Authors Acknowledgments

I want to thank Wiley Publishing for the opportunity to share my world of watercolor with others in the world. If everyone painted, the world would be a better place. How wonderful if we could all communicate through art using paint and paper. No more war would be allowed either. Countries would express ideas through art and not guns. I think everyone should make this his goal. I still believe in the tooth fairy, too. A 320-page book was a huge undertaking. I'm usually a quiet person and that...

Sidestepping Composition Blunders

When it comes to day-to-day living, avoid these things walking down dark alleys late at night, consuming too much alcohol, eating too much fried food, getting too much sun. In painting, you also want to avoid certain things, such as placing important elements at the center or corners, to make your compositions better. Just as the center of interest doesn't belong in the center of the page, don't place other elements there either. A horizon cuts the painting in two if placed in the center. You...

Running with rounds

Even though the ferrule on a round brush is round and holds the hairs in a round shape, the brush tip is very pointed. You use this pointed tip for tiny detail, and then you can push the brush down to use all the hairs for a big mop area. I can paint an entire painting using a 14 round sable brush. It ooks big, but it has a delicate tip. i See how small you can get. Make a line using just the tip of the brush. i See how big you can get. Push the hair down to the paper and pull a stroke. i Make...

Trying Out Thumbnails and Transfers

Starting a drawing is easier if you have a plan. A good way to make a plan is by creating thumbnail sketches. These mini-sketches allow you to quickly plan what you may want to make big. Then you enlarge the drawing you like onto drawing paper or tracing paper, where you can erase and scribble and further refine it. And finally, you transfer the drawing you're happy with onto your good watercolor paper. Thumbnail sketches are miniature plans that help you decide where shapes and values go for...

Striving for Unity

A painting that has it all together is said to be a unified painting. Unity is defined as being as one or whole. A unified painting is well balanced in all elements and all parts of the painting. Every element is necessary, and if something were taken away, it would be missed. To determine whether a painting has unity, mentally divide it into quarters by drawing center lines vertically and horizontally. Now imagine separating the quadrants and see whether the four separate pieces look as if...

Grasping intensity

Intensity refers to the brightness of the color. A more intense color carries more weight visually than a less intense or dull color. A dab of chartreuse balances against a big area of drab olive green in Figure 6-4. Yellow and red balance each other if used in the right proportions. Yellow and red balance each other if used in the right proportions. Balance your painting by pairing different intensities of color. Balance your painting by pairing different intensities of color.

Intensity In your face or not

Intensity describes how vivid or dull a color is. Other terms for intensity are saturation and chroma. A color is at its most intense straight out of the tube or pan. Anything you do to that color adding water or mixing in another color lessens the intensity. You can choose to have a bright, intense color by using the pure pigment, or you can make your colors a bit more natural by muting them with water or other colors. Few items that you paint are as pure in intensity as paint straight from...

In This Chapter

Keeping your balance when juggling painting elements Introducing subtle changes Pursuing repetition Being more dominant, but in a nice way Creating unity in your paintings MSemember in school learning to spell principle and principal The name W for the pal who ran your school is spelled with -pal on the end. The other principle means rule, and both of these words end with -le. Although most artists may not like rules, they are important as guidelines to begin your art hobby or career and can...

Turning to the dark side

Getting a rich, dark value with watercolors can be tricky. The paint is diluted with water and it evaporates as the paint dries. The color can dry 30 percent lighter than you thought it was when you applied it wet. You may think that piling on more of the color is the way to make it darker. Instead, the color becomes opaque and chalky the opposite of the transparent look you're aiming for and it still isn't dark. The color only becomes as dark as the value range will allow. In other words,...

Unfurling some sail

I would, if I knew what they were. Maybe I'd better read Sailing For Dummies, huh I do know that the feeling of wind and the light through the sails make for one fine subject to paint. In Figure 11-11, I chose to paint exactly that. I took a photo of this picturesque sailboat in San Francisco Bay and used it for this painting of a sailboat, water, and fog. A sailboat is simple shapes triangles, rectangles, and lines. The triangles of the sails are...

Influencing emotions with color

Color has implied meanings and can evoke certain feelings. You can say volumes without any words just by the colors you choose in your painting. To see what specific colors mean, take a look at Table 5-1. Table 5-1 Colors and Their Emotional Content Table 5-1 Colors and Their Emotional Content Purity, innocence, peace, Clouds, moving

Paint the next layer and successive layers with less water and more pigment

By decreasing the amount of water in the paint mixture for each layer and making the paint darker, you create depth of space because the layers become grayer as they go farther away. Aerial or atmospheric perspective (explained in Chapter 8) is great to use with mountains. Remember that as things get farther away they become smaller, cooler in color temperature, and less detailed. Make layers of mountains by painting on damp paper to make edges that seem to fade into the distance.

