Watercolor Summer Challenge

In previous posts, I gave you all information about World Watercolor Month. This week is the last week to enter for a huge giveaway. Head over to Angela Fehr's website by clicking the image above to find out more. This week's challenge is cherry, lemon, and turquoise. I've started on one idea, but I'm not thrilled with it. When I finally land on something, I may update this post.

Until next time, what do you do to get 'unstuck'? Let me know in the comment section below. Until next week, paint your heart out!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

#100 Days #12: Final Review

Happy Sunday everyone! Below is a short clip of  the collection of my personal #100dayproject.

If you are interested, you can head over to Instagram and search #100daysofwatercolorexercises to see all 100+ paintings or check out #100dayproject2017 to see all of the wonderful artists who accepted the challenge. Just a note, the #100dayproject isn't only about art. It's truly a motivation to improve at anything and share that progress with everyone on IG.

Also, this is World Watercolor Month [#worldwatercolormonth], and Angela Fehr is hosting a Watercolor Summer Challenge [#watercolorsummer2017] where you have a chance win all sorts of watercolor prizes, including a lifetime of watercolor courses offered by Angela Fehr! So check out the links and join in the fun!

 Watercolor Summer Challenge

In the weeks ahead, I will replace this segment with warm-ups, watercolor paint and supply reviews, and whatever else comes my way. Until next time...paint your heart out!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

WCW #18: Practice-Practice-Practice

Taking time to reset the pallet
Happy Watercolor Wednes....ummmm...Saturday, folks! Yes, like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. I'm late with this week's post, but there are 35 reasons why. Earlier this week, I was at a conference with this great group of teachers learning how to be better in the classroom so that students are prepared for....wait for!

The finest educators I know...all are dedicated to helping students be successful!
Yes, this truly is my first passion. Ensuring that students are empowered to make a difference. Students are our future, and the time investment is so worth it. But enough sappy-stuff...on to this week's post.

One thing I know our students truly hate is when a teacher says...'try that again,' or 'if you considered adding  ___ here, then ___.' Yep, we're talking about revision, do-overs, and even starting all over again. But isn't that what learning is all about? One thing our dear young students...and even not realize is the greats from Beethoven to Dr. Seuss all drafted, re-worked, and even scratched a project to start all over again. Yes, perfection is not immediate. It takes time, patience, and honest reflection. That is when the best in each of our selves shine. So below is a review of some of my favorite do-overs. I'll begin with the ugly, maybe the better, and then my current best. By no means am I finished. Staring into the eyes of the teachers above, I know I've only just begun! Enjoy!

First attempt at Yes, to me, it's more like a pumpkin. Painted 2016

Today's version...looks a little more like an apple!

April 2017's version of cactus with  flower buds

April 27, 2017...following along with Jay Lee Watercolor on YouTube

July 2017's version. This was painted from cacti in my own yard. A true original.
Thanks for scrolling through the entire post. And if you know a teacher, please thank them for all they do for kiddos. Until next week...paint your heart out!!

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!