How This Book Is Organized

I arranged this book into four parts that contain chapters with information Although the book reads and leads you logically in order from the beginning to the future of your art, you don't have to read it in order. You can skip around to work on parts that interest you. Your mood may be different each time you paint, so you need to choose a painting that fits that mood. Techniques explained in different chapters are cross-referenced, so if you need some technical how-to information, you can...

Decide between Solo or Group

Decide whether you have enough work to hang a show by yourself or whether you're better off working with other artists to share the event. Others can help share publicity, hanging, reception catering, expenses, and framing for enough artwork to cover the walls. My advice is to work your way up to a solo show. Start by entering group shows. If you want more opportunities for the public to see your work, organize a group show. When you're ready and have enough framed work, have a solo show. Stay...

Draw Drawing Drawn to Watercolor

Having fun with geometry Getting some perspective Penciling in your supplies Starting small and making copies Drawing and painting a barn rawing is the basic essential to all art. Drawing is important in water-color because you need to plan in order to save the precious white areas in your painting. With a good plan and a basic outline in place, your paintings will be more successful. The drawing methods in this chapter relate to drawing needed for watercolor paintings. You need to draw shapes...

Appreciating Watercolor

When you apply paint to watercolor paper, it moves. You then add more paint or more water, and again the watercolor responds with a swirl. Painting with watercolor is a dance it's a relationship between the paint and the artist. When you paint watercolor on paper, you can make anything in the world happen. Figure 1-1 is one of the latest paintings I've made. To be fair, I probably should show you one of the first paintings I ever made, but I'll spare you the...

Appreciating Value

Value, where the color is on the range of light to dark, can be balanced too. Darks and lights can carry weight in a picture darks more than lights. If all the dark area is on one side of the picture, it may feel heavy on that side. The value of the dark sky balances the value of the dark tree in the foreground in the painting in Figure 6-6. Notice that nothing is really going on in the sky area, but by adding the darker value, it directs the eye back into the light area of the painting. Value...

Including ink over or under your watercolors

Using an ink pen in your watercolor painting adds a dimension of hard, precise lines that you just can't replicate with watercolor paint and a brush. Think of it as making your own coloring book pages and then adding the watercolor. You can do it the other way around too. Paint with watercolor first and then emphasize shapes with lines using a pen. You can use any pen that you like. It can be a dipped calligraphy pen or a disposable felt-tip. You can go with waterproof ink or not. Your local...

Covering stencils

A stencil protects what is underneath from paint or provides an area to paint while protecting the surrounding paper. Stencils provide a quick way to achieve a look. And who couldn't use some extra time today Anything can function as a stencil hardware, coins, paper cut or torn into shapes, mesh, doilies. Figure 4-7 in the earlier Spraying your art out section was painted by resting lace on the paper and spraying paint over it. The lace served as a stencil. You can make your own stencils out of...

Table of Contents

About This Conventions Used in This What You're Not to Foolish How This Book Is Part I Getting Your Feet (And Brushes) Part II Developing a Solid Part III Painting Projects Part IV The Part of Icons Used in This Where to Go from Part 1 Getting Your Feet (And Brushes) Wet 7 Chapter 1 Watercolor Is Appreciating Digging into the Elements of Seeing in Judging Looking to Deciding Adding Deciding What to Following Your Artistic Project Creating a Garden of Chapter 2 Preparing to Shopping for Art...

Soaking up sponges

Watercolor Sponge Painting Techniques

Watercolorists become sponge connoisseurs. You already should have a cellulose sponge beside your water container to help you control the water (I talk about essential supplies in Chapter 2). You can also use a variety of natural sponges to apply paint or lift it off the paper. Figure 4-4 shows some of the sponges you can use to create fun effects. A. Cellulose sponges are good for soaking up liquid, cleaning palettes, squeezing water onto dry pigments, and stamping sponge texture. B. A natural...

Mtxing in acrylic paint

Water Color Paintings Human Bodies

Acrylic paint is a polymer-based paint that is water-soluble until dry. When dry it's permanent and can't be easily lifted. It can be painted opaquely, which means that you can't see through it. Some artists mix acrylic with watercolor. For example, say you want something to not be removable. Maybe you want a background that won't lift when you add the next layer. Acrylic is permanent after it's dry and would be a good choice. You can also use acrylic to paint over the top of dare I say a...