Start with Local Clubs

Almost every community has a local art club, association, or guild. Go visit the group and maybe even join. Even better, volunteer to help with a show the group is sponsoring. Actually working at such an event gives you tremendous insight to what goes on and what you can do to make the process easier for yourself. Most shows have an entry form. Read and follow the rules. Sounds easy, but many artists don't do either. By preparing your work ahead of time as the show rules dictate, you can...

Following Your Artistic Instincts

In the project steps throughout this book, I tell you what to paint, what size to make your painting, and what colors and techniques to use. You can completely ignore what I tell you (who listens to me anyway ) and pick your own size, colors, and techniques. I give you suggestions to help you create a successful finished piece like the one I painted. You can use your own creativity to pick and choose something you would rather see happen. This is art, and really there are no rules to art. That...

Sip and Sell

Coffee shops usually need some nice work and are great social hangouts where people can see your art. Locally owned java joints are often especially friendly to local artists and often schedule rotating exhibitions of artwork for customers to enjoy and purchase. Likewise, restaurants are a good place to be seen. If you don't mind some occasional ketchup splashed on your work, these can be a good venue. And to prevent the ketchup from doing serious harm, make sure your paintings are protected...

Prepping a new brush

New brushes are protected for shipping by being dipped in gum arabic, the binder in watercolor pigments, and or covered with a tight, clear tube. When you get a new brush, discard the plastic tube. Don't be tempted to replace it on the brush for protection. It's too small, and you'll end up bending back hairs and damaging the brush. If the brush is stiff with gum arabic, dip the hairs in water and gently roll the brush on a table surface (not your good cherry dining furniture, but something you...

Braving backgrounds

I haven't met a beginner yet who wasn't scared of backgrounds. (I think they're the most fun, though.) Perhaps it's the ambiguity or perhaps it's the control issue that is inhibiting. Whatever the problem, it really is no problem. Most of the time, I like to just make a soft, out-of-focus blur of colors. Watercolor makes this pretty easy. Use this sequence when you're ready to add a background to any still-life items that you have already painted.

Making your own color wheel

Follow Steps 1 to 3 to draw your own color wheel or copy Figure 5-1 on cardstock and continue with Step 4. Use the colors you own to fill in the color wheel. You need to buy the primary colors, but you can mix your own secondary and tertiary colors, which I call luxury colors. Luxuries make life easier. The purchased luxury colors are more intense, but the mixed versions of secondary and tertiary colors create a unity in your painting (more on unity in Chapter 6). 1....

Add a light layer of mountains using rough texture

Watercolor Painting Space

Mix some alizarin crimson with ultramarine blue and a touch of burnt sienna to neutralize the mixture to a gray-purple for the mountains. Apply the paint quickly and dry (not a lot of water in the paint) around the tops of the aspen trees, using the side of the brush to create rough texture. The mountains define the tree shapes. Figure 10-22 is an example Adding the mountains, tree trunks, rocks, and path. Adding the mountains, tree trunks, rocks, and path.

Directing the Stars of the Show

Deciding what items to put in your still life is where you show your personality. Choose items you like. Tell a story. The story doesn't need to be elaborate. If you're making lemonade, your still life would feature a pitcher filled with ice, amber liquid, and floating slices of lemon. On the countertop would be some whole fresh lemons, perhaps one cut open, a knife, and a little drip of tart lemon juice puddled in an interesting shape. Did your mouth water That's the effect you want to create....

Pounding out rocks

But that fact helps you think hard edges and interesting shapes when you paint rocks. When making a group of rocks, make the rocks a variety of sizes, shapes, heights, and colors. Some techniques that add to rock texture are plastic wrap and spraying water drops. (See more on these techniques in Chapter 4.) You can try many techniques but this one is a quick and fun way to make a pile of rocks

Spattering some texture into your still lifes and landscapes

The following steps show you a great trick for creating the look of granite, snowflakes, speckled enamel, or stars in the sky. As an example, I painted an enamel coffeepot as part of a still life. You need an old toothbrush, soap, masking fluid (discussed earlier in this chapter), paper, and paint. 1. Dip the old toothbrush in the liquid soap or rub it on a bar of soap to coat the bristles. 2. Dip the toothbrush in liquid masking fluid without rinsing the soap off. Shake the excess masking...

Moving toward Total Dominance

Some object or element in your picture should be dominant take the lead role in the painting. Without dominance, your painting may show too many things of equal importance. Choose something to be more important something to be dominant. You can establish dominance using any of the elements color, texture, line, shape, direction, or size of an item. For example, in a painting with all curvilinear lines and round shapes, the curved lines are the dominant...

Preparing Your Painting Area

You need certain things in your painting area a table and comfortable chair for starters. Most watercolorists paint flat on a table, though you can place a small box or a deck of cards under your paper to give it a slight incline so that the water flows down and doesn't create puddles. Even a card table you can leave up lets you have a place to paint without having to put everything away after each painting session. Lighting is a consideration. Daylight is best but not always available, so take...

