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I May Have Learned a Thing or Two

9 Jun

Pouring paint – Lessons Learnedand there are quite a few.   Or what no to do when pouring paintings!

  1. Fine lines are really tough to accomplish with masking fluid – think about avoiding hair (just kidding)
  2. You need patience and a lot of it in order to apply fine lines of masque
  3. Removing a lot of masking compound can give you serious blisters on your fingertips when you use them to rub off the stuff  (bad idea)
  4. Maybe doing a poured painting (or two) of a goat was not such a good idea
  5. Staining pigments should be applied last as subsequent colors do not “stick” or cover as well
  6. Some of my favorites such as the beautiful quin burnt ochers and oranges fall into the category above
  7. And oh, you can ruin a poured painting with a pour when the pigment is too intense or very dark

Pop Of Color

So why do them?

Poured painting are plain outright FUN!

I love to see how the poured paintings develop.  The burst of new colors are exciting – seeing where the puddles form and the trailing rivers of pigment may flow. This process provided the painter with a little thrill there as there is a certain element of risk and loss of control.  And the finished effect is very interesting, very rich in color and very satisfying.  It is not everyday that you can write a sentence with three “very’s” in it.

WIP – So Glad, Poured Watercolor Painting Complete

20 May

I swear, the most difficult pat this process is removing the  masquing compound from the painting!  You really get a workout.  Then you have to be a tactile detective by rubbing your fingers all over the piece looking for stray bits of the stuff.  When you remove the masque (frisk it) from your painting, the surface of the paper does not seem to absorb paint quite the same way.  the intention here is not to over work the piece, but leave the painterly qualities intact and visible.

I am posting this from my iPad, not a very user friendly thing to do. Also, the photos were taken with it as well, thinner they are over exposed and showing too light.  Once I return home, I will post the WIP steps with photos taken with my camera.

Helen Shideler Watercolor So Glad

WIP – Begonias on Parade?

3 Mar

This is a new way to torment myself.  Little flowers ans icky picky detail.  What in the work am I thinking – I can guarantee my next two paintings will be poured paintings! I will need to get the cobwebs out after this one!

Thinking Begonias on Parade but open to other titles.  This is a  22 x 30″ watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord.

IMG_4273

WIP Drama Queen

1 Mar

 

 

 

Finally, Finally Finished!IMG_4266_new

After a rather lengthy hiatus from completing this painting distracted by a few commissions and a ducky diversion  I  finally got back to work on this painting.  I have to admit I have produced a number of large watercolours over the past two years and have been holding on to them.  Not entirely sure why – but I think they would look good in a show all together.

Drama Queen is a painting of Dizzy Lizzie lily. Say that three times.  Phew!  And they belong to the rather regal Oriental lily family.

If you don’t already know and love these beauties, with flowers often larger than your hand,  you may want to introduce formally yourself.  A garden royalty they would appreciate an admiring nod.  Lilies are among my absolute favourite blooms – likely stating the obvious as I paint them so often!

These lilies always live up to their royal statue by providing large and dramatic blooms each summer – if the deer do not get them.

April and May are the perfect months to plant summer blooming bulbs, including Oriental Lilies in the United States and Canada.

Shades of Maple

16 Sep

This was a piece I started as a demo painting for a workshop I led (shame) last fall.  I am only getting around to completing it because www.artcolony.blogspot.com has a challenge for fall leaves for September!..  I am really glad they did this as I finally dusted it off and worked it through.  It was pretty basic until this morning… I worked all day and am happy with the finished word!  The hardest part was titling –once again

Little Flame – Pom Pom Dahlia

2 Sep

This watercolor started out a s a demo painting for a workshop I led earlier in this year.  I really liked the way the painting was shaping up and decided to finally complete the work!  Once I worked around the floral shapes, I went back in with brighter bits of yellow washes and then intensified the darks.  Both my daughters love the colours in this one!

