Thursday, August 17, 2017

OMG!! I have a NEW Major Medium - Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

 Not sure if my studio has room for it. . .  but . . . I am really loving it.

It all started innocently enough, I guess all major events start that way.  I was packing for art supplies for our 4 week camping trip.  Now as many of you know, I live on the West Coast of Canada and one of the things we are noted for, is our rain.  So although I prefer to paint outside on the trail or at the beach I know we will have rain.  So I need rainy day art supplies too.

I was pulling things out of my draws and saw my Canson Mi-Teintes Assorted Colors (Pastel) Paper paper.  Yeah, I thought, I should take that and maybe some coloured pencils.  I have always been meaning to try working with this paper.

UP FOR AIR - 5 X 7, Coloured Pencil on soft blue paper Available at Etsy
This little seal was following my kayak when I was kayaking with the salmon last September.  After he checked me out, he gave a good flick of his tail and dove under.  I think he splashed me deliberately!  (See my blog post on kayaking with the salmon here. )

My first picture started out a little poorly.  I didn't realize there was a smooth side and textured side to the paper.  You can work on both sides but it is a lot more work to get a smooth blended picture on the rough side!!  I did persist and QUIETLY WAITING, my heron was the result.

QUIETLY WAITING - 5 x 7, Coloured Pencil on tan paper
Herons are a common sign on the waterfront where we camp on Texada Island.  This heron was standing in the water during slack tide.  He didn't seem to be fishing, just looking around.  

It was after finishing QUIETLY WAITING my real trouble began.

I decided to try another picture using the blue paper and this time I would be sure and use the smooth side. UP FOR AIR was the result.  I loved him.  I even worked on him on sunny days!

When I got home I knew I had to try more.  I had taken this great picture of a crow on a log and I really wanted to draw him.   The camping laundry had to wait, I needed to 'set this guy up'.

WIP - AT THE BEACH - 12 x 16 coloured Pencil on tan paper
Yes, he is much bigger and yes, he is on the smooth side.  I so exciting to see him come alive on my paper.   

You will have to tune in later to see my finished crow.  Needless to say, coloured pencil is slower than painting. Right now it is also slower than graphite as I have to feel my way with colours on the tinted paper.

Spending 4 weeks painting/camping trip this summer has brought about great changes to my work. You can read about the other changes starting here.   For me it has been a real shake up and I think made my work move forward.  New ideas, new mediums and new materials have really given me inspiration for new works.

Do you have ways to really shake up your work?

Oh, and remember that new Travel Kit I talked about in the last post?
Well it really hit pay dirt for me.  Read about my new kit here and in my next post, see how it really 'Saved the Day'.

 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!! 

Special Offer: Free Shipping with your order of 4 or more Doodle Cards.

Special Upcoming Event: Plein Air Painting Festival - August 25-27 - Kilby Historical Site, Harrison Mills, BC
Great Opportunity to Paint on a Historic Site with costume models, farm animals, farm scenery,  old store and more.  Great Prizes for all levels - Beginners to Advanced Welcome - $15 Register events@kilby.ca by August 15, 2017.  Painting Friday and Saturday, Prizes, Luncheon, and Sales on Sunday.

See you there!!

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, August 3, 2017

YIPEE!! I am no longer a Pack Animal! Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Let's go!
Excitement is in the air.
The hiking trip that has been planning for weeks is about to begin.  You hoist up your bag and . . .
OMG!!
I can never carry this.  What on earth is in there?
Mermaid Cove, Protected Waters - 5 x 7 experimenting with using watercolour and ink but letting the ink be the star. 
Let's take a look: snacks, water, camera, binoculars, basic first aid stuff, sweater/ rain gear, and art supplies.  It all adds up to a heavy load.

Like you I enjoy the outdoors, kayaking, hiking or just a walk at any time of the year.  My latest camping/painting trip was filled with hikes along the trails, climbing over the logs on the beach and leisure walks along the bluff.  Everywhere I went there were awesome things to paint and sketch, and I did.
View north on Okeover Arm - more of my experimenting with using watercolour and ink 
Don't get me wrong, if there is a nice scenic spot I can drive up to, I take everything!!  Chairs, umbrellas, lots of cold drinks and more.

But. . .

Sometimes you want to go further and see more.  Now you are packing and the luxuries have to be left behind.

This summer I began experimenting with a great portable watercolour kit I put together.  It is small, light weight and has my own paints in it.  ( Getting my own paints was key to my kit as I was finding it a new learning curve every time I tried some of my commercial kits.)


