Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Painting in our Watercolor Art Journals

We had a lot of fun spending time painting in our watercolor art journals while in Orvieto, Italy.  We painted scenes from the beautiful convent gardens and palace where we stayed, as well as the nooks and quaint corners of the town itself.  One day we went wine tasting at a vineyard that had a gorgeous view of Orvieto.  There were white roses blooming everywhere!  This was a beautiful, relaxing day of painting as well!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Painting in Provence, France May 2019

Painting in Provence, France can become your next creative dream come true!  
Come paint with me the beautiful villages, red poppies and charming sites of Provence, France.  There are just 5 spots left with French Escapades.  

Do you ever dream of going on a watercolor painting vacation in Provence, France? Well here is the perfect opportunity to paint and explore the charming villages of sunny Provence! I have just returned from teaching a watercolor workshop in Orvieto, Italy and I want to share with you why I love it so much!
Watercolor Artists in Orvieto, Italy
It is so lovely to be with a group of like-minded artists who love to explore their creative side. It is relaxing and fun to paint what you see, describe what you taste, smell and savor. Provence is a culinary, artist’s delight! When you go on a painting vacation, you have time to create a watercolor journal filled with memories.
Looking up!
You will grow, evolve and blossom as an artist. Even if you are a beginner, you will start to see things differently and the beauty of it all will make a peaceful, colorful impression on your heart and soul.
And Sisters!

What a gift it is to bond and share with friends and loved ones.  It also a wonderful way to make new friends!
And then there is the wonderful art that you create:
A Page from my journal

Consider joining me on this fun, relaxing, joyous adventure!  For more information, please visit French Escapades.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Painting in Itay

I am with a fun group of artistic ladies: painting, wine tasting, exploring,  and learning about the rich history of Orvieto, Italy. Yesterday we had a fantastic tour of the very impressive Duomo. The labyrinth of caves underneath protects it from earthquakes and provided  shelter during war times. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I am Moving!

Yes, that is right.  After all these years (10 in fact).  I am moving my blog to my new Wordpress site. 
Please come visit me at my brand new website and blog:  http://newboldart.com/

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Painting in France, May 2019

Join me on an artistic journey of creative expression! 

I am teaching a watercolor painting and art journaling workshop in Provence, France, May 10 – 17, 2019.  

Registration is now open.  If you book now you will receive an early-bird discount. Experience the magic of Provence:  cypresses and olive groves, scents of wild thyme and lavender, medieval villages perched on hilltops, and a countryside rich with bright, crimson-red poppies – all a feast for your senses.  

Painting in a field of red poppies

Quaint medieval villages
Young olive trees

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Watercolor Journaling, Part 4

  • Whitespace is a thing of beauty.  When I first started painting, I was told to cover every square inch of the paper with paint.  Now I realize that was not the best advice.  Not placing color on every square inch of your paper leaves some places for things to sparkle—just like the sunlight! Your white paper is your “white paint” so you always want to save some light!
  • Wherever the paper is wet you can bet things are going to spread.  Color will travel when the paper is wet, even slightly damp.  Use this to your advantage!  And learn when to stop.  There comes a time when the paper has started to be drier than your brush.  This is when it is time to set your brush down and go make yourself some tea :)

  • Even when a paper appears dry, it may be damp enough for colors to not stay put which can cause color to feather out. Paper that feels “cool” to the top of your index finger still has moisture in it, so if you want that color to stay exactly in its place, let the paper dry until it feels the same temp as areas that have not been wetted at all before applying color.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Watercolor Journaling, Part 3

"Am I done?"  "How do I know if I am done?"  These are good questions that we all ask ourselves.  The answer is "Are you happy with your painting?"  Take a break, close your journal.  Later, take a fresh look at your painting.  Does it need a little something else?  Is it lacking a "je ne sais quoi?"  This is when I enhance my paintings with pen and ink.  This adds dimension and compliments the watercolor.  There are several ways to go about adding pen and ink to a painting.  The drawing can be drawn first with ink and then painted over with washes of color.  I prefer to paint my watercolor painting first then add my ink lines. 
Take a close look at this painting from my watercolor art journal.  You will see how I added pen and ink to the little French hilltop village. 
Would you like to come paint with me in Provence, France?  I am teaching a watercolor painting and mixed-media workshop May 10-17, 2019!  Registration is now open and the workshop is limited to 12 people.  For more information, visit French Escape

Here are more examples of how I add pen and ink to painting in my journals:


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Watercolor Journaling, Part 2

In my last post, Watercolor Journaling, Part 1, I wrote, "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 am hoping that you practiced this and are beginning to see how the relationship between the paper drying, the amount of water in your brush, and the amount of water in your watercolor paint.  It is all so fun to play and discover the subtleties of watercolors! 

More tips for watercolor journaling:
1.      Continue to build up layers and layers of watercolor paint, letting each layer dry before painting the next.  Another word for this is glazing.  Applying a glaze on top of the same color darkens the value. The more glazes you add, the darker the value will become. 
2.     You can also glaze with a different color than what you started with.  Play with glazing the same colors over each other or choose a different color.
3.     Continue painting with glazes until you are done. 
Example of glazing colors on top of each other

 Hint:  Don’t spend a lot of time fussing over the part you are glazing.  This will start to dissolve the dried layers underneath and will cause the layers to mix, creating mud, instead of laying on top of each other.  

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