Materials List for Watercolor Workshops

In response to the request to post a materials list for my workshops, here it is:

MATERIALS & SUPPLIES FOR WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP:

  • pencils, erasers, & sketchbook (or white printer paper for sketching ideas and doing practice studies)
  • 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper- 140# cold press cut to measure 15” x 22” (I recommend Arches brand because it has superior sizing which allows water and paint to flow on the surface without the paper fibers swelling)
  • metal yardstick (for tearing paper into smaller sizes. I will be discussing how different formats change the focus of a composition.)
  • tube watercolors in basic triad- (At the very minimum, you will need a red, a yellow, & a blue. Transparent colors will yield better results than opaque colors for this workshop. I would suggest at least 6 colors, a cool and a warm of each primary. Colors I use: Permanent Rose- cool red; Windsor Red- warm red; Cobalt Blue- almost pure blue, leans cool, good for skies; Windsor Blue Green Shade- warmish blue, mixes well with yellow for pure greens; Hansa Yellow- almost pure yellow, mixes well for oranges and greens; Raw Sienna- transparent earth yellow, somewhat neutralized, warmish. I also like to have Burnt Sienna on my palette.)
  • palette (for holding pigments and mixing paint;you could use a ceramic or plastic white plate from the dollar store.)
  • variety of paintbrushes (At the very minimum, you will need a small round brush for details; 1/2” flat brush for drawing, blocking, lifting, and dry-brush techniques; & large round brush for washes- at least #10 size. I use these 6 brushes: round brushes- #2, #6, #12; flat brushes- 1/2”, 1” 2” size chart: link for watercolor brush size chart You can find inexpensive watercolor brush sets at JoAnn’s craft stores.)
  • water containers (at least two- one for washing brushes, and one for pure water which you will use for washes and color mixing. Minimum size for the washing container is 2 quarts; anything smaller gets too polluted too quickly, & you will be constantly stopping to change water. Good size for the pure water container is at least 1 pint.)
  • spray bottle for water (handy, but not critical. I like to spritz my palette to keep the pigments fresh. You can also get effects with a spray bottle, so feel free to explore this option.)
  • sponges (at least two- I can’t paint without 3. I also like to have a few rags close at hand made from old towels about 6” x 8”. Some people like to use paper towels, but I find the clutter of used paper towels too messy, as well as not environmentally sustainable.)
  • backing board and mounting materials (I use plywood pieces that have been varnished. For smaller compositions, I don’t bother to stretch and staple my paper. Instead, I use masking tape to mount dry watercolor paper to the board. Other options- MDF or other composition board from Home Depot, a thick grade of foam core, or in a pinch- very heavy cardboard.
  • Besides staples and masking tape, you can also mount paper to your board with spring clips.)
  • easel (or you can paint flat on a table.)
  •  liquid mask (At the very minimum, get liquid mask and a small round cheap brush. I prefer to use a mask pen for most of my work. Daniel Smith is my preference because it come with 5 nibs, and they are easiest to clean. http://www.dickblick.com/products/daniel-smith- masking-fluid/ I also use Grafix masking fluid for for applying mask with a brush and to refill the Daniel Smith pen. http://www.dickblick.com/products/grafix-incredible-white- mask-liquid-frisket/ Also look for a rubber cement pickup for removing mask, available through Blick.)
  • masking tools- you need dedicated tools that you will use only for masking, (including a separate water container, rags, and a cheap, small brush. Never mix your masking tools with your painting tools. For applying mask with a brush, you will also need liquid soap. Lately I have been using a small bar of hotel soap, which I reapply often to keep my application brush free of mask.)
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Anatomy of a Portrait

“Redheads Have More Fun”  portrait of Willy

I have been working on a commissioned portrait of a beautiful 8 year old chestnut warmblood gelding.  Commissions require extra care, because we all have unique perspectives based on our experiences.  I wanted my vision to capture the horse’s sweet generous nature and the owner’s expectations.

I took extra care with the pencil study, being careful with Willy’s anatomy, his stunning drop-dead-gorgeous-good-looks and conformation, as well as his sunny personality.  I took extra time drawing his face, as the face and especially the eyes are the window to the spirit.

willy 1
pencil study

When the pencil study was complete, I did a value map.  I would recommend this step to anyone who wants to ensure success with a studied composition.  This process is not suitable for alla prima quick painting, but it works out many of the compositional problems that could crop up in a larger studio work.  My process is to find 3 values- dark, medium, and light.  I combine close values from the pencil study into larger connected shapes.  When I get to the painting stage, I keep the values accurate, and add a variety of color within the value shapes.  This variety of color enlivens the painting’s surface and the subject of the painting.  I also like to create lost-and-found edges at this point.  Where the sunlight touches the edge of the horse’s body, I have allowed the shapes to merge with the background- (horse’s left front leg and hoof.)

