Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday's Tips & Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Saving the White of the Paper
In watercolor painting the best way to have white in a painting, is to save the white of the paper. If you want to create something with a specific white shape, sometimes it is best to use masking fluid. There are a variety of brands of masking fluid and each brand has tinted theirs a different color. The brand I like the best is Pebeo Drawing Gum. It has a gray tint to it. Which can be easily seen as you are painting.

I have a brush that I use only for the masking fluid. I have labeled it with a piece of tape on the handle. It is good to gently shake the masking fluid bottle a few minutes before you plan to use it, and let the bubbles settle. I wet the brush with clean water and then swipe it across a small bar of soap, then I use a tissue to blot off the excess soap. The brush is now ready to be dipped into the masking fluid. By soaping up the brush first, you will save the hairs on the brush. If you are masking a large area, it is a good idea to go back and re-soap the brush again and again.

Allow the masking fluid to completely dry before you start to paint. When your painting is complete and dry, use a rubber cement pickup (the square object in the photo) to remove all of the masking fluid.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Butterflies ...

Butterfly in Gold

Another fun expressive butterfly from my Butterfly Series. These butterflies are even more amazing in person.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday's Tips & Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Travel Palette
With the weather warming up, it is great to have a travel palette. I found this nifty little travel palette it has 18 small wells you can load with lots of colors. I prefer to squeeze my watercolor paints from a tube into the palette, leave it open to let them dry. This takes about a week. This palette, originally called a Hommee palette (I think it has a new name now), is great because the lid hinges and it has a rubber ring around the lid so nothing leaks when latched closed. It also have a removable tray inside the lid. There is plenty of room for mixing colors. This palette, a few brushes, a small water container and some paper is all you need to carry with you to paint on the go.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Butterfly in Violet Blue
by Watercolor Artist Rita Squier

A whimsical butterfly, a 5x7" original watercolor painting.

This fun little expressive butterfly and others can be found in my

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring is Here!

Pink Posies Bouquet
by Watercolor Artist Rita Squier

The calendar officially says Spring is here. The sun is shining brightly, it is going to be a gorgeous weekend. Time to open the windows, let the light in and enjoy the inspiration of the season.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday's Tips & Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Staining Colors & Lifting Dried Colors
Here is a simply way to figure out which colors in your palette are staining colors and which colors are easy to lift. Why is this something you may want to know ahead of time? If you are doing a painting and you make a mistake and you have a created this handy little chart you will know if you should go through the troubles of trying to lift the color out. Some colors do stain the paper and no matter how much time you spend lifting the color, it will not come out. Some colors will lift easily and you will be back to the white of the paper.

For this chart, I created about a 2 inch long swash of each color in my palette. I allowed the paint to completely dry. Then using an old brush and clean water, I scrubbed a small spot on each swatch. One color swash at a time, scrub with the old brush and clean water, blot with a clean dry tissue occasionally. This process can be repeated over and over on each individual color.

You will notice some colors have lifted out completely allowing the white of the paper to show again. Other colors are staining and no matter how many times you repeat the process, the color has sunk into and stained the paper.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Butterfly in Green Blue
by Artist Rita Squier

Simplicity in itself can be an art form. The warming weather has me thinking towards spring time ... flowers, butterflies, birds.

This butterfly watercolor painting is available in my

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Winter Watercolors

Wintertime Snow
by Watercolorist Rita Squier

As winter begins to fade so will the snow. The memories of the fresh wintertime snow, will be just memories until next winter. Ahh, the beauty of fresh fallen snow.

This is a lovely little watercolor the size of a postcard, 4x6" painted on 140 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper. It is matted in a white museum mat and slipped inside a plastic sleeve. It is ready to frame in a standard 5x7" frame.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday's Tips & Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Creating Your Own Palette with Tube Paints
Here's a quick tip ... which can be considered to be frugal and save money on watercolor paint. Squeeze fresh from the tube paint into the wells of a watercolor palette. Use a palette knife to stir and level out the paints. Then tap the palette a bunch of times on your table top, to get the bubbles to rise to the top in the more fluid colors. Place your palette in a warm, dry relatively dust free and out of reach of pets place ... such as the top of your refrigerator.

Tube paints allowed to dry in a palette will last longer than using the paint fresh from the tube. There will be less waste. It is super easy to swipe a clean brush filled with water across the top to clean up a dirtied color. If you dirty up color squeezed from the tube, you will need to squeeze more out from the tube if you want fresh clean color. The tube paints dried in your own palette free up easier than pan paints with the swipe of a wet brush or spritz with a little clean water for some brands.

It will take about a week for the paint to dry up and be ready to use, depending on humidity. This way you can create your own palette of colors.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Little Escape to the ACEO Seaside

Seaside I
by Artist Rita Squier

Wouldn't you just love an escape to the seaside right about now? I know I certainly would.

Not only is this an original watercolor painting but it is also considered an Art Card often times called an ACEO or an ATC.

ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions or Originals. ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. The only requirement for them is the size which is 2.5" x 3.5", the same size as baseball trading cards. They were created for artists to trade amongst each other. Art lovers wanted them too and if they are bought and sold they are considered ACEOs. They are created in pretty much any medium.

All of my ACEOs are original watercolor paintings. This one and more are available in my Etsy Shop: http://squier.etsy.com

Just a warning ... once you buy one, you will want more! It is a great way to purchase a little piece of affordable art and start a collection.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday's Tips & Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Layering the Colors in Your Palette
Layering colors is another way to create even more colors with the existing colors in your palette. You can expand the number of colors you have simply by layering them. Layering works best with transparent watercolors. You will have to really water down opaques colors for this process. To layer color, you paint over top of an already dry color. You can use the same color to deepen the color or you can use a different color to create a new color. You can't easily mix a layered color. The bottom color will glow through the top transparent color, this also creates a bit of depth to the color.

I created this chart on a quarter sheet of watercolor paper (11 x 15"). I counted the number of colors, in this palette there are 10. I drew 10 evenly spaced single lines in pencil, leaving some extra space at the bottom of the paper. Then I left a bit of space on the left and drew 10 evenly spaced vertical lines in pencil.

Using a 1/2 inch flat brush and following the pencil line with one edge of the brush, I painted a long straight horizontal line of each clean color. I allowed this to completely dry. Then I repeated the same process with each clean color painting vertical lines overlapping the already dried lines of colors. When this is dry, use an india ink pen or pencil and label each color on the ends. At the intersections of each color you will be able to see the variety of new colors you can create simply by layering the colors in your palette.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Abstract Watercolor Painting

Ink Drips
by Artist Rita Squier

One of the abstract paintings I created in a class I taught on abstract watercolor painting last fall. It was such a fun class!

The painting is 11x15", 140 lb. watercolor paper with artist quality watercolor paints and india ink.

More paintings done in my classes can be seen on my website:


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