Painting Projects Aplenty

Watercolor Paintings Instruction

OK, those I thought painting wight help relieve the tension around here a little. I did these vthile you viere napping. I'm particularly iond o the Red Cross ship, What do you think 11 These chapters give you tips and instructions on painting inanimate objects, lifelike animals, more than one landscape, more than two seascapes, and just a whole lot of painting projects. Animal, vegetable, or mineral whatever you long to paint, these chapters show you how.

More Fun Projects

Watercolor Painting Polar Bear

Leaving a permanent impression of autumn Putting paint to paper for a polar bear portrait Illuminating your skills in a lighthouse Capturing rainbow-bright horses 7 he world abounds with subject matter for you to paint. This chapter gives you four more step-by-step projects to enjoy and paint. Try these and then use the techniques and processes on your own subjects. Just change the colors, observe value changes, and in no time you'll have watercolors galore Carry your camera everywhere to...

Project Finding a Natural Setting for Flowers

Loose Watercolor Painting Irises

I live near an iris farm, which sometimes makes up for the dairy farm that moved in next door. I took the picture for this painting where the flowers are breathtaking and meticulously labeled. I sometimes like to think of the title of a painting before making it. This flower is called Color Me Blue, which seems the perfect title. When painting flowers in a natural setting, you don't need to worry about copying them exactly. Each frill on a petal can wriggle in a different way. Each leaf can be...

Answering the Call of the Animal Kingdom

Paint Trace Models

Getting ready to record Fido Looking for pets at home Going for larger game Crowing about barnyard birds love animals. The big dewy eyes. The unconditional love. The hair on the couch. I've had almost every type of animal as a pet cats, dogs, horses, peacocks, skunks, chickens, mice, rabbits, cows, geese, pheasants, quail, fish, and Shetland ponies. I still live on a farm, only now the domestic animals have been replaced by plenty of wild critters foxes, raccoons, owls, deer, hawks, snakes,...

Setting Up Your Palette for the First Time

Setting Your Palette

Setting up your palette is something it pays to do right the first time so you can put the same color in the same well again and again without having to think about it. This section offers tips on making your palette artist-friendly. If you have a new plastic palette, take a minute to scrub it gently with a scouring pad and a little scouring compound. This removes the shiny surface and prevents the paint and water from beading up when you try to mix them. Most palettes have wells around the...

Setting the Scene Surfaces and Backgrounds

Cast Shadows Watercolor

You probably have an infinite number of choices when it comes to the surface on which you set your still life. You can set up on a piece of furniture or a countertop. You can elevate it by setting it up on a box and draping fabric over the box. Likewise, you can choose all sorts of backgrounds to frame your items. You can use draped fabric, a wall, a wall with another piece of art on it, or nothing at all just some colors swirled behind. Think about the contrast of values and colors with the...

Ten Quick Ways to Improve Your

Investing in your tools Refining your skills Bettering yourself J s you grow in your art, you may hit a plateau. You may need a kick-start for inspiration or wonder how to improve your art skills. Read the list in this chapter whenever you need a boost. The good news is there are lots of ideas to push you to the next level. Possibly the easiest ways to get better is to upgrade your art supplies. You do get what you pay for. A well-cared-for sable brush can last your whole career and produce the...

Picking out your paper

Let me be direct for a moment You do not want to skimp on paper quality. Cheap paper can't take the abuse required of watercolor. Good watercolor paper is made of 100 percent cotton rag, acid-free content. Acid-free is important because it ensures your paper won't turn yellow. It lasts a very long time it's been found in Egyptian tombs in good condition A ratty edge, called a deckle, is a sign of high-quality, handmade paper. Straight, even edges indicate machine-made paper. Handmade papers are...

Tints and shades

You can also add white or black paint to another color. When you add white, the new color becomes a tint of the original color. That's how red becomes pink, for example. When you add black, you make a shade of the original color. That's how you get maroon from red. Make a chart of tints and shades. You can use Figure 5-2 as a guide. 1. Using watercolor paper, grab your pencil and draw a 4-x-1-inch rectangle for each color exploration. 2. Choose a color and place it in the middle of the...

Project Building a Barn

Watercolor Painting Shadows Buildings

Okay, after all this drawing, how about a little painting This is, after all, a book about painting. This project allows you to practice your drawing and shading skills as well as work with perspective. Then you get to give your paintbrush a workout as well. The farm scene in this project is a collection of cubes buildings , pyramids roofs , and cylinders silos . The scene uses two-point perspective. Should you need to draw your own two-point perspective, measure the roof line and the ground...