My portable kit open in action, works great for sketchbook or watercolour sheet 7.5 x 9.5


Kit all packed up (top) laid out to view (bottom)
Kit Contents: Referring to the bottom picture - kit laid out Going left to right  
  1. Mesh nylon bag 12 in x 8
  2. Moleskin Sketchbook 5 in x 8 in. (under clamps)
  3. Plastic clamps - 3 - 4in long.  The 2 blue ones are locking which means they really are easy to clamp  and also release.  I would get 3 of this type next time
  4. Magnetic Spice tin with see-through lid (in front of pallet)  - 2 in high 2.25 diameter.  This was a major find, only $2 at Canada Tire.  It is sealed so I can carry water with it and it sticks to my metal pallet when I work.  Awesome!!
  5. Metal Pallet: 5 in x 2.5 in folded up  These are awesome, you put your own pans in them and fill them with your own colours
  6. Brushes -  Jack Richeson Watermedia Pocket Plein Air Brush Set, they come in that handy case and the brushes are really nice to work with
  7. Business Card - never hurts to Advertise!
  8. Plastic Zilock Bag - (under orange clamp at the top) pencil, Pigma Perment Ink Pen 03, kneaded eraser, small pencil sharpener
  9. My board - 1/4 inch plywood with corners sanded 9.5 x 13.5
Full Kit 5 lbs it can be stripped down to Pallet, Book, Zilock Bag and Waterfilled Brush. Stripped Down Kit 1 lb.

My only additions is small piece of paper towel which I hook to clamp as you can see in the action shot. My other addition to any outdoor work is a towel.  (softer seat for a log, use to make more shade, a toy or bed for Max, etc.)
Max, my Art Buddy.  Waits patiently then reminds me when it is time to get up and move. 
I am still tweaking my kit, I may take a few of the brushes out of my brush set and use the spot for pen and pencil, and I may try corrugated plastic instead of plywood.  Always striving for the Ultimate in portability.
I found that Liz Steele, an urban sketcher that I love to follow, has lots of good ideas for a good travel kit. Also James Gurney had a good article in the International Artist Magazine Vol 116, Aug/Sept 2017.  He sells a video that shows how to build his set up.

Have you found a great way to make your set up lighter?  I would love to hear what you do.

My 4 week Painting/Camping trip to Texada Island and Sunshine Coast was full of painting and trying new things. To learn more see my last post "Are you a Swimmer or a Diver?"   My next post is  OMG!! Have I got a NEW  Major Medium - not sure if my studio has room for it but . . . I am really loving it.

 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!! 

Special Offer: Free Shipping with your order of 4 or more Doodle Cards.

Special Upcoming Event: Plein Air Painting Festival - August 25-27Kilby Historical Site, Harrison Mills, BC
Great Opportunity to Paint on a Historic Site with costume models, farm animals, farm scenery,  old store and more.  Great Prizes for all levels - Beginners to Advanced Welcome - $15 Register events@kilby.ca by August 15, 2017.  Painting Friday and Saturday, Prizes, Luncheon, and Sales on Sunday.

See you there!!

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Friday, July 28, 2017

Are you a Swimmer or a Diver?

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

The weather is warm and swimming and beaches are on everyone's mind.  We are just back from a Painting/Camping trip on the SouthWest Coast of British Columbia so certainly part of my thinking.

Myself, I tend to be a swimmer.  Diving head first into the water has never been my favourite thing.  In fact when I was taking my swimming test, as a teenager, and had to dive off the 3 Meter board it took me quite a bit of time to get up the nerve to do it.  I think most adults, particularly women tend to be a swimmer.  Not because we can't dive in but more because we don't want to look like a drowned rat for the rest of the day.  You know, the hair thing.

Painting can be very similar.  We tend to stay safe and swim around in familiar settings, not getting 'our hair wet'.  Sometimes it is good to say to heck with it and just dive in.

My Painting Trip this year was filled with new things; I painted a lot and I really challenged myself with new colours, mixing subjects, different mediums and more.  Sometimes it was really exciting to see the changes and sometimes I felt like a drowned rat.
WATCHING THE TIDE LINE - 12 x 16

So here we go:
First goal:  Get wildlife in every picture. 
I found that I like seascapes and landscapes but wildlife is what I really want to paint and draw. But  I like to set up and paint what I see on the beach.  

My Problem: the wildlife wont hold still.

  
SOFT LANDING - 5 x 7, watercolour
Where we camp on Texada Island there is a pair of resident Bald Eagles very close by.  So throughout the day you will see them flying past, sitting on a rock or being chased by crows. I really want to paint the eagles in their setting.

