“The watercolor medium is honest, challenging and always new. It is the oldest pursuit that I know and has enriched my life at every level. While sometimes frustrating even for the most experienced watercolor painter, it is invigorating and always a learning experience.”
An award-winning watercolor artist, Ron Stocke is a regular contributor to, and has been a cover artist for Watercolor Artist Magazine as well as other publications. Teaching comprehensive workshops throughout North America and Europe, he also conducts demonstrations and lectures on various art materials and creating a safe, environmentally friendly studio. Ron holds Signature Membership with the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Northwest Watercolor Society, is an elected member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, and a member of the American Impressionist Society. He has been an Artist Ambassador for M.Graham Watercolors for over 15 years.
M. Graham believes that the best paint makes better paintings. Consequently, the best ingredients make better paint and this video explains the difference M. Graham’s ingredients make in setting their fine paints apart. Whether it’s the walnut oil, the honey used in their watercolor, or the high solid acrylic emulsion, M. Graham vehicles are chosen because they are qualitatively different: In terms of their appearance. In terms of how much pigment they can carry. In terms of how they feel and respond on the artist’s brush.
Have you tried High Flow Acrylics by GOLDEN? We’re obsessed. Yup. Us and everyone else. Check out this video showing the different ways to use this awesome acrylic paint. High Flow Acrylics have an ink-like consistency that lends itself to a wide range of techniques, and it’s now ON SALE at 30% OFF.
From fine line detail work to broad strokes, High Flow Acrylics are suitable for many different applications including calligraphy, mixed media, airbrush, refillable markers, technical pens and brushes. Designed for artists who want to achieve fine line detail, standing effects and level colors, the line includes natural earth colors, core colors, iridescent colors and fluorescent colors.
We are delighted to introduce DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Artist, Lorraine Watry! Lorraine will take us step-by-step through her process for making a watercolor painting.
“Spa Day” is from a photo I took of a Red Crested Cardinal after he’d bathed in a fountain. The photo intrigued me because of all the neutral colors around the bright pop of red-orange on the bird’s head. I decided to experiment with this painting and not only did I try the new DANIEL SMITH Greys, but I also tried a different brand of paper and a technique I don’t usually use – blooms. I began the painting by using my photo software to adjust the composition by moving the bird to the right and added some more water dripping in the fountain.
Step 1: I start all of my paintings by doing a detailed drawing from my photo. I then enlarge the drawing and transfer it to my watercolor paper using my light table. I stretched my watercolor paper onto foam board and while it was drying overnight, I played with the greys and did a small color study to get an idea of my techniques for the background.
Step 2: Next, I masked out the bird and dripping water with masking tape. I used masking fluid to mask some of the small drops of water on the bird’s feathers and in the background, as well as the highlights on the bird’s eye. I began the fountain by wetting the area and used a variety of the greys from Alvaro’s Fresco Grey and a little Gray Titanium on the left, to Joseph Z’s Cool and Warm Greys as I moved to the right. While these areas were wet, I flicked on water for blooms and charged in Bronzite Genuine and Mummy Bauxite for color variety and texture. As the area started to dry, I flicked on more of the BronziteGenuine, Mummy Bauxite, and Alvaro’s Caliente Grey to make the fountain feel like rough stone.
Step 3: I used Alvaro’s Fresco Grey in the background on the left and under the bird on the ledge. I really like this cool/purple grey and I’m already using it on another painting. I glazed some of the Bronzite Genuine over parts of this area to give the gray fountain some patina. BronziteGenuine is naturally shiny so this pigment is fun to see up close because it sparkles. I used Joseph Z’s Warm Grey and a touch of Alvaro’s Caliente Grey to create the dark shadow on the fountain behind the bird. Then I removed the masking on one of the lines of dripping water to see if my values were working. This helps me decide if I need to add more glazes before removing all the masking.
Step 4: I continued working around all the greys of the background and used some of Joseph Z’s Warm Grey for the shadow on the back left. I repeated the greys from the walls of the fountain in the water along with some Green Apatite Genuine and Quinacridone Gold. I debated whether to include the green in the water, but I liked the contrast with the red of the birds head. The green also appears along the front edge of the ledge the bird rests on. I finished up the majority of the background and shadows and then removed the masking fluid on the bird and dripping water.
Step 5: I was excited to start the birds head and I began with Quinacridone Sienna for the lighter, muted orange feathers. After this dried, I added a mix of Pyrrol Scarlet and Carmine for the red feathers. Then to give the bird life, I painted his eye with a mix of Burnt Umber and Sodalite Genuine. I left the highlight at the bottom of the eye and later painted some Quinacridone Sienna on that area. After removing the mask for the brightest highlight, I added a touch of Cerulean Blue, Chromium to reflect the sky in the bird’s eye. The beak was painted with glazes on dry paper using Burnt Umber, Quinacridone Rose, and Cerulean Blue, Chromium.
Step 6: I decided to use Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber, a gray mix that I know well for the birds feathers. This mix allows me to vary the gray from cool to warm and keep a unified look to the feathers. I started adding glazes to the bird’s head for shadows and depth and mixed Cerulean Blue, Chromium and Quinacridone Rose for the shadow on the white body feathers. I softened the edges of some of the feathers by applying water while an area was wet or softened the edge after it had dried.