Transporting your paints brushes and the allimportant water

I don't recommend traveling with the watercolors you use every day at home. Instead, buy a small travel set of watercolors. You can choose from oodles of brands, prices, and sizes of travel paint sets. Get one that has at least the basic primary and secondary colors. Usually a set of a dozen colors includes what you need. Most travel paint sets have a built-in palette or mixing area and include a brush. Some of these brushes are pretty small, so I like to take my favorite brush too. If I don't...

Add the foreground colors

Yellow ochre was painted at the leading edge of the paper. The same green that was used in the third mountain layer was painted in the foreground with a little less water. While the foreground was wet, I spattered in lemon yellow and cadmium red and water for texture. (Spattering details are covered in Chapter 3.) I even put some birds in the sky to balance the big tree. You can adjust this exercise to make as many layers and shapes of mountains as you like. What power you have. You now can...

Contents at a Glance

Part J Getting Your Feet (And Brushes) Wet 7 Chapter 1 Watercolor Is Chapter 2 Preparing to Chapter 3 When the Paint Hits the Chapter 4 Techniques and Tricks to Keep Up Your Part JJ Developing a Solid Chapter 5 Working with Chapter 6 Practicing the Principlesof Chapter 7 Composition Putting It All Chapter 8 Draw, Drawing, Drawn to Part JJJ Painting Projects Chapter 9 Giving Life to Still Chapter 10 Staying Grounded with Chapter 11 Dipping into Chapter 12 Answering the Call of the Animal Chapter...

Timing is everything

A half-day outing is a good amount of time to plan. If you're fast, you can do a couple of sketches or paintings in that time. Some artists collect data by doing sketches on location. Then they take the information back to the studio where they can do their painting under controlled lighting and in comfort. You can sketch with your camera, but there's no replacement for studying a subject and sketching it with watercolor and paper. Your hand, eye, and brain learn so much more this way. A camera...

Clamoring for deserts and desert plants

Watercolor Paintings Cactus

While desserts are a sweet topic, deserts are a hot topic. Desert scenes feature palms and cacti and warmer colors. Paint sand dunes and hills much as you do snow drifts. Stroke on an arc of brown, like burnt sienna, leaving the top of the stroke as a hard edge and softening the underside so it disappears. The tops of hills are lighter because they catch the sunlight, and valleys are darker because they're in shadow. Cacti come in many shapes and colors. When painting a desert scene with these...

Ten Plus One Tips for Marketing Your

Deciding you're ready to sell Finding great places to display your work Setting your prices 5o you made your first piece of art that you think maybe someone will pay you money for. It's burning a hole in your easel, and you're ready to sell it for a million bucks. All you hear in the media is how art brings millions at the East Coast auction houses. Well, hang on for a minute. Although it's possible to sell art and make a living as an artist, it usually doesn't come quickly. Before you go out...

Sailing the Ocean Blue

Boats are favorite seascape subjects. You can capture working boats like fishing trawlers, tugboats, and freighters. You can paint pleasure boats like yachts and sailboats. You can render small watercraft like canoes and dinghies. All are excuses to get the colors flowing. Look for the general shapes to begin drawing the boat. The main boat can be a shape like a rectangle with a triangular bow (front). (Chapter 8 explains more about breaking images down into simple shapes.) Keep the boat deck...

Project Creating a Garden of Blooms

In a garden, a bloom is a lovely flower. In watercolor, a bloom can be a fun technique that happens when you drip wet paint into paint that's drier. You may be thinking, I'm not ready to paint anything yet but if you have some paint and a brush, you're ready for this fun little project. You simply can't make a mistake in creating this garden of blooms. I tell you how to set up your palette in Chapter 2, so for now just put a few colors out that you can play with. You choose what colors your...

Sprinkling salt

A little table salt sprinkled on damp paint creates a delicate flower-like spot. Each crystal of salt chases away the pigment to make a lighter area beneath it. You can use this texture to create a field of flowers, snow, or leaves on a tree. It also creates interest in a background or foreground where not much else is going on. Figure 4-3 demonstrates the beauty that simple table salt can produce. surprisingly delicate effect of table salt. Using salt is an experimental technique. Salt doesn't...

Directing Placement

How do you decide where to put things in your painting Be careful how you answer because placing items in your painting is one of the biggest elements of composition. You're composing, arranging, and organizing a scene. You need to group items to draw the viewer in and create interest. You provide the path for the viewer's eye to travel within your painting. You also need to leave some areas where not much is happening to give the viewer's eye a resting place. The items in the painting are...

Yellow

So, you need to have two of each primary color on your painting palette so you can mix colors that have the right bias. Sometimes you have to visually evaluate the color to determine the bias. Compare it and see which color it leans toward to determine bias. When you mix two primary colors to get a secondary color, use the primaries biased toward each other for example, use a blue that is biased red (ultramarine blue) and a red that is biased blue (alizarin crimson) to make a nice purple. That...

