Watercolor a Crashing Ocean Wave | Seascape

Watercolor a Crashing Ocean Wave | Seascape

No sketch. No masking fluid. No gouache.

My happy place!

I know that probably qualifies me as “insane,” right? I think I could count on one hand the artists in my near-sphere who actually enjoy negative painting. Plenty out in the pro world, but…not much in mine.

But I’m ok with that. Because this painting brought me inner joy that’s off the charts.

With paper at a 30degree angle, pale wash with a Cascade/Transparent Red Oxide mix.
Adding more straight Cascade and letting it flow, still with paper at an angle.

Video: Watercolor a Crashing Ocean Wave | Seascape

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!

Needle brush having a dance party
Taping off the sky
Painting the distant water, negatively around the wave
Color playtime with Cascade/TRO mixes
A little brownish glaze….
Enjoying the small details

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My vision for Landscape Foundations

It’s been a while since I added any new Landscape Foundations courses…I had planned on one a year! But the last one showed up in 2021….yikes. Time flies!

My vision was to create a series that focused on one element of nature at a time – because when I was learning, I always picked a landscape that had a sky AND trees AND a river AND rocks AND…well, I didn’t know how to paint any of them, and my paintings were disjointed. I was struggling with each element AND how to make them all work together!

So I started with Trees I – a single tree. Five trees, actually, each course has five paintings with lovely techniques in each.

The second was Trees II – treescapes, learning how to get all the trees to work together. Another five paintings.

In 2021 I created Rocks and Ripples…. 5 paintings of rocks in creeks and rivers. Because I love painting rocks, but figured no one would take a whole class on JUST rocks. Ha!

And that brings us to the new class…

Watercolor Seascapes!

I wrestled and wrestled with the best way to teach big waves, which is what everyone wanted to learn. Yes, the big splashes are fun but…I spent literally days looking for references of other types of water so I could get a progression in the course. Learning the basics of water movement and reflection all the way up to different waves crashing. And different colorways so that when folks took their own seascape photos, they’d have some idea where to begin since there are different colors and techniques!

Interested in the critique group?

The thing I like so much about this idea is getting likeminded artists together who are working on something similar. These four classes of course are different, but the painting is at the same level, and the commitment to growth is pretty high at this stage too. And I hope that as we meet over the course of a number of weeks, then students will also feel like they’re in a class with the group. Not just flying solo with videos.

I don’t know how this will go or whether people will or won’t even want to join in. But I won’t know if I don’t try!

If it does go well I’ll create other groups periodically, in different mediums, groups of courses, etc. So be sure to subscribe to the newsletter to be sure you don’t miss out! I’ll be creating a survey in the next couple months so people could weigh in on what they’d like to see. No promises, but I hope to get some feedback!

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. Arches Cold Press sheets
  2. Daniel Smith Watercolors:
  3. Transparent Red Oxide 
  4. Cascade Green 
  5. Ultramarine Turquoise 
  6. Payne’s Blue Gray 
  7. Da Vinci Mottler 30 flat wash Blick | Amazon
  8. Da Vinci Series 17 Maestro Inlaid Needle, Size 9 Amazon
  9. Winsor Newton Kolinsky Sable Series 7 Round #8 Blick | Amazon 
  10. House of Hoffman Palette
  11. Artist tape 3/4″ 
  12. Incredible Art Board, Grafix 

Intuitive Abstract Watercolor | Artist Trading Cards

Intuitive Abstract Watercolor | Artist Trading Cards

Last week I hit both a deadline and a wall – on the same day….and ended up creating an intuitive abstract watercolor to get myself out of it.

As an independent artist, I set myself project deadlines, it’s all in my Google doc so I know what my tasks are, tracking completions and tasks, and planning for the future. And for World Watercolor Month, I wanted to release a few new classes. In the past I’ve had ONE class featured, but since my student base stretches from beginner to advanced, I wanted to have something for everyone – so they can all participate in the fundraising.

That was, of course, quadruple the workload I usually pile on myself! Which led to a couple necessary down-days, as I hit that wall. My body just screams UNCLE and gives out!

Tutorial: Intuitive Abstract Watercolor

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!

You would think I’d know better by now. That crash and burn has happened to me many times over the years. You might guess that I’m a type-A personality, and I push and push and push til I can’t push and collapse.

Unfortunately that affects my art, too. The collapse generally means I don’t want to sit in my workspace. I don’t even want to look at it. Laying on the couch, walking the dogs, and making food is about all I can deal with.

That has to come to an end at some point though, and sometimes it ends by just muscling my way into the studio and diving in head first. Other times, tippytoeing in with hopes of getting a sketchbook page out as a warmup.

This time, I had the added complication of needing to get the last ATCs (artist trading cards) finished so I could mail out the final envelopes in the Dot Card Fundraiser. (MANY THANKS to everyone who participated, they’re all gone!) I originally hadn’t planned on making 125 ATCs; I had about 50, but as I started packing more envelopes, I realized I wanted everyone to get an ATC treat inside, and busied myself making some. Often it was cutting up an old piece of art that had a few good rectangles in it….but at the end I opted to make the piece you’re seeing today.

