I BIT MY PAINTING SUBJECT!

I BIT MY PAINTING SUBJECT!

I don’t usually recommend eating your subject matter for a still life. But this case required an exception! I wanted to paint a realistic candy – and “had” to take one for the team and buy the BIG box and bite one to photograph myself!

Once I bit it (okay I had to do it a few times to different candies….getting it to look good wasn’t easy! Pinky swear!) I placed it on the puffy insert in the heart-shaped box to take a photo on my iphone. I set up lights so the open caramel part would show up best, then in Photoshop I added the dark background. Coz I’m no photographer and wouldn’t know how to do that! Feel free to use my picture for your reference to draw or paint from!

(Side note: How on rearth do candy manufacturers put so many strawberry and vanilla cremes and toffees in their boxes of chocolates? More caramel please!)

Tutorial: Painting chocolates!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Gouache

I’ve been taking oil painting lessons in gouache (very similar techniques) – and trying to turn my brain upside down to paint dark to light. It doesn’t always happen that way! BUT the thing that is the same in both is that SHAPE and VALUE matter a lot to create realism and depth. 

Watercolor

I came back to my sweet spot where I know how I want to plan a painting. It’s much more natural for me! I know how life goes when starting light and going dark, and can “see” the process in my head without nearly the effort that gouache takes. But again – shape and value are crucial.

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Comparison

Each painting has its own problems and areas of excellence! With my limited experience, I’m just figuring out how to handle a background, especially a blended one. (I’m debating whether I should start painting really loose and impressionistic so I can skip worrying about blending, HA!) But a rich black background is easy to achieve in the matte medium. The watercolor background in the light area looks excellent by contrast – and until it was right next to the gouache painting the background looked pretty decent; but watercolor simply hasn’t got the “oomph” of guache. But I’m not unhappy with either painting!

Zoom call today!

We’re working our way through the 30 Days to More Confident Sketching class, and seeing a lot of student work all at once has helped me see some areas that I think I need to spend more time teaching – and that’s how to see shapes and values better. It’s a very natural thing for me after all these years, and I need to figure out how to communicate it in ways that’ll make sense to students!

In a little while – 2 hours after this post is live, as a matter of fact – I’ll be hosting a zoom session about graphite and charcoal, and I think I’ll be demonstrating trees since that’s the subject for the day in the class. Trees are often a frustration point for students! If you’d like to join in, pop over to Artventure, we’d love to have you join in! (It’s free!)

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

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Going from messy & scribbly — to beautiful art

Going from messy & scribbly — to beautiful art

Today’s art is inspired by the coming Valentine’s Day holiday – but also by things I hear from my students and readers!

I often see comments bemoaning a person’s own art. “I wish I could blend.” “My coloring stinks!” “My art looks so bad compared to ___!”

And though I say it often, I don’t think I can ever emphasize it enough: get your nose off your paper! When you are staring at your paper from 6 inches away, of course you’ll see any faults. But you know what? No one else looks at your work that way. And if they do, they don’t have a vision in their heads like you do – they just see a beautiful piece of art, and that’s it.

So today I’ll show you some of my art close up so you can see how messy it appears at a few inches away, but how lovely when at a distance. Maybe that’ll convince you to give yourself grace!

Tutorial: Title

Text

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Alcohol Markers (transparent color)

With strong, transparent color, it’s quite easy to color these chocolates with ease – go outside the lines to your heart’s content around the chocolates! Keep layering the colors til they look as dark as you want. Make the plastic liner of the box black (grey 7 or 8) or go over that with a brown to create a REALLY dark brown. White gel pen highlights top  off the “high points” and uppper left corner to create a shiny look.

Colored pencil (semi-opaque)

Since colored pencil can cover black lines below it, the medium can look a bit messier than alcohol marker. Gamsol, a blending solution, can be applied and color smooshed around to blend color and press it down into the texture of the paper.

