Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ah, Nuts! Friday Painting Class

In my Friday Drop-In Class this past week we painted peanuts in a half-shell. I love to feed the birds and I really enjoy putting out some peanuts in the shell for the blue jays on occasion. The sun was shining on the peanuts as they waited in the sea shell for the birds to scurry them away. I loved the scene, specifically the little shadows on the peanuts.

This was a great way to practice washes, both large and small. We layered colors to intensify values and talked some about how to handle background colors verses image colors.

Here are a few of the paintings that my students created!

When I first brought in the photo reference I heard groans, but at the end of class I heard several people say, "This was really fun!"

To learn more about my classes, artwork, gallery representation, etc. click here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Students Work of Water Droplets on Flower

Here are a few of the student works from the water drops on flowers study. We all worked from the same image and used the same techniques, but I just love how palette choices and personalities come out in these works! Hope you enjoy them.
For more information about my work, classes and most recent images click here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Water Droplets on a Flower in Watercolor

This is a painting I worked on with my Friday morning Drop-In class last week. One of my students asked to learn how to paint dew or water droplets on a flower. First, I brought in a drawing ready-to-go for my students. We transferred the drawing onto a 10 x 14 inch piece of Arches, 140 lb. paper. Then, we used masking tape to secure the paper to a small foam core board to keep it from buckling while we worked on the painting.
Okay, this first image of the drawing on the watercolor paper is a little hard to see. You will see better how this painting was developed as the pictures are added.

This next picture shows how we delicately outlined the water droplets and started laying in the beginning little washes. Note that the yellow wash has a very soft edge at the bottom. We accomplished this by laying in the wash, then applying a stroke or two of plain water to the edge we wanted to soften.

We continued to layer in soft washes. Adding the French Ultramarine blue as an under-painting will help to make the next washes (in other colors) a darker value. It also helps to establish your setting. This is really helpful if you are working on an extremely complicated piece, the blue under-painting helps to establish the space on the picture plane so you can navigate through the picture more easily. Notice the attention that must be paid to the development of soft and crisp edges. Soft edges are painted with water. Crisp edges are pigment laid onto dry paper.

Soft washes of yellow are added to the light areas of the leaves.

Now, the values are developed by glazing on several colors over the piece. Glazing is painting a color over a dry surface, be it clean, dry paper, or over a bone-dry color applied previously.
Each glaze must be added with attention to more soft and crisp edges.
As colors are glazed over other colors the depth and dimension of the painting begin to appear real.

Now, as warm colors are glazed over the cool colors a real depth and realism is developed. The final step will be to add soft glazes of previously used colors on the water droplets. The light source must be established so that it is relatively consistent throughout the painting. Each little droplet will have shadows and reflected light, just like a glass ball. French Ultramarine blue is glazed on the leaves to add darker shadow areas and to increase the values of some of the greens.

The final painting! For my next posting, I will show some of the student's completed pieces. They really came out great!
For more information on my classes click here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Beach Boys in Watercolor

This is a piece called, Beach Boys, which I painted last year. It is currently at the Beverly Art Center, in Chicago, IL for a group exhibit.
Each year my husband, who was raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I go back to the sunny state to visit his family at Christmas time. We always try to make a pilgrimage to the beach while we are there. I always have my camera and sketchbook, and that is how this painting came into being. I used five or six of the photos I had taken for reference. Then put them together for this piece. It is 33" x 44" inches, so it's pretty big for me, but what fun it was to paint! I painted it during the depths of winter in Michigan and it warmed my heart. The funny thing is that last spring I took it to a few art fairs and while in Birmingham a woman and her husband stopped by and asked where I got the picture of her son and dad! Well, it turns out her son lives in California - there was just an uncanny resemblance to the character in my painting! She ended up purchasing a limited edition print to send to her son. I never cease to be amazed at the stories like this I hear from people who see my work! To see more of my work visit my website by clicking here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

New Shopping Site

I have just added an "etsy" shop to my list of ventures. Click the link over there, on the left of this blog page, to visit my online shop. I will be posting some of my prints, greeting cards (featuring my watercolors) and a few small original watercolor studies (that will only be shown on etsy).
Also, just to let you know that the limited edition giclee print, "Vintage Number 2" shown at left is now framed at Margot's Gallery and Frame in downtown Oxford, Michigan. It is slated to be hung in a local restaurant. I think the black mat, wood frame with matching fillet looks so very classy...traditional! I have the original framed in a metal frame with a white mat, and it looks more contemporary. It is amazing how the framing and mat can change the look of a piece of artwork.
If you are interested in one of the Wine Series paintings, visit my website for more information by clicking here. I have limited edition prints, which are selling quickly, and a few originals are still available. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Water Lilies

This painting was created last summer from some references I took while visiting my brother. My brother lives on a lake near Greenville, Michigan. Ken and I took a ride in his paddle boat and I took nearly 100 photos of water lilies. I think the movement in this piece was nice. It has a calming effect every time I look at it, and it was certainly calming to paint. The original for this piece is still available as well as limited edition prints.

