Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Just Add Watercolor

This perfect travel-size book is filled with gorgeous paintings in several different types of watercolor media including digitally enhanced works.  After trying many "beginner" books, I was apprehensive about this one.  Imagine my surprise when I opened it and not only could I admire beautiful works of art, I could read and understand the tips on how it was created.  The tips were do-able for a beginner and a great resource for honing craft for the expert.

This book removes much of the mystery around how watercolors are done by providing clear, no-nonsense instructions in a very succinct manner.  For example, "Clean, graphic lines like this one are not easily achieved through freehand drawing.  [well, that allayed some fears about how this was achieved for sure] using graphite paper is a good way to give yourself guidelines you can carefully ink over before adding paint color to your image." (p. 30)

Not only is this advice great for the beginner, but it's also reassuring that all artists do not draw everything freehand.  Oh, and I did not know graphite paper existed prior to reading this passage.  Another skill and tool for my toolbox.  Reviewer's Note:  if you are not able to purchase graphite paper, coloring the backside of a sheet of paper with pencil and tracing on the front will produce a similar result. 

This book has much to offer all experience levels of watercolorist.  It is a perfect inspirational resource as well as answering the ubiquitous question "how do they do that??"  Highly recommended.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015


Ben Kwok has a Facebook group called Ornation Creation.  He issues a new design about once a week.  This was his wolf pattern that I decorated with tangles and blue gouache on Bristol paper.

The patterns are fun to work with but they take time to complete.  This one took me close to two weeks to finish.  Granted, I have a full-time job so perhaps it would have taken me less time, but it's a great way to unwind after a busy day.

Ben is a former tattoo artist and his designs are fabulous.  He has a book out that you may want to check out on Amazon.com.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Flowers with Copics and Bristol Paper

 A bit of a switch-up from the watercolors today.  Bristol paper with Copic markers and Sakura Micron's 01 black marker.  Apologies for the lack of cropping.  I'm having difficulty with the program I use.  In any event, the Copics give beautiful color but they bleed through every type of paper.  I used the top to an old spool of ribbon I had to make the circles.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mosaic, a study in palette colors

Study in brushwork.  I love this.  It reminds me of something from the 1970s.  I love to play with palettes of color and see where it leads.

I created this one right after I bought a new set of watercolors. (squee!)  I was never one for abstract art, but I guess I like making it more than I like looking at it in a museum...except for Picasso and Pollack.

This is also on the 140lb cold press Canson watercolor paper.  I'm not sure what to call this one...maybe "Mosaic?"