I first add a warm color to both subject and background, wet-on-wet, to begin to unify the two spaces. Next, with a fairly dry brush used in a sweeping motion, I quickly apply strokes suggesting fur to dry paper, barely touching the surface with the brush. Note that fur direction and length are dictated byContinue reading “Fur and Grass Textures”
This motif of a male lion with a messy mane lends itself beautifully to a wet-on-wet technique enhanced with some spritzing. First clear water was added to most of the paper, especially to the middle and bottom. Then gobs of paint, in this case one that granulates, was quickly applied with a large brush horizontallyContinue reading “Capitalizing on Watercolor’s Fluidity”
On this Independence Day I decided to use our patriotic colors in a motif that would unite them in a cheerful way, with bright green as an accent. On toned vellum paper, I roughly and lightly blocked in major shapes with colored pencil, working from right to left because I’m left-handed. (I have not usedContinue reading “Red, White and Blue”
Peonies are a favorite painting subject to me. Their petals offer interesting shapes whose lines circle around a dramatic center, while their white or bright colors contrast dark foliage. So I start by dropping bright primary colors loosely onto partially wet paper, taking care to avoid certain hard edges of lit white petals. Shadowed whiteContinue reading “Peony Season Again”
Differentiating or even creating natural greens can be challenging. The key to success is to vary value and color temperature as you mix yellow and blue. Here’s a motif that’s entirely green: First a base wash of bright yellow-green color is laid down, wet-on-wet; some areas are intentionally left paler than others. Next, the palestContinue reading “Green on Green”
Painting water and reflections in any medium often requires an understanding of the principles and properties of refraction, color theory, perspective, how objects sit in and on water and the shapes they thus create, and so much more. Painting them in watercolor requires layering washes. Here’s an example of painting simply water with no reflections.Continue reading “Water in Watercolor”
Though this Tolland, CT pond view is lovely on its own at midday, I decided to alter color and value elements in my painting to convey a different mood via a sunrise. First yellow, then a cool pink, and lots of cool blue are painted dry-on-wet to suggest sky and reflections in the pond. AContinue reading “Using Artistic License”
Though I begin this garden scene featuring paper birches and forget-me-nots with a spatter of blue and some pink, green will dominate the motif. The first layer of green is very bright and cheery, achieved with a mix of lots of lemon yellow and minor amounts of what I call “fake green,” which is aContinue reading “Going Green”
This motif of a male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) on snow-laden branches has simple shapes, and begins with a pale wash of blue roughly suggesting shadows and depth between the snowy layers. This is built up with a few more layers of the same value: Hints of the cottonwood branches and buds under the snowContinue reading “Simplicity Creates Impact”
I particularly enjoy painting birds in their natural habitats because no two of their many shapes and colors or backgrounds are the same, and simply just for their appeal to me personally. This painting of a male hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) begins with its setting on a pond surrounded by and within thickets; you’d startContinue reading “Subject and Background Shapes”
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