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
Phthalo Blue (RS)
Cobalt Teal Blue
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.
What do you love to paint the most? You’ll never know until you explore a wide variety of subject matter. This online workshop presents a sampler of popular watercolor subjects: landscapes, still life, and portraits. Kelly Eddington will show you how watercolor’s unique properties can do the heavy lifting in each painting. Watch watercolor create a serene blue sky, a soft shadow defining a cheekbone, and reflected light on a shiny surface—all in seconds. Watercolor is challenging and can take decades to master, but this medium’s special quirks are so seductive you might find yourself under its spell for the rest of your life.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County seeks a part-time puppeteer to work with their Education and Programs department. The Performing Artist/Puppeteer works collaboratively within the Performing Arts Program to operate a full-suit Triceratops and Saber-toothed cat puppet for their on-going Encounters Program. Performing Artists/Puppeteers work with the Performing Arts Program Manager and other Education staff to present performances for Museum programs, special events, and school groups. Puppeteers interact with Museum guests and are expected to maintain a friendly and approachable demeanor at all times.
This position has the following requirements:
3 or more years as a dancer, actor, acrobat, puppeteer, and/or performing artist.
3 or more years of physical and movement-based training.
1 or more years of theatre training.
Available to work weekends.
Height and lifting requirements based on puppet as described below.
Quadrupedal Puppet Requirements: Height, 5’1” to 5’7”, Women’s shoe size 6-11 or Men’s size 4-9. Small to Medium athletic build. Must be able to lift and carry up to 85 pounds on back in bending and crouching positions for limited periods of time. All weight on wrists, shoulders, and back. Extremely hot, claustrophobic full suit puppet with limited sight range. Job requires wearing a Triceratops and Saber-toothed cat full-suit puppet with internal mechanisms for movement and sound amplification.
Requires wearing a Triceratops and Saber-toothed Cat full-suit puppet with internal mechanisms for movement and sound amplification.
Extended periods of standing and bending within costume; holding physically challenging positions for lengthy periods of time, in a confined space.
Stilt walking and light gymnastic activity required for some of the museum characters.
Work schedule may also include weekdays and some evenings.
Performing Artists/Puppeteers must pass a physical examination from a medical doctor provided by the Museum.
Willingness and ability to learn about natural history content, including paleontology, to create authentic character studies for the Dinosaur Encounters program.
Willingness to assimilate and creatively interpret content from NHM’s exhibits, collections and halls, and collaborate with museum interpretive staff and education department policies to create performing arts-based programming.
Ability to work well in an ensemble and proactively assist your colleagues as needed.
Acting and hosting abilities required.
Willingness to learn and perform minor tech board and remote control operation.
Comfort interacting with all ages of the public while in or out of costume.
Experience in education strongly preferred.
Completion of a physical is required prior to beginning employment.
A cover letter, current resume, and list of 3-4 references are required for all applicants. Review of applications begins immediately and continues until position is filled. Interested candidates please visit www.nhm.org/jobs and click the link of the position for which you are interested.
Gamblin Radiants work together as a system of accent colors, enabling artists to easily and predictably punch-up the color and intensity in their paintings. When used in mixtures, the Radiants allow painters to warm-up or cool-down colors without darkening them. Radiants can also neutralize colors into more nuanced mixtures.
Gamblin Radiant Colors are composed of eight intense tints – mixtures of pure color and white, at Value 7 on the Munsell System. In this page, we share how the Radiant Colors came to be and we showcase how painters utilize Radiant Colors in their work.
Development: a Radiant collaboration
Gamblin Radiant Colors were developed out of Robert Gamblin’s friendship with painter Wolf Kahn. Wolf’s landscapes are spoken in the language of pure color – the natural world is expressed through a vibrant palette and bold shapes. Wolf is just as fluent in working with soft pastels as he is in oil paint. As pastels are a “dry” medium, one would have sticks of pure pigment (Ultramarine Blue, for example) plus several tints of that pigment at different values. Wolf took the same approach to his oil color palette – incorporating pure colors from the tube alongside lighter tints. Robert worked with Wolf in developing the eight intense tints that became known as Radiants.
Each of the Radiant Colors are tints of modern organic pigments. The one exception is Radiant Blue, which is a tint of Ultramarine. Modern organic pigments retain their intensity in tints in mixtures, which is the reason the Radiant Colors maintain such a high chroma at their light values. It’s also worth noting that these modern organic pigments are transparent in nature, yet the Radiant Colors are all opaque, due to the addition of titanium white in their formulas.
