Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

White Highlights

When painting in watercolor, the white in the painting is usually the white of the paper. Often times we forget to use masking fluid or forget to simply save the white areas while painting. Or perhaps you didn't realize you needed just a little touch of white to highlight something to make it pop.

Using a little bit of white titanium gouache to add a highlight can save the day.

Yes, white paint is often a no no in traditional transparent watercolors. There are rules in watercolor and then there are rules to be broken now and then.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Day After Thanksgiving

Bouquet of Thanks

by Artist Rita Squier

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

Hope you all had a wonderful and very Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a very peaceful and quiet Thanksgiving. We were able to get everything cleaned up and put away in time to watch the Charlie Brown specials that were on TV last night.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

The Uses for Kosher Salt in Watercolor

The use of salt in a watercolor painting creates a very unique look. It is a technique that is a bit tricky and it's all about timing.

I prefer to use the coarse kosher salt because of the size of the crystal. It's larger than the regular very fine table salt.

In this painting, I painted the colorful sky in gradating colors. As the shine goes off the paper, I used a tiny splash of clean water in two spots of the sky. This gives a similar look to the salt effect, however the bursts are much larger. Then I sprinkled just a tiny amount of salt near the water splatter. This will give it the look of a few stars beginning to sparkle in the night sky.

Low on the horizon I added bright colors to simulate the tops of a forest of trees. Be careful not to work in any previously salt sprinkled areas. When I got the look I wanted, I allowed the shine to go off the paper and sprinkled salt within my colorful tree top area. Sometimes the degree of wetness is different in the various areas. You may need to sprinkle a little here and a little there as the shine goes away.

Timing is so important with the use of salt. If you add the salt too soon, it will melt. If the salt melts, it will clump and stick to your paper. If you add the salt too late, nothing happens. If you add the salt as the shine goes away, the salt will suck up the color of the pigment.

Allow the paint and salt to completely dry. You can not speed up this step, you have to allow the salt to do its thing. When it is completely dry, using your hand, brush away the bits of salt. When you have removed all the salt, you can continue to work on your painting.

Salt can be used to create little stars in the sky. It can be used to create texture in clumps of trees and foliage. It can be used to create snowflakes in a winter scene. If you use too much salt, you will create a blizzard! Less is more.

For a step by step of how to use kosher salt, check out this old Tuesday's Tip:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday's Painting

Black & Tan Forest
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

In the spirit of the autumn season winding down, getting ready for chillier weather to come.

This little painting and more are available for sale in my Squier Etsy shop: http://squier.etsy.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Painting A Day Meets Frames

I'm all caught up on photographing my Painting A Day paintings. I found some nice frames and displayed a few in groupings of 3. The sun cooperated this afternoon, so I was able to get some nice photos.

On the left is:
Cinnamon Forest - November 15, 2010

On the top right is:
Mustard Forest - November 20, 2010

on the bottom right is:
Black & Tan Forest - November 19, 2010

All painted by me, Artist Rita Squier
Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches
Matted and framed for display only to 8 x 10 inches

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cigar Box Guitar

Country Boy Guitars

This evening I figured out how to add a sound clip to a web page, something I have never done before. The help guide in my program was rather confusing and no help at all. I have designed many awesome looking websites with cool features. This was the first time I added sound. Ah, the silly things that make you feel so proud of yourself.

Yes, these 3 stringed instruments made from a real cigar box by my husband Michael, really do sound good. Click the link and have a listen:

Maybe you too will want one of your very own!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Sepia Tone Watercolor

The color sepia is perfect for doing a monotone painting. The pigment in sepia has the ability to span a wide range in value from very dark to very light. A wide value range is important when using only one color of paint to create a painting. Sepia is an opaque watercolor paint.

It gives a painting an old fashioned feel. Reminds me of sepia tone photos. Did you know the old sepia tone photos used the ink from a cuttlefish?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Random Painting A Day

Nature's Dawn
by Artist Rita Squier

Painting A Day: October 11, 2010

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

A random miniature watercolor painting from my Painting A Day Challenge series.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Paint Something New

This week, try something a little outside your comfort zone. If you normally stick to a few different subject matters, think outside the box and attempt something new, something different, something you've never tried before. There has to be something you've never tried to paint in watercolor, try it now.

