Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Using Masking Fluid

Things you will need:
- Masking Fluid
- Old Brush
- Bar of Soap
- Small Water Container
- Stir Stick
- Damp Paper Towel
- Watercolor Paper - maybe with a drawing on it

Upon opening my bottle of masking fluid, I stir it with the handle of a kid's paint brush, until it is smooth. If you shake the bottle, you have to wait a long time for the bubbles to settle. Stirring is better.

I have a brush I use only with masking fluid, I even put a little piece of tape on it to label it. You can use an old watercolor brush or an inexpensive one. Mine has nylon bristles.

I always dip the brush in a small separate water container. You don't want to contaminate your painting water with soap and masking fluid.

Dip the brush in the water, then swirl it across the top of a bar of soap. The soap is the key to keeping the masking fluid from sticking to the bristles. Use a damp paper towel to gently squeeze most of the soap off the brush.

Dip the brush into the masking fluid container and "paint" it onto your watercolor paper in the areas where you would like to save the white of the paper.

Rinse your brush and re-soap it several times when using masking fluid to cover small, medium to large areas.

Rinse and re-soap your brush when you're done.

When you are done using the masking fluid, use a damp paper towel to wipe the top of the bottle and the inside of the lid. Make sure it is nice and clean. Then screw the top back on. This will extend the life of your masking fluid.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

The easter bunny poured his paints all over my delicious pound cake. It turned out to be a big hit.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weekend Baking

Homemade Honey Bread

I've been editing photos for upcoming posts and class projects and I came across this photo. On Sunday, I decided I wanted to bake a loaf of bread. I scoured my cookbooks, found recipes I have tried before and then decided I would make a recipe I have not yet tried. This proved to be a little bit of a challenge, my pantry is not well stocked at the moment. I found a recipe for honey wheat bread. I'm all out of whole wheat flour. I altered the recipe and used all unbleached flour.

It's fantastic!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Plastic Wrap as a Technique

Here's a creatively, fun way to create water in a watercolor painting.

Paint a wet juicy swash of turquoise or blue green in an area on your paper where you would like to simulate water. While the paint is still wet, lay a piece of plastic wrap over top of the wet paint. Pinch and pull the plastic around.

Where the plastic is pressed down against the paper, the color will be the darkest.

You must leave the plastic wrap on the paper until the paint is dry. Once you set it down, do not lift it off of the paper. Simply work the shapes until you are satisfied you have some interesting shapes. If you try to create horizontal crevices, it will look more like water. You're manipulating the plastic almost like finger painting.

Leave the plastic wrap in place until the paint is dry. When dry, remove the plastic wrap and you will be left with a unique texture resembling shimmering water.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Beginner Project

Tuesday's Sheep
Watercolor Painting
Size: 11 x 15 inches

A watercolor landscape we painted in the beginner class a few weeks ago. By learning a few basic techniques, you can create wonderful watercolor paintings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Last Beginner Class

Tuesday's Barn
Watercolor Painting
Size: 11 x 15 inches

This was Tuesday Night's Beginner Class project. I tried to taylor the colors to those in the palettes of my beginners.

A watercolor project with a twist taken from "Watercolor Techniques" a workbook by Tony Couch.

I love using a variety of projects in my beginner & advanced classes. A few taken from workbooks and many I have developed on my own. This shows them they can learn outside of class with the help of step by step workbooks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Color Pop

Scooter kitty helped me with this week's Tuesday's Tip. He decided the paint palette should not be on the table covering the water container. So he pushed it to the floor. Two colors popped out of the palette. The crashing palette scared him and he ran out of the room. Hopefully, he will not try to drink the water again. Luckily, that batch of water was clean and fresh. Note to sell, do not leave bowls of water on table overnight.

1. Dried color has popped out of the palette.
2. Use a wet brush to clean out the well.
3. Get the bottom of the dried paint chip nice and wet.
4. Press firmly back into place and allow to dry.

No need to worry or waste a good dried chip of watercolor paint!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Etsy Front Page Again!

This time my Speckled Eggs torch fired enamel beads made it to the front page of Etsy.com at 7 pm eastern ... so very exciting!

Find the beads right here:

Even more beads in the bead section of my

I need more mapp gas so I can create more beads!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Etsy Front Page Hurray!

My Squier Etsy Shop made it to the front page of Etsy.com this morning at 5 am. So exciting! Here's a screenshot showing my husband's Padron 3000 Cigar Box Guitar.

This Padron 3000 CBG has a nice bright, almost banjo like sound.

You can find it for sale here:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Beginner Lily

Tuesday Nights Beginner Watercolor Class Project:
The Water Lily

Last night I taught my beginner watercolor students how to paint a water lily. We went for bright and colorful. A cheery little project with a fun plastic wrap technique for the water.

Simple. Colorful. Fun.

Tonight's advance class will be painting a barn.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Block vs Sheets

I prefer to buy my watercolor paper by the sheet. Actually packages of sheets 10, 50, 100 sheets to a package. I can then paint really large or trim the sheets down to the exact size I would like to use. It is very economical too.

But I do see the allure of blocks. Blocks of watercolor paper are excellent for travels and painting outdoors. The sheets are always the exact same size and ready to go.

If your watercolor painting style is rather wet, you are better off with sheets. Otherwise, I recommend slicing off one sheet from the block and mounting it on a board before painting.

Watercolor blocks usually come with around 20 sheet to a block when they're made up of 140 lb. paper. They are sealed around all four sides with a gum to keep water from getting to the other sheets. There is a small space usually at the top where there is no gum. That is where you slide in your palette knife and draw it all the way around the edges to remove the top sheet.

One thing I found with blocks is if you paint really wet, the sheet below also gets wet. After awhile, the gum either wears away or you get a little slit forming in the side and water seeps in. If the paper gets wet too many times, it begins to lose its sizing. If this happens, you'll notice an odd pattern around the edges of your painting. A weird texture appears in what should be a flat wash.

Blocks do have their benefits. Perfect for those who don't paint too wet. Great for traveling and painting outdoors. Another pro to the block, no watermarks or embossings.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wild Tiger Beads

Spent the day doing tax prep work. I'm done and ready to hand over my paperwork to my accountant.

Just wanted to share an awesome set of beads created by my husband Michael.

This is what happens when you share your new hobby with your spouse, he becomes really good at it too.

Love the orange, grey and tan combo on this set of beads.

This set and more are available in our Squier Etsy Shop.


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