My solution: a modified plein air painting. 
Max and I spent hours walking the beach and trails; he enjoyed the new scents and I took tons of pictures.  Of course the eagles were some of my regulars.  

That sounds easy but now what do you do with the pictures, we were a long way from my studio and for that matter; a long way from internet, printers and all that stuff.  Even electricity is at a premium. I picked up this great gadget for  my iPad that really was wonderful.  It is part of what is called "a camera kit".  
The camera kit piece for my ipad.  There are 2 different attachments, one for this size disk and one for a USB connection.  Not expensive but very handy.

What it means is,  I can take my card from my camera, plug it into my iPad and download the pictures I want. Once they are there I now have a decent size image to use for drawing.  I could then set up my picture on the beach for my eagle. 

 I would find a spot, set up my painting for my wildlife by leaving a space for him.  Later. back at camp,  I could use my iPad to draw him in. I found that most pictures required two sittings to complete so that worked out great. (Max will only sit for 1-2 hours then he says it is time for both of us to get up and stretch.  And by then the light has changed so much that it is a different picture anyway.)
FRESH SALMON - 5 x 7 watercolour
When Max and I were out in the kayak we got some great pictures for the painting, FRESH SALMON. (Yes, Max was getting pretty good in the kayak this summer.) 

Max and I in the kayak off Shelter Point, Texada Island

The eagle would sit on the trees by the small bay, swoop down, catch a fish, then take it up on the rocks to eat.  I decided to paint him on the logs by that little bay.

Photograph: My eagle feeding on his catch.  I think this would make a great painting too.  Don't you just love the tree and grasses in the background? 
Do you have any tricks or gadgets that help you paint in the field?  I would love to hear about them.

There is way too many things to tell you about my painting trip in one post; I was gone for 4 weeks.  So next post I will continue my report:  My Awesome New Field Painting Kit - small, very portable and with great paints.

 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!! 

Special Offer: Free Shipping with your order of 4 or more Doodle Cards.

Special Upcoming Event: Plein Air Painting Festival - August 25-27 - Kilby Historical Site, Harrison Mills, BC
Great Opportunity to Paint on a Historic Site with costume models, farm animals, farm scenery,  old store and more.  Great Prizes for all levels - Beginners to Advanced Welcome - $15 Register events@kilby.ca by August 15, 2017.  Painting Friday and Saturday, Prizes, Luncheon, and Sales on Sunday.

See you there!!

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Framing Watercolour Without Glass - Revisited - Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Watercolours have wonderful colours.  Watercolours are full of surprises.  Watercolours are versatile.

But . . .
Watercolours require a mat, glass and frame.  It seems so easy to work on canvas; when the painting is done, you're done.
Forest Trail - 4.5 x 6.5 - Watercolour mounted on Wood Cradle

I have looked at framing without glass for my watercolours a number of times but somehow it has not appealed to me.  I am not even sure I have a good reason. When watercolours are varnished they lose some of their texture, they become a little shiny, nothing dramatic, they are just different.  And that can be in a good way.  See what I mean, no real reason.

However . . .
Side view of Forest Trail mounted on Wood Cradle - 4.5 x 6.5

I find myself attracted to the block art and decided I should once again visit framing without glass. I already had wooden cradles prepared so I jumped in and gave it a try.  (Several years ago I used this method to finish the front and back covers of my Journal.  I must admit they still look awesome. You can see my Journal here)

Here is what I did and yes, it turned out great!

Mounting a Watercolour on a Wood Block

1.  Prepare the wood cradle: paint the sides with black acrylic paint (or whatever colour you want to finish the sides in) be sure and extend the colour onto the face of the block 1/4 inch.  This will ensure no missed spots when you put your painting on.  Seal the face, I used 2 coats of Golden GAC-100 Multi-Purpose Acrylic Polymer.  It can also be sealed with Gesso

2.  Paint your picture: In my case my wood block was 4.5 x 6.5 so my picture measured 5 x 7 so it could be trimmed to fit the block. I also had a 1/2 inch of white space around the edge so there was room to maneuver.
Forest Trail completed - you can see light lines just inside the edge of the picture that shows what will be trimmed off once it has been attached. 

3.  Use Matte Medium (Golden) to attach picture to the wood cradle: Using a foam brush I put matte medium on the wood cradle and then placed my picture on top.  I rubbed from the center out to make sure there were no bubbles and everything was flat and even.  Then I flipped the whole thing over and put a weight on it. This was left over night.

