Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Wet Your Brushes First 

Always completely saturate your brushes with clean water prior to painting in watercolors.  This will help soften the bristles and get that capillary action going. You can damage the bristles by trying to pick up watercolor paint with a dry watercolor brush.

If the bristles are wet, they will be able to hold more paint and more water.

Doing a large background wash with a half wet brush will most likely end in disaster.  Dry streaks, splotchiness, skips, etc.  You will have more trouble keeping that nice big background wash evenly wet across the entire page.  So make sure your brush has been completely saturated with water before your begin.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Landscape in Watercolor

Lil' Island
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 8 x 10 inch
140 lb. Watercolor Paper

Today's painting.

Available in my Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mahjong Prints

Mahjong Tiles
by Rita Squier

A 9x12 inch print of my watercolor painting.

I love the way these prints turned out!
The paper is amazing.
The quality is excellent, looks just like a watercolor.

I have had prints made in a range of sizes:
2.5x3.5 - 5x7 - 8x10 - 9x12

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Watercolor Blocks

Your style of painting should be a factor in deciding whether to purchase and paint on watercolor blocks of paper.

They are fantastic in some ways.  They are a sturdy block on which to paint.  Ten to twenty sheets of cut to size paper is pre-mounted on a sturdy backer.  Paint on the top piece of paper, slice the gum around the edges remove it and paint again.  Great for a not so wet way of painting with watercolors.

If you are one who loves to paint very wet with watercolor, a block of watercolor paper may not be a good option for you.

Painting wet into wet, over and over the water seeps down through the paper into the block, into the next sheet down and the sheet down below that one.  The gum edges begin to wear away without notice, the water will drip over the sides and seep into the edges of the watercolor paper.

The watercolor paper that is wet and dried over and over will lose it's sizing.  Your paint will not react in the normal way over the entire piece of paper.  You may end up with a mottled look around the edges, often darker than color should be.  Sometimes it can occur through out the entire piece of paper.  It mainly happens with the pieces of paper that are towards the bottom of the block.

The sample here shows a very pale blue sky wash that normally floats on the top of the paper.  The watercolor paint soaked oddly into the paper around the edges.  The majority of the time, this odd effect does not fade away when the paint dries.

To avoid this happening, I remove one sheet watercolor paper from the block and mount it onto a separate board.  Yes, it defeats the purpose of using a block.  But it is a way to use up the block you have.  Or it is a way of using the pre cut to size paper blocks with the beautiful simplicity of painting watercolors very wet into wet.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Watercolor Painting

by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 5x7 inches

I think I'm going to do a variety of paintings in this small size.  Fun to paint.  Easy to ship.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Color Charts Are Important

Creating color charts using the paints you have in your palette is such an important tool to learn your colors.

Creating a chart with a simple square of color with the name written below is a great way to keep track of all your colors.  Make a little code or key of the various brands along with names of the colors.

Your own color chart is a great reference tool.  Sure you can find them in many books, but having a chart of what is actually in your own palette is extremely important.

Take it a step further and create color mixing charts, check out this old Tuesday Tip:

See more color charts on my blog:

You can see the variety of colors you have at a glance.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Artist's Onion

My First Onion
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
5x7 inches

Sometime last week, after seeing someone post a photo of onions growing in a garden I had said the onion is a popular subject for artists.  His reply was something like Let's paint onions this weekend.  A challenge!

I had never painted an onion in watercolor or in any medium.

It brought back a memory from years ago.  I had typeset a lady's memoirs in which she had written about how many artists loved to paint onions and it was something just about every artist did.  She also had written about how artists loved to attempt to paint Pierre Auguste Renoir's Onions.

(This is a little iPod photo that I may just have to take a better photo tomorrow afternoon.)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Paper Quality 

I cannot stress enough how important paper quality is when it comes to watercolor painting.

Here is a recent sample color chart I created.

The large piece of paper is Saunders Waterford 100% Cotton Rag, Archival, Acid Free, 140 lb. watercolor paper.  It is awesome!

The little strip of colors contains the same exact high quality MaimeriBlu watercolor paints as in the far left column of the larger sheet.  Notice the colors are not as rich and dark.

The little narrow strip of paper is a synthetic watercolor paper.  It has the texture and feel of watercolor paper but it does not react like 100% cotton rag.  It does something odd to the paint.

If you're just learning to paint, stick with the good stuff, it will make the learning process more enjoyable.  Inferior and cheap paper & paints will only frustrate you as you are trying to learn techniques.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Paper Testing

Dew Drops on Garza Papel
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size:  14 x 20 cm

Several months ago, perhaps last Autumn, I received a few sample sheets of Garza Papel Artisan Paper made in Spain.  As soon as I got the paper I created one small landscape and this swashy blue background in my own style of painting to see how the paper reacts.

This is 100% recycled cotton, acid free, watercolor paper and the weight is 300 grs.  The paper has a great white tone.  It has a very nice soft feel and texture to the paper and it accepts the paint extremely well.  I even like the little embossed heron in the lower left corner.

It has been months since I painted the background.  Just the other day, I decided I would test out my dew drops.  Lifting color on this paper even after months worked effortlessly.

I am very impressed with this 100% cotton recycled paper!
Thank you Garza Papel!

Friday, April 5, 2013

I am Back

Forest Fog II (vertical on the left)
Forest Fog (horizontal on the right)
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Tons of stuff has kept me busy, preoccupied, etc. over the past few months and it left me with very little time and ambition to blog.  I've realized I have missed blogging.  I have just started regularly painting again as well.

I have decided to use the little calendar app and actually schedule in some painting time each day, Monday to Friday.  Being able to paint on the weekends will be a bonus! And it will also be unscheduled fun.

To start off my painting time yesterday, these are two little ACEOs I created.
ACEO = Art Cards, Editions & Originals - These are original watercolors!


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