Little Bird

little-bird
8×10 watercolor on Fabriano Artistic soft press watercolor paper

For this one, I wanted to play around with some different techniques.  I knew I wanted to do some wet-in-wet with dry brush over it, and some expressive strokes and splatters.  I also wanted it to be very colorful without necessarily conforming to the correct colors.  I ended up choosing a roller bird for my reference image since it already had lots of color in it.  If I had it to do over again, I probably would’ve chosen to mix a more vibrant purple, but I don’t feel that it ruins the piece.

What I also discovered with this one was that while I enjoy seeing the more expressive sprays and splatters in others paintings, it felt unnatural to me.  I enjoyed the bird much better when he was just bold and contrasted against the white background.  So I’m not sure if I’ll do something like this again, but I had fun playing around with it.

My last painting has sold for $20 and is off to a wonderful new home.  Thank you all so much for all of your support and kind words.  Same as last time.  This one will be available for auction here until Thursday, December 8, 2016, at 12 noon PST, just leave a comment below with your offer.  I do need to open a separate bank account for all my art business stuff.  Just to get it started off, we’ll say $5 and the amount I get from this, I will use to set that up.  Shipping is only available within the USA at this time.

Fun With Coffee on GooglePlus

coffee-206142_640

I made a community on GooglePlus.  If you aren’t there, you’re missing out.  It’s just for coffee, tea, and wine painting.  I decided to do something fun and it was supposed to be for October, but this month didn’t quite work out for me.  So, we’re going to do it for November.  November will be coffee painting month, and at the end of the month, I will take everyone’s art pieces and put them together on a slideshow for you guys to enjoy.  During the month, you post in progress photos and ask for advice if you want.  Now this is only for my GooglePlus Community.  If you want in on the fun, you gotta go there.

Now here’s some tips on how to get started if you’ve never done it:

WATERCOLOR STYLE:  All you need is some strongly brewed coffee, the darkest roast you can find, and you can get different tones by adding more water.  The more water, the lighter the tone.  If you don’t want to use your precious coffee grounds, then use instant.  Again, the more water you have to your instant coffee grounds the lighter the tone will be.

ACRYLIC STYLE:  This one may require some experimentation.  You will need a very strongly brewed cup of coffee.  Boiling out some of the water may help as well.  Bring it to a simmer and then stir in small amounts of cold coffee and flour mixtures until you get it to the thickness you want.  Adding the flour will lighten the color some, which is why you need a very dark coffee to start with.  You’ll want different tones.  So different roasts and different strengths may give you the variety you want.  Such as using an espresso, a French, and an Italian at different strengths.

VARNISHING:  Whether you’re doing watercolor or acrylic, you’ll need to varnish it.  Even if you’re using acid free or archival paper or canvas, there is acid in the coffee and contact with air is what’s going to cause it to fade, not just contact to light.  For acrylic, you can use whatever matte spray you want to seal it and then use an archival liquid varnish over it.  For watercolor.  I recommend using the archival matte spray by Golden.  It’s the one I use on all my watercolors.  It’s archival and offers UV protection.  It will still need to be framed behind glass to protect it from water damage.

BONUS TIPS:  If you’re not going to finish within a day or two, put your coffee in little jars or containers and put them in the refrigerator to prevent mold.  Also, coffee dries slower than regular water based paint, so allow for that.  If you’re doing watercolor, lifting techniques don’t work as well since coffee is staining.

So head over there to get in on all the fun!  I look forward to seeing all your paintings!

Bookmark

Bookmark (c)
2×7 bookmark; watercolor on 140lbs watercolor paper.

Well apparently I messed up on the scheduling of this post.  Oops.  I had a fussy baby, so doing a big project just wasn’t going to happen.  Since I cut my paper, I’m left with a bunch of little strips of paper.  So I decided to do a bookmark.  I may do others on weeks that I just don’t have time for big projects.  This took me all week, but I was a little occupied.  🙂

This bookmark is now available here.

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Frozen Lady

Pansies

Mother’s Day Cards

Handful of Tea

Sip of Coffee

The Tree Nymph

The Yellow Rose

Kippahs In the Kitchen

I don’t have a full painting for you since unfortunately I knocked my rinse water all over my painting.  Such sadness.  However I did have some video before it got ruined.  So I thought I’d share a part of the video in real time so that you can see how slow my painting process is at certain points.  Such is the nature of detailed painting.

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Frozen Lady

Pansies

Mother’s Day Cards

The Tree Nymph

The Yellow Rose

Right Side vs Wrong Side Of the Paper

I’ve been experimenting with the “wrong” side of the paper.  It’s basically just the the smoother side of the paper.  It’s suppose to be better for getting finer detail and since I do more detailed work I thought I’d give it a try.  I really like the smoothness of it.  It actually makes me want to try out some hot press paper.  I’ll have to test that out and tell you my experience with that.  I didn’t notice too much of a difference in color, but I was able to get more of the detail I wanted because I didn’t have the grain of the paper getting in my way.  I also noticed that it dried flatter as well, which was interesting.

