Monday, December 24, 2012

Painting stone buildings and fences in watercolor

In my December workshop on painting English Cottages I demonstrated an easy method to paint stones in buildings and walls. I am using some reference photos I shot on one of my trips to England. As always I start with a rough pencil value study or "thumbnail sketch" to help me decide what to put in and what to leave out.

The first step in depicting stone is to lay in a loose wash of a variety of colors, allowing the pigment to mingle freely on the paper. This helps to establish the lighter values of the stone and create some variety. After that wash is dry I like to use the side of a loaded brush to "scumble" across the rough surface of the paper. This adds to the texture and provides a few marks which we can turn into edges of the stone and shadows on the surface. Lastly I will identify a few stone shapes in random locations, usually along the edges and once again using a variety of color.

The object is to create a feeling of textured stone without outlining each and every stone or brick.

Notice in the finished painting I have changed many things from the original photograph. The painting becomes "my creation" rather than a copy of a photograph.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gallery Open House Tonight - Free Art Cards

If you are in the area, stop by my Art Studio and Gallery tonight during the "Art on Main" gallery stroll. You'll see my latest paintings, plus some plein air paintings from the Zion Thomas Moran Show.'ll get a FREE box of my Christmas Art Cards just for stopping by. The Studio is located just a half block south of the St. George Art Museum in the First East Plaza at 165 North 100 East #2. Yep, you have to come by in person. See you tonight!
Get a free box of Christmas Cards just for stopping by during my open house tonight. This is in conjunction with the downtown "Art on Main" gallery stroll between 6 -9pm.

My studio is in the First East Plaza office building located just a half block south of the St. George Art Museum at 165 North 100 East #2, St. George UT 84770

Many new paintings and limited edition prints are on display in my new gallery rooms.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Painting English Cottages in Watercolor

The photo reference of a stone house in the Yorkshire Dales 
A thumbnail sketch helps us plan the value relationships and decide what to leave in and what to take out.

It is difficult to see, but I use a very light 4H pencil to sketch out my design on 140lb Arches watercolor paper.

As the painting begins I use loose wet-into-wet washes to form the basic shapes. It is important to let pigments mingle on the paper rather than do all the mixing on the palette.

The finished painting completed in class
The focus of our recent workshop was a popular one: Painting English Cottages and Gardens in watercolor. We used reference photos and sketches that I made on several trips to Great Britain along with photos from recent trips from the other artists as well. Starting with a lesson on what to put in and what to leave out, we discussed ways to work from a photo without being tied to it. Most photos don't provide the information we need, so as artists we should be free to change whatever is necessary to add drama and clarity to our compositions. I was able to complete two demonstration paintings during the class, both of which were purchased by Connie Madsen. Future workshops for Spring 2013 are listed on my website.
Both demonstration paintings were purchased by Connie Madsen