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Gouache (opaque)

Gouache is an opaque watercolor – if you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a little like acrylic with different properties. (You could try this same thing with acrylics). Make the plastic tray black, add highlights in a very dark grey, then painted blobs for the chocolates. This was definitely the most fun to add the drizzled chocolate to! Gradually lightening the color until it’s white creates the look of softly molded chocolates.

So how about you?

What’s your internal language like about your art? Do you look at your blending and wish you could create art like so-and-so? It’s quite possible their art doesn’t look perfectly smooth…..sometimes it does but it’s certainly possible to make art that looks realistic without being “perfect”!

Intricate Sketches you can color

There’s a set of 5 (five for the price of four!) or you can purchase any of them, including the chocolate box, singly. Visit the printables page for more info!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

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74 Colors of Daniel Smith Gouache

74 Colors of Daniel Smith Gouache

When the good folks at Daniel Smith sent me their first 22 colors of gouache, that package was met with an “Oh no, another medium, I don’t need to get into another medium!”

Granted, I was grateful! Being an Ambassador is a blessing, getting some free product is awesome. But I went into gouache quite resistantly. But found that I actually love it.

I’m in an oil painting school where I’m using their techniques for gouache, and learning a ton! I’m filling sketchbooks. Selling some of my paintings. I mean, it’s going well!

And then a HUGE box arrived before Christmas last year. I left it unopened under my tree, and even stuck a bow on it—my family had decided to not exchange gifts, so this was going to be my Christmas present.

Receiving lovely goodie boxes like this is not something I take for granted. I am blessed!

But please also know that if Daniel Smith made terrible products, I would NOT be promoting the company. I’m just not that person. There are even some colors (I’m looking at you Quin Magenta) whose gouache versions are, to say the least, a challenge to paint with. And some watercolors are hues make me go hmm. I don’t gush over everything like some ‘influencers’ do in order to get you to buy something. (As a matter of fact, I’m not sure you NEED the gouache colors I’m sharing here. I don’t even know what *I* like  yet!)

I’d be using DS paints whether I was an Ambassador or not. It doesn’t mean there aren’t decent companies who make decent paints! I just find Daniel Smith supplies to be oh so consistent in their quality.

And with that…let’s get on to looking at the 52 new gouache colors to add to the 22 originals!

The tutorial

I’ll show how I swatched these, tested a few, and go through them; I’d say the colors are perhaps more accurate in the video then some of the photos below – it was soooo hard to get them at the right intensity and value in photos.

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Swatches of 74 Daniel Smith Gouache colors!

Oh my goodness was this biting off more than I could chew….I did attempt to color correct as best I could, but please remember you see things through your own monitor’s calibration, which has gone through the internet as well as my monitor’s calibratoin. And some colors just get trashed when sent into RGB mode! But it’s better than nothing, right? 🙂

These are grouped by color. Ish. (Some straddle groups or can belong in more than one) Tap on any photo to go snag a tube if you need one….or do a search for the color name you’re looking for in the alphabetical text list below in this post.

Testing sketch: Poppy

Colors for the flower are Cad Medium Orange Hue, Red Medium Orange Hue, Carmine, plus Titanium White. Center is Moonglow plus Titanium White

Testing sketch: Teapot

Colors for the teapot: Iridescent Gold, Iridescent Aztec Gold, Iridescent Copper, Van Dyck Brown. Plus White.

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Testing sketch: Horse

Colors for the horse are Raw Umber, Yellow Iron Oxide, Brown Iron Oxide, and Raw Umber. Mane is Titanium White and Buff Titanium with a tiny bit of the other colors.

Testing sketch: Fruit

Colors are Lemon Yellow, Indian Yellow, Phthalo Blue Green Shade, Titanium White.

Alphabetical list of the colors

Daniel Smith Gouache colors (all)

 

These colors were provided by Daniel Smith for my review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

WINNER!

Congratulations to Phyllis Wendt for winning the giveaway of my colored stamped page! Email me with your address and I’ll drop it in the mail to you!

Your color suggestions?

Are there colors here that intrigued you but they look too close to something else? Side by sides you want to see? A pairing you want to see mixed? Let me know, I’ll be doing some painting coming up and would love to know what YOU want to know!

