This month I kept busy doing the annual Gouachetober challenge. You can check it out on my Instagram page here. For those of you who may not know what that is, gouache (pronounced GWASH like squash) is a unique type of paint that works like watercolor but also has properties like acrylic paint. You can activate it with water and get a very thin, watercolor effect or you can paint it on more thickly and get an opaque look, like acrylic. Either way, it helps if you do not l
I've been incommunicado for a while because of all the craziness surrounding Christmas. On top of the usual flurry of festivities (albeit altered this year) and gift-wrapping I received a commission for a Christmas house portrait. This one was particularly challenging due to time constraints and the fact that it was a night scene - something I've never done before! Getting shading and lighting down correctly is challenging in watercolor, at least for me, when it is a typic
Today was the second day of my gouache class at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Because the weather wasn't as sunny and warm today we continued painting from still life set ups instead of going outdoors. I was kind of bummed, but at least I got to finish off the second still life from yesterday. As you can see from the first two pictures, I had started off with just simple color blocking and then gradually built up the layers until I got to the final
Today I spent the day in Philadelphia taking a class at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, learning how to use a type of paint called gouache (pronounced like "gwash," rhymes with squash). This is the second class I've taken at the Academy, the first being one on encaustics. If you've never heard of gouache don't feel bad, I hadn't either until I was in college. I had run out of white oil paint and found this strangely named stuff in the school store so I tried it out..
A while ago I received some alcohol inks as a gift and just this Christmas I got some Yupo paper. If you've never heard of Yupo paper don't feel bad - I'd never heard of it either until I did a search on what types of surfaces would work best with alcohol inks. Yupo paper a non-absorbent, synthetic paper that works well with watercolors and inks because it allows for blending and keeps colors brilliant, compared to absorbent papers, without buckling no matter how much fluid
Santa has come and gone this Christmas but he left quite a generous haul! Among the goodies I got was a set of brushes, a set of gouache paints, some watercolor paper, fluid acrylic paints, pouring medium and Yupo paper. I've tried a couple of pour paintings with regular acrylics before, and while the end products turned out OK, I knew I would have had better results with the proper materials. So I am definitely looking forward to trying again with the right kind of paints
It's rather fortunate that today's challenge is architecture because I recently received a commission from a friend to paint her house for her. And what's better than to use this as a chance to get some work done on it? Obviously, though, this is not something I could finish in a day so even though I don't normally post pictures of my work in progress I had to make an exception to have something to share for today's entry. Right now I am in the light wash phase of painting.
Today's challenge was contrast and to be honest, this one kind of had me stuck. I finally decided on doing a small coloring page and fill it in with the complementary colors of yellow and violet to save time and to get the challenge done. Complementary colors always create contrast and make a piece pop for the eye. Having said that, I am not crazy about the final outcome today. I used watercolor pencils after I drew the outlines and I am not crazy about how patchy the colo
Today's theme was: orange. And in trying to learn from my overly ambitious project yesterday I chose to follow the old KISS formula - Keep It Simple Stupid! So I went quite literal and just did a quick watercolor painting of three oranges (though if you really want to be accurate it's two clementines and an orange). I think the toughest part of this challenge was in getting the texture of the orange peel just right. They're just bumpy enough to catch the light in the ridg
Today's challenge was: fluffy. I rummaged through my old stuff and found a rabbit from when I was a kid. I sort of regret choosing a white rabbit (yes - he is supposed to be white, or off-white, not yellow) to paint since it's such a challenge to get the coloring right and still make it look white, but I think I managed it. (I confess i am not looking forward to the 'white' challenge of day 22...) This had to be a quick one today so to be honest, if given more time I would
Well... September is here, summer is officially almost gone and what a busy one it was this year! I missed posting in August because I had three commissions I've been working on, including this one. A friend from work asked me to do a portrait, not of a house this time, but of an evergreen tree. The tree was taken from her friend's backyard to be used as the Christmas tree for her town's square. She wanted to give the portrait to her friend as a new housewarming gift. Whi
July is World Watercolor Month - at least according to Dick Blick's! They are currently running a 31 day watercolor challenge for which artists can post a watercolor painting a day during the entire month of July. Unfortunately, there's no way for me to keep up with that challenge, but I was inspired to work on a project that I have been putting off for a while. A couple years ago I painted a watercolor of one of the yellow irises in my back yard. I had wanted to do more
So it's been a while since I last posted because I've been working on a few new house portraits. But this time, instead of just showing off the final product I figured I'd go through the process of how I create a house portrait from start to finish. First, I create a rough sketch based on the photos I have to work from. I've found that, for me at least, it's essential to start in pencil because that way if I need to adjust proportions, (which I usually do!), I can do that w
Christmas has been a busy time for me. Since just before Thanksgiving I feel like I've been going non-stop. One thing I spent some time on right before the holiday, that did not involve shopping for presents or baking, was a "house portrait" for a friend at work. I was really excited to get to work on this project because it had been a while since I done a house portrait. I had done several before, mostly of my own family's homes, which she had seen here on my site and li