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.
Art Journaling Summer 2018 Magazine Available July 1st!
Just out is the new ART JOURNALING MAGAZINE. The new Stampington Magazine is available for purchase. My article, Baja Journey Journal, is about including flora and fauna in my watercolor art journals. I show how I use field notes to collect information about the birds and animals that I observe. The field notes are helpful to my paintings and drawings.
Take your watercolor painting skills to the next level. You will paint along with Jacqueline as she shows how she paints several paintings from start to finish.
Composition, glazing, edge control, layering, adding darks, and self-critique is some of the watercolor techniques she will cover in this step-by-step painting workshop.
Included will be how to paint loose and how to fix problem areas. Each painting will start with a short “warm-up” exercise. This is a great workshop for beginner and advanced painters that want to improve their watercolor painting skills.
This DVD is a great gift for your watercolor artist!
WATERCOLOR TOOLBOX is the perfect DVD for the absolute watercolor beginner: how to set up your palette, all about brushes, paper, paints, and more!
DVD Beginner Watercolor Artist by Jacqueline Newbold. Explore techniques to get you started on your artistic journey, you will learn the correct way to set up a palette and care for your watercolor art supplies as well as a variety of basic watercolor techniques.
All your examples can be put into a file or journal creating a toolbox for future reference. This workshop is the perfect introduction to watercolor painting!
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.
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!