willy #2
Value map

The next step is the underpainting.  The underpainting sets the tone/temperature for the completed work, as this glaze will glow from within.  I have a warm golden wash in a variety of tones and tints- (hansa yellow, gamboge, raw sienna, burnt sienna).  I masked the areas of white- blaze and socks, and left those white areas in shadow blank- no underpainting.  For this portrait, I want a warm painting with distinct blue shadows on the horse’s socks and nose, so I saved those shapes for later painting.

willy #3.JPG
underpainting

After the underpainting was dry, I painted the background.  I wanted a very soft, light background that wouldn’t compete with the horse.  I used both blues for contrast and yellows for harmony.  When the background was dry, I built up shapes, added color, and worked from light to dark, using my value map.  As the body was taking shape, I switched to a smaller brush to complete the face.  The face slowed the process down, as stated before, an artist must capture the soul here.  When the horse was complete, I added energy in the foreground with lively brushstroke and splattered color.  I wanted to convey the energy of a joyful gallop and the impression of a flowery meadow.

willy

This work will be previewed at my Open House Sept 29, 2017 5-7 PM at Backstreet Street Bagels & Gallery.    To purchase a painting or commission a work, use this link:     purchase painting

INTRODUCING THE BACKSTREET GALS — AN EVERYTHING BAGEL, WITH ART!

an article from Navigator Editor, Janine Rusnak

An award-winning, colorful square quilt hides twenty gems; a collection of four watercolor dream horses takes you to exotic places; a delicate, yet heavy handwoven copper piece boasts the title “Asian Study #6.”

 

These spectacular art pieces are now on display at Backstreet Bagel Company in Montrose and capture true, local talent in mixed
visual arts.

With a grand reception Friday, September 29, the Backstreet Gals exhibition features three local artists.  Each artist comes to this exhibition with a background in fiber art.  Though the artists create in diverse media, this common influence of fiber art is referenced in the collected works on display: including strong underlying composition and design, the ability to bring harmony to bright color schemes, and the use of geometry within a pictorial subject.

All That Glitters

Prior to her weaving career, Lynn Vogel made doll cloth- es as a child. She discover- ed the world of hand weav- ing in her early 20’s.  “The hand weaving process was natural for me.  It was like a puzzle— intricate, complex, beautiful —one that would take me a complete,” Vogel said.  She received a large, handmade loom as a birthday gift one year which  led to her and her sister making and selling clothing for several years in small boutiques and galleries throughout Denver.  A decade later, she found herself sitting on the library floor in the art section and became drawn to a new medium—copper. She said someone once told her it couldn’t be woven on a loom. She proved them wrong, and for the last 20 years has been weaving copper as her primary medium. The end result? Beautiful, one-of-a-kind works of art consisting of embossed copper and semi-precious stones. Vogel will have one of her looms present at the open house with the intention of offering a brief, yet in- formative, demonstration of how she creates her masterpieces.

One Stitch At A Time

Debbie Watkins has been designing her own quilts since 2014 after joining a small group of local quilters. Their encouragement and feedback helped her to achieve her goals of creating unique quilt designs as well as incorporating unfamiliar techniques and non-traditional media in each quilted piece.

Watkins began quilting in 1980 and since she moved to Montrose she has been a member of two of the Montrose quilt guilds and is also heavily involved with the annual Black Canyon Quilt Show.  Labels displayed with her work indicate what prize those pieces have won, including this year’s first place winner in the Mixed Media category at the Black Canyon Quilt Show titled, “Dragon Fly By.” This is a vertical piece that came to fruition by way of another piece Watkins ended up not liking.  “Mistakes are creative opportunities!” Watkins exclaimed.

In this show, Watkins’ quilts combine crystals, fabric paints and dyes, photos, painted and heat-stressed Tyvek, as well as buttons, beads, organza and more, all resulting in dynamic, one- of-a-kind pieces.  Also displayed at the Backstreet Gals exhibition are an assortment of “quilted” greeting cards, handmade by Watkins, and a 79” x 92” quilt.

Living In A Colorful World

Artist and painter Cheri Isgreen is fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms.  “If you get the values and shapes correct, any beautiful color will look compelling, even a purple horse,” she said.  NobleIsgreen seeks fresh, unexpected color mixtures through the spontaneity of wet paint mixing on the paper. She strives for a sense of mystery and narration in each painting. As a former art educator, she taught the gamut of media, styles, and subjects, giving her the strong range she draws upon today when creating her watercolor compositions. Currently Isgreen’s work reflects her passion for horses, flowers, and travel, with each piece conveying personal meaning.