4. Trim picture to fit the Cradle: The next day I checked that the bond was good for my picture then I used an X-acto Knife, with a new blade to trim.  To do this place the block, picture facing down on a cutting mat and trim as closely as possible around the block.  You will have a bit of a rough edge, this can be sanded with fine sandpaper (600 Grit)  Remember to sand down away from the picture so you don't disturb your picture or pull it away from the block.
Picture mounted and trimmed. The white edge of the paper now needs to be addressed. 

5.  Paint Your White Line: Yes, you will have a wide edge of your paper left once you have attached your picture.  Use a brush or black permanent marker to paint that edge black.

6.  Varnish: Use a spray acrylic varnish to finish your work.  There are several on the market, use one that is for watercolour.  A Gloss finish will give your work a bit of a shine and will make your colours stand out while a Matte finish seems to dull the colours a bit.  There are many formulas for spraying but everyone seems to agree you need several.  I do 6 layers, allowing each one to dry before putting on the next coat.  With a small wood block the art is handled more, so I like a good layer of protection.

You're done. Add your information on the back, stand it up and enjoy.

There are several sites and videos on Youtube that will give you a more detailed step by step, one I found particularly useful was by Kelly McKernan.  She mounts her watercolour paper on the cradle before painting.  I kind of like painting first and then mounting, just in case my picture doesn't work.  But that of course is personal preference.

What do you like to do? How big a project do you mount on wood cradles? I am going to try a few more small pictures first but I am interested in trying larger ones as well.  Kelly used a 14 x 18 cradle in her example.

 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!! 

Special Offer: 3 Horse Cards = 1 Pack = Instant Download for only $12
 My 3 Horse Doodle Cards LET'S RIDE, LITTLE ONE AND FREE SPIRIT are 1 Digital Downloads Pack at my Etsy Shop.  Yes, you can print and personalize your own cards instantly. Your horsey family and friends will love them for any occasion.  See the story of their creation here.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, June 15, 2017

R U Afraid Your Travel Journal won't Come to Life? Drawing & Painting Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

You want to do a travel journal. The idea of setting up at a cafe, on a bench or on the beach and drawing a picture really attracts you.  You want a journal, something just for you.

But you are afraid to . . . .
 . . .work in front of people
. . . get started
. . .make a mess
. . . .be disappointed

I know what you mean. It's funny that little book you want to paint and draw in somehow feels you with fear.  It is a common feeling, I know, I use to feel that way too.
My sister, Maureen and I working on our Journals at breakfast time on the Royal Mile.  Sherry, my other sister, was staff photographer for the trip. 
Working on St. Giles Church - note the little designs on the top and bottom corners of the pages.  Those were put in as part of my prepping.  They make nice little 'treats' when you come to draw on the page. (See prepping your journal here.)

Those feelings can be beaten.  You can make your journal sing.  It will tell you stories of special memories.  Whether it was an afternoon in the park or a trek in the Himalayan Mountains. Those moments when you stop are when you really connect with a place.  Those pictures will be your  favourite mementos of the day.

I have just returned from my trip to Scotland and full of fresh ideas for how you can crack open that book and have success.

5 Guaranteed Ways to a Successful Travel Journal 

1.  Keep your equipment to a minimum -  You need to carry your book with you all the time so keep it light and portable.  My post on ideas for basic equipment is here.  My medium for this trip was ink, pencil and watercolour pencils.  When I was really pressed for space and weight I just had my book and a pen.  I was really pleased with how portable and workable this set up was.
This was a full day, sketching at breakfast then off on a day trip to Rosslyn Chapel.  I only took my pen with me and splashed on my colour late in the evening.  

2.  Start off small - Drawing the entire Edinburgh Castle is not a good starting point.  Better to pick a section to focus on.  As you get your sea legs you will feel more confident and knowledgeable, in tacking the big stuff.
Adding little symbols,  maps of 'where you were', small street scenes builds confidence, are fun and inspire you to do more. 

3. Focus on the most important thing and then add the details - Start with the boat, dock or building area that caught your eye.  Put it in the middle so there is room for details on all sides.  That way the most important thing is captured and as time permits you can add more.  What I find surprising is that once my focus spot is drawn the little extras on the side can be quickly suggested.  After all it is the focus spot that needs the detail anyway.
The coloured picture was done on the train.  Catching the lay of  the land and adding colour made the landscape come alive for me.  The trains all had chairs around a table which made it great for working. 

