Category: watercolors

Watercolor Skies in Ultramarine, Cobalt Violet

Watercolor Skies in Ultramarine, Cobalt Violet

Wet in wet watercolors. Perfect beginners’ techniques to loosen up!

Let the paints, do their thing.  and You…. Allow,  accidents to happen.

 

 

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watercolor’s horizons

 

Wet in Wet Technique

WHY I love showing and sharing the Wet in Wet Technique:

 

  • creates soft beautiful edges
  • its great for Depth, and backgrounds
  • helps to teach us about tonal values
  • we learn about color mixing, mud avoidance
  • helps us to loosen up, to lose the tight rigidity
  • fabulous process for creating a series of skies

 

 

Materials Used

 

Paints

Ultramarine Blue

2  Cobalt Violet

Both belong to the Granulating Category; creating sensational moody, atmospheric textures with their dense particles sinking into the deep hollows of the paper fabric.

By holding back, limiting my palette to two colors, I can be more confident that I won’t get mud.

That I will successfully get better tonal value ranges.

That the overall unity will be Great!

 

Paper

Arches Rough 100% cotton rag watercolor paper

Please note, this paper was  ‘pre-used.’

I’d previously painted on it.  However,  I didn’t care for it and so rinsed it off until nearly all color was gone.

You will still see remnants.

Ghost marks upon the page… I don’t mind these so called imperfections. 

 

 

Brush

Rekab #2 320s  squirrel mop brush

 

 

I chose Cobalt Violet to complement Ultramarine. It would soften the sky,  the cloud shadows.

It would create a sense of mood and atmosphere into the water to deepen the feeling of the painting.

It would help me, to communicate … More.

 

I paid particular attention, to making certain that I did not cover up all my white paper.

Especially in the areas that would help to guide the viewer’s eyes Inwards.

 

I jotted notes down to myself, ‘leave whites.’ 

Little post’its on my table, in front of my eyes, as I painted.

 

 

Writing notes,  giving myself  clear, sequential, Basic Instructions…. comes in very handy.

Because,  sometimes as I get to painting  – I get so enthused I forget things in my exuberance.

Perhaps, you do this too?

 

 

My Process of Working….

When I was doing this image, I set about it, like most of my other works.

 

I lined up about 7 -9 sheets of watercolor paper.  They are there, ready.

Waiting.

 

I need, to do this.

Or else I will over work, spend all my exuberant energies on the one image.

That is too much.

Too much color for just one paper.

Too many brush strokes, too much action, too much ‘energy’ for just one image.

It needs spreading out on several.

 

At what point, do I Move On?

When the paint on image #1 is at the ‘cranky’ pants stage (not dry enough, not wet enough)  to successfully accept more paint.

I move onto paper #2 and begin the next Technique.

 

Normally, I will do about 7, but there are times its less or much more.  With varying levels of ‘beauty.’

I save my ‘judging’ for the next day. Its a better idea I’ve learned.

 

 

And what did the other 7 techniques I did, look like?

 

Wretched, I say!!

But, of course, they are “resolvable.”

 

 

So, its alright, I’m good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The World of Watercolor: Loose And Free!

The World of Watercolor: Loose And Free!

Do you love watercolor?  Love its translucency, its soft melting edges?

Love Colors that seemingly flow together to create something that the hand, the brush could not quite have dobbed or dabbed into being?

I do.

 

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world of watercolor loose and free

 

Impressionist watercolor flowers, bright colored flower painting, debiriley.com
Loose Colorful  Patio Flowers

Watercolor Loose and Free

Freedom of Expression

What purpose such looseness and freedom serve, we may wonder.

Wouldn’t crisp, tight, defined, “control” over the entire process be much better?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

Wouldn’t it better … “to bend; not break?”

 

My privilege as a teacher, while adhering to the described course title, theme topic,  is to overview the group’s needs and then tailor the agenda to that.

Diversity within the group, of course means we will all take in the skills, the information at varying rates, the different things presented.

