(HERSHEY, PA). Hershey Area Art Association’s April Program featured artist and speaker Deb Watson, from Lancaster, PA. Deb shared her experiences and expertise about many different new materials tips and techniques for watercolors with other area artists and art lovers. She challenges some of the traditional thinking that watercolors are any less valuable than oil paintings and that they need to be presented matted and under glass. With many of today’s new art supplies, paper can be easily protected and matting is not necessarily needed to make a stunning artwork presentation. She shared various examples of paintings on pastel board, aqua board, cradle board and traditional watercolor paper stretched similarly to canvas.
Deb Watson is a self taught artist that delights in constantly experimenting in media and form. She became a full-time watercolor artist and instructor in 1999 after a full career as a nurse. She’s inspired to create art because it “makes people happier, healthier and more sociable” and she feels she’s doing her part by sharing her talents, artwork and creative spark to make the world a better place. Her students have noted that her classroom style leaves them encouraged and inspired.
Deb served as President of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society (PWS) in 2012 and was instrumental in having the 2012 PWS Juried Show at the State Museum of PA. She is also the innovator behind the York Gallery Group which currently has nearly a dozen local York businesses participating where artists display their works for sale. These are just a couple of Deb’s many accomplishments. She is a member of several watercolor societies and has received numerous awards for her paintings. Additional information about Deb Watson and her work can be found at www.debiwatson.com.
Starting with the perfect colors not only makes this easy to paint, but gives you a professional looking result!
These are Lineback cows – an endangered species with distinctive coloring.
Step 1 – Lightly draw or copy the cows and hay trough onto your watercolor paper. Using a liquid masking fluid to mask out the white areas on the brown calf and a few pieces of hay at the bottom and in the trough. Also mask the white cow at the edges.
Step 2 – Work on a tilted surface. I tilted my paper up an inch by putting a roll of masking tape about 1 inch thick under my paper support.
Step 3 – Lay in the wet and wild washes with a big brush. Wet the top third of the paper (the area above the cows and hay) with clean water. Drop in quinacridone gold just above the cows and hay. Let the gold blend up into the wet paper, but try to keep some white paper at the very top. Add some burnt sienna to the same area. Mix burnt sienna and blue to make a darker color and add a small bit of that to the same wet area.
Step 4 – Use Saran Wrap to create texture by crumpling up a piece of wrap, then firmly pressing the slightly crumpled wrap into the wet wash. Let this dry before you remove the wrap. (Drying may take half an hour or so.) In the video, I painted most of the paper before applying wrap, but I’m a very fast painter. You may find it easier to apply the wrap at the top before painting the bottom area. Either way will work.
Step 5 – Paint burnt sienna over the middle area as shown on the video, and more gold at the bottom where the straw is. While this area is still wet, crumple and apply plastic wrap to the gold straw area. Let dry thoroughly.
Step 6 – Start painting the objects with a small brush. Mix burnt sienna with a touch of blue to tone it down for the side of the trough. I make the top edge a bit darker than the rest, then paint color and water in horizontal strokes so it will form a wood like texture. Next I painted the shadow area under the trough. When I get to the straw area at the bottom, I create the texture of straw by painting the dark behind it. You can draw the straw first on if it helps you.
Step 7 – Layer your colors to create form. If an area dries lighter than you want, paint it again. The colors on the white cow are mixtures of the blue and brown, with a bit of gold added where I want to make it warmer. Watercolor can make great grays. For the shadows on a white cow, you’ll need to keep the shadows very watery and light.
Step 8 – Remove the masking and evaluate your painting. Does some area still need to be darker? Some ways to ‘see your painting in a new light’ are to hold it up to a mirror, or take a photo and study the small photo version.
Here’s the link to the pdf of this lesson – Rocks and Rivers
Painting a misty background and sponging trees is a very useful skill in painting landscapes.
Here’s a few of my paintings that I used sponging on.
Watercolor painting classes will be starting soon for the fall term. Monday classes will only be held Sept 10 and 24th this month. Times – 1:30 – 3:30 Cost $15 Email me if you’re interested email@example.com Class size limited.
Tuesday classes will be held morning (9 – 12) and afternoon (12:30-3:30) at the York Art Association at 220 South Marshall Street York PA. Call 717-755-0028 M – F 9 to 3 or email them firstname.lastname@example.org for more information Morning classes typically have fewer students and more one on one time.
All skill levels are welcome.
I just listed Buttercups on The Daily Paintworks site – 12 x 16 x 3/4 watercolor on gallery wrapped paper. I paint the sides as a continuation of the picture and it can be hung as is or framed. The price is $225 and you can click Daily Paintworks to buy this.
I really like the gallery wrapped paper. It’s an archival surface that is wonderful to paint on and the finished painting just has a nice look and feel.
Now I’m off the the Hershey Butterfly Garden. They open this morning and I’m going to be there, camera in hand – fun!
I am part of a wonderful blog – Artcolony - of painters from around the world. We share paintings and ideas and Ona came to visit from Canada last year. I’ve really enjoyed the camaraderie.
The challenge this month was march madness – paint something totally different than your usual style. This was my entry – The Godess – a stylized figure done wet and wild.
Most watercolors are quick paintings, but I tend to spend as long on a watercolor as I would an oil. For teaching, however, I need something quick, that can be finished in a session. This was the demo from Monday’s class, done with big washes and a sponge.
I had planned to put some deer in the meadow, but my students insisted it just cried for a fence, disappearing into the distance. They were right, of course. I added the butterflies in the front, and then the sun to balance them out.
There are four seasons in Yellowstone – June, July, August, and Winter.
This is an original watercolor painting in miniature – 5 x 7 inches, matted to standard 11 x 14″ mat for convenient framing. I painted this on the front of watercolor paper folded in half so it could be easily removed from the mat and sent as a card (envelope is included), or hung as a miniature painting.
This is for auction on my first auction on my daily paintworks site – click here to see it and bid. The site has a fun ‘zoom’ feature, so check it out.