Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Good morning! I want to start off letting you know that I will be posting once a week, most likely on a Thursday evening. My goal is to share painting tips and techniques and just a little bit of life in general. I am an artist and part-time school bus driver for preschool kids (very interesting at times). I have a studio that I work out of in my home and have many interesting artist friends whom you will meet and see their work on occasion.

One of my plans is to retire in a couple of years and devote my time to being a full time artist again. Something I couldn't afford to do for many years. I would also like to open up my own gallery and provide space for local artisans to display their wares, kind of like a handmade shop and gallery combined.

Today I will be working on a new painting of a grain mill on an old farm not too farm from where we live. It is a small mill and you wouldn't even realize it is a mill without me mentioning it. I will take pictures as I progress so you can see my process.

Well got to run, school kids are waiting!

Friday, October 3, 2014

It is a blustery fall day, leaves blowing around and the sky is getting darker by the minute. We are expected to get some heavy duty thunderstorms this afternoon. I love thunderstorms something about them excites the soul.

Well lets dive in and talk about watercolor paints. Watercolor is an extraordinary medium and each brand of watercolor has its own uniqueness. I have three brands that are my favorites: Winsor-Newton, Schminke, and Holbein. There are colors within each of these brands that I like over the other. For example, Winsor-Newton Ivory Black performs better than Schmincke's, and Schmincke's Indian Yellow performs better than Winsor-Newton brand. I have more Winsor-Newton colors however, than the other two brands. I love to experiment with all of them. Experimenting reveals the characteristics of the paints, some mix well with each other and others don't mix well at all. By experimenting I know what colors work well together before using them on my painting. Getting familiar with your brand of paints is a good way to get to know how they'll perform.

I keep a small piece of 300 pound watercolor paper (about 5 inches square in size) on my table to actually test the color before applying it to my painting. If I don't like the look and feel of the color or mixture of colors, I try another until I'm satisfied.

Watercolor paper varies in performance also. It is best to purchase a good quality paper from the start, make sure it is 100% cotton, mold-made watercolor paper. I prefer 300-lb soft-pressed, most artist's use cold-pressed. I prefer to use soft press because I like how the watercolors work with the paper; it receives the watercolor well, much better than cold-pressed.

Its back to work. Happy Autumn!