Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mini Mystery Paintings

Miss Lee has taken the challenge (and met it admirably). Will you? Eight Altoid boxes await your brush (see Mrs. L's attempt at #s 5-8 later in this post).

Miss Breeding has completed two versions of the same challenge: on the right one that's more soft and subtle; note in the one on the left the character that the ink lines add. Well done, K.

Mrs. L (your blog writer) took a stab at the second set-of-four before passing them out in the last class. QUOTE "This is not nearly as easy as I thought it would be!" and "When in doubt, ink it."

One more "Namibian Sunset"

Is it just me or does that sun really look like a ball-of-fire? You know, during one of those sunsets where it just seems to get bigger and bigger as it heads out of sight? Nice job, D.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Demos for next week (30 min. total)

copyright 2009 Patrice Stanton

This Week in Pictures: a Namibian Sunset

painted by: M. J. Wolfe

painted by: K. Breeding
Note: Miss Breeding did some "scrubbing out" and some color "lifting" (if I recall correctly) this week, proving the superiority of working on a nice heavy (140lb) paper.

painted by: B. Davis
Note: Master B. Davis proved this week that even for graphic artists "the show must go on." He was forced to complete this assignment without benefit of his "dominant hand." (Rumor has it the injury to said hand occurred during a tussle with airport security over the "safety" of carrying watercolors across international boundaries, int'l waters or some such.) Bravo, B.

painted by: A. Escue
Note: Ms. Escue used a more dilute set of washes here, showing how adaptable our Pelikan opaque paints are. Opaque colors will not be as "clean and clear looking" as traditional Transparent wc, but they can certainly be used that way.

painted by: C. Lee

painted by: H. Ridge

painted by: R. Fadler

<........................................................painted by: J. Wolters

painted by: N. Buckingham

painted by: N. Davis

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An actual 'Plein Air' watercolor

Another one from the "found" painting-case mentioned below. This was done four years ago while in Kauai. I had the luxury that day of sitting at a covered picnic table - typically I sit on a beach towel on the sand (under a palm tree - now THAT sounds dreamy).

The pale tannish lump on the beach is a female sea lion (hind-end towards us) - believe it or not. Some locals were having all they could do to keep kids and other curious types away from her, repeatedly saying it's so rare for one to come out like that with folks around that it certainly meant she was exhausted.

Found: something I wasn't looking for

Was looking for some textile inks and bumped into a painting-storage case and couldn't resist taking a peek. Here's a 5"x7" sketch I did from a saved calendar or National Geographic magazine some years back. I'd forgotten about it, but really like the pale pinks and lavenders. Can you detect some equally-pale spattering here and there in it? That's a technique I'm typically too timid to use - it adds an amount of "casualness" to a picture and involves the potential for disaster that I mostly prefer to avoid!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Paint-rags from Old T-Shirts

Cut up an old t-shirt and make a few 10" squares for your painters at home and on-the-go. Pack one or two (dry but in a ziplock) for our Wednesday class, as we had a couple of water dishes go over!

Speaking of ziplocks...their big block of white tempera needs to have its own storage-ziplock.

We ran out of time.

This past Wednesday I tried to fit too many things into our class time. Because of this we'll take this coming week to finish the students' barely-begun paintings. This time I will send them home with the base-drawing for our next view, that way they can pencil-the-back and be all set to begin making their transfer-drawing as soon as they have their "painting-station" set up.

So from now on ask if they have a base-drawing to "prepare." I know you know how to do these, but see if you can get them to teach the technique to you.

One of the fun things I had all prepared - but couldn't find any time for - was a set of four mini "mystery-painting" challenges secretly packed in individual Altoids' tins. Next week four students bold enough to accept them will find a business-card size drawing of a seashell fragment I picked up especially for this project while on our August vacation in Alabama. These students are tasked with: adding some missing details, inking, and then painting their mini-picture. They may try and paint realistic colors or imagine other colors at will.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Painting Demo in 3-Parts

I'm hoping I've come up with a faster way to "explain" the process of watercolor painting in layers. Students will have their own mini-version of this triptych in class, along with a 4x6 photo of the location. We will pre-mix a few colors in these beginning weeks.

Ready? Set? Paint!

A careful set-up means less chance of accidental dribbles or other messes. Here's the way I like to arrange things (obviously I'm a "righty"). "Lefties" simply swap sides. (Cleanest water dish nearest to your work.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

About "Fun-Facts"

Next week we will be working on assignment in Namibia. Look online, in an encyclopedia, or in other books @ home, for a "fun fact" either on the week's specific country or on the continent in general (Africa right now). See my post BACK-TO-SCHOOL below to get a peak @ our Week-2 destination...

On the Beach

From a somewhat impromptu beach vacation three weeks ago. Not my best, but at least the brush was moving over paper...Golly, painting waves from photographs (not to mention storm clouds) is so-o-o much easier!

Homework for Week 1: Infinite Grays

Ever run out of time in class? We did this week, so here's a reproduction of the exercise I sent home with the students. They have a card with the blank shapes already drawn in waterproof pen (remind them to reserve that pen for our class only - at least 'til semester's end). Except for the far right pair of circles (Burnt Sienna - BS & Ultramarine Blue) colors are laid out just as they are in their (beautiful! Pelikan brand) paint boxes.

Note: They will need a 10"x10" square of old cotton t-shirt for a paint rag & remind them to keep brushes clean between colors while painting by using the two-water-dish & blotting technique demo'd in class. It really is the best/easiest way to accomplish this. Oh, and clean, blot, then shape the brush's bristles and leave out in the air to completely dry before storing.

Infinite Grays
(for shadows, etc.):
  1. Fill in the "pure" colors (the top & bottom rows); let dry.
  2. Work with one "pair" @ a time, pre-wetting the "in-between" rectangle and spotting on (@ appropriate end) the pure colors, allowing them to bleed together in the middle. The student may need to add more pure color(s) to get this to happen. Let dry if blocks are very close, otherwise proceed to next pair.
  3. Once dry keep in paint kit for reference.
Hope they (& you!) keep having fun in this class.


Yesterday was the first day back for our terrific home school cooperative. I've renamed the blog in honor of the new painting class I'll be "coaching" and will also be posting student-work (with permission, of course). Keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, here is the coach's version of where the 12 intrepid W.E.A.s will head to next week...