Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Don't throw out your old watercolors! [feedly]



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Don't throw out your old watercolors!
// Gurney Journey

Instead, seal them in big glass jars. I've got mine in four jars: "Juicy New Tubes," "Semi-Dry Tubes," "Dried Out Tubes," and "Pans Full and Empty." The airtight jars keep the tubes from drying out any further.

I use the new tubes for refilling empty pans. If the semi-dry ones are still squeezable, they can work even better for refilling, because they don't drip liquid. You can cut open the dried out tubes with a sharp knife. The pigment is often tar-like in consistency and can usually be scraped out with a palette knife. A little water pressed in with an old spoon is usually enough to reactivate them. If you're handling toxic pigments with your fingers, remember to wear gloves.

My jar of pans is a graveyard of colors I've dumped from sets because I wasn't interested in them. Sometimes I change my mind and give those refus├ęs another try. Every six months or so, I change my palette selection to keep myself off balance.

If I'm sure I don't want an old pan color, I pry out the color so that I can fill the empty pan with a new tube color. After refilling it, I put it on the sill of a sunny window and let it dry out for a week or two. If it cracks after drying, just fill in the cracks with more liquid color and let it dry again (thanks Jobot).

To cure the pigment from drying too crumbly, add a little gum arabic to it. Gum arabic is the binder or gluey stuff that holds watercolor together. You can get it in powdered form and it's non-toxic. It's also used for gluing cigars and making royal icing more shiny. You can even use gum arabic to make your own watercolors out of your dry eye shadow or dry pigments. (thanks, DKVision and Jobot).

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Check out my video:Watercolor in the Wild by James Gurney
Big post about materials
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Mick McGinty (update 2014) [feedly]



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Mick McGinty (update 2014)
// lines and colors

Mick McGinty
I'm delighted to say that after a hiatus of three years, painter/blogger/illustrator Mick McGinty is back to posting his small paintings on his blog Twice a Week, and offering them at auction.

Presumably, McGitnty has been busy in his other role as an illustrator, but it's great to see him once again posting his plain air paintings and other small works on his blog, which I have been following since early 2007.

I have this painting by McGinty, which I managed to snag at a low auction price back in 2008 (while everyone else was apparently sleeping), hanging in my living room.

When viewing his blog, bear in mind that it's one of the older Blogger layouts, in which there are no "Previous Posts" links at the bottom of the page. Use the monthly links in the right column to browse back through McGinty's work from past years. Also, be sure to click on the images to see the large versions of his work, the painterly nature of which is not always evident in the smaller reproductions.

For more, see my previous posts on Mick McGinty, listed below.


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Editors Pick: Botanical Flowers in Watercolor [feedly]



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Editors Pick: Botanical Flowers in Watercolor
// Artist's Network

KingFlowers3My mother loves to give people flowers. We have dinner together often, and it's all very spur of the moment, but every once in a while, she likes to observe a little formality of bringing a hostess gift in the form of flowers, even if it's a simple bouquet from the grocery store.

My mom knows my favorite flowers (lilies), but she also brings me what happens to catch her eye; a bouquet of daisies or sunflowers; sometimes gladioli or yellow roses. My mom doesn't worry about the language or meaning of flowers, she just brings what makes her happy. Inevitably, the flowers bring us both pleasure; I always find myself wanting to paint them. I find that it's great inspiration when I haven't picked up a brush in too long, as well as a great live subject that stays still for long periods of time.

Because the flowers are never the same each time, I can get a lot of practice painting and employing the various painting techniques and approaches to flowers. And there's no better resource for painting flowers in watercolor than Bente Starcke King's Beautiful Botanicals.

KingFlowers1In these art lessons, Bente Starcke King demonstrates how to paint flowers, introducing you to several watercolor painting techniques, along with working with colored pencils and pen-and-ink. Working from fresh flowers and plants, Bente Starke King shows you how to paint tulips, primroses, daffodils and lilies step-by-step, tackling potential problems such as capturing the beauty of white flowers on a white background. This video is a must for all who have an interest in painting beautiful flowers, and who want their bouquets to last longer than the flowers themselves.

