Anyone heading to a tropical paradise this summer? Are you taking your paints and watercolor palette? Chances are you may want to paint a palm tree. I made this video about how to paint a palm tree with watercolors. I use my watercolor paints and a sea sponge. Even if you are not traveling to a tropical island, this is a fun exercise for a summer day!
An inspiration for painting can come at any moment. I always take my camera with me. I never know what beauty will show up and inspire me to get my watercolor supplies out and paint. Lately, I have been having fun painting nature: birds, feathers, foxes, bunnies… on a recent hike and morel hunting mission, I am inspired to paint mushrooms! Today!
Where do you find inspiration for painting?
“Nature” is what we see—
The Hill—the Afternoon—
Squirrel—Eclipse— the Bumble bee—
Nay—Nature is Heaven—
Nature is what we hear—
The Bobolink—the Sea—
Nay—Nature is Harmony—
Nature is what we know—
Yet have no art to say—
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.
A stroll along the water, the rocky shore, sea life washed ashore is all inspiration for new watercolor paintings.
A day at the beach refreshes the soul! The sights, the exploring, the fresh air….
Evening On Calais Beach – Poem by William Wordsworth
IT is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the sea:
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder–everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouch’d by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham’s bosom all the year;
And worshipp’st at the Temple’s inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.
I finally made the choices for 40 colors on my new watercolor palette! I made a color chart for each color. I always recommend making a color chart of the colors on your palette because sometimes you can’t really tell what the color looks like sitting there in the well.
On my chart I list the manufacturer as well. Then I get the chart laminated a Staples so that it will hold up and not fall apart if it gets wet. I abbreviate the manufacturer names as follows: Daniel Smith = DS Winsor Newton = WN Sennelier = Senn. Holbein = HB Schmincke = Schmin. I hope you can read the chart that I made shown in these photos.
Starting with the color yellow, I took a look at all the tubes of paint I own. I have a lot of tubes of paint!!! I want a well rounded representation from cool yellows to warmer yellows. To best see the colors, I painted little samples on watercolor paper. Then I organized them according to the color wheel.
I always check the information that is available on the tubes of paint. Paint manufacturers often switch out pigments but maintain the same name of the color. Here is an example:
This is an example of Sennelier’s Indian Yellow. The older tube on the left is made up of PY153. The newer tube on the right is made up of PY 154, and PY 153. They do look different!
Check out this great online article by Jeannine Stein – “Best Travel Art Tips for Summer”. She has put together 23 ideas from various artists, including me :), on how to create art-on-the-go!
Jeannine says – If you’ve seen the July/August 2017 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, you may have noticed this on the cover: “23 Tips for Creating While You Travel.” Yes, we’ve loaded this travel and adventure-themed issue with a lot of techniques, projects, and ideas for creating art on the road, and we aim to deliver on our promise. So here are the 23 tips, and where in the magazine you can find them. We hope you find these useful for all your summer art adventures!
Helen and I traveled to France, Spain and Portugal to paint and do a bike tour. We took our watercolor art journals along with us and found fun places to relax and paint. One of our first stops was Saint Jean-du-Luz, a cute fishing village in the southwestern part of France. This area is known for it’s Basque influence, sea food and beautiful, sandy beaches. We painted postcards to send home to family and friends.
I am always looking for fun, unique ways to add to my watercolor art journals. While I travel, I always pick up brochures, free maps, coasters, wine labels… Then I add them to my journal pages. I also paint little paintings of what I see along my journey. These all create a lasting memory more precious than any photo album.
Try these ideas!
·Doodle or create Zentangles.
·Connect your writing and glued items with lines, dots and squiggles.
·Collect and add business cards, tickets, postages stamps, cut out words and photos from brochures, wine labels, paper money and postcards from your travels.
Sifting through my many photos, I am feeling nostalgic for the lovely Orvieto, Italy. I miss the warm glow of the sunsets, the bouncing light of shadows on the walls, the rolling hillside, the arches and the brightly painted ceramic pottery.
I miss the angel statues and the cobbled stone streets.
In the summer issue of PAGES magazine, I give you another fun idea for how to add interest to your watercolor journal. This article is about how to use black gesso. I hope you enjoy trying this cool technique!