Occasionally I took a break from the feathers and worked on the dripping water in the background. I wet each drip and then painted it using Alvaro’s Caliente and Fresco Greys. I left some of the edges and circles within the drips white to make them sparkle.
Step 7: After adding many layers to the bird’s feathers, I removed the masking fluid from the water drops all around the background. I softened their edges using a small flat brush and water. Then I added some color to some in the shadows. For those that were floating on the water, I added a line to the middle and shaded the reflection in the water.
Step 8: (Detail) At this point, I took some time to look at the almost finished painting. I decided that I wanted to lift some of the color in the water to create some larger white splashes. I used masking tape and a sharp blade to cut out some shapes. I was pleased with how well the Signature Series Greys lifted. After removing the tape, I cleaned up the shapes I created to integrate them into the surrounding water.
In Conclusion: Normally, I would not recommend using so many different grays in the same painting. In this case, the variety of grays seemed to work together for the colors and textures of the fountain. I feel like this experimental painting was a personal success on multiple fronts. The different cold press paper that I tried worked well and gives me an option from my usual CP paper. I enjoyed experimenting with the textures of the fountain and the Primatek Watercolors, and the New Signature Series Greys really added to that effect with their granulation (Alvaro’s Caliente Grey is the only non-granulating gray in the bunch). Finally, it was a pleasure trying out most of the new DANIEL SMITH Greys in “Spa Day”. My favorites are Alvaro’s Caliente and Fresco Greys. Joseph Z’s Warm and Cool Greys are close runners up. These will be added to my arsenal of convenience colors for future paintings.
Lorraine is a watercolor artist painting waterscapes, birds, and reflective objects in a realistic style. Lorraine’s watercolors are characterized by bright colors, dramatic light, and realistic reflections. She likes the challenge of painting water, glass, and metal and recently has become captivated with birds. Lorraine has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Colorado in Boulder and after college designed clip-art for a graphics company for a few years. Lorraine began working with watercolor 25 years ago and taught the medium at Pikes Peak Community College. She currently teaches watercolor and drawing in her studio and at other venues. Lorraine enjoys the challenge of watercolor and starts her paintings with a detailed drawing. She likes to use intense color and many layers to build up the depth in her images. The DANIEL SMITH pigments are her favorite watercolors for their intensity of color, range of pigments, and beautiful granulations. Lorraine prefers to use the white of the paper and does not add opaque whites to her paintings. She is intrigued by reflections and how they interact to create abstract patterns in a realistic scene.
Pastel Ground by GOLDEN is used for preparing supports for use with dry media like pastels, graphite, pencil, charcoal or chalk, and it is ON SALE at 30% OFF! Pastel Grounds provide a tooth similar to pastel paper and is perfect for when you want to work LARGE and on unconventional surfaces, like say, a door.
Over the last few years, we’re finding that the DIY movement continually inspires artists to get creative with raw materials and we get a lot of questions about how to use Dry Pigments by Gamblin. Dry Pigments are the same pigments used in Gamblin’s Artist’s Oil Colors, which is 100% pure, finely-ground, available in a range of 22 colors, and ON SALE at 25% OFF!
While an artist may want to use Dry Pigments to make their own oil paint by mixing with Linseed Oil or other drying oils such as Poppy, Stand, or Safflower, they can also be used to create other paint mediums using binders for acrylics, watercolors, egg tempera, and fresco. Additionally, Dry Pigments can be mixed with Gamblin Oil Ground to provide a tinted base layer to work on top of.
We’ve seen beautiful results when mixed with Art Resin to fill in negative areas in wood grain, or as a colored coating for surf boards. Artists have used Dry Pigments mixed into grout for mosaic and tile projects with much success. We’ve mixed pigments with pouring mediums in conjunction with, and as a replacement to, acrylic colors – to fabulous results. Are we obsessed? Yup. But mostly, we’re inspired.
A little different than tie dye, Shibori is a Japanese method of dyeing patterns by twisting, binding, wrapping, folding, and stitching. Indigo dye is used because of its easy-to-create resist patterns on fabric. Jacquard products make it simple to create this ancient natural dye using their Mini Indigo Tie Dye Kit, and it’s ON SALE at 25% OFF this month!
This Mini Indigo Tie Dye Kit brings the ancient art of indigo dyeing to the home dyer in a user-friendly formulation. Indigo dye, which comes from a plant, is one of the oldest dyes used for coloring fabrics and the one still used today to color blue jeans. This natural dye process has long been used in many cultures around the world. This kit includes pre-reduced Indigo dye, reducing agent, gloves, two sizes of rubber bands, two wood blocks, quick start instructions and an instruction booklet with dye patterns and historical overview of indigo. Dyes up to 15 shirts or 15 yards (5 lbs.) of fabric.
Check out this video of the White Pitt Artist Pens by Faber-Castell in action. Made of pigmented India Ink that is both acid-free and archival (pH neutral), these Pitt Artist Pens offer unsurpassed lightfastness. Perfect for sketches, journals, cartooning, and fine ink drawing. Available in classic fine art colors as well as varied nib styles. Ink is smudge and waterproof when dry.
Pitt Artist Pens are ON SALE at $2.99 ($3.60 list), so now is a good time to give these a spin.