Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Titian-haired Dancers #Watercolor #Qor #Fabriano

Yesterday was the last day of watercolor class for this session.  I'm not sure yet if I'll be able to take the next one, but I'm hoping.

The scheduled lesson was to paint dancers, so I did this painting as practice for the practice, lol!  I was having great trouble deciding what to do with the head of the foremost dancer to suggest the position of the face without adding much detail.  I suddenly realized that long hair would not only do it, but I could use it to cover up a few other flaws, lol.

Qor watercolors - Indian Yellow, Pyrrole Transparent Orange, Phthalocyanine Blue on Fabriano Artistico paper.  Silver Black Velvet brushes 1 inch flat, and sizes 6 and 16.

Wednesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published 
on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
joey's weekly tangle challenge #80
Ben Kwok Template: Islamic Pattern

Tangle Patterns: How to draw TEST PATTERN

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Prompt #1503 Visual Prompt of the Week – The Long Hike
32 Free Art Journaling and Mixed Media Classes

The Daffodil in Watercolor - Preview Program
See the Light! In a Still Life Painting, That Is

Fall In Love with Art Journaling Challenge (this is an ongoing challenge that will include giveaways)

Pen & Ink
Danitrio YOK-3 Jurojin by Kosetsu (Kyokuchi Collection)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Foggy Morning Birch #Watercolor, #Strathmore #Quiller

Time flies when you are having fun.  Only one more watercolor class to go for this session.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to take the winter session.  Hope I can!

Two things happened with painting.  I had intended to practice the warm palette birch trees using Phthalocyanine Blue and Cadmium Orange-Red.  Along the way, I discovered I was using Ultramarine Blue Blue--a cooler blue!  Shows how much attention I was paying.

I had intended to do more with the scraping and negative painting techniques, but as I put the background in (the trees were done first), I realized I liked it.  It seemed soft and misty to me like a foggy morning.  I decided to leave well enough alone,  Seems like I chose that Ultramarine Blue for a reason, after all!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Painting Birch Trees #Watercolor #Strathmore #KDAllegriWatercolorClass

In last Wednesday's watercolor class we started practicing birch trees.  We incorporated some negative painting, scraping wet paint for texture and the difference in colors between a warm-oriented palette versus a cool one.

The cool palette was made of Phthalocyanine Green, Ultramarine Blue and Ultramarine Violet. These colors are considered cool because they are all in the blue range, even the green and violet (warm greens would tend more to yellow and warm blue and violets would tend more to reds).

In my case, I used the M. Graham brand of these colors.  A half-inch flat (I used an Escada Prado) was used to paint the background, leaving the main trees the white of the paper (Strathmore Aquarius II).  Paint was applied thickly and allowed to dry somewhat, and then a palette knife was used to scratch out the trees in the background.  If the paint is too watery, it just flows back into the scratched out area, so the waiting is important, but you need to scratch before it gets too dry, as well, or the scrapes won't take. Practice, practice, practice!

The warm palette colors were Cadmium Red-Orange and Phthalocyanine Blue.  (Again, mine were M. Graham, and again, I used the 1/2 inch Escada Prado.

For this painting, the main trees were painted first using mixes of the two colors that were heavier with the orange than the blue.  Other mixes, heavier with blue, were used for the background. But all of the mixes were done with the same two colors.  Negative painting was used to create the trees and branches in the background, along with more of the scraping.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Another Sky and Landscapes #Watercolor #Strathmore #KDAllegriWatercolorClass

Not every one had finished their sky and landscape from last week's watercolor class, so I did another one while they caught up.  This time I used a sponge for most of the foliage, then dropped in a mix of orange into the wet blue-green and created back-runs (where wet paint runs into wet paint and creates a sort of blossom).

Silver Black Velvet 1-inch flat, size 6 and 16 rounds, Qor Transparent Pyrrole Orange, Phthalocyanine Blue, and Indian Yellow along with a touch of M. Graham Ultramarine Violet on Strathmore Aquarius II paper.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Nega-trees Painting #Watercolor #Strathmore #Qor

I'm not sure if I'd want to be in these woods on a deep dark night but I had fun painting them!

