First Class

      No Comments on First Class

I took a three-day watercolor class with teacher Kathy Kovala. She’s an amazing artist and awesome teacher. The garlic paintings are small, but the barn is the largest painting I’ve completed, 15″x22″. Can’t wait for the next workshop.


Watercoloring Galore

      No Comments on Watercoloring Galore

Watercolor is amazingly portable. I enjoy casein, but I don’t have a portable kit that folds up to the size of a phone like I do with watercolor. Casein dries out quickly like acrylic, and it spoils, too, so my choice for everyday painting is watercolor.

I’ve painted this doorway twice. On the left is a 3.5″x5″ painting, while in the center is a 9″x12″. Both have their pluses and minuses. The left is too dark, and some of the color became muddy, while the center has nicer color variation, detail, and value. However, I think the overhang is far better on the left than the center. It’s interesting that I failed to capture perspective with both. I loved painting with this method, however. It involves layering in primary colors to gain luminosity and depth.

On a whim, I bought a child’s Melissa & Doug watercolor kit. After trying the colors, I emptied it and replaced them with my six Daniel Smith Essentials kit, which consists of warm and cool blues, reds, and yellows. You can see how I put the pigments into the left, center, and right circles on both lines, and created a mix of two in between. The single circles on the bottom have all three warm on the left, which made brown, and all three cools on the right, which made black. I didn’t mix greens because I like to vary them so much–plus, I ran out of room. This was super fun. I hadn’t thought about pre-mixing my commonly mixed colors before, if that makes any sense.

Here’s my former Melissa & Doug kit with it’s new Daniel Smith pigments. Don’t they look awesome? I now have four palettes I use regularly.

Below are two attempts at painting barges on the Mississippi River. Both are from photos. My goal was to use the brush in a way that leaves sparkles on water.

Little landscapes from my mind and a few plein air attempts on the bottom.

Water, bridges, water sparkles… and grapes.

Water, Nature, Bob Ross

      No Comments on Water, Nature, Bob Ross

I painted three 5″x8″ casein pages in my journal. The 140 lb. paper buckles a little with the paint. I’ve tried 300 lb. on a block, and it worked out much better, so I may need to swap over. This journals works okay for a journal, which is something I enjoy having, but I don’t think I can find one with 300 lb. paper.

With casein, I have to think differently than when I use watercolor. I find myself making some really muddy areas when I don’t wait for the paint to dry–it takes longer than you think, maybe up to an hour for some areas. I also highlight poorly. Another key difference is how different casein looks when dry–it can change the painting entirely. Learning all of those differences makes it super hard to swap back and forth, but I still try. I love casein and would like to paint with it more often.

A Bob Ross attempt, Bridge to Autumn. I had painted it in watercolor months ago, using an inexpensive, little paint kit that was sitting in my closet. In fact, it was my very first watercolor attempt when this art craze hit me. This painting looks block-ish. I’m most pleased with the background tall trees, but their vivid color ended up making it the focal point. The highlighting with white paint is kind of heavy.

In casein, I also painted this landscape based on a photo. I enjoy painting the clouds, even though I got heavy with the highlights. Grass remains a challenge.

And this casein, my favorite of the three, is based on another photo of barges on the Mississippi River. My husband took the photo. Using a ruler for the barges would have been smart.

Here’s a similar shot that I painted with watercolor en plein air.

3.5″x5″ Watercolors

      No Comments on 3.5″x5″ Watercolors

All in my little Pentalic journal. I’ve been trying some realism. The plant on the second row is kind of awful. The final row are experiments with a new paintbrush, the Escoda synthetic Versatil. It’s a #6 portable. It’s a nice brush, but I’m hooked on using my Caran d’Ache Aquarelle brush when I’m out and about. I use the medium size.

A bright blue sky and an old antique store. The sky was done by wetting the cloud area and painting the blue in the dry sections, letting the edges blur. My lettering on the antique store sign was sloppy:

Flowers, using a very loose effect. This is a super fun way to paint:

And, using a photo of a doorway, I tried to use layering to create an interesting background. I followed some videos by artist Laurel Hart. She has two wonderful tutorials on painting a colorful background and having a focal point. Obviously, I need to practice this more.

Lots of Little Watercolors (plus one casein)

All of these are painted in my 3.5″x5″ Pentalic sketchbook or on 4″x6″ postcards from a block of Fluid 140 lb. cards. The second set and the farm scenes were painted en plain air.

Here’s the only casein painting I’ve done recently. It’s also 4″x6″ and on a postcard block of 300 lb. paper by Fluid.

Watercolor Journals

      No Comments on Watercolor Journals

No casein this week, but I’ve painted watercolor en plein air (3.5″x5″):

I’ve also painted in my 9″x12″ journal quite a bit over the past week. This one I did en plein air:

The one on the left was done in a very dimly-lit room while a storm rolled in. I find the colors strange and moody:

This is based on a picture my husband took:

And here are four seasons:

More Casein, Plus New Colors

      No Comments on More Casein, Plus New Colors

I ordered the color theory six pack of Richeson casein, even though it included orange and violet, two colors I can mix. The other four colors made the price a bargain, since purchasing each tube individually would run nearly double the cost. Those four colors are Shiva phthalo green, ultramarine blue, cad yellow, and rose red.

The wonder of mixing greens! Plus, my all-time favorite color is probably ultramarine blue. So, now I have two blues, yellows, and reds. Those, plus white, black, orange, and violet, will keep me happy for a long time.

Here’s an older journal page with the original James Gurney six pack. You can see how many shades of green I achieved with all variations of yellow ochre, cobalt blue, raw umber, and white.

This is a barn I’ve painted in watercolor twice before. The beautiful, old silo has been removed since the last one.