Once in a while, I like to share travel tips for the traveling artist. I call these Watercolor Journey Travel Tips. I always take a watercolor journal with me when I travel and I am always looking for some smart, fun travel ideas for my supplies.
Here is a great zippered bag to hold a lot of art supplies such as pens, pencils, tubes of paint, erasers, small ruler or small scissors. You can get them at one of my favorite online stores, JetPens for pens and such. It is a Nomad Box Pen Case.
This stylish, large-capacity pen case opens wide and stays open so that you can easily pick out the pens you need.
Wide-opening main compartment that stays open on its own and holds approximately 30 pens.
Three pockets inside the main compartment for organizing small items like erasers, lead, and sticky notes: one large mesh pocket and two small fabric pockets.
One large outside pocket for frequently-accessed items.
A loop on one end for fastening the case to a clip, hanging it from a hook, or for using as a handle.
Have you taken your art outdoors lately? Whether in a man-made or natural setting, halfway around the globe or in your own backyard, creating en plein air can result in wonderful artwork inspired by the world around you. Artist Jacqueline Newbold is often inspired by nature for her mixed-media watercolor creations. In this article from our July/August 2014 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, Jacqueline shares her easy, stress-free technique for drawing and painting colorful flora and fauna.
Summer sunshine and blue skies bring out tiny creatures—ladybugs, dragonflies, frogs, and more. Flowers, birds, and animals are out in full force, too. Take a closer look at the wonderful world of flora and fauna surrounding you, and you may be surprised at their color-filled lives.
My interest in flora and fauna started in college when I was majoring in botany. Along with my plant studies, I took an entomology course (the study of insects) to help me get over my fear of little creepy, crawling bugs. What I discovered, with the help of a magnifying glass, was a fascinating world of insects cloaked in the most amazing array of colorful combinations. Bold stripes of black and gold, coats of gorgeous metallic turquoise and copper, delightful polka dots, and shimmering translucent fairy-like wings were just a few of the wonderful hues and patterns I found. Discovering this amazing tiny world of color did get me over my fear of insects, and it continues to give me inspiration and great subject matter for my watercolor journals.
When I first began adding flora and fauna to my journals, I was intimidated by the drawing process and trying to accurately depict these things. Over time I came up with an easy, stress-free technique. I convert flora and fauna into a series of connected ovals, circles, ellipses, and rectangular shapes, and then fine-tune the shapes as needed. It is much more manageable to think of them in this way. Now I enjoy drawing, painting, and adding my field observations of these delightful creatures to my journals.
The Creative Process, A Peak inside my Empty Watercolor Journal
Do you enjoy the anticipation of an upcoming vacation or trip? Do you practice packing your suitcase with your favorite clothes? To me the journey begins way before walking out the door, suitcase in hand. I love preparing my art supplies for my travels. Planning for my upcoming trip, Painting the Italian light, Orvieto, Italy. My smaller journal is a Strathmore 400 Field Watercolor Sketchbook. For years I have had a love/hate relationship with the Strathmore field book. Every other piece of (crappy) watercolor page alternates with a piece of drawing paper. This drawing paper is where my mixed-media imagination soars and I have probably filled at least 20 of these journals with art from my travels.
Pages in my journal prepared for the trip
First page in my new journal with inspiring quote.
in order to compensate for the not so great watercolor paper I tear my Strathmore Sketchbook apart. I kept the metal coil and the black hard covers. I filled it with Arches 140 paper alternating with Strathmore 400 series drawing paper. I prepared the drawing papers with colorful backgrounds and finished the first page with an inspiring quote for my upcoming trip: “To Paint…. to travel…. the combine the two is to celebrate life” (Jack Brouwer).
Artists can get a little bogged down once in awhile and need the inspiration to paint
Sometimes artists need the inspiration to paint. Maybe it is because we tend to paint the same subject matter, use the same color scheme, or feel like we are not growing in our art. One way to get a jump start on the new day ahead is to browse through the latest issue of the Art Journaling magazine. It is always filled with colorful, edgy, creative art. I am excited to say that my Baja Journal is featured in the latest issue of Art Journaling!
This is the cover of the new Art Journaling magazine published by Stampington and Co. I love seeing the brightly colored orange flower against the powder blue background. It is so simply painted and with the added splashes of white paint, the artist makes it look loose and lively. Why not try painting this flower to get you started on a colorful day! Simple, colorful and fun.
Location: My private Bend, Oregon art studio.
Each class will focus on different watercolor skills. $30 per class. Tuesdays 1:00 – 4:00 pm.
June 5, 12, 19, 2018
July 10, 17, 24, 2018
Please email me if you would like to sign up for classes!
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.
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.
“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:
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.
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.