Qor watercolors - Indian Yellow, Transparent Pyrrole Orange and Phthalocyanine Blue on Strathmore Aquarius II paper.  Silver Black Velvet 1-inch flat and sizes 6 & 16 round brushes. Negative Painting technique used.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It Has Baaa-sibilities #Watercolor #Strathmore #Qor

So I did up a page with a wash of three colors - Qor's Indian Yellow, Transparent Pyrrole Orange and Phthalocyanine Blue - intending to do a negative painting of something.

Although I hadn't planned it, I saw sky and meadow, and decided I'd try negative painting some sheep.  And I feel a bit sheepish about the result, lol.

I did use a reference photo, which was probably part of the problem. And I didn't draw my sheep first, since I wanted to focus on the negative painting technique, not my drawing skills.

And, in a strange way, I like the painting.  If you don't look too closely at those poor sheep, there is a nice feel to it.  The scan didn't capture the 'glow' it has, and overall the painting makes me think of the glow and glare you get just after the rain, when the sun is shining off the clouds, and possibly peeking out here and there.

The sheep are misshapen, but what the hey!  Practice makes perfect, so I'll rate this one -- practice with possibilities.

Done of Strathmore Aquarius II paper with a Silver Black Velvet 1-inch flat for the initial wash, size 16 round for the subsequent glazes and a size 6 round for detail.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Abstract by Candlelight #Watercolor #Strathmore #Qor

Sometimes, I really do think that you unleash creativity when you paint without any reference.  I did this one using the negative painting technique - carving out the shapes with one color, and then carving out more shapes, and then carving out more.

But I went with more of a Zentangle frame of mind, just painting and concentrating on the sweep of the brush and the flow of the paint.  I went for simple shapes and didn't worry if they were perfect shapes or if the lines were perfectly straight.  I let the paint air dry between glazes of color, so it took about an hour and a half (pthtalocyanine blue is very active on wet paper so you really have to let it dry or it will go everywhere!).  There is only about 1/2 hours actual painting time though.

Qor watercolors - Indian Yellow, Pthtalocyanine Blue, Transparent Pyrrole Orange on Strathmore Aquarius II paper.  Size 16 round Silver Black Velvet brush was used.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Skies and Landscapes #Watercolor #Strathmore #KDAllegriWatercolorClass

After we finished adding landscapes to the sky paintings we did in watercolor class last week, we put together the techniques we've learned and did a larger size painting.  The reference we used came from Zoltan Szabo's '70 Favorite Watercolor Techniques'.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Practice Skies and Landscapes #Watercolor #Strathmore #KDAllegriWatercolorClass

Last week in my watercolor class (Kathy Delumpa Allegri, teacher) we practiced techniques for painting different kinds of skies.  We taped off four sections on sheets of paper approx. 11 x 15, and used warm colors (in my case Qor Indian Yellow, and Daniel Smith's Phthalocyanine Blue and Pyrrol Scarlet.  A 1 inch flat brush was used throughout.

We were encouraged to use our own memory and imagination combined with techniques we've learned in order to paint these.  They were meant to be practice, not finished paintings.

The top right was done using the three colors with a wet-in-wet technique. The top left was a deliberate practice in painting mud by mixing all three colors. Ya don't know how to avoid it unless you know how to do it!  The bottom left was a solid wash of blue and then color was lifted using a kleenex to get the clouds.  A piece of rounded tape was used to block out the sun/moon shape and then strokes of all three colors were applied on wet paper using broad strokes.  Once the paint dried the tape was removed (I forgot to wet around the shape to soften the lines before I scanned this in).

This week we took the same sky paintings and added landescapes.  I used mixes of same Indian Yellow and Phthalocyanine blue to get my greens.  In the top left, I added Daniel Smith Quinacridone Rose for shadows and the mountains.  Color was lifted by wetting and blotting with Kleenex for the top right ocean scene, along with green mixes to pick out the waves.  I used Daniel Smith Ultramarine Blue to create mountains on the bottom left.  It doesn't show too well in the scan, but I used negative painting to create a line of pale trees at edge of the mountains.  A mix of the original colors was used for the tree in the bottom right.

I switched between a size 15 Cats-eye brush and a size 8 round to do these landscapes.

