These small, quick sketches of European village scenes are fun and easy to do. I try to make them simple. They are a great way to try out different colors and values. And of course, I can always use drawing practice. Perspective is important in these little sketches so think about the angles of the doors and windows. Make the doors and the windows in the foreground bigger than in the background.
Start with a simple pencil drawing. Add a colorful watercolor wash over the buildings. When this is dry, start adding layers of color to get a variety of values.
I will often add pen and ink to my village sketches.
Liven up your landscape paintings with simple, interesting objects. In this painting, The Road Less Traveled, I added some fence posts and flowers along a country road. They all point to the snow-covered Mount Bachelor located in the Cascade mountain range.
When adding fence posts, I made sure to have a light side and a dark side to each one. The flowers were added at the end of the painting and are loose and representational. Following the rules of perspective, I painted the fence post larger in the foreground and smaller as they disappear into the distance.
This page in my watercolor journal was inspired by a birding trip that I did with a few friends to a wildlife preserve in eastern Oregon, Summer Lake. At one of the picnic areas, we found a family of Great-Horned Owls. There were two juveniles and two parents. As I took pictures, the mom and the babies would turn their heads and look down at me with those great big eyes. It was fun to try to paint an eye.
We will be following indoor space COVID best practices guidelines.
What strange and interesting times we live in at this moment in time.
As I write this I am trying to stay warm as the snow is starting to fly and it has dropped to 19 degrees. Sitting in my big oversized chair with Olive and Milo, my two Jack Russells, we are keeping each other warm. They are in my lap vying for the best position, pushing my computer out of the way so it teeters awkwardly as I write. Lately, one of my favorite pastimes, besides watching CNN nonstop at history in the making, is birdwatching, especially from my big picture window.
I have a variety of different feeders and have been attracting lesser goldfinches, house finches, Downy and Hairy woodpeckers, adorable tiny bushtits, white-crowned sparrows, and even wintering Anna’s hummingbirds. Unfortunately, the starlings come too. My feathered friends are inspiring me to do some bird paintings in my watercolor sketchbook Journal. Please check back and I will post some of my paintings! If this is something that interests you, I will be teaching an A Naturalist’s Art Journal Watercolor class at Art & Soul, Portland, June 23, 2021
Fine Art America is having a 25% off all artist tote bags and zip pouches. There are many sizes and styles available. This sale ends on November 21st at midnight eastern time so hurry and get your order in!
Often when I haven’t painted in a while, I resort to painting something very familiar and loved to get me back in the mood. Since I spent so much time trying to be outdoors this Covid summer, I took some time off from painting. I felt rusty so I thought I would start with a familiar little house in the landscape. It felt good to get my paints and brushes out again and paint, Just off the Beaten Path!
The summer issue of Art Journaling Magazine is still available at stores such as Barnes and Noble for just a few more weeks! Inside this issue, you will find my article, Color Choices, about how I make my color choices in my paintings and art journal pages.
I love to take my journals with me when I travel. Often it is hard to narrow down what supplies to take with me. On a recent get away to Montana, I took the bare necessities because there was not a lot of room in the car. One thing I forgot to take and really missed was some glue or Yes paste for all the maps and paper items that I like to collect and add to my journal pages. But I was able to prepare some of the backgrounds of my pages by using my color choices that I write about in my article Color Choices!
I just received this lovely email from Francesca from Ireland. It was in response to my article in the current Art Journaling Magazine now available at Barns and Noble.
It got me thinking about all the places one could look for pigments to use in your art. It is easy to try. Just add some gum Arabic to help the pigments adhere to the watercolor paper. I assume you would need to grind the pigments into a fine powder. A mortar and pestle like the kind you need for making mojitos should work!
This is what Francesca writes:
My name is Francesca and l live on the southeast coast of Ireland in an area known as ‘The Copper Coast’. I really enjoyed your work on the Roussillon area of France, l have recently been making my own inks and watercolours using foraged pigments. I was interested to know if you have details of the local sources of the pigments in earth tones. The coast in my area is rich in alluvial mud stones which is easy to grind into pigments. There is a choice of colour, earth tones, lilacs blues and greens, they also contain mica fragments so sometimes l get sparkle too.
I have been a hobby artist for years but my interest in natural color comes from my interest in ecology. Thank you once again for a great article. Best wishes Francesca.
I am excited to be published in the Summer issue of Art Journaling Magazine. My article, Color Choices, covers how I use color in my watercolor art journals. There are lots of examples of my paintings as well as some color studies.
Art Journaling is for sale now at Barnes and Noble or you can order your copy from their website: https://stampington.com/Art-Journaling-Summer-2020/
Art Journaling Summer 2020
Celebrate your summer with Art Journaling, and discover a variety of tips and tricks that fit your own personal journaling style! Inside the Summer 2020 Issue: Magazine pages are transformed into intriguing…