Radiant White: the brightest of whites
Gamblin Radiant White is pure titanium dioxide bound in safflower oil. Radiant White is the brightest white oil color Gamblin makes. Safflower is paler than linseed oil which means that Radiant White is not only brighter, but it is more neutral in temperature compared to linseed oil-bound whites. With its high load of titanium dioxide, Radiant White reflects back 97% of the light that falls on it.
Without modification, Radiant White is Gamblin’s most brushable white – meaning it has the least amount of resistance under the brush or painting knife. Radiant White is also slower drying than other whites, making it useful for painters who wish to work wet into wet or otherwise desire more open time.
Radiant Turquoise, Radiant Violet, and Radiant Blue have become my first “go-to” colors for lightening values when cooler colors are needed. Rather than heading straight for my Titanium White, these colors serve me better because all three are cool, very light, and intense and they help with neutralizing colors. For example, if I am trying to neutralize Napthol Red and do not want a dark, warmer color (as I would get if mixed with its complement, Green), I add Radiant Turquoise. The result is a rich, cooler, mid-value color.
Napthol Red mixed with Radiant Turquoise:
Similarly, I can get a more natural violet by mixing Radiant Blue with my Napthol.
Napthol Red mixed with Radiant Blue:
Mixing with Radiant Turquoise vs. Titanium White:
By lightening Quinacridone Violet with Radiant Turquoise instead of Titanium White, I will get more nuanced color mixing. The mixture of Quinacridone Violet and Radiant Turquoise passes through the blue section of the color wheel, yielding beautifully subtle mid-value blues. When Quinacridone Violet is mixed with straight white, the corresponding tints remain in violet hue family.
Here I use mixtures of Quinacridone Violet and Radiant Turquoise in this painting of snow on a sunny day:
Warm and cool Radiant mixtures
Try this: mix Cadmium Orange with Radiant Turquoise in one pile and with Radiant Violet in another. These two greys will be the same value, but one will appear cooler and the other warmer. When placed next to one another in the distant landscape, the beauty of a late afternoon mountain comes to life.
When I started experimenting with Gamblin’s line of Radiant colors, I expected they would end up in the “occasional use” drawer. To my surprise, I found myself employing them in nearly every painting—especially figurative works—with Radiant Green and Radiant Turquoise claiming permanent spots on my palette. Some of the others (like Radiant Red and Violet) join the party almost as often. Whenever I teach or give a portrait demo, the first thing people ask me about are “those bright colors” on my palette and how to use them.
I find Radiant Green and Radiant Turquoise particularly useful in adjusting the hue and/or temperature within a painting, while maintaining light values. Others in the Radiant line, such as Radiant Violet and Radiant Red, are almost impossible to substitute. The Radiant Violet is very cold in color temperature. I’ve seen nothing else like it on the market. Depending on the nature of the light source, Radiant Violet and/or Radiant Red are often the perfect choice for painting the brightest highlights on a model without having to default to titanium white.
In this passage of a recent alla prima portrait (below), you can see a subtle light blue along the temple area and around the eye socket. In those areas where there is a plane change, gradually turning away from the light, the color becomes cooler, but not necessarily darker. This was a perfect opportunity to use Radiant Turquoise.
In addition to creating luscious skin tones, the Radiant line is great for nailing local color. The little boy in this portrait (below) was wearing a white and sea-green shirt, and sat outdoors on an overcast day (so cool light). Instead of mixing white with Phthalo or some other darker color, I was able to use Radiant Green almost straight out of the tube for that shirt. Additionally, you can see passages in his face and throughout the painting (leaves, stone steps, etc.) where I mixed the green and turquoise in, creating an overall harmony for the piece.
In this portrait of Colquitt (below), I used Radiant Violet all over the background (in front of a light transparent wash of ivory black), and for the bold highlight in the middle of his forehead.
Radiant colors are invaluable for cooling down a color mixture without getting a darker value and for obtaining bright highlight or local colors without having to use a ton of white. Whether or not you are painting from life, the Radiant colors are wonderful shortcuts for all of your “high key” needs.
Watercolor can be one of the simplest mediums to use, but it does seem to have a mind of its own at times, giving it the reputation of being fussy and unforgiving to work with. In this four part workshop Steve Mitchell gets into the mind of watercolor and see what makes it tick. Success with watercolor depends greatly on discovering and anticipating how it reacts in real painting situations.