Everything was painted on Strathmore's Aquarius II paper.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Alloro Winery Plein Air #Watercolor #Winsor&Newton #PleinAir

I went Plein Air painting yesterday with several people from Kathy Delumpa Allegri's watercolor class.  It was wet and rainy.  We've had a dry spell lately, so I won't complain.  It did affect the way I painted.  This was my first plein air session in the rain, so it was interesting.

There was a covered patio to sit on, and the rain wasn't too heavy.  However, with so much damp, the watercolor didn't want to dry, and the wet-on-wet technique was necessary whether you wanted it or not.

I decided to keep things very simple (for me, anyway).

This is the view I had.

What really drew me were the trees and mountains in the distance (which were clearer to the naked eye than they are in the picture.  The tragedy of photography!)

This crop shows you what I zoomed in on.

My paper was Winsor and Newton, approx. 7 1/2 x 6 1/2,   Like the Saunders Waterford that I reviewed yesterday, the Winsor and Newton Cold Press, 140 lb, doesn't curl or buckle or dimple when wet, so I didn't need to stretch it or tape it, and it performed beautifully in the damp conditions. The paint doesn't dry brilliant - more matte, but less chalky than it does with the Waterford.  I need to try it in less demanding weather conditions and see how well it does when it's dryer.

Deciding less was better, especially at the size I was using, I ignored the middle tree,

I did get trapped trying to do a sort of reverse negative painting for the trees in the background.  I ended up just smoothing that over.  I'm not sure it would have worked even in better conditions, but now I know.

My two major colors were green-gold and cobalt blue.  Most of the painting is done with mixes of the two.  I used Quinacridone Violet for the reddish shadows

I had also brought my Stillman & Birn Beta journal, which has more of a hot press type surface.  This gives more brilliance, but an even longer drying time.  Since I needed to wait so long in between glazes,  I did a line and wash with a J. Herbin Creapen brush pen.  It is pretty much the same scene, but I zeroed in on the cabin area.

The ink was almost out in the cartridge, which gives an almost pastel appearance to the lines.  I took advantage of that and went for texture in my drawing.  I then painted over it with the mixes of green-gold and cobalt blue.

All-in-all, we had a fantastic time touring the vineyard, sharing a pot-luck lunch and painting, wet chilly weather or not.  I'm ready to go again next year!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Review - Saunders Waterford Watercolor Paper #Watercolor #Waterford #Quiller

A while back I bought a watercolor paper sampler from Cheap Joes. Included in the various brands of paper were  Saunders Waterford, 140 lb cold pressed.  I liked the paper well enough, and felt it was different enough to do a review.

I looked up some information - the paper is professional grade, 100% cotton, and gelatin sized with neutral pH. It is endorsed by the prestigious Royal Watercolor Society of England.  You might guess by that that the paper is European (or British, at least), which means you could have a hard time finding it in the States or Canada.  I found it online at Blick's for U.S. $6.64 for a 22x30 sheet, which is a little high.  The same size sheet of Arches, for instance, is $4.76 and Fabriano Artistico is $5.64.

Both the paintings here are about 7.5 x 6 inches.  The painting above was done quickly, and I tried to avoid overworking.

The piece below I deliberately overworked (not that I usually need an excuse to do that, lol) because I wanted to see how it held up to multiple glazings, lifting, frisket, and scrubbing, plus I used an exacto knife to scrape away some highlights.

The thing I liked most about the paper?  I neither stretched it nor taped it down for either piece, but there was no dimpling, no curl, and only the slightest of buckling. It retained a certain hard quality that allowed me to hold it in one hand while painting even very wet washes. This might not be as important to everyone (though it is certainly nice), but it does indicate a good paper for plein air.  No need for extra prep or something to tape paper to, if you don't want it.

What did I like the least? The color dries matte, almost chalky in some cases.  Although the paper is cold pressed, the texture and the way the colors handle seems more like rough to me.

The paper is harder than most of the other watercolor papers I've used, with a texture fairly smooth for cold press. It will fold without cracking, if you want to use it to make a journal, but the creases will be thick.

Washes spread easily but the paint dries fairly quickly, That can be a pro or a con depending on the techniques you're trying out.  Unless you work at it, you are likely to get hard edges or streaking with your large washes, but not many backwashes.

