Paint Often

Since this motif represents most mothers everywhere, I found time to paint it today, on Mother’s Day. The background color is applied very quickly with a very large brush as soon as the yellow local color of the goslings is done. Paint overlaps the adult birds’ dark necks. Local color brown is now added toContinue reading “Paint Often”

Value Suggests Space

Photographed already at almost the midstage of this motif, I began with the sky, painting blue quickly onto dry paper and letting it bleed into wet cloud shapes. Then, the distant mountain at right was also painted below the edge of wet paper to suggest clouds over its top. Next, a round brush was usedContinue reading “Value Suggests Space”

White! Light! Bright!

If you’re uncertain how to plan, paint, and distinguish virtually any representational subject in its setting or wish to simply improve your watercolor painting skills beyond studies or vignettes to distinctive finished paintings, this richly illustrated book is for you! Three major value stages simplify easy-to-follow techniques for painting wildlife, floral, and other natural motifsContinue reading “White! Light! Bright!”

Shape, Color, Line & Value

Frisket protects the lit portions of branches surrounding this motif of an American robin (Turdus migratorius). This is a beloved bird in North America because it seems perfectly comfortable around humans as it nests and raises its young around our homes. It is named after the European robin for their similar coloring, but the twoContinue reading “Shape, Color, Line & Value”

Fur and Grass Textures

This motif was chosen because it’s a classic sign and symbol of spring. First it’s unified with its grassy setting on mostly wet paper in a muted yellow, hardly visible. Pale brown is added next with a mostly dry brush, followed by bright light green around it. Note that the animal’s white front and earsContinue reading “Fur and Grass Textures”

Light and Shadow

This daffodil motif requires a basic contour drawing of flowers and their light and shadow shapes with some suggestions of leaves, very little else. Much of the flowers and their foliage will be in shadow. This painting will go darker from two major spaces: from the white flowers, and from the mid-value background. The firstContinue reading “Light and Shadow”

Autumn in Spring

(Well, technically it’s almost spring for us here in the Northeast…) This view, as you’ll see, features contrasting color (orange foliage/blue sky) and reflections. Keeping these two colors juxtaposed and bright often has its challenges because if they’re mixed, they create a neutral. After loading a large brush with blue, I wet the paper onlyContinue reading “Autumn in Spring”

Background Elements

Because we are often focused on subjects, backgrounds are sometimes not a major factor in deciding on, planning, or even painting a motif, which often leads to problems in painting. The above image of a female red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), almost camouflaged in its natural wetland reeds habitat, shows the painting about half complete. (MalesContinue reading “Background Elements”

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