Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Watercolor Journaling, Part 1

Watercolor painting sometimes get a bad rap.  “It is hard.”  “My paintings are muddy.”  “I can’t control the paint.”  Things run and go in unexpected areas with colors mingling in seemingly uncontrollable ways.  That is why I tell my students to put miles on your brushes.  It is all about timing and developing a feel for how much water is in the paint, on the brush, and on the paper.  The water on the paper is continually drying as you are painting unless you are adding more and more water.  Don’t do that!  Try to add less and less water as the paint dries.  See what happens!

I want to share with you how I use watercolors in my journals.... 

1.     First draw lightly with a pencil.  Draw simple shapes and just the outline of the subject.  This is called a contour drawing.  You don't need all small details at this time.  And I say draw lightly because the graphite can make your painting muddy!

2.     Paint a light colorful wash with several colors.  One of my favorite combinations is cobalt blue, permanent rose and new gamboge or a similar yellow.  Let this dry. 

Hint – if you have trouble getting a beautiful wash and end up with streaks and hard edges you are not using enough water with your paint.  Try painting your colorful wash on wet paper – prewet the paper with clear, clean water. 

3.     Pick areas of your painting that need to be darken.  Paint these areas with another layer of paint.  Work light to dark in stages and steps.   

Check back for more tips!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Loosen UP - Warm UP

Are you in a rut?  Do you need some inspiration to get started painting?  Here is a simple, fun painting exercise to get you started.  The best part about this exercise is that you don't need a lot of preplanned ideas.  I often find that I just want to play around with color and not have the stress of producing a painting.  These fun little abstract paintings can end up as a cover for your journal!

I did this warm up exercise using mostly warm colors.  You will need your watercolor paints, watercolor brushes and a Gold Leaf Pen.
Start by drawing big shapes in your journal or on a small piece of Arches 140 lb watercolor paper with the gold leaf pen.  I drew my initials JN.  Make sure you go off the page here and there.
 Then add smaller shapes within your large shapes.
 Pick a color scheme warm or cool.  I chose a warm palette so I painted all my shapes with yellows, oranges, reds and combinations of these colors. The gold leaf pen lines will act as a resist to the paint.

This is my final page in my watercolor journal

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Painting Workshop in Provence, France 2019!

I am so excited to tell you about this fun painting workshop in May 2019!  Check out details at French Escape

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Well Rounded Watercolor Palette

Here is a list of the watercolors that always seem to be on my palette.  I often have other colors that I call my “guest colors” that come and go but the ones listed below are my favorite. 
Lemon Yellow
Good cool yellow
Hansa Yellow Med. 
Phthalo Yellow Green
Bright spring green
Cadmium Green Pale
Rich Green Gold
Mix with blues and yellows for greenery

Phthalo Green YS

Phthalo Turquoise
Great for making darks

Cobalt Blue Teal
Good “Pop” color

D.S. or W.N.
Manganese Blue/ good for skies & foliage

Cobalt Blue
W.N. or D.S.
Good for skies

Phthalo Blue RS
Great for making darks and adding to foliage

French Ultramarine
D.S. or W.N.
The warmest blue

Carbazole Violet
Good for adding to shadows
Cobalt Violet Deep
Quinacridone Violet
D.S. or W.N.
Good shadow color
Permanent Magenta
Permanent Rose
Quinacridone Rose/ good for flowers

Permanent Red
D.S. or W.N.
True red
Winsor Red
Permanent Orange
Good for flowers

Quinacridone Burnt Orange
Good earth tone

Quinacridone Gold
Stone wall, mixes well to make greens

New Gamboge

Indian Yellow
D.S. = Daniel Smith; W.N. = Winsor Newton

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Artists Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Here is another new addition to my watercolor palette.  Quinacridone Violet!

It is a rich, transparent color that mixes well with blues and reds or can be used on its own.  

Friday, December 22, 2017

Artists Stocking Stuffer Ideas

A new color on my palette is Schmincke Horadam Aquarell Translucent Orange.  I absolutely love this color!  It mixes well with yellows and reds and is beutiful on it's gorgeous on it's own.
Translucent Orange

Translucent Orange is considered a transparent color and has excellent lightfastnest meaning that it doesn't fade over time.  It is a great color for painting flowers!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Artist Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Since the holiday season is upon us, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my watercolor paints that I have recently added to my palette.  Any one of these colors would make a great stocking stuffer for the watercolor artist.  You can drop a hint to Santa by sharing this post!
Today's color idea is:  FRENCH VERMILION by Sennelier. 

French Vermilion, 21 ml

"The word vermilion came from the Old French word vermeillon, which was derived from vermeil, from the Latin vermiculus, the diminutive of the Latin word vermis, or worm.  The name originated because it had a similar color to the natural red dye made from an insect, the Kermes vermilio, which was widely used in Europe. The term cinnabar was used interchangeably with vermilion until the 17th century, when vermilion became the more common name. By the late 18th century 'cinnabar' applied to the unground natural mineral only."  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gift Ideas

Did you know that my art work is featured on lots of fun, cool gift ideas with FineArtAmerica? Not only can you buy prints and canvas paintings but they also offer my art on pillows, notebooks, iPhone cases, towels, totes, coffee mugs and much more!  Even shower curtains!  If there is a painting that you would like to see added please contact me.  Check it out!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Watercolor Journeys

My updated, self-published book, Watercolor Journeys, has just been reprinted.  It is now 70 pages of watercolor, painting and art journaling information.  This conveniently sized, spiral-bound gem is full of color photos, information on color theory and how to use color in your paintings, fun exercises, examples of my travel art journals, tips, inspiring art quotes, and much more.

Here are a few pages from my book:

Watercolor Journeys is $22 plus shipping. 
Here are just a few emails that I have received about my book:
"Wow! What a treasure! I love it! You need to expand on it and publish it big time! What a gorgeous book and filled with great information and beautiful artwork!" ..... Lynn

"I just wanted to follow up with you...I LOVEthe book, I have been pouring over it and working on the lessons - I feel like they should be called "workshops", they have proven to be so productive and interesting for me. Your careful, organized, right-to-the-point explanations and ideas to try out the concepts (especially color mixing, love the chickens:-) has been very helpful, fillling in the holes in my watercolor education. I am having so much fun with it, and not feeling any of the tentativeness or anxiety around the outcome as I have in the past." .....Jeanne

 "Got the book today and I do indeed love it!  I've already taken a couple of ideas from it for my travel journal [my palette and colour wheel] and will take your book to Italy with me."    .....Lori 

"I received your book today, and absolutely LOVE it!!!  So much so, that I just ordered 2 more, to go along with the additional copies of the DVDs that I purchased."   .....Cori

To order your copy, please click on the BUY  NOW button to the right.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Painting in Italy, 2018!

Join me on this fun adventure to Orvieto, Italy! 
I am very excited to present my watercolor workshop with Adventures in Italy Painting the Italian light and color One of my favorite things to do is to teach how I create visual journals of my travels using watercolors.  Orvieto, the charming Italian village perched on a rock, is the perfect place to spend our week together.  We will enjoy colorful painting time, tasty food delights, wine tasting, exploring the rich culture and history of the area, shopping, and relaxing in the quiet gardens of our Italian home.  Umbria is rich with sights, sounds, and colors – all wonderful inspiration for developing your artistic eye.