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Intuitive Abstract Watercolor

Layering the hues for color as the base, and adding 3 different kinds of watercolor ground, I was able to create a large piece that could be broken easily into small and interesting rectangles. I paid attention to creating horizontal and vertical axes as well as some angled directional lines, letting the grounds be thick in some places, more washy in others.

A few tips:

  1. Look around your studio and your home to see what you can find to paint with that’s NOT your normal brush. Or if you have a brush you never use, try it out! Try a comb, a fork, a tool from the garage.
  2. Make marks you normally never make. You might discover some that you want to include in your representational work too.
  3. Layer from the background forward; if you want high contrast as I did, and you’re using black, be sure the lighter values go down first and dry completely before adding darks. If you want lighter on top, use grounds or acrylic or gouache on top, since you need more opacity.

What’s an Artist Trading Card?

I posted a deepdive last fall on ATCs – but basically it’s mini art pieces traded among artists. 2.5″ x 3.5″, stored in sleeves or page protectors. or framed, or whatever you’d like to do with them! As I sent out well over 100 of them, I do hope some folks decide to send one back, too. It wasn’t a requirement in the fundraiser but a girl can wish, right?

Have you tried abstract art?

Are you an artist who normally paints abstractly? What do you think about while making marks on your paper? Does painting this way make you feel a particular way?

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. ATC storage:
    1. Individual ATC sleeves
    2. 9-card page protectors
  2. Daniel Smith Watercolors
    1. Aussie Red Gold Blick | Amazon 
    2. Moonglow Blick | Amazon
  3. Daniel Smith Watercolor Grounds
    1. Mars Black Blick  | Amazon
    2. Pearlescent white Blick  | Amazon
    3. Iridescent gold Blick  | Amazon

LIMITED COLOR CHALLENGE: southwest watercolor

LIMITED COLOR CHALLENGE: southwest watercolor

In a color challenge a while back, I caught some grief for having chosen the colors myself….just using a few wasn’t enough eh? Maybe someone ELSE’s leftover paints is random enough? Haha! let’s see how this goes!

 

My dear friend Lisa Spangler sent me a huge box of leftover watercolor stuff a few months ago before she sold her house; she was packing everything up, and she and her husband were headed out for full time van life! They’re big hikers, and Lisa loves sketching out in the wild, and it’s a perfect lifestyle for them. 

But in a van she had to limit what she took with her — so guess who inherited watercolor treasures? MEEEE! 

Go follow Lisa’s adventures…especially if you’re anywhere near New Mexico in August when she’s going to be an artist-in-residence!! 

Tutorial: LIMITED COLOR CHALLENGE | southwest watercolor

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!

Thimble Peak

I decide to honor Lisa’s love of the southwest and paint some saguaro – the photo reference is here, and while it’s not exactly a replica, I think it worked, given the challenges! I love seeing what colors I can create out of what’s at hand!

Prickly Pear Cacti

I combined two photos for this one – here and here – to create a more flambouyant plant…same color combo with this one, which is kind of amazing that the odd colors can come together in two entirely different paintings!

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World Watercolor Month

Don’t forget, I’ve got all kinds of shenanigans going on over on my WWCM page – new classes, discounts, fundraising, and more!

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

World Watercolor Month Shenanigans

World Watercolor Month Shenanigans

It’s finally HERE! Let’s paint our way through July!!!

Video: World Watercolor Month Shenanigans!

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!

Let the shenanigans begin!

Spread the word

Want to help EVERYONE get excited about the World Watercolor Month stuff? Social media is crushing artists right now, and we could all use your help; here’s a few ways you could help out this weekend, before it all starts:

    1. Share! Each ambassador is fundraising on their own so if you see someone post about what they’re doing, SHARE IT! Post it to your story, or snap a screenshot to post on your own page and point people to what they’re up to. Follow all the ambassadors and share their work!
    2. Tell! Let your friends know you’re participating. Ya know what still gets attention on social media? PEOPLE PICS. (I know, I know, art pics should be the answer but it ain’t!) So post a pic of YOU, in your workspace painting, or just smiling like I did in my pic. And in the caption tell them YOU are participating. And what parts of it that you’re excited about. Hey, tell them about weekly zooms here, they might like to join us!
    3. Participate! Charlie has a list of prompts and you can follow those or just do your own thing like I’ll be doing. You can also get some swag from the WWCM shop, pick up one of my dot card fundraisers, or see what else you can afford to help out with in other fundraisers.

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Watercoloring a Stamped Kitten (with a dot card)

Watercoloring a Stamped Kitten (with a dot card)

Welcome to my stop on the Colorado Craft Company bloghop! So glad you’re here for a sweet kitten project….she’s made you some chocolate chip cookies, but watch out for a few stray cat hairs when you try one ;0)

This stamp set is called Bake Me Happy – and you simply need to get it not just because it’s adorable – but so you can come join me for a free Zoom call and we’ll paint it together! Read on for more.

