Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Huckleberry Painting


Here is a sample of playing. I didn't have a model to look at nor did I work from a pre-sketched outline. I wanted to create berries and just tried to estimate where I wanted the main group to be and started working from there. As I painted the berries, I would stop and determine where I wanted to go from there. I was playing with wet in wet for the background letting pigment and water run and mingle.

My Growth

When I first started out, I followed Susan Scheewe Brown for the longest time. Louise Jackson is another favorite. Then I met Peter Saw.

Initially my goal was to paint near realism but not quite so real that it took on the look of a photograph. I primarily worked wet on dry just getting the pigment on paper taking on the look of the subject I was hoping to produce.

My preferences are changing and I have grown in the various styles people paint learning to appreciate what I might have years ago not cared for. One style is what is considered loose or suggestive. Now I am finding myself wanting to learn to paint more suggestively. There's a real feeling of freedom and spontaneity that comes from learning to work along with and not try to totally control watercolor. And I've changed more to painting wet in wet and mixing colors on paper rather than on the palette. That's where the real magic comes into play.

I honestly believe there is true magic in watercolor and the biggest part comes from allowing the pigment and water do their own thing with only a little guidance or coaxing on our part. Learning the pigment characteristics or even learning how to work with mishaps can turn out some of the neatest results. And many people believe watercolor is the most difficult to learn but I don't think any more so than any other medium out there. It's just learning to work with the supplies on hand. And watercolor can be corrected.....something many people have the misguided belief that it can't. A lot depends on choice of pigments and more so paper.

There IS a lot of learning involved in painting watercolor but that's at least half the fun!

Why did I start this Blog?

I'm sitting here asking myself why I started this Blog to begin with. In all honesty, I am really not sure.

I guess it's because with people I share my work with, the forums I participate and/or run, and hearing people marvel over my work and wish they could do something like this..........I thought I'd share the more personal side as a means of intrigue and encouragement.

It's with the hopes that anyone who should come across this Blog and read or follow along with what I might post, they might realize that anyone can do this. It just takes the willingness to learn and the perseverance through practice. And I don't proclaim to know all there is to know. I'm still learning. I still have trouble areas that my goal is to one day over come.

I love sharing with people and I love helping others via means of help and encouragement. It's amazing to watch someone who could never draw a stick figure produce beautiful paintings. The growing and learning process is amazing.

It is also my hopes that those reading realize that one doesn't have to have formal education in the Arts to be able to produce Art in some fashion. Nor do they have to attend classes or workshops if they can't afford or don't have the means to attend. I am self-taught by means of all the wonderful how-to books we have on the market. With today's technology, we now have videos and DVDs we can learn from as well. All one has to do is search online for the many tutorials both free and at a fair price. Amazon is great for books and if you don't mind purchasing a used book, one can build a library at a very lost cost.

YouTube and SAA in the UK have several good free videos one can sit and view and paint along if they wish to. Cheap Joes and Jerry's Artarama is also sharing free videos. Our resources are never ending.

To add to the list of where to obtain help, guidance, and encouragement, there are several wonderful art forums that are free to join. Talk about a wealth of information! To name just a few, there is Wetcanvas.com that covers all mediums. Paintdoodles.com for watercolour.....not to forget the unique Interactive Watercolour CD that Mr. Saw created and sells if one wishes to purchase learning by means of painting doodles and building up into full compositions. It's one full-packed CD of information too. Another great forum is Idrawandpaint.com. I could write a book on resources one easily has at the tip of their fingers and monitor.

So I guess this is why I started this Blog. To share and get word out to as many people as I can letting them know if they wish to learn.............they can.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Special Note on Why I Paint

There are various reasons people take up the arts. Some do so for exhibiting, selling, teaching, etc. Some do so merely for the soul purpose of hobby and relaxation. Many of my painting pals paint as a means of creating something special for friends and family as gifts........special keepsakes. Then there are those who might paint or venture into the art realm for therapeutic reasons. This is one of my primary reasons for drawing and painting. It is therapeutic in nature for me and even more so when I share the process with others. This to me is a very special avenue for bringing like minded people together. Helping and encouraging people to find that creative self that we are all born with and concentrating in something positive in today's mentally and emotionally challenging world. There's nothing like escaping or getting lost in the process of creating. It's like the world's problems and personal life challenges cease to exist..........at least for a little while.

Sample of Journaling Experimenting with Tools and Techniques


Some of my pages may look like this when I am experimenting with certain brushes or other tools or playing with techniques to see what might turn out. This is an example of a piece of sponge I fixed to a plastic stick making it easier to create sponging effects. The other end of this plastic stick is used for scraping.

Sample of Journaling by Theme


This was done last year following a trip to Myrtle Beach. I love painting cameos that remind me of events, places, and/or experiences.

Samples of Journaling by Subject


Depending on what I might be interested in painting at any given time, I like practicing subject elements like the boats shown here. Great practice for when I wish to create a full composition. These cameos are also known as doodling.

First Love - Cameos and Illustrations


One of the most relaxing, enjoyable, and great source of practice and reference as I continue in my venture is painting illustrations or what I call cameos. "Little jewels" There are times when I might not feel like painting full compositions so instead I paint illustrations.......normally following a theme I happen to be interested in at that time. Keeping journal books of these "little jewels" is as rewarding as completing a full painting that one can hang on a wall. Although I have also found that grouping together, matting, and framing cameos can be just as beautiful and fit in one's decor as can a full composition of a subject or scene.
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