Saturday, October 07, 2017

Art in Tuscany

I'm just finishing a vacation in Tuscany and was impressed how pervasive art is. Tuscan art and culture are inseparable and is a model for many countries for years to come and for this area of Italy.

Art is preserved in historical artifacts and buildings from the etruscan, roman, medieval, renaissance times. Art is part of what attracts visitors, from around the world, year-round to this area. Paintings and sculptures by Michelangelo, one of the greatest Tuscan famous artists are found in key areas.

Obviously art is found in some of the greatest museums such as the Uffizi in Florence, however it is also found in the buildings’ architecture and sculptures. Art is intertwined with the beautification of buildings, public areas and homes. In addition there are numerous public art displays and art galleries.

You don’t need to visit large cities to see some great art. Frescos are painted into the plasterwork of the numerous churches, palaces, chapels and cathedrals in every town and there are many wonderful works carved in stone.

Although there is much historical art in Tuscany, the medieval villages and rolling hills of Tuscany will continue to inspire artists for years to come. I appreciated seeing and meeting a high number of Tuscan watercolorists during this vacation.

Today's artist find is Elizabeth Cochrane
Have a great week

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Too much of a good thing

There are a number of different ways to create technique in watercolour, Here are just a few:
  • plastic wrap
  • dry brushing
  • splatter
  • sprinkling salt
  • alcohol or water drops
  • sponge
  • etc.
Like many things in life, just because you can doesn't mean that you should. Although these techniques are fun to learn and use to create various textures, it's easy to overuse them.  When you overdo any of these techniques, you are detracting from the painting.

It's important to know when to use sparingly for impact and not overpower the painting.

This applies to many other things in life. you've probably seen overuse animated objects of effects in Powerpoint slides.

Today's artist find is Sue Dickinson
Sue Dickinson watercolour
Have a great week,

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Tools for applying masking fluid

What's you're favourite tool for applying masking fluid?

Many watercolourist like to use an old brush. Some use a Masquepen or colour shaper. Other options include a dip pen, toothbrush, stencil brush or rolled up paper.  Another option is to build up on a old brush to end up with a unique tool that offers  a number of exciting textures.  You might also want to try applying the masking fluid with a piece of  scrunched up paper towel, plastic or foil. This option will give you the most unpredictable shapes.

It's probably best to use a variety of tools as each will provide different effects or lines. Using the tools above you can paint the masking fluid on the paper, you can draw with it, it can be splattered or flicked and it can be dabbed on.

Let your imagination flow on creative ways to use masking fluid in innovative ways.

Today's artist find is Pat Hall.
Pat Hall watercolour
Have a great week,

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Setting up workspace

It's important to have a practical set up for your  painting experience.

Some people don't have much space and cannot have a permanent studio. These artists need to scale things down.  Luckily watercolours can be set up their supplies and put them away quickly in a bag or box.

Typically, you would set up your palette and water on the same side as your painting hand to avoid unnecessary splatters on your painting. The paint brushes you plan to use are normally on the same side.  Have your palette, water and brushes all together and as close to you as possible to avoid reaching while painting.  Here is a typical layout.
The tissues or paper towels are best left on the opposite side since you'll likely be holding them in the opposite hand from your brush.

All of this may seem natural, however, I have seen a few pictures and videos recently with the opposite set up and the watercolorist seemed to move awkwardly, struggle and was not efficient.  So maybe setting up your workspace is not obvious to all.

In addition when setting up, you might want to try not to sit too closely facing a window.  Ideally, if the light comes from the direction opposite of your painting  hand, you will have less shadows when painting.

Today's artist find is Liza Legina.
Liza Legina Watercolour

Have a great week,