Category: watercolor

There Are Many Windows to the Soul


I struggled and struggled with this painting. I started it in the application Rebelle. I used watercolors and inks and had lots of drips in bright colors. But, I just couldn’t get it to come together.

This painting had at least seven incarnations before it became what it is now.

As I got close to finishing it, I felt it was missing something. So I started putting in circles. Then, the circles started to look like windows.

Thus, the name.

Maui Flowers

Maui Flowers

Maui Flowers

Lately, all my paintings have been influenced by my trips to Maui.  There is just so much color there.  The flowers are so bright and beautiful.  The water is a gorgeous blue and the dirt is a glorious red color.

The island is made from a volcano.  That makes the scenery unique and very different from what I see at home in Seattle.

My husband and I are getting ready to leave for two months in Maui in October and November of this year.  I am very excited about this trip.

For years we dreamed of being able to be retired and spend two to three months in Maui.  Now, our dreams are coming true.  I have to say that staying positive in thought and consciously claiming what I wanted in life have worked for me.  I stayed an active participant in my life as I went along.

Of course, becoming ill was not in my plans.  But, by staying positive and focused, I have been able to adapt to a chronic illness and still live my dreams.

This piece of art was done on the computer, using Painter 2015.  I started this painting by splattering drops of watercolors on the canvas.  I put down three layers of colors, red, blue and yellow.  Then, I sat and looked at the drops and suddenly saw the flowers.  I pulled them out with one of my watercolor brushes.  It was a fun exercise that I did in a class on Japanese Inks.  You can read more about that class here.

Have a great rest of the summer.

Summer Poppies

Summer Poppies

Summer Poppies

This is something a little different for me, a landscape, done in watercolors.

I particularly like the sky in this piece. I used water colors layers with bright colors to make the sky.

I used Karen Bonaker’s Real Watercolors 2 to paint this piece.  They are not up at her blog, but contact me if you want me to mail them to you.  Karen founded the DAA, the Digital Art Academy, an art school using Painter to work with in the classes.  There are classes in everything you can imagine.

If you want to see this painting larger and against a black background, click watercolor, then click on the painting.

 

 

 

 

A Bird In Your Pocket

A Bird in Your Pocket

A Bird in Your Pocket

I have had a very challenging year, health-wise.  The fibromyalgia flared up around New Years Eve, and has kept me lying low many days.

Last fall, while we were in Maui, I started sitting up all day.  This was the first time in over 18 years that I didn’t spend 99% of my days in bed.  I also got dressed every day.  This may not sound like a lot, but when you’ve lived in a nightie in bed for so long, it is huge.

When we got home in November, I continued sitting up in my art studio.  I was doing so well that at Christmas, I got a new, 27″ screen for my computer!  It makes a huge difference to paint on that rather than my laptop computer.  But then, the first of the year, I found myself back in bed more than in my studio.  It has been a real battle to get enough rest and still sit up as much as possible.

But, I feel like I’ve won the battle.  In the last few weeks, I’ve been able to go to my studio at least three to four days a week.  I’m even taking small walks down to our mailbox.

Now a Bird In Your Pocket.

Summer Dreams

Summer Dreaming

Summer Dreaming

This is a piece that I started in a new application, called Rebelle. Rebelle is basically a watercolor digital painting program.  It is unbelievable!  I have talked about it in my last two blogs.  It makes watercolors and inks that flow and drip just like in the real world.

In Rebelle, I laid down a layer of acrylics and then used the water to make drips coming down all over the page.  I also used the ink brush to add more details and drips.

Then I brought this into Painter and used oils to paint in the flowers and leaves.

This is another break-through piece for me.  It is loose and flowing.  Something I have tried very hard to get in my work.

I also managed to keep good light and dark values going in this piece.  Another thing that has challenged me for quite some time.

Spring Cherries

 

Spring Cherry

Spring Cherry

This is a painting I did in the Japanese Inks class I recently took at the DAA.  This is an on-line school that teaches art using Painter by Corel.

The class was a study of the philosophy of Eastern Art.  In Eastern Art, the idea is that through a simple stroke, you tell a tale.  One is to use minimal strokes in the painting.

I took this class because simplicity is an area that I have tried to focus on in my art.

It is so easy to overwork a piece.  I know this is something I share with many other artists.  It seems like I always want to add a bit here, a bit there, and the next thing I know, the piece is overworked.

What I am learning is that if a brushstroke looks good, leave it.  Don’t start putting the same brush stroke all over the painting.  That ruins the “specialness” of the one stroke.

In this piece, I did the tree trunks and branches with a particle brush.  Particle brushes are made using math and physics.  They are new to Painter.  I had not liked most of them, as they are very hard to control. However, Karen Bonaker, the owner of the DAA, made us a spectacular particle brush to work with in this class.  It literally danced across the page.

Then for the flowers, I used another brush Karen had made for us.  Just one stroke with it, and I get all kinds of blossoms.

Karen had us put the trunks and branches on a different layer than the blossoms.  Then she had us go back after adding the blossoms and erase some of the branches in the trees.  I found that breaking up the branches like that worked really well in giving the painting depth.

I have mixed feelings about using brushes that other people make that then lay down that person’s strokes.  I feel that every stroke in my painting should be my own.  I usually stay away from brushes that make strokes that look like something.  But I think I’m maybe becoming a little more open to them.  Karen makes such beautiful brushes, they’re hard to resist.

To finish this piece, I added a couple of textures to give it a background.  I used the multiply composite method on the layer the textures were on to make them transparent.  Then, on one of the textures, I added a mask to the layer and using a brush with dark gray paint, went in and muted some of the texture.

When you add a mask to a layer, you then use black to get rid of something on the layer or white to bring it back.  When you use gray, it leaves something in between.

I am hoping this class has led me to start making fewer strokes in my abstracts.  I need to get busy with some new ones and find out.

 

Watercolors on the Computer

Asian Inks

Asian Inks

Asian Inks-a

Asian Inks-a

This is two versions of the same painting. I am taking a Japanese Inks class at the Digital Art Academy.  It is an on-line school that teaches art using Painter by Corel. We are studying sumi-e painting.

The idea behind Asian art is that less is more.  The negative is as important as the positive.  Just like the yin/yang symbol.

At the same time, over at Skip Allen Paints , Skip has put up some demos of new watercolor brushes for Painter and videos explaining the brushes.  Skip is also doing sumi-e painting with his new brushes. Please check them out.  They are gorgeous.

Taking what I learned at DAA and from Skip, I did this painting with Skip’s new Wet Water watercolors.

Then, I added a texture on a layer under the painting.  On a layer on top, I added black and used composite method on the layer and turned the piece to gray-scale.

I am struggling with the concept of leaving white in the painting and letting that act as part of the piece.  Asian art is also about letting just a few strokes tell the story.  That is something I am working on in my abstract paintings and the reason I took this course. I think I am not alone in finding it difficult to do less in my art.  I always want to add a bit here, a bit there.  The next thing I know, it’s overworked. I couldn’t make up my mind which one I liked best, so I posted both.

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