To see the larger image and to get more information click here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Painting A Rose

Last Friday in my watercolor class we worked on a simple rose. The actual photo reference was a peach-pink rose so we started our washes with yellows to bring out the oranges in the underpainted glazes. We continued to glaze on colors to develop the shadows and the soft textures in the leaves.
The second picture here is about mid-way through. We added alizarine crimson to the shadow areas to build them deeper. The high contrast in lights and darks is what gives the flower depth. We also tried to pay attention to the hard and soft edges. The soft edges need to be touched with a damp brush to float the pigment into a wet area. The hard, crisp edges need to be applied on dry paper to keep the area sharp.

If I have time I will continue to work on this flower and build pink glazes of color over the dry pigments to develop more of a peach colored rose.
I am anxious to see what results some of my students come back with as they took these home to work on.
To learn more about my classes and work please visit my website by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Talented Students!

I am so impressed with the work my students are doing! I am excited to see how they apply the techniques I teach in class, as well as the techniques the learn from other instructors. Many students have their very own style and signature in their work and this is one example. We painted some morning glories in class a few weeks ago. One student went home, started a new piece on her own with her own photo references and created this lovely piece. It really has charm and character! I just love the freshness of it and the delicate blending of her colors. Great Job Lin!!!
For information on my classes click here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Original Art For Sale on Website

I have several original watercolors in my studio for sale. I have posted some images on my website for those who may be interested. They are sorted by sections like Nautical and Beach Paintings, Still Life, etc. for your convenience.
Most of my originals are framed and ready to hang. For more information, visit my Originals For Sale web page and click on an image you may be interested in.
I will also have some of my newest work traveling with me to art shows this summer. My art show schedule is listed on the Events page of my website. There are a few paintings which are also traveling in exhibitions right now. They, too, are listed on my events page. Thanks for your support and interest!

Friday Drop In Class Nasturtium

My Friday morning Drop-In Class worked on a painting of a nasturtium a few weeks ago. They worked for two weeks in class, then many completed the paintings at home as we started another project. Here are some of the results of the class. We were all quite pleased with the results. We were studying the use of varied amounts of water and pigment on our paper. We began with a very wet, wet-in-wet wash for the background. Then we gradually added more pigments to various stages of wet and dry paper for the remainder of the piece. The focus on the leaves was to create both crisp and soft edges. I think they did a great job!!!
There are openings in both the Friday Drop-In Class and the Wednesday evening class. Check my website for details, directions, and supply lists.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Preparing for the Birmingham Art Fair

Tomorrow afternoon we set up for the Birmingham Fine Art Fair at Shain Park in downtown Birmingham, Michigan. I really enjoy doing this show. The art is well-juried and it isn't so big that people get lost walking around.
This year I will be premiering my newest paintings, The Wine Series. This series was painted in February of 2008, and begins with four paintings of fine wine in settings with high contrast lights and darks. It took about two weeks to complete the four paintings, which I worked on simultaneously. There are lots of delicate glazes of varying colors which create the mood in the pieces. At the show I will have a series of photos I took which show the progress of one of the paintings. You can also see the images on my website under the still life section.
If you are in Birmingham this Saturday or Sunday, please stop by and say hello. My booth number is D130 and I will be on Bates Street.
To see the progress photos of one of the wine paintings you can click here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wednesday Night Class

My Wednesday night students have been working on a still life with vegetables in watercolor.
We have been having an exceptionally good time in this class and learning a lot about composition, values, washes in large areas, soft and hard edges and more! Left are Dawn and Joe, two of my hard-working students. At right is a painting by a student that is about half-way completed. Tonight was the last night of this six week session. I admire how hard each person works and applies what they learn to each new piece. The next six week session begins May 21st. Can't wait!!!
For more information on my classes go to:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I teach a Drop-In Watercolor Class on Friday mornings at Margot's Gallery and Frame in downtown Oxford, Michigan. Last Friday we worked on a large still life with vegetables. I set up some tomatoes and a yellow pepper and we worked on a full sheet of watercolor paper. This is SueAnn with her painting which is not yet complete, but shows the beginning washes. We worked with saving whites with water, painting soft and crisp edges and we worked especially with large wet washes. We hope to complete the paintings this next Friday. There will be a few students who will begin another project, which I will bring in, but the rest will continue to work on the vegetables.
The still life was set up in the center so we all worked from different perspectives. Everyone had a different view and each added their own personality and skills to the piece. I really enjoy seeing how different all of the pieces turn out, even though we are working step-by-step together. I usually demonstrate a technique and then the students work with that technique to develop a stage of their painting.
We have such a great group on Friday mornings! If you would like to know more about my classes just visit my web page:
I will also be speaking and doing a small demonstration on Monday night at the Washington Art Guild near Romeo. Maybe I will see you there!