Saturday, February 28, 2009

Imagekind Matting and Framing

I recently opened an account with Imagekind and uploaded some macro floral photographs I took this past summer to my new gallery. Today I was experimenting with their online matting and framing feature. For fun, I chose a large print size(32"x 24") of Miss Willmott 1 and decided on Torchon Fine Art for my paper. Next I selected a thin frame in Frosted Silver Arthaus and added an inner mat(2nd mat) of Fiddlehead Green and an outer mat(1st mat) of Digital White. I then selected the mat widths...3'' for the top and sides, 4" on the bottom. I also appreciate the fact that they offer the buyer an idea of the scale of the finished framed piece as it will appear hung on a wall by using a graphic of a woman 5' 4" tall standing next to it for comparison.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Watercolor Textures

I haven't wandered off again. Instead I've been reading Ann Blockley's Book, Watercolour Textures while waiting for my art supplies to arrive and having fun experimenting with different techniques. So far I've produced nothing worth posting but it's been a learning experience none the less. She often uses different surfaces such as gessoed mountboard and incorporates acrylic inks and textiles such as lace in some of her work with incredible results. I've played with dropping alcohol into wet w/c paint and found it creates great dandelions! Other than that...well, I'm still playing.

For all of you watercolor artists out there that aren't 'purists' and want to take your work to the next level, I'd recommend Ann's book.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mike's Cat Revised

I have to say, the position of the cat looks better this way and it didn't take much alteration either. It also solved the 'tail problem'. I suggested the water and scribbled in some landscape and threw in some cattails. Nothing is set on that yet. Any suggestions anyone? Mike, got any preferences?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Special Request From Mike

A fan of my fantasy cats has given me a suggestion for a concept that I quite like! I don't have a title for it yet so it'll be known as 'Mike's Cat' for now. We emailed back and forth two nights ago going over the details and this is what I've come up with so far. It's just a line drawing at this stage. I ran out of HP paper which I ordered yesterday from Blick and Krylon fixative(for the study) which I forgot to order so I'll be making a road trip to Petoskey for that. I need to write these things down when I run out of supplies. I knew there was something I forgot to order. I just forgot what it was.......

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

East Meets West Completed

I had a blast doing this one! I finally called it done last night. I could've fiddled endlessly with those orchids but wanted to preserve some sort of spontaneity to them.

Next time I plan to be more bold with my pours. I also plan to take a cue from Nick Simmons. He doesn't tape his paper to a board. This gives him more freedom of surface movement.

Check out this short video clip on Nick's blog to see him in action. It's well worth watching.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

East Meets West

This is where I'm at right now. I'll start painting the details of the flowers tomorrow.
I laid on the masking fluid pretty heavy for this project. I'm glad I did. Juicy work, easier removal. I did add a little salt in places for effect.

I needed a break from the kitties and I felt a floral coming on. It's been ages since I painted flowers. The winter weather, although not bad right now, is making me miss my gardens. I had been fooling around drawing snow covered tulips but couldn't find the right blue for the sky. The mat and frame I have is the wrong format for what I had in mind, too. Well...nuts.

As luck would have it my April issue of Watercolor Artist arrived in my mailbox and the Chinese artist,
Lian Quan Zhen had written a four page article on three styles of Chinese painting...detail style, spontaneous style and a combination of the two styles. Zhen also incorporated what he calls the Western Style of negative painting in a demonstration featuring orchids. What caught my interest the most were some of the techniques this artist used...pouring and negative painting. These are two methods of painting with watermedia that I've been planning on trying but somehow never got around to actually doing. I'm posting my work in progress, two orchids and a bud. So far, I've completed my background and removed the masking.

Warning! When pouring be ready for a mess! My first try was hideous. I mixed my paint too thick and poured a little too fast and heavy. I had paint on me, the floor, all over my worktable...holycrapwhatamess. Err on the side of caution when attempting this method and wear your grubbies. Have lots of paper towels handy, too.

Lian Quan Zhen also has a step-by-step demo available online right now. You may want to check it out.

Monday, February 09, 2009

My First Art Award!

Anita Murphy bestowed this on me yesterday and I feel so honored. Thank you, Anita! Now I have to list 7 things that make me happy so here goes........

1. Warm summer nights complete with a Moon and lots of stars to count

2. My gardens

3. My boys

4. Cloud watching

5. Thunderstorms but nothing too violent

6. When a painting turns out just the way I envisioned it

7. Really good music

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Well, before it was all said and done I threw everything I had at this one trying to figure out what worked best and what didn't work at all. I found out you can put CP's over acrylics. If you put down CP's first forget putting anything over them. I tried valiantly to soften the edges of that reflection with soft pastel. The cat which I did with pastel pencils was an after thought. I'll definitely take more time with the fur when I redo this piece. The surrounding landscape is just rubbish. I'll have to give that more consideration before I begin again. Also HP paper will not take much abuse so I'll be keeping that in mind, too. On the bright side, I love the eyes in the reflection. I think they make the painting. Once again...any C & C is welcome and don't be shy either.

Note: Notice anything odd in the reflection? Check the direction of the cat's tail. It's on the wrong side. I had a *d'uh* moment when I did that. Maybe the current was so strong it moved it to the other side? Sounds good anyway............

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pond Water With Reflection

I was pretty darn happy with my first attempt at painting pond water on HP watercolor paper. I've never really done a proper landscape or been completely happy with my ability to paint water. I liked the glow achieved here with an underpainting of Gamboge Hue with subsequent washes of Cerulean blue and Indigo so I'm filing this one away in my success file. I'm working on a new fantasy piece and I realize I will need to work on these skills to realize my vision. Unfortunately, I really blew the sky so I'm only posting the pond part. I've got my pride at stake here folks! The 'reflection' is of an overly large Moon and I can see that I shouldn't have created so much ripple effect as the pond is basically still.

I plan to continue with this flawed painting, experimenting and working out the logistics. When I'm finally satisfied with my abilities and have a successful piece completed, I'll post it along with all my 'experiments' and point out where I went wrong along the way. As Stacy Rowen reminded's only paper. All a part of the learning process..............