4. Add stuff later - Not everything needs to be done on site.  Later in the day you can add or finish up things: make colour notes, rough pencil sketch for later inking, spruce up your darks, . . .
It was raining as I huddled under the overhang to draw my gravestones.  Maureen and Sherry were searching for our ancestors. I added a bit of colour later to get them some context.  

5.  Pick up Brochures -   When visiting an area pick up the travel information, it will help in planning  ahead - what you might capture and where you might set up. They can also help later in adding the  final touches you didn't have time for.
I also love brochures for adding special pictures in my book.  I really wanted a bagpipe player in full regalia in my book. But there is no way anyone is going to pose for me but with the help of a brochure I was able to work on my 'man'.
I finished up 'my man' on the way home on the plane.

 Also brochures will give you ideas for symbols for the area which are fun to add as you decorate your pages.
Looking out the airport window, flight delayed 2 hours so lots of time to draw. 

 Your paintings are for everyone but your Journal is your own special way of celebrating your art, it's just for you.  Don't let your fear stop you.   Oh, and if you are worried about the people around you hanging over you and bothering you.  Turns out you are not as interesting as you think.  Most people are in their own world and will pay you no mind.  In fact, when I was working away on my 'grand drawing' of a section of The Royal Mile in Edinburgh and someone stopped me to ask where the train station was.  They never gave my work a glance.

 ***Last Drop-In Drawing session until Sept
 Great Opportunity to get some help with drawing:   Drop-In and Draw Sessions, Monday,  June 19,  10-12pm, or  1-3pm.  Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.  Bring your sketchbook and your project and come draw.  I will be happy to give you a few pointers as you work on your drawing.  $15 Pre-Registration Required. Contact Me.
Heads up, I have only 5 Drop-In Sessions scheduled for September, October and early November.  Space is limited.  Be the first to sign up.



 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!
 

Father's Day is Coming Fast
Special Offer: 3 Horse Cards = 1 Pack = Instant Download for only $12
 My 3 Horse Doodle Cards LET'S RIDE, LITTLE ONE AND FREE SPIRIT are 1 Digital Downloads Pack at my Etsy Shop.  Yes, you can print and personalize your own cards instantly. Your father and horsey male friends will love them. They are great for any occasion. See the story of their creation here.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Full Scotland Travel Journal Report - Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Yes I am home!
Had an awesome time in Scotland with my two sisters.  Every day was full of fun, adventure and Scotland.  Edinburgh is an easy city to get around with transit and their rail system makes it grade to move from place to place.  And with our Scot Rail Passes we could hop on and off as we moved around the country.

Here are some of my sketchbook pages:
Sights of Portree on The Isle of Skye
The little town of Portree on Skye was fabulous.  All of Skye gave us a sense of the villages in the Highlands near the water.  There was a picture at every corner.


Journaling in Portree.
This part of the harbour was known as 'The Lovely Muck'.  I think it was because when the tide went out it was a mud flat.

Yes we found the Inn in Lauder and had lunch there!!  Our Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather was manager there and his son was a clerk in 1840.
Must have a Highland Cow in my book!
Tried my hand at a Major Street Scene - Windows, gables, chimneys and roofs made this a nightmare.

Loved having the thistles already on the page - really inspired me to draw more. 
Got my sisters drawing too!  Me, Sherry and Maureen
Tried my hand at people while we were flying.  Some people can sleep on the plane but not me.
I am really pleased with my journal, I have lots of great memories from each page.  I hope this inspires you to get your journal started.

FYI - New Observations on Journaling from the trip: 
 Finding time to journal is always a problem; so much is happening and there is so much to see.  My list is started with my May post here.    Here are a few more ways to add to the list
- divide and conquer: while your partners find the information for the next leg of the journey, you pull out your book
- work in the train, boat, car.  I found the bus a bit to bumpy but everything else is a go.  Not your detailed stuff but certainly the lay of the land and the big picture can be captured
- waiting; When you travel there is lots of waiting.  The obvious things like trains and buses but also things like lunch and your turn in the shower and with the blow dryer
- put them to work; my sister's did many photo shoots for me so I would have shots for blogging.  They scouted things out, collect brochures, picked up things and watched the laundry while I worked.  It really helped to give me a little time and not slow them down.
Of course not every picture turned out - that is Sherry doing a Photo Bomb!

Great Opportunity to get some help with drawing: My  Drop-In and Draw Sessions  for June are Monday,June 12 & 19,  10-12pm, or  1-3pm.  Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.  Bring your sketchbook and your project and come draw.  I will be happy to give you a few pointers as you work on your drawing.  $15 Pre-Registration Required. Contact Me.  Less set until September. 