Frisket comes off well, but lifting color is problematic.  It lightens a bit, but not much, even with scrubbing.  The paper takes scrubbing well, with no pilling, but when you scrape it with a knife it tends to come off in chunks.

It pulls pigment off of a pencil, so it's harder to get light lines for a pre-drawing, but the graphite does erase well.

Overall, I like the paper, but find it a definite challenge to use. I don't think I'd want to pay the difference in price, on a regular basis, but would buy if I found a good sale, or intended to treat myself.   If I ever visit Europe again, I know what I'll be looking for!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Perfectly Pears and Pumpkins - in a Negative Kind of Way #Watercolor #NegativePainting #Strathmore

In Wednesday's watercolor class (teacher: Kathy Delumpa Allegri), we practiced negative painting using only three colors, all of which were warm in temperature.  I used Daniel Smith Phthalocyanine Blue, Pyrrol Scarlet, and Qor Indian Yellow.

For the first painting I stayed pretty abstract.  With the second, I paid more attention to where the colors were going, and built up on the negative spaces rather than just carving out more pumpkins.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sunrise in the Fields #Watercolor #Arches #JamesTurner

I have to admit to a fondness for the works of James Turner, whose landscapes are noted for their luminosity.

Sometimes when I paint, I realize I'm trying for something that resembles his oil paintings.  That isn't necessarily a good thing when using watercolors!  Turner did do watercolors as well, but much better than I do.  A goal to strive for.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Morning Commute #Arches #Watercolor #DanielSmith

So I've switched to a 9 x 12 inch Arches wirebound watercolor pad. The main differences I see from the Strathmore Aquarius II is that I can lift more color and the paper buckles more, even though this is 140 lb versus the 80 lb Aquarius II.  And the colors are different in intensity.

I got fancy for this painting.  Fancy for me, at least.

I  even did a pre-drawing to make sure I wouldn't have trouble with all those legs, and to figure out my values.  That is almost unheard for me!

Liquid frisket was used to mask the shape of the sheep (ooh. A bit of a tongue twister, that). Then I laid down a very light wash of Cerulean Blue Chromium for the sky and Raw Sienna for the lower half. Before it could dry, I put down some plastic wrap and scrunched it up real good.

With a small brush, I made some three runny washes of Quinacridone Rose, Pyrrol Scarlet and French Ultramarine Blue, and let the paint run underneath some of the bunched up places in the plastic wrap.

The next day, I removed the plastic wrap. I didn't get quite as much texture as I hoped, but afterwards, I was glad -- I think I got just enough.  I glazed over the whole painting with more light washes of the Cerulean and Raw Sienna, keeping the washes very pale because I wanted the texture to show through.  If I'd been thinking I would have taken a photo before applying the glazes.  Next time!

Then it was a matter of filling in details and building up the values.  I used the same colors with the addition of Quinacridone Burnt Orange and a dash of Phthalocyanine Green.  My darkest values were a mix of the French Ultramarine Blue and Quin Burnt Orange.

Colors used:
Winsor & Newton Raw Sienna
Qor Cerulean Blue Chromium
M. Graham Phthalocyanine Green
Daniel Smith - French Ultramarine Blue, Quinacridone Rose, Pyrrol Scarlet, Quinacridone Burnt Orange,

I found my reference photo at the Morguefile free photos archive.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Winners of the Decopatch Queen Mask and Decoupage Papers Giveaway #Exaclair,Inc #Decoupage #Halloween

The winners of the Decopatch Queen Mask and Decoupage Papers have been chosen!  You all have until Sunday 13, 2015 11:59 PM PDT to contact me with mailing information. Those of you who gave me email information have been notified via email. The rest of you can email your information to LifeImitatesDoodles at Gmail dot com.

The winners are:


Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published 
on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Weekly Zentangle Challenge 234
Tangle Patterns: TanglePatterns String 173
Lovely Blooms: a tangle pattern

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Art Journal Every Day: Five Seriously Simple Ideas to Try Today
Prompt #666 Visual Prompt of the Week – Dewdrops

DIY Coffee Ink
Can you really use cardboard in your scrapbooking?
An Easy Way to Paint People Using Watercolors

Spectrum Noir Aqua Marker Bundle Giveaway
Win an Acurit Light Tablet from Jerry's Artarama
Jetpens Giveaway-Lamy ABC Fountain Pen, Stabilo EASYoriginal Roller Ball Pen ,Pelikan Twist Fountain Pen 

Pen & Ink
Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pen Review

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Tsuru Bridge Revisited #Watercolor

This was supposed to be another idealized painting, using photos from my plein air session at Gresham Main Park, and trying out some different colors.  I got caught up with that bridge again though, and lost sight of the 'idealized' portion of the painting.

