More texture

One of my students who enjoyed my watercolor collage workshop also mentioned that she has a Sizzix machine.  This is a hand-run press with embossing templates.  Immediately we both saw the possibility of adding this texture to my refractured watercolor work.  Last week I created a new painting for a refracture:


… and yesterday when she was at sm’Art studio for a follow-on lesson to my Absolute Beginner’s class. she loaned it to me again to emboss the pieces I had cut.  This is what they look like so far!


The two on the left are our original test to see if the watercolor paper would emboss nicely.  The rest are the refractured watercolor.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out when I assemble them.  Watch this space!


Folded Flamingo

Flamingo watercolor painting

Teach’s Folded Flamingo.

Many years ago I went through a bird-painting phase.  A couple of these have made great subjects for my Monday afternoon class.  This Monday just past, I guided the group through creating a flamingo that had folded its long neck up so it could hide its beak in its wings.  Here’s the group having completed their versions of Folded Flamingo.

student group with paintings

Seven more Folded Flamingo

Student progression.

About 15 months ago, ‘Jo’ took my absolute beginner’s class.  Earlier in the month, she took the class again, not having painted very much in between.  One of the things that I ask at the beginning of the class is what the student hopes to get out of it.  It can help me tailor the class a little to hopefully cover any specific items. In this class Jo was lucky in that she was the only one, so we got to discuss her progress a little more.

She had indeed painted the day before, using watercolor crayons.  The papers were tiny piece of printer or drawing paper – not the best surface.  Jo expressed that she had had difficulty making out what she had painted afterwards and had ended up using ink to define the items painted.  Towards the end of the afternoon, after the standard Shadows exercise, we looked at Jo’s paintings and I thought we could tackle one of them as a larger watercolor and make a more realistic painting.

Working a little larger does help.  This time we used watercolor paper (Canson 140lb cold press) – about 12×9″.  I drew a quick value sketch first on a scrap to outline some of the changes that we would make to make the little barrel cacti look more round, and the rocks “rocky”.  The main adjustments were addition of shadows/shading to bring out the shapes of the cacti and rocks.  I suggested a simple blue sky/purple hills/sandy mid-ground behind the cacti in order to make them stand out from it, rather than a green one of a similar tone.  The cacti flowers didn’t come out as well as hoped – I’m not by nature a floral painter and they were a little on the small side to do much more with than a bit of impressionism.

Jo said her husband thought everything she painted was wonderful, but when he came to pick her up after the class and we showed him the before and after, there was no faking those eyebrows shooting skyward.  Here’s the before (on the right! 🙂 ) and the after.

After and before cactus paintings

Monday’s cactus painting on the right, and Tuesday’s redo with Absolute Beginners class and a little individual guidance.

A regular class

Trilogy in La Quinta is a gated community with an active creative club.  A couple months ago I got the opportunity to become one of the watercolor class instructors there, and teach about twice a month on a Monday afternoon.  It’s a guided-tuition class, a little like the paint-n-wine format in that all students complete the same painting, but with much more of a learning opportunity focus.

I get so wrapped up in demoing and guiding, that I usually forget to take photos of the class in action.  But this time, I persuaded the ladies to let me take a pic of their completed exercises to put on the blog.

Watercolor class students

Yes – they all look great!

They sure do make me work too!  Not only do I need to prepare the exercises, but I get requests of trying subjects that I don’t usually do, so my skills get stretched as a result.  Seems like we’re all having fun, though!

Newer Work #76

Watercolor collage painting

#1292 Flowing. 3.5×5 watercolor collage on foamcore in mat to fit 5×7 frame. $25.

Another couple little ones….  On the first one I named it Flowing because I love how the top of the cloud at the bottom flows between the three pieces.





The second one does have a more ominous feel, even though it is more colorful.

(Oh, I wish I could put this text at the side of the image like I did above.  It’s been 10 minutes of struggling, I give up.)


Watercolor collage painting

#1293 Ominous. 5×3.5″ watercolor collage on foamcore in mat to fit 7×5″ frame. $25.

Newer Work #75

Watercolor collage painting

#1290 Juxtapose. 3.5×5″ collage on foamcore, matted in white to fit 6×8″ frame. $25.

Another two little babies from the basket.  Sometimes it’s all in the name!







Watercolor collage painting

#1291 A Sense of Humor. 3.5×5″ collage on foamcore, matted in white to fit 6×8″ frame. $25.

Newer work #73

Another couple of babies from that clutch that I hatched a few weeks ago.  The second one is a personal “favorite child”.

Watercolor collage

#1285 “Precision”. Watercolor collage, 5×3.5″ in mat framing to 7×5″. $25

Watercolor collage

#1287 “It’s raining stars”. Watercolor collage, 5×3.5″ in mat framing to 7×5″. $25