Countdown to Christmas

Countdown to Christmas

Welcome to my little stop on the Colorado Craft Company bloghop! 

I’m embarking on my usual winter sabbatical – taking off til the end of the year from big tutorials. But I do have a little “short” to show you, as well as step by step photos for one of my two cards. AND a video from earlier this year showing the technique too. Let’s get to it, shall we?

The full release is available now- and if you use my link, you qualify to win the full release of either Anita Jeram or Kris Lauren (I’m only showing you two sets here, be sure to view the rest of the hop or just TAP TO GO SHOPPING while there’s still stamps in stock!

YT Short: Stamping and gouache

My video today is a SHORT which means it’s under a minute long. YT won’t let me embed a short so tap the link below and see it on YouTube.

Countdown to Christmas

If you found  that short quick and helpful,  be sure to subscribe to my YT! Tap the BELL beside the button and click ALL so it notifies you when I have a new upload. As my COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS I’m going to try to post a little short every day!

TAP TO SEE VIEW MY SHORTS COLLECTION.

The steps on the penguin card

In a stamping platform like a MISTI, stamp the image, and paint your design in gouache. This is an opaque paint, so it’ll cover the lines. But don’t worry, you can stamp over it once it’s dry! (You can try this with acrylic but gouache dries flatter and faster.)

Then paint the figures in whatever stamp you’re using. You might go past the lines, so just stamp it again when done, easy peasy! To finish mine off, I drew in a squiggly line and painted on lights – and used the same colors for some lights in the sky too.

The pup card

I used the same process for this one but didn’t take photos….I painted it to look like my Vienna!

BONUS: full stamping & gouache tutorial

Here’s a long form video that shows the same technique but with a different CCC release. 

Comment Q: which of these two is your favorite?

LMK in a comment – because you know you need to leave one to qualify to win a prize! Three ways to win:

  1. CCC will give away one free clear stamp t0 a commenter on my blog! They’ll choose these randomly and contact the winner.
  2. If you use MY affiliate link to make a purchase you will be entered to win the entire new release from one of the two artists. (Winner’s choice!)

Comment up until Midnight (ET) DEC 3rd.. CCC will announce the winners DEC 5th on their blog.

 

Blog Hop Links:

  1. Adrienne Kennedy
  2. Amy Tsuruta
  3. Amy Young
  4. Bibi Cameron
  5. Caly Person
  6. Daniel West
  7. Erin Thompson
  8. Jennifer Kotas
  9. Jessica Frost-Ballas
  10. Kassi Hulet
  11. Kelly Griglione
  12. Kelly Taylor
  13. Koren Wiskman
  14. Michelle Lupton
  15. Nancy Sheads
  16. Sandy Allnock <–me! Last but not least! 🙂
  17. Instagram:
  18. Adam Karle
  19. Jasleen Kaur
  20. Jenn Gross

Good luck!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

  1. Colorado Craft Company 
  2. Daniel Smith Gouache 
  3. Joybest airtight palette
  4. Jack Richeson travel brush set Blick || Amazon 
  5. My Sweet Petunia: regular MISTI Stamping Tool ||  Mini MISTI 

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COMPARISON: Watercolor vs Gouache / Atmospheric Perspective Paintings

COMPARISON: Watercolor vs Gouache / Atmospheric Perspective Paintings

Cue the battle music and the smoke machines: IT’S A DUEL! It’s time for a head-to-head comparison between gouache and watercolor!! In the video I’ll be showing you the same painting in both, showing how to create an effect in one medium then in the other. 

Tutorial: Watercolor vs Gouache / Atmospheric Perspective Paintings

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Atmospheric perspective in gouache

Creating the colors and values to depict (and even exxagerate) the depth in a scene in gouache requires mixing the colors. There’s no accidental mixing by colors moving around on their own – it’s all conscious desicsion-making.

Some of the big benefits of gouache are….

  1. It’s a slower process; water’s not causing panic as color flows.
  2. You can stop and take a break without having to worry that the paper will dry.
  3. You can paint over areas that didn’t work out.