Isgreen maintains an active studio schedule, winning awards in juried exhibitions, showing in four Colo- rado galleries, accepting commissions through her galleries and website, and teaching art workshops through regional art centers and Western State Colorado University. Isgreen’s work has been showcased in museums, galleries, and publications both in the United States and abroad.

Isgreen’s colorful, contemporary watercolor paintings complement Vogel’s Bouquetcopper compositions and Watson’s art quilts. And with Isgreen’s elements of mystery and narrative, viewers will discover personal meaning in each painting for themselves.

All three artists will be available for questions and discussion at the public open house. Special exhibition pieces will be on display only during Friday’s open house. These women will transform the entire restaurant into a colorful gallery that embraces different media in a comfortable space.

The works displayed in Backstreet Gals is modern but not abstract. “It fits in all décor styles,” Vogel said.  There will be over 30 pieces displayed and are all for purchase.

Backstreet Bagel Company is owned by Scott and Debbie Cassidy. They offer an array of breakfast and lunch items as well as gourmet coffee drinks. Backstreet Bagel is located at 127 North Townsend Avenue in Montrose.

The public is invited to the Backstreet Gals Open House Friday, September 29, from 5-7 p.m. There will be music, complimentary wine, and gourmet appetizers available.

First Friday Gunnison Arts Center

The Colorado Watercolor Society first show on the Western Slope opens at the Gunnison Center for the Arts Friday, Aug 4, 2017.  I will show three works; two florals, “Orchids,” “Cosmos,” and an equine themed work, “No Hoof, No Horse.”  The two florals celebrate the glory of light on natural forms.  “Orchids” is backlit, providing for a dramatic composition, while “Cosmos” shows reflected light of flowers in full sun.  “No Hoof, No Horse” explores lost and found edges and the fading of form through the phenomenon of smoke.

both paintings image 7.5″ x 22″  (frame size 13.5″ x 28″)  copyright C Isgreen          $350 each

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award winning painting:  “No Hoof, No Horse” copyright C Isgreen                                                     22″ x 15″  (frame size 28″ x 21″) $500

In the upstairs gallery, the Arts Center is showing its annual fundraising exhibition, “Tiny Treasures.”  I have submitted two watercolor paintings of birds inspired by Japanese scrolls.  These “tiny treasures” were painted in a diamond format to give them a dynamic composition.  Both watercolor on paper and oil/acrylic on canvas will be offered.

from  GAC website:                 IMG_0357

Upper Gallery: Tiny Treasures “Fortune Cookie Quotes”
Celebrate the little things in life! For the third year in a row, the GAC’s fundraiser, Tiny Treasures, really is proof that good things DO come in small packages. Featuring a plethora of tiny treasures on canvas, all created by local artists. Treasures will be on sale at affordable prices all month where 100% of the profit goes to the GAC. A theme has been added this year; artists will pick a fortune cookie quote to use for inspiration. Enjoy tiny appetizers, a live tiny gallery concert with tiny instruments and more at the First Friday ArtWalk & Music!

New works at GAC:

In keeping with this month of tiny treasures, I am offering framed prints from my travels ($25) and small framed floral watercolors, all affordably price below $200.  I also completed an aspen series, where I fractured the light.  (see featured image preview above) These charming small works will complement the small niches in your home.

“Poured Watercolor” Workshop in beautiful Telluride Colorado

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The wildflowers are blooming, the mountains shine, and rainbows appear in the evening light.  Summertime in Telluride!  It’s time for a weekend mountain getaway.  Relax in beautiful Telluride while exploring some new watercolor techniques.  I will teach “Poured Watercolor” through the Ah Haa School of the Arts, Friday – Sunday, July 28 – 30, 2017. 

Break in the Clouds (1)

Forgo the brush and experiment with the process of pouring watercolor to produce paintings with unique results. Learn the pigment rules, color theory, and pouring techniques to give your watercolor paintings glowing results.  By pouring paint in a series of glazes,  underlying layers are preserved while developing a depth of color and enhancing luminosity.  Experience how this technique fosters a wide range of spontaneous colors while maintaining the harmony of a limited palette. Poured watercolor lends itself to a variety of subject matter.  All levels of painters are welcome, including first-time watercolorists.

To register, visit the Ah Haa School of the Arts registration page: POURED WATERCOLOR REGISTRATION

Watercolor Workshop June 10th, 2017

Benefit for the Montrose Center for the Arts

Looking for a way to loosen up your art? Are you interested in learning some new watercolor techniques? Have you wondered if you could be successful painting in watercolor? Do you love color? This class will offer ideas and techniques to create lively watercolor compositions.