Its just like here, in these posts.  At different times, we will be ready. For new information.

 

I liked the concept of Loose and Easy, as I believe its one of the most effective ways to  become confident and successful with watercolors.

 

Scary at first, yes,  I do remember being a ‘beginner.’

But we ease in. Bit by bit we let go.

Step by step we open the doors.

 

watercolors, bright colors of natures, wet in wet watercolor technique, debiriley.com
Glorious Colors

 

Ways… to let go

Trying any of these, better still – making up your own ways, is a step towards free & loose expression in art.

 

Ultramarine acts as a dark anchor while Lemon blends with Cobalt Teal blue as they fall together.

The explosion of shapes created with Cadmium Scarlet eased into Indanthrone blue, Prussian blue.

Or maybe the sedimentation and speckling patterns made by mixing Lunar Black with Quinacridone Sienna.

Cobalt Teal blue finding its way downwards, as gravity controls its descent in a lovely scene, reflections along the water.

 

creativity includes cropping an image, debiriley.com
Cadmium Scarlet on Blue

 

 

 

There is a time and place for all types, all styles, genres of painting approaches.

Botanical, Impressionist, Surrealism, Illustrative, Cubist, PhotoRealism, etc.

 

bright bird of paradise greeting cards, debi riley art, flower cards for Mothers day, Society 6, debiriley.com
Bird of Paradise Greeting Cards

 

Each artist, will have their own unique personality.

With specific preferences.

 

These preferences,   evolve with time.

Our tastes, change, as we gain more experience.

 

As we gain confidence, step by step, we put our ‘stamp’ upon the things we do.

Just like our clothing, our home decor, our landscaping, our favorite cooking recipes.

And this, is exactly what we are aiming for!

 

 

zen of colour: forest in cobalt teal blue pg50, debiriley.com
‘Zen in the Forest,’    …. a loose interpretative approach

 

 

 

Tips & ‘Guide Posts’  to Painting Loose!

For us to be able to paint and create Loose and Free,  there are some helpful ideas that make it easier for us.

These guide posts serve to inspire us, to lead us in the direction of our goal.

 

 

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Loose and Free!!    Viridian green and Ultramarine  22×30  Abstract

If you like, you could replace the words need and must, with “suggest”  it does, sound nicer on the ears.

 

  • we must be willing to paint loose
  • we have to….  Want It!

 

  • we need to practice,  frequently
  • practice with such repetition, that it might annoy us at times

 

  • we need to Think differently
  • think thoughts of big bold, loose! Free!

 

  • we need to let go
  • we need to open the closed doors

 

  • we need to stop,  all,  miserly thoughts
  • penny pinching  defeats,   Loose & Free

 

  • we need to think laterally
  • creative problem solving  for such issues, IS Possible

 

watercolor beginner flowers, easy purple iris bud, step by step, debiriley.com
Control –  serves a purpose, at times.

 

 

The World of Watercolor Loose and Free, though, is one where we can relax.  Let go.

Enjoy the colors, the music, the tones, the movement.

 

 

watercolor abstract simplicity, light red, debiriley.com
Simplicity Wc Light Red

 

 

bold colorful impressionist landscape, loose and free landscape paintings, debiriley.com
Loose and Free,  interpretation of  W.A.  landscape.      “uncontrolled  ill defined”

 

 

 

 

Watercolor Basics 

 

 

 

 

Watercolors: from an ember

Watercolors: from an ember

Cobalt teal blue works its magic once more, whispering in the skies as the inferno below scorches the land.

 

watercolor abstract, cobalt teal blue, fires in watercolor, passion in painting, debiriley.com
Watercolor Inferno, from an ember

 

Inspiration: sparks from just an ember

Its simple really.

Being inspired.

 

If you think about it.

 

 

 

 

Burning Drive

How would I explain this term, “inspiration?”

To be inspired  –  filled with a burning drive to express the message compelling me to do so.

