Watercolor is fun because is often has a mind of its own. I used plastic wrap over the wet paint for this piece to create the textures in the rock canyon walls.
Iris are my favorite flowers and they were very fun to paint. They come in so many varieties of colors it was almost hard to choose which ones I wanted.
"Dressed for Winter"
I painted this from a photo I took of one of my favorite winter moments – Cleaning horse pens with Roscoe the Barn Cat laying across my shoulders.
"Leaping The Wall"
Horses have always been one of my favorite subjects to paint. I wanted to capture their graceful movements as they jump in this painting.
"After The Rain"
(Appaloosa & Rainbow Painting) There is something almost magical in the air after a rainstorm has passed. Everything is so fresh and glorious.
"Racing The Storm"
I used a paper towel to lift out parts of the wet paint in the sky to create lighter areas of clouds.
Watercolor accented with Acrylic and Gel Pen
A client asked me for a painting of dragonflies. Instead of using regular watercolor paper, I used canvas. This was challenging as I had never painted on canvas using Watercolor before, and soon I discovered I had to paint over the plain canvas with water and let it soak in before I added any watercolor paint – otherwise the paint would just bead up as though it were oil.
I also discovered that once an area was dry, the paint was easy to wipe off if I used a damp brush. This made adding layers tricky! I had to work fast and not keep my brush in one area too long or it would pull up the dried paint under it.
I was able to use this to my advantage for lifting out highlights in the rocks under the water if I happened to paint them too dark.
~ March 2020
I started out by sketching the dragonflies separately, and then I transferred them onto the canvas using carbon paper.
2.) MASKING FLUID
The first thing I did was cover the dragonflies in masking fluid to keep them from getting painted when I did the background.
Masking fluid comes in many varieties, for this project, I used a Masking Ink that comes in a squeeze bottle with a tiny pen-like opening. This works wonderfully for working in narrow areas and getting fine detail.
I have also used masking fluid that comes in a glass bottle and requires a brush to apply it to your painting. I recommend using a kids plastic bristle brush as the masking fluid will usually gum up the bristles and after a few uses, I often end up throwing the brush away.
3.) PLASTIC WRAP
I did a wash of greens and yellows for my background, and then covered it in crinkled plastic wrap, until dry. (Usually it takes around 30 minutes to dry).
I will place a stack of books, or some flat weight on top of the plastic wrap to make sure it is firmly against my painting.
When the plastic wrap is removed after it’s dry, it leaves fun patterns where the paint pooled and dried.
4.) MASKING FLUID
Pulling off the plastic wrap usually pulls off the masking fluid with it, so I re-mask the dragon flies as I don’t want them getting colored with the background as I continue to add more paint.
5.) PAINT WASH
I added more paint to the top, and also the bottom of the painting. Watercolor is all about layers.
I didn’t want to lose my neat plastic wrap texture, but I didn’t want it to be as prominent, so I added more dark greens and bright yellows.
As I added more paint, I often flicked the bristles of my brush to get a splattering affect.
6.) REMOVE THE MASKING FLUID
The masking fluid can be removed with an Art Gum Pick-Up Eraser, and often peeled off by hand once you get it started.
The dragonflies are left untouched by the paint of the background.
7.) PAINTING WATER
I left the body of my last dragonfly still covered in masking fluid, but I uncovered its wings because they are slightly translucent and I wanted them to get painted so they would show through to the background behind them.
Watercolor is all about adding layers upon layers to build up shadows. The paint is naturally translucent, which makes it really fun to paint water.
8.) PAINT THE DRAGONFLIES
I used watercolor to paint my dragonflies, and added in final detail to the body of my bottom dragonfly with Acrylic paint.
I added details in white to the bottom dragonfly’s wings using a white gel pen. I also added a few waves in white with the gel pen around the rocks.