Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Avocado by the Pool

Avocado Green Dew Drop - June 29, 2010
Pool Blue Drop - June 30, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches
ACEO Art Card

Two more dew drops to round out the month of June. My Painting A Day Challenge has been a success this month.

The ACEO art card is a perfect sized 2.5 x 3.5 inches little painting to be creating at least one every day. The ACEO is a perfect way to start your own original art collection. Affordable little works of art.

Etsy Front Page

My Dew Drop!
It's so exciting to wake up and find out one of my watercolor dew drop paintings made it to the front page of Etsy this morning!

So if you were shopping on Etsy at 2 am Eastern time, you will have seen my dew drop there.

If not, click here to view: Morning Dew Drop

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Side Loading a Brush
Here is a technique where you can create interesting effects with a single brush and multiple colors.

Using a flat brush, first wet your brush with clear water. Then pick up the main body of color, working it into the whole brush as you pick up the color. Then lay the side of the brush down into a different color well. Picking up color only one side of the brush.

In all three samples shown, I used yellow as the main body color. The first sample shown I picked up orange on the side. I then cleaned my brush and created the second and third samples where I chose to pick up a dark green.

Swash your brush across watercolor paper and watch the two colors from your brush mix with each other.

You can create beautiful flower petals. Multi-colored leaves for almost any plant, quickly and easily by side loading your brush. Give it a try and have fun painting!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Opposites on the Color Wheel

A Drop of Sunshine - June 27, 2010
Morning Dew Drop - June 28, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x3.5 inches

Monday morning we woke up to no power. Not good on a day where the temperatures were predicted to reach 90 degrees F. I was able to create this morning's Painting A Day Challenge Morning Dew Drop even without power. The benefits of watercolor painting, all you need is good paper, good paint, brushes and water. A sunny room this morning was a bonus as well. Our power was restored by 9:30 am and our workday began.

Inspired by a Graduation Pen

Cocobolo Tree - June 26, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

This weekend, we attended high school graduation parties for three family members. We decided to go with a gift that will stand the test of time and hopefully be a memorable gift. I do remember each of the high school graduation gifts I received years ago.

We opted for two handcrafted wooden pens for each of the boys. One made from sugi wood and the other from cocobolo wood. The third pen we chose a millefiori clay pen for the girl. I loved them all and wished I had one of each for myself. I hope they treasure the pens for years to come.

We found these handcrafted pens on Etsy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

What Fruit Says Summer

Watermelon Drops - June 25, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x3.5 inches
ACEO Art Card

Nothing says summer fruit like watermelon!

No picnic or bbq is totally complete without watermelon.

Watermelon Drops is today's Painting A Day Challenge Painting.

The Flower of Summer

It's A Daisy - June 24, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches
ACEO Art Card

Inspired by the garden of daisies right outside my studio window. The quintessential flower of summer.

ACEO Art Cards are the perfect way to start or add to your fine art collection. Many ACEOs are original works of art. The perfect way to purchase affordable artwork directly from an artist, buy their ACEOs.

Drip Drip Four Little Drops

Blood Orange Drop - June 20, 2010
Purple Fruit Drop - June 21, 2010
Meyer Lemon Drop - June 22, 2010
Caribbean Green Drop - June 23, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Four Painting A Day Challenge Paintings. Four single drops. Four fruity flavors. Oops, make that three fruity flavors and a tropical dream.

Start your art collection today!

ACEO Art Card

Pink Peonies - June 19, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
ACEO Art Card
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

The inspiration for this week's Tuesday's Tip!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Watercolor Greeting Cards
Today's tip ... okay, this is good whether you dabble in watercolors or your are proficient at it.

I highly recommend getting yourself a box of Strathmore Watercolor Cards. They come in a box of 10 or even a box of 100. They're made of 140 lb. watercolor paper and have a matching envelope with a pretty deckled edge. They do have an unusual sizing, not quite the same as painting on regular 140 lb. watercolor paper. I like to paint on the rougher side.

They are perfect for doing a quick little painting that doesn't involve using a lot of water or a complete background wash. More paint, less water and a medium sized round brush is perfect to whip up a quick card anytime you need one for any occassion.

Save a trip to the card shop and create your own. Your friends and family will love you for it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cigar Box Guitar

Country Boy Guitars
My husband has created several fun cigar box guitars. They are made with a real cigar box. He adds a black walnut neck which he shapes and carves himself. The black walnut wood comes from a tree fallen in his parents' backyard.

He uses a wood burning tool I gave him years ago to burn in the markers for a fretless neck. He hand cuts the f holes and hand carves the bridge. Puts it all together and adds three guitar strings and suddenly you have a guitar.

They are made to be played and create wonderful sound.

He has a few for sale in a local music shop. Plus I have finally convinced him, he should add them to our Etsy Shop.

Check out Michael's cigar box guitars right here:

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Trio of Dew Drops

Apricot Dew Drop - June 16, 2010
Mango Drop - June 17, 2010
Patriotic Dew Drop - June 18, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

ACEO - Art Cards
ATC - Artist Trading Card

Busy Weekend Paintings

Higgins Beach - June 15, 2010
Red & Gold Poppies - June 14, 2010
Coastal Maine - June 13, 2010
Summer Poppies - June 12, 2010

Last weekend was a long busy weekend and I am still playing catch up!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Brush Handle Repair
It is not a good idea to leave your watercolor brushes sitting in water or to seal them up after using them. Eventually, the enamel will begin to crack, chip and flake off. This does not mean it's the end of a good brush. Don't through it away, don't stuff it in a drawer never to be used again.

Simply take masking tape and wind it around the handle of the brush where the enamel has begun to chip and flake off. This will help extend the life of a brush tremendously.

