It’s Flashback Friday and we’re feeling nostalgic for the series of comics we used to run, Wonton’s Art Lessons! Created by a former employee, the very talented artist, Lisa Kash. This comic is called, “Lesson 13: Types of Ink”. Enjoy!
For all artists staying safe at home, we salute you for all efforts to stay creative during these chaotic times. One of those artists sharing their creativity and processes online is Mo Willems, the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence. In his first LUNCH DOODLE, Mo welcomes you into his studio at home and guides you through drawing activities using one of his favorite characters as inspiration. So grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and let’s doodle together and explore ways of writing and making.
“You might be isolated, but you’re not alone. You are an art maker. Let’s make some together.”
We’ve lost track of which day of our lockdown this is. But thankfully we have enough paint and canvas in our home studio to follow along with this delightful video from Lute Ross, who would rather paint spaceships than trees. Something for everybody!
You asked, we did it. We scheduled a calendar full of classes and workshops in our new space. Our opening month classes and workshops have been leading up to the introduction of Master Class at Raw Materials, where prominent artists teach intensive workshops that go beyond art school. Master Class will provide intensive interaction with professional artists working in a variety of media and will draw from a broad spectrum of cultural viewpoints. Students interact closely with working artists and can gain insight into how artists approach the making of art and respond to the work of others. Teaching groups are deliberately small, intense, and personalized.
Our first class in this series is an Oil Painting Master Class taught by internationally acclaimed painter Salomón Huerta on Saturday, September 7. This 120-minute class is for artists of all levels and experiences. Students bring their projects and come prepared to work with Salomón Huerta on executing their artistic vision. This class is great for students applying to art school, artists seeking portfolios guidance, and/or gallery representation. Class size is limited to 15 students.
Internationally-acclaimed Los Angeles-based painter Salomón Huerta was born in Tijuana, raised in East L.A. and attended the Art Center College of Design on a full scholarship, where he graduated with highest honors. Huerta also holds a Master of Fine Art from UCLA and is best known for his series of paintings depicting anonymous subjects with their backs to the viewer, facades of color-saturated, suburban homes, and larger than life-sized, masked Lucha Libre wrestlers. Huerta’s paintings have been collected and exhibited internationally, including at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Gagosian Gallery London, Worcester Museum of Art, The Smithsonian Institute, and at the Whitney Biennal. Huerta is represented by Louise Alexander Gallery.
About a year ago, Salomón Huerta was nice enough to shoot this short video about his favorite art supply store and the products he uses. Check it out:
In their Best of LA Arts Issue, The LA Weekly asked if David Arquette is the new Bob Ross, and you answered with a resounding yes.
On August 24th, Raw Materials Art Supplies was lucky to have Certified Ross Instructor David Arquette teach a Bob Ross Painting Class—our very first class in our new location! To no one’s surprise, the class sold out quickly.
In just under two hours, students eager to start a painting hobby learned how to paint an outdoor landscape. Based upon the PBS “Joy of Painting” series with Bob Ross, these artists of various abilities and experience painted and learned Bob Ross’ painting techniques, thanks to David Arquette’s guidance and friendly style.
If you missed out and couldn’t get a seat to the class, don’t fret. David said he had so much fun he’d like to do it again.
In the meantime, all Bob Ross paints, sets, brushes, and accessories are ON SALE at 20% OFF during our Back To Whatever Sale. Come get yours.
Five years ago these guys went shopping at Raw Materials with help from our then-mascot and head of security, Wonton. Good times. And today, we open for business at our new location at 645 S. Los Angeles Street. Will you be there?
August 8, 2018 we showed street artist James Wilde some love, and here we are a year later and even with all these changes and so much new stuff going on – yeah, we still love her!
BTW, one week until we open at our new location – 645 S. Los Angeles Street. Will you be there?
This video of our friend S.C. Mero, a DTLA artist who shops at Raw Materials, is also about a year old. Have you seen her remote-controlled traffic cone zipping through the hood? 🚧 Unfortunately the traffic cone wasn’t with her when she was walking from Sonoratown recently, and she, along with her companion, was hit by a drunk driver and rushed to the hospital with a concussion and other injuries. S.C. assured us through her social media platforms that she is okay and full of love. She’s so amazing. We’re so relieved she’s got such a hard head that she survived. Yay, artists!
We are delighted to introduce Watercolor Artist Sophie Rodionov, who in this demonstration, will show us step by step a painting of a cat in watercolor using Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors.
Why a cat? – I love painting animals in general. Basically all that we call “nature” inspires me a lot. But cats…. I feel something really special about them. Moreover, I think that in some way watercolour – the media I love so much – is the “cat” among other art materials. Cats are never “predictable”, a cat always does whatever he wants….
The same about watercolour: even when we think – that’s it! I know everything about it! – it still surprises! And to tell you the truth – I love it! I do wish to get surprises on my paper, I do wish to be friends with watercolor, but I appreciate its nature and want to do everything I can to show this on my watercolor paper. So, cats…I live in an area with a lot of homeless cats and one of them now lives in my house. I have an opportunity to see them, to look at them, to take pictures in all kinds of situations. I often use those pictures for my paintings.
I think, when we paint any subject, we have to feel a “closeness’ to this subject. When I paint cats from those “captured moments”, I don’t paint just a cat, I paint the “moment” I saw in the situation, I paint the feelings and the strong connection between me and that “moment”.
