Object spacing

Often when I’m teaching I see paintings in progress that have objects whether they are trees, flowers, dots, dashes, that are spaced evenly apart. I can take a ruler and show that the spacing is the same much to the surprise of the student. Please look at your spacing and create more of an asymmetrical setting of objects.¬† I don’t know why we do that. It must be a mathematical brain thing.

Happy painting!

Watercolor Eraser!

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sold in cleaning aisles of grocery stores can help blot out, pick up, and clean up watercolor paint. Some of the big online art supply stores sell their version but it is the same substance. It is an amazing tool to help with watercolor boo boos.

Happy Painting!

Brush hairs on paper

Please leave those fallen brush hairs alone. Let the paper dry and they will fall off. If you start to pick at the hair, you will damage your paper, creating a gully with a fingernail or tweezers or whatever, and the gully will fill up with watercolor and will appear darker than the surrounding color area.

Happy Painting!

Foam brushes

I’m always looking for inexpensive ways to get the watercolor job done. Big washes require big brushes and the best which are all natural bristle can be extremely expensive….$50 to $75. The big all synthetic brushes just don’t do the trick….they run out of paint on one sweep across the paper. Frustrating. And they aren’t cheap either. Japanese hake brushes work well, though sometimes they aren’t dense enough, or the hairs separate, or the hairs fall out frequently.

So, I’ve been experimenting with cheap 50 cent foam brushes from hardware stores. They come in widths up to 5″. I’ve been using the 1″ and 2″ and they work very well. Really. They work as well as my expensive watercolor brush.

Happy Painting!

Securing watercolor paper to claybord or masonite

There are two methods, probably more. One involves the artist wetting the paper and letting the water drain off. An acrylic gel medium is spread with a squeegee all over the board and the paper is placed on the board and smoothed down with clean hands starting in the middle and working his way to the edges to get out all bubbles.

The second way involves no artist time but spending more money. Many good framers use an archival glue and big press and can secure the paper that way.

Then, you paint as usual and then varnish with many coats of a UV acrylic spray. No glass is required in framing. Always test first, however!

Happy Painting!

Artist Copying Artist’s Work

Yesterday I went to a particular artist’s website looking for technical info and discovered¬† she had copied at least two of my paintings. At one point in her career, she was in the position to photograph the paintings in the flesh. I was stunned. Literally stunned. Why would a well known artist do this? Is it lack of time and creativity?

Of course, there is no recourse for this. It’s impossible to prove. Musicians and writers go through this frequently. So, I will let it pass and continue to wonder about her.

Happy Painting! And I hope this doesn’t happen to you.

Taking off Liquid Mask

The best tool for this is a rubber cement pick-up which is an inexpensive item for about $2.00. Using your fingers can reek havoc because of the oil in your skin as well as rubbing paint into the white area and generally smearing everything.

Happy Painting!

Making Metallic Watercolor Paint

Metallic powders which are used on picture frames usually sold in small jars,can be added to watercolors and then applied on the paper. They will give the color a metallic sheen. Mix the color in a small cup or mixing-well and add the powder. Test first before applying to your painting. Too much powder might dry and flake off.

Happy Painting!