Eventually, I just covered up the bridge for the most part.  I didn't mean to but the Quinacridone Rose was more opaque than I expected it to be.

I'll try this one again in the not too distant future.  I can tell I'm working some things about in the far distant reaches of my brain and if I keep at it, I'll end up with something stellar.  Someday.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Something Aquatic #Quiller #Strathmore #Watercolor

I wasn't able to take the summer session of K.D. Allegri's watercolor class (except I snuck in on the last day and painted with them).  The main theme for the class was fish and I was awed by the beautiful work that was done.

Feeling envious, I decided that I'd do my own fishy project, and inspired by a photo I found at the Morguefile free photo archive, I used wet-in-wet techniques learned in earlier classes.

My palette was filled with Quiller pan watercolors - Cadmium Yellow Light, Richeson Blue, Richeson Turquoise, Richeson Green and Permanent Green Light.  (Note that 'Richeson' is a brand name for what is more commonly known as Phthalocyanine).

I've been using Strathmore's Aquarius II, lately.  I decided to try this paper based on comments from Linda Kemp's books.  It is a blend of cotton and synthetic, and even at the 80 lb weight it does little buckling or dimpling, so you don't need to stretch it or tape it down. I do, anyway, just so it won't slide but I wouldn't have to.

I find that while colors move nicely during a wet-in-wet wash, they don't tend to create backruns, as easily.  That's a plus.  You can get them if you work at it, and want them, but you are less likely to get them by accident.

Even though the paper is relatively smooth for watercolor paper, it seems to encourage granulation.  Overall, you get more of a matte effect than you do with other papers (at least, those I've tried). That's good, unless you want jewel-tones or really brilliant color.  Having said that, the colors in this piece came out reasonably bright.  As always, the tools might have tendencies, but the operator controls the outcome.

What I don't like about the paper is that I find it hard to lift color, and the paper pills even with light scrubbing.  Just goes to show -- nothing's perfect.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Asleep On the Water #Strathmore #Watercolor #ArtJournal

Day 10 (the last!) in my 10-day watercolor a day journal.  My husband kept asking for another crittur, so I indulged him with a duckling!

The reference photo I used (from the Morguefile free photo archive)  actually has the duckling sitting on grass.  I didn't find that inspiring, so I decided to put him on water.  Since this was my last painting for this journal, and it WAS supposed to be filled with quick 1/2 hour studies, I spent most of the time on the duck, and then just did a few brush strokes to simulate rippling water.

Colors used were all Quiller watercolors - Cadmium Yellow Light, Ultramarine Blue, Magenta and Phthalocyanine Turquoise the background.

By the time you read this, I've started another session of watercolor classes and have made a journal using the same paper as I used in this journal.  I also have a pad of Arches 9 x 12, as I'd like to play with painting a little larger.  I don't have a good place to paint with anything much larger than that though I'd like to try 11 x 15 one of these days.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First Light #Strathmore #Watercolor #ArtJournal

Day 9 in my 10-day watercolor a day journal.  You know, when I started this journal I was aiming for 1/2 hour studies and it wasn't my intention to study light.  But eight of my paintings have, so I guess that says something about me and what I like.

This painting took longer than I expected it too, mainly because of the time it took to build up values.  This surprised mr because one of my main colors was Quiinacridone Violet, which is more intense than the Ultramarine Violet I've been using.  I do think the nature of the Strathmore Aquarius II paper is part of that.  Colors just aren't very bright on that paper.

I only used three colors throughout -- the Quin Violet (M. Graham), Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow light (both Quiller), with mixes of the colors throughout.

Ginger Horse #ZentangleInspiredArt #FountainPen #PenAndInk

You know how sometimes a work just fights you while you're trying to draw it?  I had an idea tickling my brain, a desire to combine styl...