Tools to Help You Get a Better Drawing

Up to now, I've been discussing tips and techniques for drawing images freehand. The public seems to prize drawing freehand. Did you do that freehand Wow Somehow using tools and aids is regarded as cheating. I'm here to tell you that it's okay to cheat sometimes. In fact, in this section, I'm going to tell you how to cheat. And I'm not going to use the word cheat anymore after all, it's just using tools. As you start drawing, you develop more skill and a better eye. But because we have cool...

One two three lift

Want to remove or erase paint You can At least you can make an area lighter. You can lift remove paint to correct excess paint or create a highlight. How much paint you can lift depends on the paper and pigment. Some papers lift more easily than others. Some paper brands have a softer finish and lift very easily. Some brands absorb the pigment and are more difficult to lift however, these papers can be layered with paint without disturbing what lies underneath. Your paper dealer can advise you...

Stretching your paper

Water on paper makes the paper buckle. The more water you apply to paper, the more wrinkles and buckles you make. To get rid of wrinkles and buckles, you can stretch the paper flat either before or after you paint on it. The bigger the sheet of paper, the more important it is to stretch it. A bigger sheet of paper has more room to expand and contract therefore, it gets more wrinkles when it gets wet. The wrinkles get in the way of watercolor washes being able to flow, so stretching minimizes...

Going Back to the Playground to Keep Your Balance

Asymmetrical Balance Paintings

Remember the teeter-totter I remember playing on one with a kid who was much larger than I was. The big kid thought it was hilarious to sit on one end and hold the equipment down while I dangled helplessly above. Things were definitely out of balance. I got help from another friend, and teaming up, we two little kids could bring the teeter-totter to a level position. We were back in balance. Balance in your painting is similar, but it's a visual balance rather than a physical one. And, just...

Paint It Again Sam Repeating Yourself

Elements Design Repeated Lines

Repetition is another principle of design . . . another principle of design . . . another principle of design. Repeated oval shapes with slight variations create a harmonious picture. Repeated oval shapes with slight variations create a harmonious picture. You can repeat any element in paintings repeat colors in all areas of the painting repeat values repeat shapes repeat lines or textures. Repetition is visually pleasing, though you need to make use of some tricks to keep repetition from...

Spraying your art out

You mostly use spray bottles with water, but you can also spray paint for interesting and useful effects. The different types of spray bottles and their effects include Pump sprayer Pump sprayers give an irregular spray pattern, which is exactly what watercolorists want at times. These bottles have the pump at the top, and you use your index finger to pull down against a spring to pump the liquid out of the bottle to spray. Remember washing windows with a similar bottle When you use them, push...

Repairing an unwanted bloom

The easiest way to fix a bloom is to avoid making one. And the best way to avoid making one is to ignore those who speak ill of watching paint dry and baby-sit your painting as it dries. Until it's dry, your painting can change and do some weird things. If you can see a bloom forming where you don't want one, nip it in the bud by using your brush to pull the wetness and pigment around the perimeter of the area so it's evenly wet. Never leave a puddle unless you plan on a bloom. Blot puddles and...

Put in the details like shingles bricks and curtains

Because details are so tempting, you may want to paint them first, but waiting until later can save you much heartache. Believe me, you don't want to add a shadow next to some detail you already painted and have the detail disappear underneath the shadow wash. Greeley, Colorado, the town I live in, was founded by Nathan Meeker. Horace Greeley sent the young newspaper man to Go west, young man and start a town more than 100 years ago. Meeker's home is now a museum that just happens to be next...

Drawing Geometric Shapes and Adding Dimension with Shadows

Drawings With Geometric Shapes

One of the best methods to use when you're new to drawing is to see things as simple geometric shapes. Almost everything can be broken down, or abstracted, into circles, squares, and triangles. When these flat shapes get three-dimensional form, they become spheres and cylinders, cubes, and pyramids. When I start talking about drawing, everyone immediately says, I can't draw a straight line. Who cares Straight is boring. There aren't any straight lines in any of my paintings. Another stereotype...

Surveying city scenes

City scenes are exciting and brimming with life. The tall buildings are a vertical contrast to horizontal roads. Lights, signs, and people add to the flavor. Streets and sidewalks are a nice visual lead-in to the picture plane. The way you choreograph the lines and shapes determines how long a viewer's eye stays at your picture or how quickly that eye turns to the next picture. A line can lead you into a picture, but it can also lead you out. Vertical lines, such as the tall buildings in Figure...