***THIS SUNDAY**** June 11- Art on the Farm
 
Kilby Historical Site, Harrison Mills. Join us for an Awesome ART Filled Day - sketch on the farm, join in hands-on drawing and painting sessions, see the sights.  My Hands-on Sessions will be at 12 & 2pm.  We will be drawing one of my flower favourites, Blackeyed Susies.  Have coffee and fresh pie afterwards at the cafe.  My personal favourite.  No registration, cost site fee only. 



 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!
 

Father's Day is Coming Fast
Special Offer: 3 Horse Cards = 1 Pack = Instant Download for only $12
 My 3 Horse Doodle Cards LET'S RIDE, LITTLE ONE AND FREE SPIRIT are 1 Digital Downloads Pack at my Etsy Shop.  Yes, you can print and personalize your own cards instantly. Your father and horsey friends will love them. They are great for any occasion. See the story of their creation here.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Key Secrets to Watercolour Pencils - Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Watercoloured pencils can be harder than you think!

As you know, I have been busy getting my journal ready for my trip to Scotland.  After a bit of research and practice I settled on my kit.  (My journal prepping posts start here.)   As a result several of my students have come to me looking for pointers on watercolour pencils. Turns out many of you have a set but have really never used them. Or if you did, found them very lacking.  I was in the second department.  However, after working with my journal I have really changed my tune. Here are some of my best secrets to success.
My Kit: 2 - 03 Pigma Pens, HB Pencil, Waterbrush,  Stillman & Birn Journal Zeta Series 8 x 5.5in, kneaded eraser, 12 Derwent Watercolour Pencils, sharpener, 
Some Key Secrets to Watercolour Pencils

1. Use your pencils dry like any coloured pencil.  Used dry they provide a lot of texture to the picture.  The harder you press the more pigment on the paper, the darker the colour. You can mix this up in your picture if you want. The contrast in texture can be very interesting.
Note the text on the left (dry pencil) and the smooth blended colour on the right. (wet with brush)  

2.  Activate the colour carefully.  Using a waterbrush or regular brush with water still means you work in your colour area.  For example: In the picture of Dunvegan Castle below, texture is created with the brush strokes.  Short strokes just in blue to activate it but not blend it completely into the gray that was also there.  Blending everything together ends up with grayed colours.  If you want separate colours, then activate the areas separately and clean your brush in between.  
Using short strokes without mixing my blue and gray, I was able to get texture in my wall. 
3.  Do more than one layer.  Once you have 'painted' an area, don't hesitate to do a second layer if it is not dark enough.  There is no limit to the number of layers you can put on an area to get the kind of dark you want.
In order to get the really dark areas in the rocks I repeated the layers many times. 
4.  Get a sharp bit of colour right from the tip. Just like you can use colour straight from the tube you can use colour straight from the pencil.  Just wet your brush, damp not dripping wet, touch it to the pencil tip and you will have straight pigment to add that punch you need in a special spot. See the shot of orange around the door and one window on Dunvegan Castle above or the dark blue on the shadow side of the fish shack above. 

 5. Get some good Darks in the Shadows.  When you are working with a set of coloured pencils the tendency is to reach for your black to get your really dark shadow. But, there are many other ways to do that. Here is a little picture I was working on with a student as we tested out her pencils.

 Cactus by the water in Mexico

Yes you can add black, note the dark shadow at the base of the bush line in the bottom left corner. But check out the tones on the main cactus.  That is a shadow laid down with a 8B graphite pencil in the dark area and then a lighter bit of graphite with a 2H on the lighter side.  Then a light wash over the graphite to smooth it out.  When it was dry I put my colour on top with my pencils.  Then activated that colour with water.  Note the rich dark blended area.  I have set up the second cactus with the graphite so you can see how it looks before the water and colour go on.  To me it is a warmer, richer shadow tone than the black coloured pencil.  A good contrast when I need it.  Note the dark shadow on the small cactus on the left side.  That is just a really dark blue line over the green.

So get those watercolour pencils out and try them again. They can do lots more than you think.  I for one am adding an 8B graphite pencil to my Scotland kit.  I really like the fast, strong dark I can get with it.
 Do you use watercolour pencils?  Any secrets you can share?

Great Opportunity to get some help with drawing: My  Drop-In and Draw Sessions  for June are Monday,June 12 & 19,  10-12pm, or  1-3pm.  Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.  Bring your sketchbook and your project and come draw.  I will be happy to give you a few pointers as you work on your drawing.  $15 Pre-Registration Required. Contact Me.  Less set until September. 