Making a mountain out of a grocery bag

Here's a great way to recycle all those plastic grocery bags. Actually any plastic will work dry cleaning bags, kitchen food wrap, newspaper sleeves, and so on. The plastic is crumpled and pushed into wet paint. After the paint dries, the plastic is removed and leaves behind lighter areas and a textural pattern. This technique makes great texture for rocks and mountains. It can also be fun to just enjoy the interesting textures. To use plastic in your painting, follow these steps 1. Tear or cut...

Highlighting hue

You can't actually weigh colors, but depending on how you use them, some colors are heavy and some are light. You have to go by how the viewer will react to the color. (Hue names the color red, yellow, blue, and all the others.) How important a color is in the painting and how much attention it attracts determines how much it weighs. Red, for instance, is always attention getting and associated with danger through cultural teachings, so consider red a heavy color. A little dab of red can weigh...

Comparing contrast

I hope you're having a quiet afternoon to sit back, sip tea, and read this book. If, however, a fire engine screeches to a halt outside your door with a siren blasting, that would be an attention-getting contrast. Contrast is putting two strikingly different items close together. An abrupt change is always attention getting. Figure 6-7 provides an example of contrast in color. This picture is a large area of dark blue with a small, intense yellow butterfly at the bottom. The bright yellow is a...

Talking temperature

In Chapter 5, I tell you how you can divide the color wheel in half to see warm colors reds, yellows, and oranges on one side, with cool colors blues, greens, and purples on the other. Generally, warms are the color of fire, and cools are the colors of water. To add to the confusion, each color can be biased toward a warm or cool color on the color wheel, which I explain in detail in Chapter 5. Purple, for example, can be more red, so warmer, or more blue, so cooler. The warm or cool feel to a...

Developing a Solid Foundation

This part contains the art school basics that aren't so sexy. Because of this, I sprinkle the foundations of art throughout the book. That way they sneak up on you and before you know it, you know 'em This is core knowledge that gives you the language to discuss art. As an artist, you benefit from knowing these painting criteria when planning and executing your paintings. Your watercolor paintings work out better if you do a little planning first. The chapters in this part show you how to mix...

Going bananas for fruit and Veggies

Why are fruits and vegetables so popular in a still life Besides being beautiful and a snack for later on, fruit with shiny skin like apples, oranges, and pears reflect color, as does that fruity vegetable, the tomato, and squashes and gourds and all sorts of things. When they're placed beside one another, a little color from one will bounce off and reflect onto the other. For example, when a yellow pepper and a red pepper sit beside one another in a still-life setup, a little red reflects on...

Tilt the painting up using an easel is a good idea and spatter paint using a toothbrush to simulate the sand

Dip a toothbrush into wet paint and draw your thumbnail over the bristles to let the paint fly randomly onto the paper (see Figure 11-9a). (Tilting the paper makes the drips of the spatter painting land on the table and not on your painting.) Rinse the toothbrush and try different colors until you're satisfied. For the sand shown in Figure 11-9b, I used ultramarine blue, purple, burnt sienna, cadmium orange, cerulean blue, cadmium red, and yellow ochre. You really can't go wrong with the colors...

Watering blooms

When you get more water than pigment, the water dries at uneven rates and creates blooms, blossoms, cauliflowers, backwashes, or happy accidents, an example of which is shown in Figure 3-6. Sometimes these look really cool and create a fun, juicy watercolor look, especially in a sky. Enjoy and have fun creating them. But trust me on this If you want a smooth, flat wash and you get a bloom in the middle, it's no happy accident. So figure out how to control blooms right now so you get them only...

Finding the Time to Paint

Do you have a time of the day when you feel more fresh and creative That's your best time to paint. Ideally, what you're looking for is regular, uninterrupted time you can devote to your art. Even if it's only for ten minutes, paint every day. You'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish with ten-minute sets of time. Ten minutes is good for quick exercises and planning. Increase your painting time as you can. To encourage yourself to paint every day, set up your paints and leave them out....

Start on one side of the flower and paint a petal using a graded wash of dark to light see Figure

Follow the drawing to determine where to put color and where to soften or lighten the color. I left the curled-over petals the color of the yellow wash. I painted the undersides of the petals a gradation of light pink to dark. The lightest area was brilliant pink, then opera, then permanent alizarin crimson with a tiny touch of ultramarine blue at the darkest point. 8. Find a petal that doesn't touch a wet area and paint a graded wash of dark to light. 9. Repeat Steps 7 and 8 until all the...

Pairing Watercolors with pastels

Watercolor also works quite well with pastel, which is a chalk-like, opaque drawing medium. You can use a watercolor wash as background and apply pastel over the top to draw on or to cover over the watercolor. When I first started to watercolor, the results were sometimes less than fabulous. Adding a layer of pastel over the watercolor frequently saved a painting. A white pastel can return white to an area where it was lost. Pastels come in different shapes. The stick allows you to draw a wide...