I start with the picture I have and print it for comfortable usage. This is not really a quality printed photo, but I don’t care – everything about colors and light I have in my mind. The photo is just a memento to remember the feeling and to catch the pose in right proportions. I use my sketchbook and make a small value and composition study with pencil. Then, I make the rudimentary pencil drawing on a watercolour paper cold press 140lb.
First wash to define warm and cool spaces, as well as the main drop shadow which is part of my composition. Here I use a “warm mix” from the palette (usually these are mixes of Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Nickel Azo Yellow, Monte Amiata Natural Sienna) and in some places adding Lunar Earth to get the granulation. My light “cool mix” is usually Cerulean Blue, Phthalo Turquoise, French Ultramarine and Sepiain different proportions. Here I add granulating Lunar Blue to the background. For the cat’s shadow I use Moonglow, Verditer Blue and Quinacridone Burnt Orange.
Continuing with the washes, I start to add values to the cat’s figure to define the pose and to build the form. I use the same colors as in the background, just adding a bit of Quinacridone Coral to the ears. I wet the paper with clear water using a hake brush before applying the colors and spraying the water if I see any hard edges that I don’t want. If I need to put a more defined mark with the brush, I blot water from the brush and take up more pigment with it. This way even when the surface is wet, we have more control of making marks. For the tail, I use watercolour’s wonderful nature, when working wet onto wet paper, to get this spreading mark.
Here I continue to add value to the shadows on the cat and the shadow beneath it as well as adding more details to the cat. I don’t wait for the paper to dry completely, I just continue with the process: some places dry, some are still wet and I get various brush marks naturally with little effort. This is important, to have soft edges and strong edges one near another among the whole painting. Also, I always think about cool and warm colors and keep them in mind while painting. Cool colors near the warm colors make the painting more natural and connected to reality, even when you are not “ a real realist artist”. For the darkest places, I love to use the mix of Sepia, Phthalo Turquoiseand Verditer Blue with Deep Scarlet which is one of my favourite dark mixes.
The most fun step – creating the textures in a background. Here I use all the same colors I already have on a palette, especially Lunar Blueand Lunar Earth, because I need their granulating ability for textural effects. Here there are no rules: I use a dry flat brush, splatter colors, spray water, lifting marks with paper towel – everything I could think of. But trying to stop in time before making the painting overworked or too dark in value.
Here I check the value of the background and make a decision to add a bit more darker value in the lower right corner. Usually I take a break for a cup of coffee and then come back to the painting to look at the painting with more fresh eyes. This time I saw that some more value was needed and used a mix of Deep Scarlet and Verditer Blue, I love this kind of “silver gray” I get in this mix.
The final details – I add some graphic lines with liner brush using the same dark mix I already have, and a most important character the painting – the beetle! Sometimes those graphic lines add a lot to the painting, but we should be careful not to make too much of them. And don’t forget to sign the painting!
I love the DANIEL SMITH colors and have used these paints for years. For me DANIEL SMITH is the natural choice because they have a really wide range of colors and not only the basic, traditional colors which could be found in any brand. I often talk about PrimaTek Watercolors made from real minerals, the different interesting colors, many with granulating effects and how some, like Moonglow, separate into several colors when applied in wet washes.
My basic palette has only DANIEL SMITH colors:
- Nickel Azo Yellow
- Quinacridone Burnt Orange
- Aussie Red Gold
- Perinone Orange
- Quinacridone Coral
- Opera Pink
- Deep Scarlet
- Phthalo Turquoise
- Phthalo Blue (RS)
- French Ultramarine
- Cerulean Blue
- Cobalt Teal Blue
- Verditer Blue
- Olive Green
- Perylene Green
- Lunar Black
I’m an artist who loves different textures, I fell in love with the Lunar colors –Lunar Earth, Lunar Blue, Lunar Black and Lunar Violet. In the demonstration of the cat painting I used two of them: Lunar Earth and Lunar Blue. I think they are like a gem in this painting, without them, it wouldn’t have the “magic” it has now. The effects of granulation can be used not only as background texture, but for the animals as well. I paint a lot of pet portraits and the Lunar Black turned to be one of the “must have” on my palette, and all my collectors have loved that effect in their animal paintings. So, I could definitely say that particular part of my painting style wouldn’t be possible without DANIEL SMITH Watercolour paints. And I would like to thank DANIEL SMITH for this.
Sophie Rodionov is an Estonian-born artist now living in Israel. Since 2013 she has been working as a full-time, self-employed artist, designer and illustrator with a range of art collectors, fashion and textile designers, brands and interior designers. Member of International Watercolor Society from 2017.
Her current work is a balance between abstract shapes and realistic forms, which shift between and create a layered world of captured moments. Sophie finds inspiration in every moment of life and trying to show that each moment deserves to be shown and has its’ own unrepeatable beauty.
Her works are held in private collections of over the world, including United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Netherlands and others. Sophie works with numerous top-brands and creates illustration designs for products for companies such as Papyrus, Metal Frame Works, Wendover Art Group and others.
Sophie enjoys helping social, un-commercial projects with her art. Among these projects are a BBC interior design show for people with disabilities, an auction for an animal rescue farm in California, an auction for a ballet school, wall art for the cat clinic at Wisconsin University and so on.
Sophie has a background as a glass artist and holds a degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts from Haifa University. Currently she is based in Israel and finds inspiration all around, she is available for art travel opportunities teaching art classes and workshops.