Preview Beautiful Botanicals with Bente Starcke King now, then head over to ArtistsNetwork.tv for the full-length video, reviews, materials and more!


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N. C. Wyeth ~ The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter ~ Published by Scribner's 1921 [feedly]



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Creating Abstract Art: How to Paint Abstractly | NorthLightShop.com [feedly]



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Getting Trashed [feedly]



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Getting Trashed
// Artist Daily

I've heard of painting for yourself, for school, for work, but painting for the trash can?! Artist and watercolor painting instructor Jean Haines explains why working this way isn't rubbish at all. Enjoy!

The aim of being an artist is to create. But with this desire of creating wonderful paintings that can be framed or exhibited comes an enormous amount of pressure. We expect to always succeed in our goal to capture a scene or subject. I strongly believe it is this stress factor that can put off the beginner or lead to gaps in a professional artist's practice, times when they simply don't feel like they can pick up a brush and be successful. Or it becomes a point of despondency because one thinks he or she will never able to reach his or her goal.

 

I painted this watercolor exercise (with cadmium yellow and French ultramarine blue) for fun, for the bin, and with the aim of simply achieving vibrant fresh color on paper with texture effects for added interest.
I painted this watercolor exercise (with cadmium yellow and French ultramarine blue) for fun, for the bin, and with the aim of simply achieving vibrant fresh color on paper with texture effects for added interest.
In this watercolor painting for the bin, pigment is breaking up by use of simple water application. I refer to this watercolor painting technique as "water flow." Indigo and French ultramarine blue formed amazing patterns in the experimental wash.
In this watercolor painting for the bin, pigment is breaking up by use of simple water application. I refer to this watercolor painting technique as "water flow." Indigo and French ultramarine blue formed amazing patterns in the experimental wash.
Abstract result from purely experimenting with watercolor and textural effects.
Abstract result from purely experimenting with watercolor and textural effects.

In my studio I start and close each day with color experiments that, over time, have improved my art and my knowledge of the watercolor painting medium. In my watercolor art workshops I encourage everyone to experiment similarly with color first rather than always aiming to create a masterpiece straight away. Many experiments don't turn out right the first time, and it's alright to toss them in the bin (which is what we call the trash can in Britain). But while I am painting for the bin, I often unintentionally create pieces that are perfect for framing.

The key is to create a fun and light mood while experimenting, which is what I try to do during my watercolor painting lessons, and the results are incredible. I sometimes get the feeling many artists are too serious about their work and that they have forgotten how wonderfully enjoyable the experience of creating can actually be! Having fun with this process has aided my own growth and led me to completely new and exciting discoveries in watercolor painting techniques.

I constantly challenge myself by looking for new color combinations and pigment reactions, and I am fascinated by the reactions of artists attending my demonstrations. The joy they express when told not to paint a subject but to simply love working with color is amazing. I think possibly being given permission to "play" instead of always aiming for that special painting frees our inner artist and pushes us on our own road of discovery.

So the next time you don't feel like painting, how about letting go of all your inhibitions and self-imposed restrictions and free yourself by doing this exercise:

Paint four scraps of paper with different colors. Set yourself the challenge of making each one unique. Increase the challenge by not allowing yourself to use your favorite shades. Look out for great experimental results and use them in your more serious compositions. And remember to simply paint for the trash bin and take the pressure off of your shoulders.

I was once told if your bin isn't full, you haven't practiced enough! Although be warned, this exercise can become completely addictive, and that means taking out "the trash" more often!

*****

I love Jean's energy and unself-conscious approach to her painting. As a watercolor artist, she's definitely shown me that color is king and that a sense of play is an absolute must. If you are looking for more on how to paint watercolor without forgetting the fun, we have our available Chinese Watercolor Premium Palette for you now--a kit of inspiration for incredible artwork that reminds all of us how freeing and fun our art should be!

 


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