Seeing in shapes

You were taught to recognize geometric shapes as a child, so you have a head start on working with this element of design. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve that you can use 1 See everyday objects as simplified shapes. Developing this vision lets you draw more quickly and accurately. (Chapter 8 helps with your drawing skills.) For example, a house is a cube with a pyramid on top with a cylinder for a chimney. And even though a rose looks really complicated, you can simplify it into a circle...

Paint the top edge of the sky

With a round brush held parallel to the paper, paint a blue-gray mixed from ultramarine blue and burnt sienna at the top edge of the paper. As you paint, roll the brush in your hand and wiggle it up and down so that the heel of the brush leaves an interesting edge suitable for clouds. Figure 10-20 shows the result of this technique. Where you choose to leave white will become clouds. Soften some edges by adding water. Allow some water to make blooms for cloud edge surprises.

Activate your paints

You'll need lilac, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, lemon yellow, a light green, cadmium yellow, cadmium orange, dioxazine purple, Payne's gray, a green, and a brown. For this painting, you'll mix some of the above paints to create new colors. I tell you in the steps below when you need to whip up a new hue. If you don't plan to paint this still life in one sitting, you may want to hold off activating the paints at the end of the list because those are the ones...

Watercolor Is Wonderful

Separating the myths and truths about watercolor J ll paint begins with pigments. To do watercolor painting, you take those W pigments, add water, and use a brush to apply the paint to paper. It's as simple as that. And, painting is a good thing. Your blood pressure goes down, your brain is stimulated, your mind is active, and your body is challenged. It's up to you to express your artistic calling. When you do so, you benefit in big ways. Two of the most important things to keep in mind as you...

Judging size

Size is just what you expect big versus little. And yes, in art, size matters. Objects using the elements of line and shape can be different sizes, as can areas of texture. You can direct the viewer to see what you think is most important by making it larger or dominant. (More discussion on dominance in Chapter 6.) One flower bigger than all the others captures the viewer's attention and creates more interest in your painting than having all the flowers equal in size. An example is Figure 1-3....

Laboring on rusty working boats

Rusty Boat Oil Paintings

Give me a stinky fishing port, rusty time-worn boats, and obnoxious bellowing sea lions, and I am one happy camper My idea of shipshape is old fishing trawlers that have great shapes. Figure 11-12 shows some top models at the beach in Rocky Point, Arizona. These are the kinds of top models I enjoy looking at Rusty trawlers my idea of top beach models. Rusty trawlers my idea of top beach models. If you paint one of these scenes, before long you'll need to paint rust. Burnt sienna is the perfect...

Starting Small with Thumbnails

Put away the polish and nail file you aren't getting a manicure. A thumbnail is a mini-size sketch you draw to work out the kinks before you spend all that time, effort, and money on the full-size painting. These sketches serve as little road maps so you know where you're going to end up in your painting. After all, without a road map you may get lost. Few things improve your painting more than planning your painting by using a thumbnail. As Ben Franklin said, Failing to plan is planning to...

Flicking your wrist and your brush

You spatter with a wet paintbrush and the flick of your wrist. Some artists have made a career out of flinging paint around in this manner. Spatter is more irregular than spray, which may be why it's also known as fly specking. Spatter is good for foregrounds of weeds and foliage or abstract texture. You can also use a toothbrush to spatter dark dots in a foreground for interesting texture. You can spatter with a variety of brushes 1 Any watercolor brush can be loaded with dripping paint and...

Beginning with Brush Strokes

The way you apply paint is called a stroke. Because oil paint is thick, the strokes are visible, and an oil painter has to think about brush strokes that remain in the paint. As a watercolorist, you don't have that concern. Watercolor strokes don't show because the paint lies flat. You can get several types of strokes from the same brush, and the many types of brushes can help you produce a vast array of strokes. (See Chapter 2 for more on brushes.) Several ways to hold your paintbrush. Several...

General spattering technique

The fine points of spattering, if that's not a contradiction in terms, are as follows 1. Pick up a juicy amount of paint in your brush. Most brushes work for this technique. Try several to compare. 2. Hold the brush handle at the end opposite the hairs with the paint-loaded hairs pointing up. 3. Make a quick downward motion with your wrist so the paint flies off the hairs onto the paper. Hopefully your paper catches most of the spray, but you may want to wear an apron and cover the furniture...

Where to Go from Here

As with any For Dummies book, you can start anywhere you like and jump around as you like. But if you're a complete newcomer to art or painting, I suggest you turn to the chapters in Part I. If you want a refresher on how to compose a good painting or how to deal with perspective, the chapters in Part II can help. And if you want to jump right in and get your paints wet, turn to any of the chapters in Part III for painting projects of all descriptions. You're about to set sail on a journey that...

After Steps and dry give the fruit and pitcher a base coat that will peek through any shadows and details that you

Start with lemon yellow and paint the pear. Lift the highlights with a clean, damp brush. Drop in a light green toward the bottom to make the sphere take shape. B. Paint the apricot with cadmium yellow. While the paint is still wet, paint a backward letter C with cadmium orange to define the round shape. Lift out the highlights by nudging the paint with your damp brush and lifting off the color to reveal a lighter area. Rinse the color out of the brush and repeat until you have the level of...