%22sky lights%22
“Sky Lights” 10″ x 19″ $200

Beginners will be given extra support; experienced painters will be given compositional challenges.  All adult learners are welcome.  Supply list available, or purchase directly from instructor $20.

JUNE 10  10AM-4PM    fullsizerender

also Sept 30 & Nov 11

125 Merchant Drive, Montrose

workshop fee $60

workshop registration

 

Classes are not concurrent; there are no prerequisites to register. Each session will focus on different painting techniques for exploration and playful improvisations to enliven your watercolor paintings.

 

Garden

New Work 2017 “Break in the Clouds”

After seeing my “After School” painting, a good friend sent me a photo she took while traveling in Nicaragua, which she said reminded her of my narrative painting.  (see March 31 post- After School)  I thought the photo would be a perfect subject for a poured watercolor approach.  I will be teaching this technique in Telluride, CO this summer.  If you are intrigued by this method, you can register with this link- poured watercolor workshop

As with many of my paintings, the first step is a study in ink or pencil.  Lately I have been using ink.  These studies are important to determine values for the many pours, along with defining edges and movement in the painting.

1 break

After transferring the drawing to 140 pound Arches watercolor paper, I begin masking and pouring the multiple layers of color and value.  Now that Adobe Photoshop is so popular, many more people understand the process of poured watercolor.  One must think in layers from light to dark.  Details can be painting early and masked, or the area can be defined after all the masks have been removed and the layers integrate into a composition.  I do both depending on the colors needed and the type of detail I will be adding.  Street scenes have far more fussy details than the landscape and horse compositions I have been pouring, so I’ve been improvising the best ways to define details.  If the details have complimentary color in the adjacent background, it works best to paint and mask the details before pouring to keep the colors pure.

After the final pour is dry, the mask can be removed.  This is the time to clean up edges, define shapes, and resolve the composition.  Sometimes this step is like unwrapping a present; the painting revealed under all the drips, masks, layers, and pours is glowing and almost done.  Other times, removing the mask presents a conundrum; how do I pull all the elements together?  This painting presented a conundrum.  I studied this step of the painting for several days before adding the final touches.

4 break

After much study, I cleaned up the painting and started to add dabs of paint in ways that would unify the artwork.  This took a few days, some brainstorming, some problem solving, and outside eyes to discuss where things needed to go.  I was pleased with the solution.  This painting evolved organically, and the original painting I saw in my mind’s eye was not the final result you see here.  As artists, we must be flexible and listen to what the painting is telling us.

Break in the Clouds (1)

New Works 2017

I have two shows coming up this spring/summer.  My solo show opens in June at the Gunnison Gallery.  I will also be showing in June with Debbie Watkins, fiber artist and Lynn Vogle, fiber/metal artist at Backstreet in Montrose.  New works for these shows will feature my flower/garden paintings, watercolor works developed from my sketches and photos from Mexico this past winter, and of course more horse paintings.

This series of photos shows my process; how I create from initial studies/ ink drawing to final watercolor painting.

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Ink drawing from sketch book

 

patz 2
Underpainting, blocking in shapes, directional lines, values
patz
finished painting; to purchase visit this link:  purchase form

“After School”

This painting was inspired by our winter trip to Mexico and my travel sketch journal.  Notice the strong connection between the mother and daughter.  Even with her back turned from the viewer, you can feel the strong attraction the daughter feels for her mother after a day at school.  It appears that this reunion occurs at this alcove daily.

Preliminary study in ink

guanajuato

Preliminary study in ink
in progress.jpg
Work in progress
After School
“After School”  watercolor, 15″ x 11″  $400

New Work: Watercolor Florals

orchidsOrchids is my newest painting.  After blocking in the basic composition, (two flowers on the upper and mid left and a long vertical for the stem), I created most of this work through negative painting.  I painted a series of dark saturated colors in a “blocky” wash, grading from very dark and cool at the top to warmer and lighter on the bottom.   I dropped a line of permanent rose from the top orchid, through the  bottom orchid , which creates movement through the background, as it also ties the two flowers together visually.  My goal was to create an abstract painting behind the flowers, which makes a more dynamic background.  Use of negative painting and lots of white highlights give the flowers drama.

I wanted the orchid stem to flow into the background at the bottom of the painting.  The background wash drips onto a light warm field of  raw sienna.  The orchid stem grades from dark blues-green into red and finally becomes part of the background drips.

Orchids was painted on 1/4 sheet of Arches 140# cold press paper.  Image size: 7.5″ x 22″  Matted size 12.5″ X 27″  $350

I will be teaching several watercolor workshops in 2017.  Each session will focus on different techniques, concepts, and effects.  Please visit my workshop link to find a class near you: watercolor workshop schedule

 

more new floral watercolors below: