Joan Hansen is the Artist/Owner of
Creative Art & Design Studio and Joan Hansen Art
I’ve often heard people say they are hesitant to paint with watercolor because once something is painted, “you can’t make changes.” In this blog I will show you how versatile watercolor can be.
My Watercolor Palette
I set up my palette so that the warm tones are together, and the cool tones are together. There is a ridge down the center, which divides the two halves of the palette.
Creating Texture with Salt
In my painting, Autumn Bliss, I began by creating an abstract wash of color. First, the 300 lb watercolor paper was moistened with clear water. Next, I splashed on warm yellows, oranges, pinks, and reds with a round brush. Then I surrounded the warm tones with cool tones by splashing on blues, mauves, and greens. When the shine started to disappear, I sprinkled on some table salt. This was left to dry naturally. The salt absorbs some of the pigment creating a beautiful texture, which you may find in autumn leaves around this time of year.
Blocking Shapes with Darks
After the painting was completely dry, I brushed off the salt and drew the shape of the autumn leaf with a pencil. Then, using three very dark tones of green, mauve, and blue, I blocked in the shape of the leaf by painting the negative space around it.
Lifting with Stencils
Next, I created stencils by drawing several different shapes of leaves with a black permanent marker on a matte piece of .003 acetate. The acetate comes in a 9” x 12” tablet. The stencil was positioned on a piece of cardboard, and I cut out the shapes with an Exacto knife. I placed the stencil on the dry watercolor paper and, with an old toothbrush moistened with clear water; I brushed along the shape of the stencil to lift the color slightly. Patting the shape with a dry paper towel absorbed the moisture. When the color is lifted in this manner, it reveals muted shades of the first layer of color.
The veins in the leaf were lifted by painting a line with clear water, allowing the water to settle into the paper, and then scrubbing out the shape with a clean towel.
And you thought watercolor was unforgiving! Go out in your backyard, pick some beautiful autumn leaves, and remember them forever with these fun watercolor techniques.
Because Art is Community in Motion
Donna Boudakian, Founder and CEO of Mobile Masterpieces, Inc
Operating in the Metro Atlanta area, Mobile Masterpieces Inc. is literally a moving art studio. We travel to the location of our client’s choice, provide all art supplies and inspiration needed to allow an individual or group to create a personalized or unique painting, and we take care of all set up and clean up. Everyone gets a 16 X 20 acrylic canvas, and three hours later, has a dry masterpiece of his or her very own. We specialize in step-by-step, personalized instruction so that each person can feel successful.
Our events reach all ages—from 7 to 107! We do birthday parties, ladies’ nights out, senior enrichment, and not-for-profit work for those in the community who may be ill or in need. Part of our philosophy also reaches those who feel that they simply “cannot paint.” We believe there is no such thing as a “perfect” painting and that the inherent therapy of art can reach anyone. Emotions are often conveyed in produced art, and, while most of our events are happy in nature, we often encounter pain, sadness, and depression as the paint reaches the heart of each artist and releases the colors of their lives.
Mobile Masterpieces is about a journey of creativity and community. We can relive the hundreds of lives we have touched in the photos of our events, but, more importantly, our clients can relive those moments of success with a brush and canvas each time that “thought to be impossible” painting is viewed.
Until Next Time…Live, Laugh, Love & Paint!
I am often asked how I begin my Continual Line Contour Drawings. I usually start at the top and work my way down on the left side, and back up on the right side. I am conscious of not closing in the entire subject. It is important to leave open edges.
Keeping open edges allows the eye to move in and through the drawing freely. In the sketch you will notice a dot where I began and where I finished. Once I put the pen on the paper, I don't lift it until the drawing is finished. The image becomes a little distorted but I think that is part of its charm.
In the photograph I show the still life set-up, then the contour drawing, and the final stage with watercolor. This is a demonstration of how I use watercolor with a continual line contour drawing. I use Tombow pens
for the drawing because they are filled with water-based ink that dissolves nicely when I paint watercolor over it. The color I prefer is a burnt sienna. Another reason I like to use these pens is because the drawing is less prominent than it is with waterproof pens. This is a wonderful warm-up exercise.
Walter Foster Books By Brenda SwensonKeeping a Watercolor Sketchbook Steps to Success in Watercolor Discover Watercolor Sketching
Nathan Rohlander works on a portrait of his father for his upcoming book, Drawing: The Head
, which will hit shelves in February. Nathan used Dura-Lar, a frosted plastic material that comes off a roll and is cut to size, for this piece. He said this smooth, toothless support “is very archival and a wonderful surface to work with.” To see more of Nathans work visit his website at http://www.rohlander.com/NPR/Home.html
September 25, World Peace Day, marks the opening of The Peace Project
—an international art competition and exhibit that challenged artists to demonstrate their visions of peace in an effort to connect peace-minded people the world over. The project is the most recent effort of an online artists’ community, The Whole 9, to bring people together in the name of making the world a better place. Proceeds from sales of donated artwork will go toward helping victims of war in Sierra Leone.
The show opens at Gallery 9 in Culver City, California, and will run through November 6. The exhibit can also be viewed for one night only in San Francisco on November 9, and in New York on September 30.
This piece, drawn by Nathan Rohlander with graphite on paper, has been selected for The Peace Project and will be on display at gallery9. It was a spontaneous drawing of his wife and child. He stumbled upon them in this position and said “Honey, please stay there as long as possible, I need to draw this.” He described this moment as being so harmonious that it filled him with love, a sense of well being, and peace.
A new book for tweens, A Haunting at Richelieu High: A Penny Dreadful Investigation,
ushers readers into the world of freshman KC Watson, and follows along as she tells the story of her encounters with an intriguingly odd new student at her school.
When Penelope Dredalus arrived at Richelieu High wearing dark clothes and a gloomy expression, it didn’t take long for her to earn the nickname “Penny Dreadful.” Penelope’s paranormal tendencies bring a mysterious element to her new stomping grounds. She might even cause the spirit of a girl who died at the high school 40 years before to return as a poltergeist. KC Watson’s curiosity causes her to seek out Penelope, and eventually befriend her. This coming of age tale is about friendship, changes, and of course, ghosts and mystery.
Author Bob Berry said he took the name “Penny Dreadful” from 19th Century Great Britain, where published booklets full of lurid tales of vampires, ghosts, and other creepy things were sold for a penny each, and thus known as “Penny Dreadfuls.”
“I’ve wanted to create a character with that name for many years and in some of her earliest concepts my ‘Penny Dreadful’ was to be a comic strip,” said Berry. It was from reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes
stories that he got the idea to have a character named KC Watson narrate his novel—an act of homage to the original Dr. Watson.
While A Haunting at Richelieu High
is Berry’s first novel, he is an accomplished artist and has included several of his illustrations in this book, as well as designing the cover.
He said, “I’ve been drawing all my life; at least since I was able to hold a pencil.” Berry remembers the influence comic books had on him as a child. He taught himself how to draw by copying the techniques of comic book artists like Russ Manning, Frank Frazetta, Alex Toth, Bernie Wrightson, Dave Stevens, and Mike Mignola.
Berry has written a couple short stories and comic books in the past, but wanted to try his hand at writing a novel. When his children heard the first few pages and wanted to know what happened next, he knew he was on to something. He has already begun the first stages of his next Penny Dreadful book, which will pick up where his first left off and dig deeper into his gloomy protagonist’s character.
He promised his 9-year-old son that he will write a “boy’s book” too, so he is working on that as well.
Berry recently illustrated the children’s book, Watch Me Draw Robots
, which will be available in October, and is currently working on the art for How to Draw Magical, Monstrous & Mythological Creatures
due out July 2011. Both books are part of Walter Foster’s line of art instructional books.
Purchase your copy of A Haunting at Richelieu High
You don?t have to be a professional artist to participate in The Sketchbook Project. Everyone who submits their art will have it displayed in museums and galleries across the country in the spring of 2011. Don?t worry, there is still plenty of time to sign up and get started on your sketchbook!
The idea behind Brooklyn-based Art House Co-op?s annual project is to eventually create a massive library of contemporary art for the public to view. ?In the meantime, the sketchbooks they are soliciting from creative people all around the world will go on tour.
Here?s how it works: Go to the Art House Co-op?s Website
and select a theme for your journal. Themes range from ?Things found on restaurant napkins? and ?Make mine a double,? to ?Help!? and ?Sleepless.? After paying a fee of $25, the co-op will send you a moleskin journal for you to fill with art and alter any way you like. The journal must remain its original size, but pages can be replaced with thicker paper, the cover can be cut up and altered, and things can pop out of it as long as they are able to fold back down. The possibilities are endless.
Each book will have a barcode on it, which is the only portion that cannot be altered. Participants will be able to track how many people look at their book and be able to locate it in the Brooklyn Art Library. The co-op will be filming the exhibits for those who don?t live near any of the tour?s destinations. Participants will be able to go online and look watch how people attending the exhibits are interacting with their books.
To participate you must sign up by October 31, 2010 and have your journal postmarked by January 15, 2011.
2011 Tour Schedule:
Brooklyn, NY: February 19-27
Austin, TX: March 12
Atlanta, GA: April 8-9th
Portland, ME: April
Chicago, IL: May
Seattle, WA: June 10-12
San Francisco: June 18
French origami artist Erik Joisel created these figurines from one square piece
of paper each, with no cutting, tearing, or pasting.
The ancient Japanese art of origami has been transformed from folding simple cranes and jumping frogs into a folding intricate, detailed works of art that are nothing short of engineering genius. It?s hard to believe that some of the animals, dragons and human likenesses created by the world?s top origami masters today are folded from a single paper square, with no tearing, cutting, or pasting?but believe it or not, the rules of origami have remained intact.
Origami is as much a science as it is an art. It is possible, claim the origami masters, to create any and every shape with origami. Of course trial and error will not render such complex designs. Mathematics, including but not limited to geometry, and engineering are the keys to creating these beautiful creations.
Several theoretical scientists have been focusing their energy on origami and how it can explain world. As a sheet of paper is transformed so dramatically without cutting or pasting, scientists ask what this means in terms of other planes. A 22-year-old MIT professor, Erik Demaine, received a MacArthur Fellowship?also known as the ?genius? grant?in 2003 for his ideas about the practical applications of folding. He concludes that protein folding will someday be used to stop diseases from destroying the body.
Some artists are going another direction with origami, creating minimalist paper forms. Others are folding geometric masterpieces, changing and moving origami, crumpled paper origami, and even one fold only origami.
To learn more about contemporary origami and the science behind it?and see some truly amazing works of art?watch the PBS documentary, ?Between the Folds
.? The film features 10 artists and scientists who are revolutionizing the way we think about origami.
If you would like to try your hand at origami, this site has folding instructions
for more than 400 different models.
Monks by Giang Dinh
Dragon by origami master Satoshi Kamiya. He started folding paper at age two.
Watercolor sketch of Collioure, France. By Brenda Swenson.
In early June I traveled to Southern France to teach a sketching with watercolor workshop. The nine people in my group were all from the United States. Our home away from home for two weeks was the beautifully restored residence named Montfaucon, in the small town of Limoux. Historic records to this building go back to the mid 1300s. In the evening we either dined at Montfaucon with lavish meals prepared by local chefs or dined at one of the many outstanding restaurants in the area.
Each day we traveled to nearby villages, fortified cities, open markets, castles, and wineries. In the morning I would give a brief lesson either in the studio at Montfaucon or when we arrived on location. Some of the lessons I covered were light and shadows, edge quality, perspective, design, format, and vignettes. The locations we sketched at were the seaside town of Collioure, the medieval village of Minerve, the fortified city of Carcassone, Camon (the rose village), Rennes-le-Chateau, Gorge de Galamus, and more. There are just too many wonderful places to see and explore in just two weeks! We had so much fun. I plan to return!
If you are interested in attending one of Brenda’s workshops, follow this link for her 2010 and 2011 schedule. Locations vary significantly. http://www.swensonsart.net/events.html
The group of workshop participants, in France. Brenda Swenson on the right.
To see more of Brenda’s watercolor paintings, go to http://www.swensonsart.net/gallery.html
Walter Foster books written by Brenda Swenson include Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook
, Steps to Success in Watercolor
, and Discover Watercolor Sketching
The Absinthe Drinkers or Les Absintheurs
, is a film that has evolved over the past two years into more than a passing creative fancy. It has become a collaboration of actors, producers and many people who believe in the power of art and of the creative process.
Absinthe was the drink of choice for Parisians in the 1890s. Phylloxera had wiped out all the vineyards, and the cheapest alcohol was this medicinal wormwood concoction. It inspired madness and genius for the great talents of Montmartre. And our protagonist, Artemisia, finds herself painting in the midst of it, surrounded by the likes of Toulouse Lautrec, Degas, and Erik Satie.
The concept of The Absinthe Drinkers
began several years ago, over a wonderful dinner in Tuscany with my husband, John Jopson, and a good bottle of local wine. Initially, the conversation was about an 18th century painting—much like my “Eduardo Gauteir” (below)—at auction. What stories that painting could tell—who was the artist and who was the subject? What if the painting came to life?
In creating paintings for the film, I am literally stepping inside the mind and world of Artemisia and Paris in the 1890s. What were her materials, her inspirations, passions, and challenges? It’s wonderful to imagine the struggles of a young woman painter of that era. Many struggles not unlike my own!
The cast of actors and others on board are committed—we are just waiting for final funding and financing for filming to begin. We are now hoping for production to start in the spring of 2011.
About two years ago we received financing to create a short film for promotion of the film. We filmed on location in the Tuscan countryside and in my Tuscan studio. Gaetano Guarino, our dear friend and brilliant Italian actor, was cast as the role of Eduardo Gautier—the unscrupulous art dealer who, in the end, betrays Artemisia.
My Tuscan studio was turned into a movie set and rearranged and dressed to look like an art dealer's office. As we filmed I made several sketches and took many photos. It is from these references I created "Eduardo Gautier".
"Eduardo Gautier" was painted on linen with oil paints. It was recently exhibited at the Salon International Exhibit and won the top prize in the Figurative Category and placed in the jurors’ top 30 at the Salon International Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas.
To see more of Caroline’s work, go to carolinezimmermann.com
Caroline has several of her latest paintings on display at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, California, through August 31, 2010.
Caroline has contributed to the following Walter Foster books: Oil and Acrylic: Still Lifes, Oil Painting Step by Step, and Beginner’s Guide: Get Started Painting.
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be an artist. I always drew well, and my father, a third generation artist, encouraged my aspirations. I continued to pursue art throughout high school, but after graduating, I realized that neither my parents nor I could afford a formal art education. So I did what I had to do; I got a job and went to work. Art became a distant memory as I moved on with my life, married, and had four children.
I used my artistic talents around my home—decorating and redecorating—but knew there was always something missing from my life. After a close friend showed me a painting he had done, I decided to once again try my hand at fine art. I had never painted before, so I grabbed the cheapest and most practical thing in the art store, which was acrylic paints (oil paint didn’t make sense with four small kids in the house, and my lack of free time). I did my first painting, and saw that this might be something that would let me express all those creative ideas that had been dormant for the last 10 years.
I continued to paint as often as I could, and tried to increase my knowledge by reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. I used experimentation, and trial and error to hone my talents. As my confidence increased, I joined a local art group, and had some success in their shows. Next I began entering competitions that I found in art publications. There too, my success grew. Now after 15 years of painting, I can say that I have shown my work all over the United States and have had many solo exhibitions.
As a figurative realist, I have found myself alone when it comes to the use of acrylic instead of oil paint, but it works best for me. Now go discover the ways to express your creative side that work for you. You may end up with a brush in your hand and a masterpiece on your canvas.