When the Paint Hits the Paper

Preparing your paint Brandishing your brushes Playing with water Trying out techniques Displaying your art Painting a miniature landscape X ou have all your supplies at the ready now it's time to do something with them. If you have a few butterflies in your tummy, relax. You'll be transferring those butterflies to your paper in no time. This chapter gets you started with some basic watercolor techniques and introduces you to some simple terminology. You can't improve your skills without using...

Painting with the Brushs Other

You do most of your painting with the paint on the hairs of the brush. But the other end of the brush is a great tool too. Following are a couple of tricks for the other end 1 Round ends A brush with a normal round handle end can make polka dots or just a quick dot. Dip the end of the handle in paint, then touch it to paper for a dot. Different size brushes make different size dots. You can also draw with this end. It may be jagged but that looseness may be pleasant. 1 Chisel ends Some brushes...

Dealing with dry

Some techniques require wet paper, but for hard, crisp edges, you need drier paper and a drier brush. Of course, a dry brush in watercolor painting is a relative term because it's watercolor and everything is wet. But having your sponge absorb most of the water from your brush before you dip it into paint lets you execute those very controlled, every-hair-on-the-dog type paintings for the control freak in you. To stay in control of your detail, stay dry. To dry your brush, touch the base or...

Shopping for Art Supplies

Give a child a piece of watercolor paper, a set of paints, and a brush, and they're happy. I'm usually quite happy with that combination, too. And basically, that's all you need to start painting. But when you get to the store, choosing which items to buy gets a bit more complicated. The hundreds of choices of paper, paints, and brushes can make your head spin. The good news is that you can start out as basic or as complicated as you want. In this section, I give you a deeper understanding of...

Water Water Everywhere

I love putting water in my paintings. Being born under a water zodiac sign may have something to do with it. But how do you paint clear water It depends on where you find the water. Most large bodies of water, including lakes and ponds, reflect the sky or whatever is near them or on them, especially if the water is fairly still. When the water is moving, the reflections are more broken up. If the water is really moving, the waves make whitecaps and show no reflections. So even though the water...

Deciding What to Paint

You may think you have to wait for inspiration to find you. A true artist can find inspiration in an empty box. It sure doesn't fall from the sky. By painting every day, whether you feel like it or not, you develop inspiration as well as skill. You may have an aptitude for art, but you need to develop it, practice it, and nurture it. If you want to be an artist, you must work for it. The good news The work is pleasure. You'll experience frustration and produce paintings that embarrass instead...

Gathering up the extras

After you have the basics of brush, paint, and paper, you still need a few extras to make painting more than a possibility. The good news is that you can find most of these extra supplies around the house. 1 Water container You need water to rinse your brush, so you need a container to hold water. Your container doesn't have to be fancy. It can be as simple as a plastic cup, as long as it's stable enough not to tip over. You can go the fancy route and buy a container with ridges in the bottom...

Project Still Life with Pitcher Fruit and Cutwork

It's just an occupational ego trip that makes me put pitchers in still lifes. With a name like Pitcher, what do you expect I also love Fiesta dishes, so I took a picture of a plum-colored pitcher with some wonderful fruit to use as my model. I set up the still life and arranged the apricot, pear, and cherries with the fabric and pitcher. And, in case you don't know what I mean by cutwork, the white fabric in Figure 9-23 is an example. The large holes add interest and let the surface show...

Temperature So cool its hot

Temperature is the feeling of warmth and coolness in colors. Warm The colors of fire are warm colors reds, yellows, and oranges. Warm colors give the illusion of forward movement in a painting. A red sports car will get a speeding ticket before the blue one because it appears to be going faster because of its warm color. Warm colors advance. Cool The colors of water are cool colors blues, greens, and violets. Backgrounds like sky are the hue blue. Cool colors help create the illusion of...

Waxing on

Wax resists watercolor, so using a white crayon or a candle is a quick and easy way to save a bit of white when painting. Say you don't want to go to the effort of painting around an area for a tiny highlight in a flower. Just a touch of a crayon saves the dot, stays invisible, and keeps you from needing a steady hand to paint around that highlight. Any substance that prevents or resists paint is known as a resist, and wax is one type of resist. (Colored wax acts a resist as well, but it...

While the shadows dry paint the background surface and holes refer to Figure b

Paint yellow ochre (diluted with water) in the background and drop in some burnt sienna around the edges of the paper. Paint the holes in the cutwork and the opening in the pitcher handle, as shown in Figure 9-25b. Paint the shadows first, and then paint the background while the shadows dry. Paint the shadows first, and then paint the background while the shadows dry.

