Monday, January 31, 2011

Capturing the Colors of Greece

Red Roofed Church, Ano Syros, Greece
Part of the joy of painting on location on the island of Syros, Greece is to recreate the reflecting colors of the cobalt blue sky, turquoise ocean and the warmth of the sunshine on the white buildings.  Our watercolor journaling class will learn how to paint colorful whites using the local colors.
An easy way to paint a beautiful white is called Wet into Wet painting.  Wet the area you want to appear white with clear water.  Add enough water for the paper to be wet and shiny but not enough to make a puddle.  Then drop in little amounts of paint and let the water carry the paint around.  In this painting I picked the blue of the sky, the reds from the church roof and a little yellow to create the feeling of the warm sun shining on the white walls of the town.
If you are interested in signing up for this Watercolor Journaling in Greece Class, please visit the American College of Healthcare Science.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Part II: Adding Blue Sky to the Sponged Trees

Now that your sponge watercolor trees are dry, it is time to add the sky color.  The trick to keeping the tree leaves looking fresh and colorful is to start with clear water around the edges of the tree leaves.  Then paint in your sky color, starting from the outer part of your painting and paint towards the leaves.  When you get to the clear water, tickle the color with your brush into the clear water to get it to make an soft edge.  Don't forget to paint in some sky holes between the tree branches and leaves.
This is a fun exercise to do as a painting warm-up!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Part I: Paint a Tree using Watercolor and a Sea Sponge:

Everyone in my watercolor class really enjoyed this easy way to paint a tree so I thought it would be fun to share this idea with you!
I use very little water and a good sea sponge with lots of character.
  • First, take a spray bottle and spritz your watercolor paints on you palette.  
  • Get the sponge wet but squeeze out all the water and then dip it directly into the moisten paint.  I dip it first into cobalt blue then into Hansa yellow so that both colors are on the sponge.    
  • Starting at the top of the tree, dab the sponge on your watercolor paper, working your way down and making a tree shape such as a poplar or aspen tree.  Create a light side and a darker side to the tree.  
  • Before this dries, add a trunk and branches to connect some of the dabbed area.
  • Practice making more trees in the distance behind this first tree.  Let dry.
  • Tomorrow I will blog about adding the sky and background.   Please check back!

I would love to hear how this works for you! Also, I am thinking we should look for some sea sponges during our watercolor journaling class in Greece

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Watercolor Journaling Class on the Island of Syros, Greece

I will be teaching Watercolor Journaling in Greece on the island of Syros. This class is offered through the American College of Healthcare Sciences, May 27 – June 2, 2011.

A lot of people enjoy writing in journals, taking field notes, collecting memorabilia and souvenirs of their travels, and drawing little sketches of their journeys. I call this art journaling but I take it a step further and incorporate watercolor with my art journals.

Watercolor journaling is a wonderful way to slow down and savor the moment, recording your journey in a unique and memorable way. With your journal under your arm and a few painting supplies, you will be ready to capture memories of your Greek Island experiences. This dynamic class will motivate artists of all skill levels to record their journeys in a creative and unique way using watercolor and mixed media.  Students will explore ways to make their watercolor travel journal interesting and reflective of their experiences through painting the Greek landscape and the essence of the Greek lifestyle.  Some of the techniques I will be teaching include watercolor painting, drawing, color theory, incorporating mixed media and how to make quick-on the go-watercolor sketches.

This class is still open for registration, so click here to sign up!  As always, I enjoy your comments.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fun With Brush Strokes - Impressions of a Landscape Painting

Quick 5 minute study of a landscape
As I get ready to teach my For Beginners Only Class, I am having fun remember the joy of discovering what your brush can do on the watercolor paper.  It is so exciting to watch the colors mingle and combine to create new and unplanned colors.  Why not have fun before you sit down to some serious painting.
Pick 3 colors (I used Cerulean Blue, Quinacridone Sienna and Nickel Azo Yellow).  Start with the blue at the top for a impressionistic landscape.  Switch to sienna and then yellow as you near the bottom.  Before the painting starts to dry,  mix the yellow and blue for some greenery.  As you paint, play with your brush to see how many different types of strokes you can make: soft edges, hard edges, dry brush strokes, flicks, splatters, twirls..... Just play and don't worry about what the painting will look like. 
I would love to hear back from you....Let me know if this was a fun thing to do!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More from our Travel Watercolor Journals, Provence, France. How to use paper napkins in your journal.

Journal Page from on of my student's watercolor journal
Are you an artist?  Do you love to paint on location?   The group of ladies that I took to Provence, France found that the more we painted the better we got.  No surprise, right?  Well it is so much easier when you have devoted a time to paint everyday and with a people that want to paint together.
One of the fun things we did was to search the little French shops for dinner napkins.  I found some that were a replica of Vincent Van Gogh's poppy painting.
Here is how to use them as a starting point on a journaling page:
1.  Most napkins are made up of 3 very thin layers.  Peel them apart and glue the top one with the design on it on a page in your journal.  I used mat medium.  I painted it under and on the top of the napkin.
2.  Using the design as a guide, paint a similar design out past the napkin.  Take clues from the colors and shapes found on the napkin.
3.  Below is a page from one of my travel journals and shows how I used napkins to create a travel collage.  Can you guess which parts are the napkin?
Jacqueline's Journal Page

We have room for a couple more artists to join us on our May 9-19, 2011 trip to Provence, France.  Would you like to join us?  Email me if you are interested.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Painting on location - Provence, France

I thought it would be fun to share some of the art from the participants that went to Provence with me, September 2009.  Everyday we would go out on location to paint.  We would often finish up our paintings at our hotel, le Hotel du Soleil.
This is Mary Anne's beautiful painting of Daudet's Windmill near Fontvieille
The lesson for this day was about how to create volume and how to make something look round.  I think that Mary Anne did a wonderful job!

Below is Irene's interpretation of the women who do the traditional dance of Provence.  I love her choice of colors.  She really captured the beautiful dresses the women used to wear. 
Page from Irene's journal - Traditional Dance Attire of the Women of Provence