 

 

Using moods, colors, events, strolls, people and ideas to create the image.

Then, Infusing each art movement and action with thoughtfull intent and purpose.

 

Stopping.

Way before you begin to imagine being even close,  to done.

Perhaps, about 20 brushstrokes …. before you think you are finished.

 

Yes, still Half done.

 

 

what…?

Its not going anywhere,  is it?

 

 

 

Let go.   Move on.  Return later.

Resolutions, fixing, finishing…. all can be more successful… done later with a fresh, unfrustrated eye and mind.

 

 

Art Ideas that Inspired:

fluidity

powerful

peace

balance

discipline

awareness

economy of movement

 

 

 

 

Ideas to Share

  • Build … an intensity of connectedness between the subject and myself   (the artist)
  • Create…. a strong,  multilayered bridge of depth  – shallowness, defeats inspiration
  • Study ….. Tony Smibert   watercolors  & acrylic paintings –  swift clarity, certainty of intent
  • Listen ….. Marconi Union  ‘Weightless’    a calm, zen,  musical piece lovely to listen to in the studio sipping some jasmine tea….

 

 

Watercolors and Oils: Doors to The Masters

Watercolors and Oils: Doors to The Masters

Three Masters: Thomas Moran, Pierre Bonnard and John Singer Sargent.

Each, presenting ‘the door’ in their own way.

 

 

Art Masters to know

 

Sargent

Sargent, with his loose and easy watercolor flair.

Seemingly just flinging color in the air; then it all,  as if by magic, comes to together.

 

The shadowed door, off to the right takes the eye in, causing us to wonder a moment.

To enter ‘their’ world.

We wonder, Who, might have lived here once, so long ago?

 

The overriding blue throughout, unifies and calms. Soft gentle ripples, tell us it is a quiet day, early in the morning.

Sargent created a calm and relaxing scene here.

But then,  was it really that peaceful upon the water highways in Venice in those days…….

 

watercolor doorways, john singer sargent, door symbolism, doors in art, debiriley.com
John Singer Sargent

 

 

 

Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard,  his oils quirky and so bright.

It is apparent, he breathed color in.

And then it was released.

 

Color,  exudes from every painting he created.

The door,  shadowed grey, in a butter yellow room, creeps open.

A figure, begins to peek in,  as ‘Marthe’ seems to try to sneak her way inside.

 

It is deliberate.

Bonnard’s choice of the door being …. only barely ajar.

As well as the green cap and green blouse.

So too the warmth of the room she  is entering into.

His choices, cause us to respond a certain way.

 

There most definitely is, content and meaning, within the objects used and all

the choices Bonnard made.

 

As we pause, and look at the painting,  I’m sure the  door, its symbolism won’t be overlooked.

Bonnard, is a fantastic artist. All you have to do to see more is Google. His work is stunning.

 

Bonnard painting with door, the door in art symbolism, bright quirky colors paintings, debiriley.com
Bonnard in oils

 

 

Moran

Thomas Moran, skilled and knowing.

His movements are purpose driven, deft and certain.

Moran, knew watercolor.

Knew their capacities and then, stretched those capacities to their farthest reaches.

Moran watercolors, Venice building and doors,
Moran, watercolor  Doors and Windows

 

Many watercolorists,  may never have heard of Moran.

Thats a shame, for his skills in this medium were amazing.

If, you’re a beginner watercolorist….. you can’t go amiss, by looking up his paintings and studying from them.

Google, Pinterest, etc.  will provide hundreds of his watercolor paintings to ogle.

More, on Thomas Moran at Smithsonian. 

 

Moran’s painting, is set further back into the distance, than Sargent’s or Bonnard’s.

We are at the same time more removed from the scene, yet we are entranced and drawn in too.

 

That warm ball of evening sun, pulls us in compellingly.

Even while the doors and windows seem cool and almost, rebuff us from trying to enter into them.

There isn’t the same feeling, of wanting to Go Inside these doors.

Not at all.