Figure Out How to Price Your Work

Every artist wants to know How much should I ask for my art How do you put a price on your heart and soul Well, first it's impossible. Second, here's how. Some of the things to consider when you price your art include Market Visit galleries and art shows to see what amounts similar pieces bring. I said bring, not ask. Be realistic if you want to sell. Look at your own spending habits. What do you spend when buying art That's probably what your neighbor wants to spend as well. Your reputation If...

Achieving a true blue sky

Typically the sky is darker at the top where there are more layers of atmosphere to look through. So start with a simple sky background that is a gradation of dark on top moving to light below (graded washes are described in Chapter 3). The simplest sky can be one color of light to dark or a gradation of color as in Figure 10-1. To create Figure 10-1, I started with damp paper, then I painted a light blue I used cerulean toward the bottom. Next came peacock blue followed by ultramarine blue and...

While the paint is still wet pull little lines out with the tip of the damp brush see Figure b

There should be enough paint on the green palm to pull some little wisps down. If not, load some paint in the brush and paint them on. 6. Radiate more fronds out of the center by repeating Steps 4 and 5. 7. While the paint is damp, drop in some lemon yellow near the top to give the illusion of sunlight touching the fronds (see Figure 10-14). 8. After the paint is dry, add dark semi-horizontal burnt sienna lines to the trunk and lift out some lighter lines (see Figure 10-15a). 9. Use ultramarine...

Preparing to Paint

Gathering your art materials Composing your paint palette Getting your paper ready Setting up your place to paint Bringing your brushes up to snuff Making time to paint efore you can put brush and paint to paper, you have to get ready to paint. You have to gather some materials to work with, carve out some time to work, and find a place to do it. Then you can begin the journey of a lifetime. And if you're uncertain about how to start your watercolor hobby, this book is an excellent guide. You...

Shining through glass

Paint to do the sections of fruit behind the glass to make them a little lighter than the pieces not obscured. To achieve the bright white edges on the bottle, I used a razor blade to scrape off the paint. You can also save this white edge using masking fluid. You can use many methods to achieve the same look, and one technique you can use when painting glass is glazing. You paint everything behind the glass, like a stem or leaves or a tabletop. Use clean hard edges. Let it dry. Then glaze (a...

Breaking Down Color into Parts

Color is one of the most attractive elements of art. Color has four parts 1 Hue Basically another word for color. 1 Value Describes how light or dark the color is. 1 Temperature Relates to the feeling of warmth or coolness the color evokes and to whether the color recedes as cool colors do or comes forward as warm colors do. 1 Intensity Measures the range of a color from dull to vivid. Synonyms are chroma and saturation. Another important aspect of color is the psychological or emotional effect...

Making black and white

Now that you have the physics of creating colors down, what do you do when you want black and white in your painting You can buy tubes of black and white paint, but in transparent watercolor painting, you traditionally include white by using the white of the watercolor paper. The best way to achieve white is by carefully painting around the area you want to remain white. Because you must save the whites, you need to plan paintings by sketching where white will go. Another way to save white is...

Dipping into Seascapes

Wading through costal living motifs Embracing waves of watercolor information Going costal bird watching Painting yourself into the sunset magine being on the beach. Hear the crash of the ocean waves. They come up to your bare feet, and the water tries to take the sand out from under them as it recedes into the sea. Watch the waves ebb and flow rhythmically. The empty windows of the beach houses along the ridge above reflect the sky. Sand grasses sway in the temperate breeze. The salty air is...

Capturing clouds

Clouds come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are good excuses to break up big sky areas and introduce color. A quick meteorology reminder helps you create realistic-looking clouds. The three most common types of clouds and the types closest to the ground are i Cumulus clouds are the big fluffy white clouds below 6,000 feet. These are the rapidly changing clouds that you look at to find shapes that resemble animals, faces, and who knows what else. The big thunder bumper...

Paint the lower portion of the sky

Below the white paper left for clouds, paint a band of blue-gray, using the same brush technique described in Step 2 to define the lower edges of the clouds. Refer to Figure 10-20. You can add a touch of diluted alizarin crimson to the bottom edge of the clouds, if you like. Make pink by adding a bit of white to alizarin crimson or add some alizarin to yellow to make peach. Soften the bottom edge of the sky area by adding water so you can cover it with mountains in Step 7.

Finding and Arranging the Items in Your Painting

The first thing you need to do to paint a still life is to find some items you want to look at long enough to create a painting. I love dishes and all the paraphernalia you find in the kitchen and dining room. You may like some type of collectible. Anything that will sit still is fair game. It's a great excuse to get the toys out and play. And, speaking of playing, play is a good term. You're trying out compositions by arranging and playing with the items. Move the parts around until the...

In this part

These chapters contain the nuts and bolts that hold your art together. The first chapter in this part explores the color part of watercolor. The other chapters help you decide how to arrange your painting subjects according to accepted principles of design. They also offer tips on how to turn what you want to paint into a drawing that you can use as a guide for your painting. After you have a handle on how all of these tools work together, you can rearrange the components to suit your own style...