Have you ever done a landscape? A floral? A still life? Crystal? A stuffed animal? A totally abstract painting? A completely realistic painting? Fruit? A portrait? A self portrait? A painting of a house? A sunset?

Here's my recent and first attempt at painting a teddy bear. I think he turned out kinda cute.

I dare you to try and paint a totally new to you subject matter.

What are you going to paint this week, that you have never tried before?


Mr. Ted E. Bear
by Artist Rita Squier
Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 11 x 15 inches.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Painting A Day Challenge

October's Painting A Day

With all that has been going on with my dog Chloe, I have finally been able to get all of October's Painting A Day paintings up on my website: http://rasquier.com

I love viewing the little painting a day paintings on my website. As you scroll over each of the little thumbnails it appears larger on the left side. The larger image is approximately the actual size of the painting, at least it is on my computer screen.

If you click on any of the little thumbnails it may take you to my Etsy shop listing for that item. All the little mini paintings are for sale. If they have not been listed in my Etsy shop, you may purchase them directly through me and pay via PayPal. Simply click the little email link on the pop up page and let me know the title(s) of the painting(s) and I will get back to you as soon as I can with the prices of the painting(s) and shipping costs. I ship out the paintings fairly quickly, sometimes even the same day if I have received your payment before 3 pm eastern.

All of my Painting A Day paintings are 2 1/2 inches high by 3 1/2 inches wide. I sign the front and title, date, etc. on the back.

I love my website!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

ATC Swap

Last night in my watercolor class, we had an ATC swap. I had my students paint 12-18 little Artist Trading Cards.

Shown here are the 12 cards I painted just for trading in class.

I had everyone spread their cards out at one end of their table for everyone to be able to go around and see what each person painted. I had a class project for everyone to paint last night as well. We began the lesson.

We all had at least one extra card. Half way through class, I had everyone choose which card they thought was their best card and we placed them all in a box. We painted a little more on the night's painting. Then I announced they could all start trading. Each person was able to make at least one trade with everyone else in the class. If you had extras, you could make more than one trade with someone.

At the end of the night, everyone propped their paintings up in the front of class for the critique. After I critiqued each painting, I allowed the critique recipient to chose a card from the box without peaking. The very first person to pick from the box, picked her own card, so I took that from her allowed her to pick again and then I replaced her card in the box. No one else picked their own card.

At the end of the night, as people were packing up and leaving, I decided to peak into the box to see the one card that was left. The card I would take home as my bonus ... it was my own Artist Trading Card!

The top middle card in the photo, the all payne's grey landscape with two trees.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Trimming Your Own ACEO/ATC Paper

Quality paper is an important key to painting in watercolor. Trim your favorite watercolor paper down to ACEO/ATC size. A 22x30 inch sheet of watercolor paper can be trimmed into 72 cards with only about an inch of scrap along one edge. A quarter sheet of watercolor paper will yield 18 cards. I love painting on Saunders Waterford 140 lb. 100% cotton rag acid free watercolor paper. If trimmed wisely, you can even trim off all or at least most of the watermarks.

Measure your watercolor paper. Because of the paper making process, not all sheets are exactly 22x30 inches. Most of the time, they're slightly larger. The brand of paper I use the 30 inch length has pretty much always been 30 inches and the 22 inch length has been slightly longer.

You will need to use a ruler, a pencil for making tiny measured tick marks, an exacto knife for slicing the paper and a cutting mat to cut on. Or you can use a mat cutter for trimming down the paper. Use the straight edge cutter blade. Either method, I suggest cutting with the backside of the paper up. This way if you make any marks, finger prints or scuffs with the ruler, they'll be on the back of your paper.

For Trimming a Full 22 x 30 inch Sheet of Watercolor paper:

The 30 inch length can be trimmed down to create 12 - 2 1/2 inch strips.

The 22 inch length can be trimmed down to create 6 - 3 1/2 inch cards,
with approximately one inch of scrap leftover.

For Trimming a Quarter 11x15 inch Sheet of Watercolor Paper:

The 15 inch length can be trimmed down to create 6 - 2 1/2 inch strips.

The 11 inch length can be trimmed down to create 3 - 3 1/2 inch cards,
with approximately one inch of scrap leftover.

Save the scraps for test strips!

One full sheet of watercolor paper yields 72 cards at 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
One quarter sheet of watercolor paper yields 18 cards at 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.


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