 

Moran, didn’t want us to.

 

 

 

 

Key Points ….from The Masters

  • Doors,  a symbolic element in art
  • Painting, make each action “A Purpose Driven Movement”
  • Placement of objects,  creates a story, a message
  • Color – it makes us Feel!

 

 

 

 

 

Watercolor Paper: gorgeous

Watercolor Paper: gorgeous

Paper Love, or  shall I say “paper-philia?”

Printmaking, Asian papers, watercolor, pastel and handmade papers… I do love good paper.

 

Gorgeous Papers

Watercolor Loose and Easy  began its first session yesterday at Atwell Gallery, Perth.

It was fabulous.

Discussing watercolor basic materials,

and the many types of Watercolor papers,  those most beneficial to beginners, was a priority.

 

watercolor papers, Saunders cold press textures, Daniel Smith greens, zoisite, impressionist watercolour landscapes mountains, debiriley.com
Saunders 100% cotton Watercolor paper;   in detail,  close up

 

Selecting 100% Cotton paper

With pure cotton, your results are smooth.  Lovely transitions and merging of beautiful colors.

The added bonus: 100%  cotton papers are a dream when you make a mistake and need to rinse/lift it off.

Student grade papers

(made from cellulose ingredients not cotton)  are very difficult, not beginner friendly in this regard.

 

Yes, they are cheaper!

But, I’d rather not pull my hair out in frustration with that cheap paper.

 

 

I’ve recommended Saunders Cold Press 100 % Cotton Rag.

With the proviso, if they so chose to go the luxury route, Arches CP or Rough was a very, very good paper. 

 

Arches cold press debiriley.com
Arches watercolour paper Cold Press debiriley.com

 

 

I’m also personally fond of using: Masa, Fabriano Soft Press, Fabriano Rough, Fabriano Esportarzione,  Twinrocker Feather Deckle and Yupo.

Usually, it is anything that is going to provide lots of texture with a lovely soft cotton ‘feel’ to it.

 

Winters Glow, watercolor landscape, reflections, debiriley.com
Winter’s Glow  amethyst on Masa… debi

 

Though the Yupo is quite slick and plastic like in its feel and handling.

But, I like it and so do many of my students!

 

yupo watercolors abstract blue orange debiriley.com
yupo  creativity workshop with watercolour –  Victoria

 

 

 

Close up of Saunders

When you look at this watercolor study close up,  you can see the exquisite textures within the Saunders paper.

 

I’d like to point out, for beginners, that it is the combination of:

  • Plenty ie  surplus…. of Water and
  • the good paper  and
  • the granulating paint pigment
  • that will allow this perfection of textural effects to shine through.

 

 

I have used  Daniel Smith (green)  watercolors in this impressionist mountain study:

zoisite,   green apatite and serpentine.

 

Zen.   They blend harmoniously.

And the textural qualities these pigments lend to the painting are sensational.

 

zoisite, zoisite gemstones, Daniel Smith watercolor primatek paints, paintings inspired by gems, debiriley.com
Zoisite the gemstone

 

Zoisite, the gemstone

Its so lovely to get to see, what the pigment originally was.

Before it was ground fine as dust, mixed with gum arabic and squeezed into a paint tube.

 

 

 

 

 

Fun at the Art Shop

Fun at the Art Shop

I’m back from the art shop.

Why, is this news?

Well…. you can save money from what I learned there, for starters!  $100 savings in paper….

 

encaustic sticks, fun art materials, buying art supplies on sale, debiriley.com
Fun, Creative art supplies encaustic color sticks

 

The Art… of  Shopping

 

I went up to the Oxlades Art Supply shop in the northern suburbs of Perth.

There I found some decent sales items.

First was the good, artist quality 100% cotton rag watercolor paper on sale.

Saunders cold press 300 gsm 10 pack for $70 (Australian)

Saunders cold press works brilliantly.