Prepping Your Paper

Paper is the foundation that your painting will live on. It's pretty important to understand. In this section, I give you some tips on treating paper properly and getting it ready to accept a painting. Respect your paper. You'll probably respect it automatically after you pay 5 to 10 a sheet for it. But you need to handle your paper with respect, which means trying not to crease it. If it must be rolled, make sure you roll it gently. Also try not to touch it with your hands because your hands...

About This Book

This book is all about painting watercolors. Although you may get an appreciation of the art of painting by reading this book, there's no substitute for doing. You must paint yourself. Yes, you can paint a self-portrait or paint on yourself, but what I mean is, you must paint. It's the only way to appreciate others' work. It can help you see for the first time and always with a new appreciation of what you're looking at. Nearly every chapter offers at least one step-by-step project that...

Preserving White in Your Paintings

Typically, you paint on white watercolor paper. And ideally you save the white of the paper as the white in the painting, painting around the white areas to leave the paper showing. Although you can buy white watercolor paint, it looks a little chalky, and unless you're going for the unnatural look, my advice is to avoid using it. Watercolor is very different from oil or acrylic painting where paint is applied for white areas. 62 Part I Getting Your Feet (And Brushes) Wet It's a good plan to...

Value Whats it worth to ya

Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. Each color has a range of value. Think of white as step 1 and black as step 9. Each of the seven steps of gray in between is one shade darker than the one before it. It's easy to see value in black, white, and gray, but colors also have steps of value. However, most of them don't have all nine steps. The number of steps is the range of value. Some colors, like yellow, have a narrow range of value. Full-strength yellow may be only the same value as...

Getting Your Feet And Brushes

If you've never painted, this is the place to start. If you have painted, this section is a good refresher and an explanation of the tools and techniques I use. Every artist has a different setup and approach. In these chapters, I share mine and tell you what techniques and practices have worked well for me. The basic elements of design are in Chapter 1. In Chapter 2, I cover the materials and products you can get in an art store and give you the information you need to ask intelligent...

Apply sunset colors see Figure a for guidance in the sky from the horizon up

Start at the horizon edge and apply cerulean blue diluted to a pale value using the 1-inch flat brush and making sure the color doesn't leave hard edges. By painting wet paint into wet paper, you should get soft edges. Paint long horizontal strokes across the entire width of the page. Paint right off the edge of the paper onto the table. I keep a towel in one hand and pick the paper up and wipe up the wetness that goes on the table. B. Apply lilac next to the blue, then pink, then yellow,...

Choose a xinch piece of watercolor paper and mix four puddles of color on your palette

Make a puddle of red-purple. I used quinacrodone violet, but you can mix permanent rose with cobalt blue. Make a puddle of dark blue-purple (you can mix ultramarine blue with alizarin crimson to make a blue-purple). The dark purple I used is a mixture of dioxazine violet, burnt sienna, and Payne's gray. Mix one more puddle of blue-gray (ultramarine blue and burnt sienna). 3. Start with the lightest color, yellow. Using a pointed round brush, paint the center of...

Drifting into snow

Watercolor Masking Snow

Snow is another really easy thing to paint in watercolor. After all, the paper is white already Although Eskimos have a hundred different words to describe all kinds of snow, I break it down into two kinds falling snow and fallen snow. Figure 10-5 shows four methods you can use to create the illusion of the white stuff drifting through the air toward the ground. (The methods are described in detail in Chapter 4.) 1 While the paint is still damp, sprinkle a few grains of salt on the paint (see...

When the wet shine is about to leave use the round corner of an old credit card to scrape through the paint to reveal

Don't use the thin edge of the credit card because it's more likely to produce a dark line instead of the more natural, uneven line you want. This painting project is a fantasy seascape inspired by Catalina Island, California. The pier and beach really exist, but I took some liberties to move the trees to frame the scene. See what power you have as an artist You can move mountains as well as trees. This technique is a fun way to color a painting. The mood and color suggest a sunrise or sunset.

Pinning down elusive ellipses

Sewing Thread Watercolor Painting

A circle seen in perspective creates an oval or ellipse. The tops of teacups, openings in bowls, the waterline in a vase all are usually elliptical. The ellipse changes shape depending on the observer's point of view. Imagine looking straight down at a round bowl. The opening is a circle when you look at it from above. As you move the bowl up to eye level, the circle becomes flatter until it's no longer an ellipse, but a flat line at eye level. Elevate the bowl higher yet and the flat line bows...

Paint the farthest range of mountains

Mix ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, and a touch of burnt sienna for a blue-purple-gray. Add a lot of water so that it's a 20 percent value (pretty pale see Chapter 5 or the Cheat Sheet for value percents). Keep the paint somewhat dry in the > 2-inch flat brush. Apply the paint quickly and keep the brush hairs nearly parallel to the paper to create rough texture (see Figure 10-10a). By using rough texture and having the paint touch only the top of the paper's texture, you create the...

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...