When I first started taking watercolor painting classes, I did not take good care of my brushes. After class I would pack my stuff up, often times tossing my brushes into a ziplock bag. I did not seal the bag, but I left the brushes in the bag. I never left my brushes soaking in the water.

When I used the brushes at home, I would place them in a cup, bristle end up. The water would soak through the ferrel and into the handle of the brush. I believe this is what caused the tip end of the handle to crack and chip off.

After class as soon as I get home I now open up my brush holder and after using my brushes at home, I allow my brushes to air dry flat. This method has definitely extended the life of the enamel on the brushes.

And yes, the taped yellow brush does have the end tip sawed off. This helps it fit in my travel case.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Old Stomping Grounds

Higgins Beach, Maine
Fresh out of college my fiancé and I rented a little cottage on Higgins Beach in Scarborough, Maine. It was a gorgeous beach and it still is. On our drive home from attending our nephew's high school graduation, we decided to stop by our old beach. Ah the scent of ocean air. I do miss the walks on the beach.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday at the Fair

Rainy Day at the Fair
We decided to give art and craft fairs another go. Our first one of the year ended up being a rather rainy day. It was only cloudy when we set up our booth and the weather man did say the rain was supposed to hold off until around 3 pm the time the fair closed. I was okay with that. But then it began to rain, just a light mist. Not too bad even though I was worried about my watercolors. Then it began to rain harder and harder.

My EZ Up Canopy and watercolors slipped inside the crystal clear sleeves held up extremely well. The only thing that didn't hold up well was the parchment paper sign mounted on foam core to advertise my husband's hand made cigar box guitars. It did not get wet, it just absorbed the humidity.

Of course I did not remember to take photos once we got the booth all set up. I took the pictures as we were packing up. The last hour or two was cloudy but rain free. We did get to meet a lot of very nice people.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dew Drops from Monday to Friday

Pink Grapefruit Drops - June 7, 2010
Dew Drops in Grape - June 8, 2010
Booberry Droplets - June 9, 2010
Nectarine Drop - June 10, 2010
Aqua Berry Drop - June 11, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Monday through Friday's additions to my Painting A Day Challenge. It has been a very busy and productive week. Plus tomorrow we are heading off to the Mission Fair and setting up a little booth. I think this will be my first fair this year. Hope it goes well! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Trio of Dew Drop Paintings

Citrus Drops - June 6, 2010
Kiwi Drops - June 6, 2010
Banana Drops - June 6, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

A trio of fruity dew drops done on Sunday for my Painting A Day Challenge. I was in a sunny yellow mood! :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Colorful Shadows
Shadows do not need to be a dull plain gray. Add a little bit of color to your shadows and take your watercolors a step further. It's very easy to think of shadows as a simple flat gray. Make the shadows come alive with color.

Add a bit of local color, color from the ground, color from the sky, reflected color from the object that is casting the shadow. Add a bit of warm glow from the sun. Your painting will be livelier and more interesting with colorful shadows.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Painting A Day - Saturday

Cherry Droplets - June 5, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Not long after this lovely little painting was created, it was in the hands of its new owner. The little droplets look so three dimensional.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Melon Drops

Blue Honeydew Drops - June 4, 2010
Cantaloupe Drop - June 4, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Dew drops in shades of melons.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fruity Dew Drops

Blueberry Drop - June 3, 2010
Raspberry Drop
- June 3, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Two miniature paintings for June 3rd, a pretty pink and lovely blue fruity dew drops. The start of a brighter collection of dew drops as requested!

For the Love of Coffee

Coffee Drop - June 2, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches
ACEO Art Card

For the love of coffee or in my case for the love of the scent of coffee! I like my coffee in cocktails and milkshakes. But there's nothing like the scent of fresh brewed coffee in the morning.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Painting A Day Challenge Continues in June

Lemon Drop - June 1, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

My Painting A Day Challenge continues on through the month of June. I have had a few requests for brighter fruitier colored dew drops. Keep looking in June for some summer fruit inspired dew drops.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Photographing Little Watercolors
I photograph my little watercolor paintings on an open book. This could actually apply to anything small. It gives you an idea of scale, it's on an open book, it cannot be very big. I chose my Swedish Pippi Longstocking book because I did not want people to get caught up in reading the words on the page.

I do not have a big fancy photography set up. A window, a book, a canvas panel, a trash can and my digital SLR camera. My key ingredient is the South facing window. The best pictures are taken on an overcast day or a bright rainy day. Bright sunshine washes the pictures and creates too much drama and harsh shadows. Overcast and rain bring out the colors of the artwork with very little photo editing.

I also prefer to take my photographs in the late afternoon. The time of day changes with the seasons. In the winter time between 3 and 4 pm works great in my part of the world. As the days get longer I can stretch the time from 3 to 6:30 pm.

I love the open book, something about the black letters and white background of the book helps the camera to automatically adjust the settings. I set my camera to No Flash and zoom all the way in. By doing this, I can also achieve some of the effects you would get on the macro setting, but the flash does not pop on.

I needed to find something that was just below the height of the window sill and wouldn't you know it my little studio trash can works perfect. Other heights, had me struggling with the shadows of the window frame. The table top is one of the many canvas panels I use for taping down my paper when I create watercolor paintings. Place the open book on top and voila, perfect little backdrop with a super quick and easy set up. The height is perfect, just below the sill the light shines down onto the open book and lights up my work nicely. I am able to easily take 4 or 5 photos at interesting angles and also straight down with ease.

I love the variety of angles, steep angles, twisted angles. Variety is the spice of life!

Now you know the secret to my Etsy Shop photos.


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