That was purchase #1

 

Saunders watercolor paper cold press, watercolour paper great for students, fun art supplies, making the most of art sales, debiriley.com
Saunders 100% cotton rag watercolor paper Cold Press

 

I love Arches paper… BUT

The importers of Arches paper into Australia, sadly have marked up the costs.

It has risen so high now, its beyond feasible,  for many of my students.

I understand.

 

And  I can’t honestly say  that the Arches at $17.50 per watercolor sheet 300gsm

is really worth $10 more,   than the Saunders at $7 per sheet!

 

That is $100 savings if you purchased this pack of 10 vs buying  10 Arches at $17.50 per sheet.

 

 

Purchase #2

20 meter roll of Sumi paper which will come in handy in Term 1 Atwell art course “Expressive: Drawing- Printmaking- Painting.”

I’ve used it before, its sturdy enough for light washes and for printmaking techniques.

It was about $19 or so.

 

printmaking paper, Sennelier oil pastel, print plates, wax sticks, naples yellow, debiriley.com
Creative fun art supplies, color, pastels, papers

 

Purchase #3

I couldn’t resist some  Color.

 

And as we will be doing various drawing and printmaking techniques I chose the Sennelier oil pastels.

Ultra buttery soft, melting onto what ever surface they are applied to.

Superior quality, good price.

Just under $5  Australian.

 

 

The Wax encaustic sticks… a bit of an indulgence?

Naples Yellow.  Indanthrone blue.  Sage green.  White.  Quinacridone Gold.

Turquoise (or in my mind… cobalt teal)

 

These colors combine to make a gorgeous palette full of harmony.

As a bonus,  they mix together well, to create dozens more color blends.

The series 6 colors were spendy $15   –  an indulgence, yes.

 

Purchase #4

Magnani Pescia is an Italian mouldmade 100% cotton printmaking paper.

My purchase:  3  sheets,  tucked into the Saunders bag.

 

The Magnani  is a soft paper, smooth and creamy.  Great surface, lovely for lino prints, gelli prints, lithography, woodcuts.

Its fantastic for drawings.  For charcoal, pastels, inks.

I was able to buy these for about $7 each.

 

 

Purchase #5

The Encaustic metal printing plate.  $20.28 purchase price.

I heat it up, then melt the wax sticks on it in whatever design I wish.  Place my chosen printmaking paper down on the plate, lift off and voila!

A monoprint is created.

 

 

 

Finally…

All in all, I left the shop spending just a tad over $150.00

I’m sure that’s close to a record low for me, going to a proper art store.  

 

That was a lot of judicious selecting I have to say.

The selecting,  is a large part of my enjoyment.

 

There are so many new items to look at.

So many brilliant colors, papers, pastels, inks.

My eyes seemed to want so much more.

I didn’t  need,  more though.

 

It was fun, I  had fun.  I’m pretty content with what I have.

 

 

Hope you enjoyed my trip to the art store,   Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Oxlades Art Supplies  Perth  Facebook 

Oxlades Art Supplies 

 

 

Cheap Joes Art Supplies 

USA  Arches paper 300gsm 10 pack $54.50      $5.40 each

 

 

Creative Art ; gelli prints 

Monoprints 

Art Materials Supplies

5 Art Techniques: shouting or soothing

5 Art Techniques: shouting or soothing

What a contrast!   The calm, contemplative quietness of previous paintings in comparison to today’s image.

With an almost aggressive stance the bouquet  leaps in front, jumps ahead of the line.

Demanding.

Its seems strange to think that paintings can soothe us, or can provoke us.  That  they can create mood, feeling,  ambience, atmosphere.

That they can alter us.

 

But they do.

Well, they can. And I think they should.

 

Should make the viewer react, in some way.

 

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Shouting out, floral watercolors

 

Floral Watercolors

“A Flower bouquet.… so pretty;  and in watercolors!

Oh they will be so delicate and soft,” we think to ourselves.

 

Do we expect them to be so strident?

Demanding?

High Maintenance?

No.  Not the first thing that comes to mind is it!?

