Gold Dust Piranha – Postcards for the Lunch Bag


Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen, Daniel Smith and Van Gogh watercolor on a Hahnemühle Rough Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Escoda Perla Round Size 8 and 12. Photo courtesy of Zoosnow on Pixabay.

Doodlewash prompt: Goldfish. I decided I had to find a different take on this prompt, so I decided to do a piranha. They do come in different colors, including the Gold Dust version.

Did you know that the piranha’s fierce reputation is greatly exaggerated? Some are even vegetarian!

Tools

And Where You Can Buy Them

Zebra Zensations Technical pens (review)

Daniel Smith watercolor:

Van Gogh Speciality Palette & Van Gogh Black Watercolour A4 Pad

Joseph Zbukvic Watercolor Set No.1 Set of 3 Fine Artist Paint Brushes

 

 

Kitten! – Pencil to Paint Tutorial


Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Escoda Perla Round Size 8 and 12

I’ve got family stuff going on this week, and won’t be around too much, but I wanted to get at least one Pencil to Paint tutorial done.

Since most of my Pencil to Paints revolve around my Postcards for the Lunch Bag, there is a certain similarity to them and I had an idea that would shake things up a bit and save me some time.

I’m going to write this as a series of questions. Hah! Bet you weren’t expecting a quiz! Don’t worry. The questions for each section will be answered at the end of the section. You’re the only one who’ll see your answers or know if you just scooted to the end to look for them.

Don’t fret if you don’t automatically know the answers. Knowing or figuring out the answers isn’t really the point. These are questions that you’ll want to answer with your own work. Eventually, you know your own answers without even thinking, but you do need to ask them in the beginning.

This painting is what is known as a ‘line and wash’ because it is drawn in pen first and then painted with watercolor.

Before You Start

Reference photo courtesy of MauricioMagana on Pixabay

Okay. So it’s obvious I’ll want CUTE!

  • What about this photo screams cute?
    • (your ideas may be different from mine)
  • What techniques might I use to create the cute?
  • What edges might I want?
  • What colors might I use (keep in mind that I may change my mind as I go on. I’m thinking ahead at this point)?
  • What might the biggest challenges be?
Answers

See. I told you the answers would be right here!

What about this photo screams cute?

  • This is a puffball!
  • And how about that beard?
  • Those misty blue eyes
  • That frown
  • That tiny pink nose

What techniques might I use to create the cute?

What edges might I want?

What colors might I use?

  • Monte Amita, Aussie Red Gold for the kitten
  • Moonglow for the shadows and eyes
  • Undersea Green and the above colors for the background

What might the biggest challenges be?

  • There isn’t a lot of contrast. It will be easy to make the eyes stand out, but I don’t want them to seem like they’re floating in fluff!

Pencil

(This scan is darkened so you can see the pencil lines. You should pencil lines in lightly)

  • What did I establish with this drawing?
  • What technique did I use to draw this?
Answers

What did I establish with this drawing?

  • That the kitten fit on the page
  • Where the facial features and ears should be placed
  • That the eyes matched in size and shape
  • Where I’ll add texture to the fur

What technique did I use to draw this?

  • Blind Contour Drawing (but I peeked often)

Not sure if you’re up to drawing this? Art Tutor has a great grid program that will help by applying a grid to your uploaded photo. You can also crop and adjust color and value.

Pen

Whoa! This is quite a bit different from my usual pen drawing. As in, there isn’t much of it.

  • What did I establish with this drawing?
  • Why didn’t I draw the shapes, textures and directions of the fur?
  • What kind of techniques am I likely to use when I paint?
  • What kind of edges am I likely to use when I paint?
  • Why did I squirkle (scribble) in the background
Answers

What did I establish with this drawing?

  • The focus (the eyes)
  • Values. There isn’t a lot of contrast from dark to light, but the eyes and shadows at the bottom of the kitten are the darkest areas.

Why didn’t I draw the shapes, textures and directions of the fur?

  • Kitty is such a soft, fluffy, puffball. I want this softness most of all, so I’ll only lightly indicate shapes, textures and directions with the paint.

What kind of techniques am I likely to use when I paint?

  • Washes, wet-into-wet, glazing, color lifting, and negative painting.

What kind of edges am I likely to use when I paint?

  • Mostly soft, some lost and found, and a few hard edges.

Why did I squirkle (scribble) in the background

  • Again with the softness. I don’t want a lot of detail and the squirkling will add some interest and some contrast without needing detail.

Values= dark to light. When you establish your values, you are deciding where the darkest areas are, and some of the important mid-tones.

Paint

  • Was my paper wet or dry?
  • What paint to water ratio did I use for this step of the painting?
  • What techniques did I use?
  • What kind of edges did I create?
  • How did I depart from the reference photo?
  • What colors did I use?
    • Why did I decide to switch one color from my initial plan?
Answers

Was my paper wet or dry?

  • My paper was wet.

What paint to water ratio did I use for this step of the painting?

  • For these initial *washes I used the consistency of tea – essentially just a enough paint to color the water.

*A wash is a thin layer of paint spread over an area at the beginning of the painting. A wash that is applied over previously dried paint is called a glaze – they’re the same thing except one is directly on plain paper and one is over paint.

What kind of techniques did I use?

  • Wash and wet-into-wet**. A little negative painting*** to create the shape of the head and beard.

**Wet-into-wet means color is dropped or brushed into already wet paint so that the colors mingle, creating lost and found edges.

***Negative painting means you painted darker color around a shape.

What kind of edges did I create?

  • Soft edge. Negative painting is usually done with hard edges, but at this stage, I used soft edges.