Tutorial: Watercoloring a Stamped Kitten (with dot card)

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!

Adapt this design!

To stamp the images, I floated the cat above the bowl to leave room for contents; when stamping the utensils, I only added ink onto the outside edges so they disappear into the cookie dough.

This is painted with a dot card but try it with your own watercolors. And if you want to have the ability to make that line under the kitten disappear without masking, use a light ink; this one is tan, no longer available, but any light color can do.

Try making your cookie dough into flour by just some white shading; but be careful to either mask out or cover the straight line under her chin. White gouache can help with that, but be aware it’s whiter than most watercolor papers.

 

You’re invited to ZOOM!

I’ll be on Zoom with a version of the piggie card; since I’d like to squeeze in a second version too, simplifying it from this a little will likely be in order. If you RSVP I’ll send out the color list and instructions to have your paper stamped before that day. It’s a couple weeks away so don’t panic yet; I’ll send that out a few days ahead.

For updated details like, oh, that whole date/time thing, you can go to Artventure and check the Events tab. It’ll show the correct time and date in your zone. Sign up for my newsletter below, so you can find out about all the OTHER World Watercolor Month shenanigans I’m cooking up for you starting Monday!1

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Dot Card Fundraiser

Purchase a “dot card” with Daniel Smith watercolor paint dots you can wet and use! Orders will include a handmade ATC created by ME! I’ve been making more so I can get one to everybody. 🙂

Postage included; see color list in description on the page linked below. Profits will be donated to International Child Art Foundation.  One per customer.

Bloghop and giveaways

If you use my links to make a purchase they will be entered to win the entire release!

  1. Complete Bundle 10% Off
  2. Stamps Only Bundle 5% Off
  3. Bake Me Happy 

Colorado Craft Company will give away one free clear stamp from commenters here on this post! You can comment up until Midnight (ET) July 2nd. They’ll contact the winner and announce the winners on July 3rd on their blog.

  1. Adrienne Kennedy
  2. Amy Tsuruta
  3. Amy Young
  4. Daniel West
  5. Donna Hitz
  6. Erin Thompson
  7. Kassi Hulet
  8. Kelly Taylor
  9. Koren Wiskman
  10. Jennifer Kotas
  11. Nancy Sheads
  12. Sandy Allnock <—That’s me!
    IG:
  1. Jennifer Gross
  2. Joe Sysavath
  3. Noga Shefer

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

Masking fluid comparison for watercolor

Masking fluid comparison for watercolor

So is there ANY art supply in which the super cheap brand seems to perform as well as the pricey one? Maybe, just maybe, I found one. Don’t quote me forever on this; I only just started using one of these brands of masking fluid, and I’ll let you know in time how it does!

Tutorial: Masking fluid comparison for watercolor

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!

The contenders

For years the fluid I’ve used is the Grumbacher. Something about having orange fluid appeals to me, so I can see where I’ve painted the fluid! The Daniel Smith has been in the studio for a long time too – but my art friend JUST told me the little baggie of “tips” in my drawer goes with the DS fluid – HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS? And third, I’ve seen the Pebeo online and it’s cheap – so I had to see what the difference might be.

The results

Simply said, they’re, pretty much all great in their own way. I didn’t see any whose lines lost their integrity, even the DS with its bubbles looked fine (It was my bad blooping at fault for any problems, not the fluid!) The DS is white though, hard to see on my paper.

The blue Pebeo is nice because it’s blue of course, and even nicer that it’s inexpensive! I wouldn’t have guessed it would do well. I don’t know how it’ll work when I use it in landscapes, as the blues and greens may hide it and I might forget a spot and leave the fluid on the paper, oops.

And the Grumbacher, my years-long fave, may get a leg up in time; if the blue Pebeo doesn’t work with blue and green paintings, it’s possible I’ll need to go with orange.

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Dot card fundraiser

Order yourself a dot card while supplies last – and while I still have ATCs, I’ll tuck one into the envelope. Yes this is happy mail! I plan to get them out as fast as I can in case you want to use them in July for World Watercolor Month.

World Watercolor Month is July

Be sure you’re following along for the WWCM fun coming up! Either subscribe to my newsletter, or the email list over at art-classes, or Youtube, or Instagram or Facebook…you get the idea. Whichever place you trust to get you the info you want when you want it! 🙂 I’ll be shouting from the rooftops all over. July 1, mark your calendar and make a plan to paint!

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

  • Masking fluids:
    1. Daniel Smith Masking Fluid w applicator tips  BlickAmazon 
    2. Grumbacher Miskit masking fluid Blick • Amazon 
    3. Pebeo drawing gum  BlickAmazon 
  • Brushes I used with my masking fluid are a “detail” set – however I found an even better one with mixed sizes!
    1. Plaid Color By Me brush set