The Portland Art and Soul Retreat workshops are coming right up! Right now I am focusing on getting ready for my Watercolor Toolbox workshop. It is for beginner and novice watercolorists that want to improve their skills and learn useful watercolor techniques.
We will cover how to properly set up your palette, techniques for adding watercolor to paper, how to build up color with the appropriate paints, and how to use pigment value to create stunning paintings. I will even show you a secret way to fix a painting! Using our newly learned skills we will paint some small paintings. Your examples and paintings can be bound into a journal creating a toolbox of ideas for future reference.
Many of my students will remember the excitement we felt when we saw the Van Gogh exhibit and the MONET exhibit at the Carrieres des Lumieres in Les Baux de Provence, France. Carrières de Lumières is the former quarry now a center for immersive art displays. It is a projection that typically lasts about 35-40 minutes, repeating a loop throughout the day. Once you have paid the entry fee, you can stay and watch the loop as many times as you like. Carrières de Lumières is the largest fixed multimedia installation in France. The 50 foot high walls are the backdrop that 70 video projectors use to broadcast images.
Watercolor painting is fun and easy to do while traveling! I am planning my next watercolor workshop in Orvieto, Italy, May 22-28, 2021 with Adventures in Italy. I thought it would be fun to treat myself to a new palette. People often ask me what colors I use and how do I set up my palette. I want to share with you the best way to set up a new watercolor palette.
A few scenes from my traveling watercolor journals:
The fun part is deciding which colors will go where. I always use a color wheel to figure out where to put my colors. The first thing to do is to pull out the tubes of color that I want to add to my new palette. This will take some time and careful thought.
THE COLORS ON MY PALETTE If I have to narrow my choices down to 12 colors, this is probably what they will be!
Lemon Yellow Cobalt Blue Teal Manganese Blue Cobalt Blue. Phthalo Blue French Ultramarine Quinacridone Purple Permanent Rose Permanent Red French Vermilion Permanent Orange New Gamboge
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!