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!!