June 11- Art on the Farm
 
Kilby Historical Site, Harrison Mills. Join us for an Awesome ART Filled Day - sketch on the farm, join in hands-on drawing and painting sessions, see the sights.  My Hands-on Sessions will be at 12 & 2pm.  We will be drawing one of my flower favourites, Blackeyed Susies.  Have coffee and fresh pie afterwards at the cafe.  My personal favourite.  No registration, cost site fee only. 


 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!
 As you know I am off to Scotland next week,  so my Shop will be closed until June 10. Look forward to seeing you then. 


Special Offer: 3 Horse Cards = 1 Pack = Instant Download for only $12
 My 3 Horse Doodle Cards LET'S RIDE, LITTLE ONE AND FREE SPIRIT are 1 Digital Downloads Pack at my Etsy Shop.  Yes, you can print and personalize your own cards instantly. Your family and friends will love them. They are great for any occasion. See the story of their creation here.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, May 11, 2017

From the Itty-bitty to Humongous, Values Matter - Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

I love to paint miniatures.  I mean really, really small art pieces.  Miniatures are a very intimate type of art.  Where the humongous pictures want you to stand back, my little pictures invite you to come close and enjoy their fine detail.  This type of art has been popular since the Middle Ages.  Its main uses was to provide a portrait of a loved one that was small enough to wear as a necklace or carry in a pocket or pouch.  By today's standards those type of portraits were small.
MOM & POP WOOD DUCK - watercolour, 2.25 x 4
Miniature Shows today will accept pictures up to 12 square inches, 3 x 4 or any combination of measurements to that size.  I like the 3 x 4 inch size but I am always challenging myself to go smaller.  My latest pieces, Mom & Pop Wood Duck and Wood Duck Waddle measure 2.25 x 4 and 4 x 2.25 respectively.(9 sq. inches)  They are off to Levis, Quebec for the International Miniature Show, held there every 2 years.  This is a major show with pictures coming from over 173 artists and 21 different countries. I am very excited to have my little guys part of the show.  

WOOD DUCK WADDLE - Watercolour, 4 x 2.25
Whether you are working with an itty-bitty or humongous painting the same principles are important.  In working with these little portraits I was reminded of the Values.  You often hear painters say it doesn't matter what colour it is it is, it's the Value that is important.  As one that struggles with the hot/cold colour choices in my paintings I find this a ray of hope when I am 'stuck with my colour choice'.  

 By Values I mean the shades of gray from White to Black. Whether your work is in colour or black and white, each part has a value which is interpreted by the eye. 
Value Scale- White is 1 and Black is 11 (some scales go to 9 or 10)
I decided to use the magic of the digital world to see the differences of value with my little guys.  My Wood Duck was happy to oblige as a model. 

Original Picture - Backgroud is a 2/3
Original Picture - head and upper body have the Punch and your Attention
  
Mid Value - Background is a 5/6
Background Value pushed up to a mid tone - head and upper body still have some punch but now the white markings on the chest are competing and will need to be toned down.  











Dark - Background is a 8/9
Background Value pushed to the upper limits - there is still a focus on the head but other markings are pulling the eye around.  They will need to be adjusted to get a good eye movement happening.
As you can see things change a great deal when the value around them changes.  Note my watermark, which is the same value throughout almost disappears in the final example.

So how does this help. . . .

1.  Looking at the values of an image in black and white removes the pull of that favourite colour and helps you see what is going on in the painting.
2.  Value affects the focus point or area of emphasis in the picture
3.  An area can be muted by placing similar values beside it.
4.  The Bigger the contrast in values the more emphasis on that area.

I find it interesting to note that the really dark value looks good with my Wood Duck.  The background value is now darker than his body which now appears lighter.  The mid value is the only one that I feel is not effective for my little guy.
Which one do you like best?

I am off to Scotland soon and focusing on my Travel Journal.  Time to get your journal ready, there are lots of tips in my Travel Journal Series which starts  HERE.

Great Opportunity to get some help with drawing: My  Drop-In and Draw Sessions  for May are Monday, May 8 & 15,  10-12pm, or  1-3pm.  Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.  June Dates: Monday, June 12 & 19, 10-12pm & 1-3pm.  Still 1 Spot available in each. 
       Bring your sketchbook and your project and come draw.  I will be happy to give you a few pointers as you work on your drawing.  $15 Pre-Registration Required. Contact Me.