The Broad is seeking a creative, driven and experienced Marketing and Social Media Manager (MSMM) to develop and execute innovative marketing and social media strategies designed to achieve core objectives including: meeting and exceeding general admission attendance, exhibition and public programming attendance and revenue goals; increasing awareness of The Broad; and effectively engaging and communicating with The Broad’s large and diverse audience. The MSMM will report to the Director of Marketing and Communications (DMC) to support The Broad’s marketing and communications efforts, including social media (paid and organic), traditional advertising, digital marketing (including management and support of The Broad’s website and ticketing platform), email marketing, sponsorships and other marketing initiatives. This is a high-profile role at The Broad that requires the ability to successfully manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment, exceptional attention to detail, and an “outside the box” approach to establishing an exciting and enduring brand identity for the museum as a welcoming, inclusive and premier cultural destination on local, national and global levels.
Social Media and Content Creation
Lead the development and implementation of innovative social media strategies that build on awareness of The Broad and ultimately, drive ticket sales and free general advance reservations
Monitor daily execution of social media content (i.e. scheduling posts, liking photos, tweeting, sharing, increasing social outreach, etc.)
Write all social media copy, consistently delivering on-brand voice posts that are 100% error-free across all social platforms
Create impactful and compelling social media content and video content that engages and educates The Broad’s audience, working closely with key internal and external stakeholders
Manage social media KPIs and produce monthly recaps, optimizing performance of specific tactics against plan goals
Monitor for brand mentions across all social media channels. Identify and engage with posts that provide an opportunity to positively impact brand reputation and work with Visitor Services to respond to questions in a timely manner
Manage photography and videography for the museum, including hiring and supervising photographers, videographers, producers and editors
Stay up-to-date on new social media tools and best practices, identifying ways for The Broad to be at the forefront of social media trends
Continue to grow and manage the museum’s relationships with social media influencers
Marketing and Advertising
Assist with the development of and implementation of integrated marketing and communications plans designed to refine and strengthen the museum’s brand identity, drive attendance and revenue, and maximize awareness of and audience for the museum, its exhibitions and its public programs
Assist with the planning of and implementation of digital marketing campaigns including paid social media, display advertising and SEO/SEM
Work with external digital agency to manage, execute and monitor digital campaigns, providing strategic guidance to drive results and ensure goals are met or exceeded
Develop creative concepts and write copy for marketing and advertising collateral such as The Broad’s general information brochure and other museum print collateral, OOH advertising, print advertising, radio ads, paid social media ads, display advertising, email newsletters, etc.
Ensure that The Broad’s brand identity and voice are consistent across all channels
Set and oversee project timelines for the design and production of advertising and marketing materials, ensuring projects remain on track to meet deadlines
Manage day-to-day communications and operations with internal stakeholders, external agencies and vendors regarding project timelines, files, specs, production issues, etc.
Manage and update all onsite signage and marketing/collateral
Provide exceptional attention to detail as the final marketing eye on all marketing and advertising creatives and assets: ensure copy is 100% correct, images are clear, etc.
Stay up-to-date on art world and museum industry news, trends and influencers
Maintain image, video and digital asset archives, utilizing The Broad’s DAM to tag, organize and manage assets
Develop and manage The Broad’s email marketing calendar
Write, design, test and schedule emails, collaborating with Curatorial, Audience Engagement, Visitor Services, Retail, IT and design agency to develop and produce email newsletters
Manage visitor email communications such as pre-visit emails
Develop and manage transactional/triggered email campaigns (such as a welcome series, re-engagement campaign, etc.)
Optimize email performance via A/B and split tests
Analyze email performance data to better understand The Broad’s audience, improve email marketing KPIs and make actionable recommendations that will optimize email performance
Manage email marketing KPIs and produce monthly recaps
Capturing your world through art in a journal is a low-tech, highly rewarding experience, but you don’t need us to tell you that. In her friendly and conversational video workshop, Gay Kraeger guides you through learning watercolor one step at a time: the basics, quick sketches, page design, lettering, and watercolor techniques needed to create illustrations of your life in the form of an art journal.
Check out this video where Richard and Darin of R&F Handmade Paints talk about things that affect the drying rates of R&F Pigment Sticks. Probably one of the most frequently asked questions we get about Pigment Sticks is, how long they take to dry compared to oil paint out of a tube. Don’t forget that R&F Pigment Sticks are ON SALE at 15% OFF during our MOVING SALE.