Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Then Off on My Own


Next, I decided to do quite a few more small paintings in an attempt to move away from Danielle's style and develop one of my own.  This is the first such piece and is quite small - 3 1/2" by 5 1/2".  I'll use it as the center of a 5" x 7" card.

One of the elements of Danielle's technique is to use a 3mm pencil to add tiny details and lines once the painting part is complete.  I've done a little of that here, but prefer to make my lines with a small liner brush.  So, in the future, I'll probably drop the pencil.

I like this little piece.  I like the looks of it, and it's so fun to do!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Learning from Danielle Donaldson


I discovered a wonderful site for on-line art classes, JeanneOliver.ning.com.  I bought a class from her, "Compass Hearts," taught by Danielle Donaldson.  I liked Danielle's work and was interested in working with watercolor for a while.

The piece about is inspired by her class, but it is not really the class project.  Some of the motifs are similar to hers, but the bear is mine.

Danielle gets her color palette from scrapbook papers she chooses for the rings and hearts.  She embellished the watercolor paper (I used Strathmore Mixed Media paper which worked really well) with floral-inspired watercolor motifs.

I really enjoyed it and will work onwards from here.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Polar Presence


The final class I took at Art and Soul was with Kitty Miller.  We worked on canvas with a variety of DecoArt and Golden products.  I worked on three pieces.  The first I completed, and it was a fancy background with fish.  The second, I did the fancy background and based in an octopus.  This one, I only did the background for.

I didn't like either of the first two pieces, so I threw them away when I got home, but I decided to finish this one with a polar bear.  I added the painted swirls and glued spangles over the background.

So in the class, we mainly worked on the backgrounds, using stencils, alcohol to move the acrylic paint around while it was still wet, and lots of wet-in-wet and splashing work.  It was fun, but I don't think I will adopt any of the techniques that were new to me.  The results are a little brash for my tastes.

But on the positive side, Kitty is a great teacher, full of enthusiasm and knowledge that she is happy to share - altogether a good experience.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Clarissa Callesen's Class and Beyond


The photo above (except for the four chunks of text which I added later) is the piece I did in Clarissa's class.  It took me a while to figure out that we were just practicing techniques rather than completing a piece.  Once I understood that, I decided to work all the techniques on a canvas board so that I could continue working with it later and completing a piece.

Clarissa likes to use a lot of walnut ink.  But, although I like the color, I'm unlikely to use it again because it dissolves under later applications of water-based paints and mediums.  I'll just use diluted burnt umber or Van Dyck brown acrylic instead.

I was familiar with many of the techniques.  But in this case, we did collage on watercolor paper and I tore it up and collaged it to the board.  It was very thick to collage, but I liked it and would probably use the technique again - that is, collage on heavy paper, then tear it up for further collage.

The technique that was new to me was what she calls "peeling paint."  You see this in the left half of the photo above, the part that is bluish.    She lays a color down and lets it dry.  Then she applied torn strips of painter's tape and paints another color over it.  While the new paint layer is still wet, she removes the tape and lets the layer dry.  She repeats this process as many times as she wants, then sands the result with rough sandpaper.

She also introduced the technique of making what she calls rust "glitter."  She moistens steel wool in white vinegar then closes it in a plastic bag until it disintegrates.  She can then apply the rust powder over adhesive - like glitter!


This is my completed piece where I used the class exercise board for the background.  I painted the crow with a layer of thinned Indigo, side-loaded on the brush so that the edges were darker than the center.  Then I repeated with Black.  I added collage elements, included some text that I hand wrote, stars cut from paper painted in a variety of ways - with rust paint, multiple colors, or sprinkled with rust "glitter," and finished it off with accents of Jacquard Lumiere Bronze paint (one of my all-time favorites.)

I framed it with old wood that I've salvaged.  I'm considering painting the tip of the tail over the old wood frame.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Doris Arndt's class


In early April I went for four days to Art and Soul, a mixed media retreat, in Portland, Oregon.  This is one of the two pieces I did in the first class, taught by Doris Arndt.  Doris was actually teaching for someone else who withdrew, so thanks to Doris for filling in.

The project was mixed media beach houses, but I don't think anyone in the class made beach houses.  In this one, I made a butterfly house, but the house is playing rather a bit part.  The things I like about this piece are the delicate colors and, of course, the cat eyeing the butterflies.  This was a fun class, well taught, and increased my appreciation of scrapbook papers which I've seldom used.

I learned that Mod Podge is a good substitute for matte gel medium and that using it with a chip brush was gentle enough to smooth even the tissue paper without tearing it.

The other piece I made was of houses in the forest, but I didn't like it much.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

All Done and Some Lessons Learned


Here's my finished piece after many hours of tedious but enjoyable work.  I've learned a couple of lessons, which are:

This is very tedious work that requires intense concentration as every stroke must be as perfect as I can make it - so, don't work too long at a time, or at all if I feel tired or just "off."

Consider leaving some of the flowers and/or leaves less finished than others.

Be really careful about keeping the paper clean.  Keep a paper towel between the paper and my restin hand, and keep the paint palette on the same side of the piece as the water container to avoid unintended drips.

Remember that line work will blur when a wash goes over it, so plan the sequence of line work carefully.



Friday, April 21, 2017

And Yet Again


I'm finished with most of the flowers now.  It's fun adding the final detail of the veins in the petals and the white stripes at the base of the petal.  I'm outlining each petal with a thin line.  I'm on the home stretch now.