June 11- Art on the Farm, Kilby Historical Site, Harrison Mills. Join us for an Awesome ART Filled Day - sketch on the farm, join in hands-on drawing and painting sessions, see the sights.  My Hands-on Sessions will be at 12 & 2pm.  We will be drawing one of my flower favourites, Blackeyed Susies.  Have coffee and fresh pie afterwards at the cafe.  My personal favourite.  No registration, cost site fee only. 

 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!
Special Offer: 3 Horse Cards = 1 Pack = Instant Download for only $12
 My 3 Horse Doodle Cards LET'S RIDE, LITTLE ONE AND FREE SPIRIT are 1 Digital Downloads Pack at my Etsy Shop.  Yes, you can print and personalize your own cards instantly. Your family and friends will love them. They are great for any occasion. See the story of their creation here.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Finding Time - Travel Journal - Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

How can you lose TIME?  Somehow you do.

Steve, Max and I just returned from a little spring holiday to Osoyoos and the Similkameen Valley. We have had a very cold spring this year.  Would you believe our grass got its first cut April 15.  So we were looking for a bit of Spring Sunshine.  What better place than Osoyoos, the warmest, driest place in Canada in the winter.  Well, not this year.

Osoyoos Lake - Constantly Changing Skies. Ink & Watercolour
My plan was to enjoy the sunshine, do some sight seeing and of course do a bit of journaling.  Weather was up and down, sight seeing was good but journaling had a few lumps and bumps.  Like many of you, I do not travel with fellow artists that like to stop and sketch a bit.  Max, likes to chew on brushes and pens if he gets a hold of them. Steve is pretty good at reading for a bit but even that can only be for so long.

The problem is to FIND time.
A Spot of Green - Still gray in the valley so these little shots of green really stand out. Ink & Watercolour 
Time Finder #1 - Skip a Step

For 'ASPOT OF GREEN' I skipped a step.  Rather than doing a layout with pencil, I jumped to it and put down some watercolour.  It is similar to blocking in with colour but with a bit more detail.  As soon as it was dry I firmed up the detail with pen work.  The Final darks were added at the end and 'A SPOT OF GREEN' was ready to go.  I really like the liveliness of drawing over the watercolour, hitting and missing the edges.  But if it is raining out, which it was, it takes a few minutes to dry between steps.  I was in the car so I used the heater to dry my work.  (cheating, I know but it was raining out!!)

Mountains surrounding Hope, BC - I really wanted to capture the feeling of the mountains hemming in this little town.  Ink
Time Finder #2 - Drop to 1 Medium

The sun came out briefly in the evening when we were at Hope so I grabbed the chance to sketch the mountains.  They really dwarf Hope, the way they circle it.  With the blue sky and snowy peaks right in your face it is an awesome sight.  Catching my main idea in ink told my story and somehow colour just seems redundant.  A Panarama of inkwork in your book always makes you feel good.

Time Finder #3 - Time Yourself

Yes, get the stopwatch out and time yourself.   I don't mean try and beat the clock kind of timing but just time yourself as you do a sketch.  Small sketches, larger ones, mixed media ones and single media ones.  When you are working you are in your own place and really have no idea how long it takes to do a sketch.  Timing yourself let's you how long it takes to grab your sketch.  This means if you are standing in line for 30 minutes, you know if you have time to sketch.  If your party wants to leave and come back, you can say, sure, give me 25 minutes.  (Or more or less depending on your speed.)  You will find knowing how fast you work will free you up to do more.  And of course, the more you do, the faster you will be.

More time saving tips can be found in my Travel Journal Series which starts  HERE.  

Great Opportunity to get some help with drawing: My  Drop-In and Draw Sessions  for May are Monday, May 8 & 15,  10-12pm, or  1-3pm.  Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.
       Bring your sketchbook and your project and come draw.  I will be happy to give you a few pointers as you work on your drawing.  $15 Pre-Registration Required. Contact Me.

June 11- Art on the Farm, Kilby Historical Site, Harrison Mills. Join us for an Awesome ART Filled Day - sketch on the farm, join in hands-on drawing and painting sessions, see the sights.  My Hands-on Sessions will be at 12 & 2pm.  We will be drawing one of my flower favourites, Blackeyed Susies.  Have coffee and fresh pie afterwards at the cafe.  My personal favourite.  No registration, cost site fee only. 

 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!
Special Offer: 3 Horse Cards = 1 Pack = Instant Download for only $12
 My 3 Horse Doodle Cards LET'S RIDE, LITTLE ONE AND FREE SPIRIT are 1 Digital Downloads Pack at my Etsy Shop.  Yes, you can print and personalize your own cards instantly. Your family and friends will love them. They are great for any occasion. See the story of their creation here.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy