Monday, September 20, 2010

An Article I Wrote

Here is an article I wrote for a blog last month and I thought I would share it here with you as well.

Life of an Item with Squier

Hi, my name is Rita. I am one of two people from the Squier Etsy shop. I am here to tell you about the life of one of my items. As soon as I was asked to write this, I thought well, I create a painting everyday for my Painting A Day Challenge I started on February 1st and why not take step by step pictures as I do this day’s painting. Perfect timing. The light in my studio was fabulous on Thursday morning, August 12th.

I start out with a large sheet of Saunders Waterford 140 lb. watercolor paper, which is 22 x 30 inches. I measure and trim a full sheet into a bunch of 2.5 x 3.5 inch little pieces of paper. This is the required size for ACEOs which stands for Art Cards, Editions & Originals. Also ATCs which stands for Artist Trading Cards. They are basically one in the same. They can be made in any medium, the only requirement is the size which is 2.5 x 3.5 inches and basically flat like any sports trading card. The difference is ACEOs are bought and sold, ATCs are traded. All of my ACEOs are original watercolor paintings. I use archival quality paper and superior artist quality watercolor paints.

I now have my paper trimmed to size and a nice little stack for future paintings as well. The next step is to decide which palette to use. I choose my palette and a brush and I’m ready to go. Normally I do not decide what I am going to paint until I sit down. I do not do any drawing first.

I am now ready to paint. I have chosen to use a number 6 round brush. I decide to paint a landscape. I am inspired by nature and my trips to the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. I dip my brush into clean water. You must always wet your brushes first before beginning to paint with watercolor. I spread clean clear water across the top portion of my paper. I add a little cobalt blue for the sky. At this point, I still do not know what the painting will be, I let the paint and the colors help me decide as I go. I drop in some green for the background trees. Then I mix up some darker green for some evergreen trees. A bit of yellow for interest. Some burnt sienna mixed with ultramarine blue for the ground and the rocks. I use a palette knife to carve in a few rocks, scratch out a few trees. Back to the number 6 round brush, I add in some ground and then decide it needs a bit of water as well. It needs to be, it wants to be a painting on the side of a lake or a stream. Perhaps you call it a brook or a creek where you’re from?

Then I hit it with a hair dryer for a few seconds. I take out my little round brush and create a few fine lined tree branches. Add some leaves to the trees. Hit it with the hair dryer, again. Then add in a few little birds. Sign my name with a waterproof india ink pen.

VoilĂ , an original miniature watercolor painting don
e by me, Rita Squier.

I have completed the painting. On the back I have signed it, titled, added my website and Etsy addresses, added “Painting A Day” with the current day’s date.

I then photograph the painting in my high tech photography studio. This photography studio consists of a South facing window, a small trash can, a canvas panel board, a book and a hand held digital Canon Rebel SLR camera. I take 5 or 6 shots, download them onto my computer and crop them in Photoshop. The digital photos get uploaded to Etsy, my blog, my Facebook page and my website.

I then put the little painting into a 3 ring binder filled with trading card sleeve pages. There they wait to be sent off and cherished in their new homes around the world.

This little Painting A Day challenge painting can be found right here:

I love to paint landscapes in watercolor! --Rita

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