So I will probably use the other side of the paper from now on.  If you’re doing a style of painting that requires a lot of detail you might like using the other side, but if you’re going for a more impressionistic look the more textured side would probably work better.

If you try it out, let me know how goes for you!  Unfortunately I spilled my rinse water all over my painting so I don’t have a picture to show you for comparison, but I will soon.

Other Topics You Might Enjoy:

5 Beginning Watercolor Mistakes

Is Realistic Watercolor Possible?

Varnishing Watercolor Paper

3 Things Not To Do With Your Brushes

Staining vs Non-Staining Colors

Beginning Layers

I haven’t had much time for painting so I just started one.  The beginning layer looks very interesting as most beginning layers do.  I was missing my watercolors, so I brought them out for this painting.  I’m also experimenting with using the other side of the paper which is smoother than the normal side I use.  Since I do more detailed work, it should work better for that.  I’ll have to let you know how everything turns out next week.

Just the first few layers of the countertop.
Just the first few layers of the countertop.

Other Paintings You Might Be Interesting In:

Frozen Lady

Pansies

Mother’s Day Cards

The Tree Nymph

The Yellow Rose

5 Beginning Watercolor Mistakes

There are tons of videos on YouTube about painting, and just about anything you what.  This one is a nice short video demonstrating some the mistakes beginning watercolor artists make when they first start painting.  I talked about some of them in my video last week, but this one adds a few more tips and gives a demonstration.

Watercolor is an interesting medium.  It can be fast at one moment and then slow the next moment.  There’s a lot of planning involved.  Where are things going to be placed?  What is the color going to be?  It’s easier to change these things in oil or acrylic because you can just paint over them, but that doesn’t work so well in watercolor.

Other Topics You Might Enjoy:

Is Realistic Watercolor Possible?

Varnishing Watercolor Paper

3 Things Not To Do With Your Brushes

Staining vs Non-Staining Colors

Are You Using the Right Watercolor Paper?

Is Realistic Watercolor Possible?

Yes, it is possible.  You just have to be patient with it.  Many people choose watercolor thinking it’ll be faster and easier to use than other mediums, which isn’t always the case.  When going for a realistic style you need to have more of a plan than just seeing what the paint does.  You also need to work in many layers and allow for those layers to dry in between.  Working from light to dark will also help you not go too dark in the beginning and then not be able to get the contrast you need.  Color isn’t as important as an accurate drawing, light, and contrast.  The color can be slightly off and still work as long as you have all those other elements.

It takes practice to achieve this style, so you may want to practice on small pieces first before moving on to larger compositions.  Happy painting!

Other Topics You Might Enjoy:

Varnishing Watercolor Paper

3 Things Not To Do With Your Brushes

Staining vs Non-Staining Colors

Are You Using the Right Watercolor Paper?

Pansies

I was tired of tying each tea one at a time to see which ones worked, so I just mixed them all up and painted with them all at once.  Pretty much all the berry teas are fairy equal in color.  It’s just different variations of a gray purple.  Raspberry gives me the best purple and I liked the other brand I was using better than the one I tried for this piece.  This brand didn’t get as violet as the other one.  The lemon ginger tea gave me a yellow green color, and the peach tea gave me an yellow orange color.  My painting smelled very fruity before I varnished it.  The full slowed down version of this video is now available on my patreon page.

This piece is now available on my storenvy page.

This was an experiment with multiple teas.  I used lemon ginger, peach, and raspberry.  shalevbasya.storenvy.com
This was an experiment with multiple teas. I used lemon ginger, peach, and raspberry. shalevbasya.storenvy.com

Other Blog Post You Might Enjoy:

Clock and Daisies Finished!

New Paintings

Mother’s Day Cards

Sip of Coffee

Coffee Dessert

Varnishing Watercolor Paper

While you can varnish watercolor paper, it is a little different than varnishing canvas.  It still needs to be framed behind glass to protect it from water and humidity, but a varnish can help prevent fading.  You want to get a matte spray varnish.  I use the matte spray varnish by Golden.  It’s archival and offers UV protection.  There’s not much of point in using a varnish that isn’t archival.

With coffee and tea, you want to varnish as soon as you can because it’s not just contact with light that causes it to fade, but also contact with oxygen.  It needs to be completely dry first, but after that, varnish it.  Watercolor can wait a bit if you keep it out of the light.  Even if you get acid-free paper, there’s still acid in the coffee and tea.

Hopefully that’s helpful.  If you try it out, let me know how it goes.  Also if you have any questions, leave those in the comments too!

Other Topics That Might Interest You:

3 Things Not To Do With Your Brushes

Staining vs Non-Staining Colors

Are You Using the Right Watercolor Paper?