Paint the seashell using a round brush with a pointed tip

Paint the seashell area with a transparent pink as shown in Figure 11-7a. By adding water to the paint, you make it more transparent or see-through. B. While the color is wet, drop in some other colors like yellow and orange wherever you see the need. In Figure 11-7a, I kept the darker colors on the bottom and the yellow on the top to make it look like light is hitting the shell. C. Allow the paint to dry or use a hair dryer. Adding color details to the seashell. Adding color details to the...

Maintaining Perspective

One Point Perspective Drawing Sky

In the preceding section you make one view of each of four geometric shapes. One perspective. How do you make more The rules of perspective help you make shapes look correct in space and in relation to each other. Perspective uses horizon lines and vanishing points. These items are created by you, the artist. The horizon is where the sky meets the earth. The vanishing point is located on the horizon line and is the point where all horizontal lines converge. If you extend the horizontal lines of...

Dont forget the paint er coloring pigment

Paint is made up of a couple of elements. Pigment is either chemical or natural coloring that has been ground to a fine powder. The powder is added to a binder that makes it sticky and allows it to be used as paint. The binder for oil paint is oil. The binder for milk paint is milk. Now, what's the binder for watercolor That's right, it's gum arabic Okay, it was a trick question. Gum arabic is a water-soluble, sticky, clear goo that when added to pigment makes watercolor. Powdered pigment can't...

Studying Values

Relax, I'm not delving into your morals. When talk turns to values in the artistic crowd, the conversation is about light and dark in your painting. Chapter 5 has even more on values. One of the most important things to plan, especially in watercolor, is where to put lights and darks in your painting. Because transparent watercolor uses the white of the paper for the light areas, you need to plan to save the whites and light areas by planning where to put the darks. It's easy to use color and...

Dropping Wetin Wet

One way to let watercolor work for you is to paint wet-in-wet. The paint is wet and the paper is damp. The paint travels a little on damp paper. You can even paint on damp paint. I sometimes think that what scares people from using watercolor is the perceived lack of control the paint moves But that movement is precisely the fun of watercolor. Lose control and enjoy it. This wet-in-wet technique can be a garden of flowers, an abstract, or a cool background. What will yours be 1. Use a quarter...

Showing still Water with reflections

Watercolor Still Waters

Quiet, calm water is a mirror reflecting what is sitting on or near the water. It would be rare to find a still body of water that wasn't reflecting something around it. Not to mention boring. The more movement in the water, the more the reflections wiggle in the water. Each wave and ripple acts as an individual Paint calm water using mostly horizontal strokes. Diagonal and vertical directions just don't work unless the water is spilling or splashing. A calm harbor reflects wiggling lines as in...

Focusing on Waterfowl and Other Feathered Friends

Part of the charm of the beach is the birds. And these feathered friends can serve a variety of functions in a seascape, from being the center of interest to providing a visual element to help balance a painting, or bringing some life and movement to a stretch of sea or sky. Figure 11-13 shows some great choices for inclusion in your seascapes, but keep in mind that I can only squeeze so many examples into this brief space. You can include many other species of birds in your paintings. Get a...

Tackling Three Basic Painting Techniques

Master these three watercolor painting techniques, and you'll know all you need to paint anything you want. These techniques really are all you have to work with. I have no idea why it took me 40 years to figure that out. Truly, the rest of this book is just refinement and details. Here are the basics 1 Flat wash and hard edges A wash is pigment in water. A flat wash is an even color with no variation in color value light or darkness . A hard edge is a crisp, abrupt change, like a line. 1...

Making ocean Waves

Parts Ocean Wave

A wave is a complete circle of water. Only half of it appears above the horizon the other half is underwater. The top or crest is what you see as the highest point. The center is the eye and appears as the lightest area where the sun shines through. The white stuff you see when the wave crashes on the shore is foam. Foam can be a line or a pattern of white that allows the water's darker color to show through in a calm wave. A wave and its parts are shown in Figure 11-3. Waves are generally...

Painting on Rice Paper

Painting on crinkled rice paper helps you produce watercolors with an artsy look and sometimes an Asian feel. Rice paper is a thin, absorbent, see-through paper usually made in Japan. Some papers have designs embossed or imbedded in them. There are many beautiful types available at most art supply stores, and you can use other types of thin paper as well. Applying paint to rice paper forces the artist to let go of rigid edges and allow a little randomness to take over. Nature scenes work nicely...