The unframed dimensions are 11.5″ x 12.5″.  This painting is available and may be purchased by following this link to my website

 

 

WIP – Drama Queen

24 Jun

I started this painting to be a poured painting.  Once I loosely sketched it out – well, I got cold feet.  The challenge with poured paintings can be the harsh edges left by the masqueing compound.  Now I am pretty good at softening all that out, but this lily “Dizzy” is very white and quite red.  The white areas would not respond well to all that required scrubbing – and so I decide to paint in my more traditional transparent watercolor style.

Sometimes when I am painting, the work titles itself.  As I was applying the first red-ish washes, Drama Queen leapt into my head and I think I am going to go for it.  Then I Googled the images I have and discovered it is a lily called Dizzy – thinking the title is perfect now!  And, while refining the drawing, outside my studio windows – a catbird was chasing crows with a determination and vocal abilities to be admired – a true drama queen!

Rosy Red Roses – WIP completed – I think

10 Apr
 

And so,  countless hours, untold amounts of staring and figuring and color balancing… I think this painting is finally done!

I knew today that it was in my reach to finish this piece.  I hunkered down at 8am and just finished it at 7pm.

I spent a lot of time deleloping the foliage.  After I thought I was all done – I looked at it with squinty eyes and realized that I had to deepen the colors of the leaves.  I went back in with a wash of terre vert (a blueish green) and intensified the leaves.  And then once again thought I was finished.

Then I looked at it again with squinty eyes.  Saw a number of the rose petal has to be deepened and some of them needed a boost of personality (more colors).

I looked at it again and thought I was finsihed.   Then I realised the tiny fly had no legs or antennae.

I fixed up the bug and hung the painting on my fridge – yes my fridge.   And am determined no more squinty eyes.

I am declaring this painting finsihed.  At least until tomorrow when I look at it with fresh eyes.

Backyard Blooms

17 Jan
Backyard Blooms
Back to our yard in the beautiful Kennebecasis Valley in New Brunswick, where the resident white tail deer population regards planters as their own personal salad bowl!   We have a number of wrought iron planter hangers at a variety of heights. Needless to say we have more success with the higher planters.
Red geraniums are a staple in our planters, as are petunias and any daisy like flower I can find. I love the mix of color you can plant together and still have it look good.  I dabbled over the years with backyard color, various monochromatic then whites and on to what ever strikes my fancy at the time.  It almost always comes back to red.  Or Yellow.  Pure happy colors.  And I cannot wait to paint them.
This piece was a bit tricky – tricky to draw out and real tricky to attain depth and contrast while painting with reds.  I worked on this continuously for two days.  When I finally stepped back to scrutinize my work, I was pleased with the effect of painting red on red. It is dimensional and  representational of our back yard basket.
Painted on a 12 x 16 sheet of Ampersand Aquabord with transparent watercolor, sealed with Krylon Acrylic Archival Varnish.

Watercolor painting of Japanese Quince on Ampersand Aquabord

8 Jan
“Quince” Watercolor painting on Aquabord
Mid-spring each year, we have a wonderful quince shrub that presents us with a shock of color.  I am always surprised and pleased with the display.  To the point where we have purchased two more quince shrubs.  Interestingly enough, the colors on the two newer plants are quite different from the older original shrub. 
When we are sitting on the deck and see this blaze of reddish orange at the back of the property, you just have to walk over to admire it up close. Careful not to get too close, it is a thorny shrub.  Also somewhat deer resistant which is another reason we acquired two more.
Last year, I completed a quarter sheet watercolor of the quince.  I love how these “vermillion” blooms are highlighted with yellows and yet are contrasted with deep shades of red and scarlet in the shadows. Especially when it is back lit by the sun.  When the smaller watercolor was completed, I was pleased with the painting but thought I did not achieve the overall effect I was striving for. It needed to be bigger so it would present bolder.
This is the smaller original watercolor on Arches 300lb paper
I drew it out once again on a 22 x 30 sheet of Ampersand Aquabord.  The watercolors seem to be more luminous on this material.  And the scale of the painting is large enough to create the “drama” I was striving for.  So, many weeks later, this is the finished result.
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