Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ft. Walton Beach plein air

Day 3 - getting the feel of the paints again (on the last day of course)
Day 2 - very "architectural"
(but oh, how I loved all those lines and shadows when I chose this view!)

Day 1 - yes, it's VERY timid

Finally got the transparent watercolors out for our 3-day beach stay. (It's just way too easy for me to fuss over and to re-work the opaques to death.)

The sand was gorgeous (of course) but, alas, the Emerald Coast was more of an Olive Coast this time.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Attention Watercolor Escape-Artists...

Plein air: Las Vegas in June, in the shade, next to a pool.

Ever wanted to make your own ESCAPE? Check out my "internet home" site [] for upcoming class opportunities. I look forward to meeting you and having some grand armchair-travel adventures.

NOTE: The above mini (4"x6") was painted with transparent colors.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Designs From Paintings

Using a photo-manipulation program - in this case, Corel PhotoPaint - it's possible to have even more fun with colors and patterns you've dreamed up...all without touching your paintings. I used to like to make these designs then print them on high- or 100% cotton papers and either cover mini-books or do origami with them.

Miss R. Fadler's "Finland Farm" turned into a repeating design (tiled).

Miss M. Wolfe's "Free-For-All" Aussie beach, tiled.

Miss G. Smith's "Tilting Barns" tiled.

Miss K. Breeding's "Tibet Plain w/Yaks" tiled with selective colors altered.

Miss K. Breeding's "Tibet Plain w/Yaks" tiled.

Our Last Project!

Miss S. Noel has another one of the most delicate renderings this time. Nicely done drawing as well. She could go in and add some shadows if she wanted, but I'm enjoying the coolness of this Canadian mountain scene.

Miss G. Smith had perhaps the MOST challenging location of them all. I didn't tell her at the time that even I was a bit intimidated by the central falls and all the details in the vertical rock walls that form this chasm. (G: I know you struggled to get the borders 'clean' so I took the liberty of swiping them with my Photoshop 'eraser' for the web-pic.)
Doesn't this look like a pastel-painting? I like it very much...

Miss C. Lee chose to work on the smoother of our paper's sides. Can you recognize this landmark? It's only one of the most famous buildings in the entire world! What a nice way to wrap up the year. Well done, Missy.

Miss R. Fadler has used two concepts to create depth in her painting of two pyramids: increasing the "misty-ness" in the distance, and decreasing the amount of "detail" on the stone surface of her 'far' pyramid. Well done.

[Uploaded these few @ wrong size]
Miss M. Wolfe has captured the essence of one of the more difficult scenes: dark sky on an 'Aussie' red-sand beach.

Miss M. Craycraft had a near monotone scene, though the photo was actually true color. More than a few first-year Fine Art & Graphic Design students have spent entire semesters working in black and white...This unusual mountainside in China resembled an odd face - almost a variation on those gigantic Easter Island sculpted heads.

Miss K. Breeding has done a sweet job of capturing a South American locale that we were all wishing we could be a part of just a month or so ago!

Master J. Wolters had an Irish isle that appears to be tilting...because it is.

Master D. Harwell had a tough time 'getting going' on this. A very nice starting drawing, though.

Miss Am. Cole has painted a very delicate picture of one of Russia's Kuril Islands, which are near Japan. She used the technique first learned/practiced in an earlier lesson this semester: 'lifting' off some paint to create clouds, in this case...but it can be used to lighten any area. I'm so proud of you!

Miss Alx. Cole. One of my favorites of the year. Delicate colors on her own very carefully done, original drawing. Bravo!

Miss A. Escue came through with flying colors here that read 'summer' for sure. I like the illusion of depth achieved with the 'simple' placement of a few lighter/brighter green stalks of vegetation at the foreground.

Where has the year gone? Above are 12 different painting locations. Students were 'directed' to their assignments as they arrived to class. (Some were a wee bit more challenging than others...but isn't that always the case in most things?) I'm proud of all of you for remembering and applying many of the things you've learned over the semester.

In a separate post I'll put up some designs created in Corel Photo-paint (a photo-manipulation program like Photoshop) just to give you an idea of 'what else' you might do with your work - especially when a painting's color-scheme turns out so nicely and then the dog chews up one of the corners or something...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blame it on Spring Fever...or Allergies?

In several cases I felt student-work slid downhill kind of like the nearest barn's doing in our picture this time (compare individual works from this week to previous posts)! I'll probably never know if it was because this view was considered too hard or the weather outside was just too nice to stay cooped up inside.

I include my own version in order to point out the main 'teaching points' for this painting:
  1. to experiment with a crumpled-paper(towel) effect for the stormy/cloudy sky (I likened it to texturing a wall at home with paint-dipped natural sponges);
  2. to practice leaving 'white space' when a dark or rich color will need to be 'covered' with a lighter would be near impossible even with our terrific opaque watercolors - see especially where the long 'palomino' yellow grass overlaps the red of the closest, tiltiest barn;
  3. to realize that sometimes nothing other than a strip/stripe of permanently unpainted white paper will suffice to keep a visual distinction between darkish areas (where corners of buildings meet and where building sides meet roof edges);
  4. to be consistent in adding a touch greater 'detail' in the closest areas (foreground) of their picture, as that is closest to 'where the viewer is standing.'
It was my mistake for having the students 'ink' the sky's areas-of-deepest-blue, as many chose to paint a non-stormy/cloudy sky! From now on I'll remember to keep all sky-shapes in pencil!

Mrs. L's


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Destination Europe: Farm in Finland

This project was different in two ways.

It was our first experience with canvas.

Yes, Virginia, there IS canvas for watercolors (we used Fredrix brand - sheets of gessoed material torn from a 9x12 pad)! HINT: read the manufacturer's flyer that comes with...all the way to the last sentence, because that's where you'll find out the unmounted-stuff warps/buckles LIKE CRAZY unless "secured" to a non-buckling surface...

The other difference was in the capturing of images for the blog: scanning picked up a 'moire' pattern from the fabric weave, so tripod-photography was needed.

I hope you'll see the possibilities of this challenging surface, even though you'll quickly notice several students were unable to complete their pictures.

(p.s. I'm having trouble with the blog's 'add picture' function, so will add Miss Noel's work later.)

Miss R. Fadler
Inadvertaintly the 'covering power' of our opaque watercolors is illustrated in the top left sky area. Note how the (Uniball permanent) inkline is hidden beautifully by the custom blended pale blue.

Miss M. Craycraft

Miss K. Breeding
Notice how important a painting's under-drawing becomes when simpler 'blocks-of-single-colors' are left. This picture "works" to a certain degree even though the painter may have intended to go back and add highlights/shadows/various-other-colors.

Miss G. Smith

Master D. Harwell

Miss C. Lee

Miss Am. Cole

Miss Alx. Cole
Compare the 'forest background' here - a single 'block' of color - with Miss Escue's, below.

Miss A. Escue
A lovely variety of fall-like tree colors add a higher degree of visual 'interest' to this version than those with the single 'color blocked' trees in the versions above. The canvas seems to have been especially effective in aiding an appearance of a stormy-looking sky: color bleeding up into another color.

Miss S. Noel (to be finished soon)

Miss M. Wolfe

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Last Stop in Asia: the high plains of Tibet

Miss S. Noel

Miss R. Fadler

Miss M. Wolfe

Miss M. Craycraft

Miss K. Breeding

Miss G. Smith

Master D. Harwell (he missed one of our classes)

Miss C. Lee

Miss Am. Cole

Miss Alx. Cole

Miss A. Escue

Master J. Wolters (he was not feeling well our first week on this project, so was unable to complete it)