 

We can make (construct) our paintings to emit any vibe, any response, that we want them to.   How?

 

 



5 Art Techniques That Elicit an Emotional Response

Each of these 5 techniques, cause the Viewers to have a quick, gut reaction to a painting.

 

Color plays a role. 

Choices.

Warm colors or Cool colors.

Warm reds, oranges, yellows will be more upbeat.  Cool blues, lavenders, greens create a sense of space, coolness.

Wintery? or Sunny and cheerful?  Soft or harsh… Intensely saturated and bright or greyed off, neutral and gentled?

You… are in charge with the colors you choose.

Your choice of Colors can have a sharp “bang” to them or provide a smooth,  relaxing serenity.

Imagine Monday, flower painting watercolor, debiriley.com
Softer Sunny Flowers

 

Staining watercolor paints, prussian blue pb27, Impressionist watercolor landscape mountain, granulating paint manganese blue, cerulean blue, debi riley watercolor, debiriley.com
Mountain in cool Cerulean,Prussian Blue

 

 

 

Key is another factor.

“Key”  is another term,  for tonal values;  assessing the Overall image for tone dominance.

Is the majority of the painting on the darker side ie low key…  or is the majority on the lighter side ie high key?

 

High key  under normal conditions will convey a lighter, more cheerful, happier, brighter mood and emotion.

Low key often denotes a more somber, darker, ambience.

 

burnt umber indigo watercolour landscape debiriley.com
Low Key  – Landscape

 

 

If I had to assess my Featured, floral watercolor palette knife image, I’d call it  High Key. 

The break down of tone percentages would be roughly… 55% Light tones   35% Mid tones    10% Dark tones.

 

 

 

Edges are an underestimated player. 

Edges.  I love to use Edges in my art work.

They just tell the story better, create better depth, more interest to the paintings.

 

Soft edges that blur off provide the viewer with a sense of calm, serenity, welcome, gentleness.

These edges “invite” us in.

Hard, crisp, sharp edges act as barriers and walls.  Keeping us rigidly ‘out.’

Keeping us restrained and in place.    Defined…. and in the box.

 

sea shore impressionist oil painting, moods of the ocean, conveying the essence and spirit, beach painting in oils, debiriley.com
welcome to the beach, oil painting    Soft Edges

 

Use your Edges well.  Place them as if they were in your home; and you want your visitors in the allowed rooms, to feel welcome.

 

 

Direction, line movement another.

Horizontal line directionals convey calm ‘restfulness.’

watercolour textures, landscape, debiriley.com
Salt Pan Lake

 

Vertical movement in the painting will express a more energetic, assertive vibe.

Forest Painting palette knife  –   Vertical Directionals

 

The diagonal line is the most active.  This expresses the most ‘wildness’ of the three.

A jagged diagonal conveys dynamic energy, unrestrained.

 

Typically  a balance of the 3 is a great design technique.

 

There is also a circular directional movement you can employ, it is trickier.  But it can certainly impact the viewers’ responses.   Taking them around and inward, probing in, and leading into the image.   Its another tool for the artist to think about!

contemporary art for offices, abstract art painting, acrylics, debiriley.com
Abstract Green Sphere

 

 

Materials and Tools used also play a role.

The Palette Knife, as I used it in the Feature floral bouquet image,  has created quite an abrupt sharpness to the painting.

Staccato.

Brisk.  Now! A Demand is being placed upon the viewers’ eyes with each stroke of the knife.

 

 

 

Finally

What do we want our Audience, our Viewers to….  feel ?

That’s the question we need to ask before we begin our paintings.

 

fresh, no fiddle watercolors, debiriley.com
Fresh Flowers, NO fiddling!

 

A similar floral bouquet to the featured painting; this is also high key.

But  the shouting and stridency of the featured painting is not in this last one.

Here we have a gentler feel to the floral image.

Its softer, “homier” and more relaxing.   

I prefer, this last image, personally.