Atmospheric perspective in watercolor

Since watercolor pigments move within the moisture on the paper, it’s easy to get a flow of color with softly blended edges. Thicker paint moves more slowly, wet mixes flood out into the area they’re dropped into. Less paint creates that desaturated, faraway look, and thicker mixtures are great for foreground detail.

Some of the big benefits of watercolor are….

  1. Quick flowing process; the watercolor took about 2/3 as long as the gouache painting.
  2. Soft edges easily can be created with wet-in-wet techniques.
  3. Detail can be added using my favorite needle (“inlaid liner” brush!

So which is better?

That’s all a subjective choice! I find there are some subjects that lend themselves better to one or another—and sometimes I don’t find out til I’ve tried it a few times. Ha! I love having the option to try the other water media if one doesn’t work. My gouache work is taking on a more loose, painterly, oil painter style, unlike many gouache artists who carefully exploit the “graphic” nature of shapes and color blocks that gouache can create.

Oil painting class

I’m in Samuel Earp’s Online School to learn gouache from studying the process that oil painters use. It’s really helping a lot already! While oils can get more blending than I can achieve with gouache (that may change as I explore techniques), I’m learning a ton about mixing colors for the right atmospheric perspective in landscapes.

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

  1. WATERCOLOR:
    1. Daniel Smith Watercolors:
      1. French Ultramarine Blue
      2. Payne’s Blue Gray
      3. Transparent Red Oxide
      4. Green Apatite
    2. Arches Cold Press Pad
    3. Winsor Newton Kolinsky Sable Series 7 Round #8 
    4. Da Vinci Maestro Kolinsky Brush – Inlaid Liner (Needle), Size 8 
  2. GOUACHE:
    1. Daniel Smith Gouache:
      1. Ultramarine 
      2. Titanium White 
      3. Permanent Green Light 
      4. Hansa Yellow Deep
      5. Burnt Sienna 
      6. Lamp Black 
    2. Joybest airtight palette 
    3. Jack Richeson travel brush set –BlickAmazon 
    4. Canson XL:  BLICKAMZ

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How to mix the perfect cat’s eye green hue

How to mix the perfect cat’s eye green hue

Ever need to mix the perfect green for a cat’s eye? (Or anything that’s an olive green?) With a little basic color theory, you can mix ANY color you want!

A little side story: while working on these two pieces I was on the phone with  my Mom. She was SO EXCITED that I launched my Commissions page finally! And excited that a bunch of applications came in right away too! And that there are a bunch of pieces that sold in the big SALE currently going on. I mean, seriously. This is a milestone. Mom doesn’t do computer stuff and watch my videos or anything. She was giving me advice on pastels. Celebrating a MILESTONE here. 🙂

If this photo doesn’t convince you that eyes are what makes a drawing work…nothing will!

Tutorial: How to mix the perfect cat’s eye green hue

Quick question: what do you think about the thumbnail? I’m not worried as much about what it looks like here embedded in the blog, but in the grid you see on YouTube. Would it catch your attention more than my usual?

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Mixing colors for wet media

Watercolor, gouache, acrylic, oil….anything that is mixed on a palette before being applied—mix them on the palette. A warm yellow will turn a cool green into an olive color, desaturating it.

Mixing colors for other media

If your media doesn’t get premixed on a palette – think alcohol markers, colored pencils, pastels – then mix ON the paper. Either apply and blend like shown with pastels, or layer them atop each other in glazes. 

Note: you can use this for watercolor too – if the color isn’t olive enough that you mixed in the palette, paint a thin wash of yellow on top of the green to glaze it.

What colors do  you struggle with mixing?

I’d love to help out – what color do you need to mix, and in what mediums? 

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

  1. Pastel:
    1. Mom’s random pastels
    2. Clairefontaine pastel mat pads
    3. Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils  (I’m looking for softer ones. Not sure on these)
  2. Gouache:
    1. Scrap board
    2. Daniel Smith Gouache 
    3. Joybest airtight palette 
    4. Jack Richeson travel brush set 

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