How did I depart from the reference photo?

  • The kitten is more of a cream tabby. That color wasn’t one of the important things to me. I decided to go more ginger – red on yellow so I could create more contrast.

What colors did I use?

  • Monte Amiata and Sodalite Genuine for the washes. Aussie Red Gold was brushed in the Monte with the wet-into-wet technique.

Why did I decide to switch one color from my initial plan?

I decided that Sodalite Genuine better matched the color of the eyes. It’s more blue versus the Moonglow’s violet.

  • Was the first layer of paint wet or dry?
  • What paint to water ratio did I use for this step of the painting?
  • What techniques did I use?
  • What kind of edges did I create?
  • What colors did I use?
    • Why did I decide to switch one color from my initial plan?
Answers

Was first layer of paint wet or dry?

  • The first layer of paint was completely dry.

What paint to water ratio did I use for this step of the painting?

  • For this step, I used the consistency of sweetened tea. Still watery but a heavier concentration of paint.

What kind of techniques did I use?

  • Glazing and Negative painting.

What kind of edges did I create?

  • Hard and soft edges. Hard to create the stripes and some of the negative painting shaping. Soft edges on the body.

What colors did I use?

  • Aussie Red Gold for the stripes. Quinacridone Rose for the interior of the ears, and around the mouth and nose. Wisteria and Moonglow in the background.

Why did I decide to switch one color from my initial plan?

Originally I had thought I’d use Undersea Green and go for a red/green complimentary contrast. However, there is such a soft atmosphere about the reference photo, and I decided I wanted a softer contrast. (In other words, I changed my mind midstream).

I decided to go for the yellow/purple contrast and went with wisteria and moonglow. I did leave some of the Sodalite Genuine showing so it would echo the color in the eyes. This also meant I let the yellower Monte Amiata dominate over the Aussie Red Gold.

  • Were the previous layers of paint wet or dry?
  • What paint to water ratio did I use for this step of the painting?
  • What techniques did I use?
  • What kind of edges did I create?
  • What colors did I use?
Answers

Were the previous layers of paint wet or dry?

  • The previous layers of paint were completely dry.

What paint to water ratio did I use for this step of the painting?

  • I used two consistencies. I added shadows with a water and the barest tint of color. I used the sweetened tea consistency to darken up the background.

What kind of techniques did I use?

  • Glazing for the shadows and the background, and Negative painting where the background meets the kitten.

What kind of edges did I create?

  • Soft and Lost & Found for the shadows. Hard for the negative painting.

What colors did I use?

  • Moonglow for the shadows. I deepened by glazing more Moonglow and Wisteria in the background.

Almost done!

  • Were the previous layers of paint wet or dry?
  • What paint to water ratio did I use for this step of the painting?
  • What techniques did I use?
  • What kind of edges did I create?
  • Pencil lines show in the finished work. Is that okay?
  • What did I use for the last step?
Answers

Were the previous layers of paint wet or dry?

  • The paint was just barely damp, and dry in some areas.

What paint to water ratio did I use for this step of the painting?

  • I didn’t add any paint in this step.

What techniques did I use?

  • Color lifting along the outline of the kitten and on parts of the body.

Paint flows toward wet. When you lift color, the paint needs to be wetter than the brush you are using to lift. You don’t want to scrub, just run the brush across the area where you want to lift color. You can also dab with brush or kleenex.

Some of the color shows through from beneath and you can get a woolly texture which is what I wanted for the puffball effect.

What kind of edges did I create?

  • Soft and Lost & Found edges.

I had thought I’d keep more of the hard negative painting edges at various points but went all soft.

What did I use for the last step?

  • I used a white gel pen to add the eyes, the whiskers and to lighten the beard just a tad.

Pencil lines show in the finished work. Is that okay?

  • Yes. Since watercolor is so transparent, it an accepted thing for the initial sketch to show through. Some artists seek to keep it showing.

Afterthoughts

How might I have done this differently?

Answers

How might I have done this differently?

  • Wet-into-wet is the hardest technique for me, but it would have been a good way to approach this painting. I could have left the pen drawing out altogether, used wet-into-wet then glazed the details of the face.
  • I ran out of time, or I would have brightened the shadows with a very light tint of Rose of Ultramarine.

So what you do guys think of this method? As it turned out, it didn’t save me a whole lot of time, but it would if I did it often enough.

Tools

And where you can buy them

Daniel Smith Watercolor:

Zebra Zensations Technical pens (review)

Joseph Zbukvic Watercolor Set No.1 Set of 3 Fine Artist Paint Brushes

Leaves of Living Stone


Artwork: Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and Daniel Smith watercolor in a Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook. Brush: Escoda Perla Round size 8, 10 and 12. Reference photo courtesy of derevv on Pixabay.

Doodlewash Prompt: Leaves

Lithiops are a succulent plant with leaves that look like pebbles, camouflage so that animals won’t eat them during the droughts of Southern Africa. They are called Living Stones, although they are totally plants.

Tools

Hahnemühle Nostalgie Book (review).

Daniel Smith Watercolor:

Zebra Zensations Technical pens (review)

Joseph Zbukvic Watercolor Set No.1 Set of 3 Fine Artist Paint Brushes

Chocolate Labrador Retriever Puppy – Postcards for the Lunch Bag


Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and Daniel Smith watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Escoda Aquario Petit Gris Mop, Series 1130 Size 12 . Photo courtesy of Pezibear on Pixabay.

Did you know, that until 1960, the only color considered desirable for Labrador Retriever’s was black.? But black labs carry the chocolate, yellow and silver genes so they kept popping up, and they’re beautiful, so eventually the dog world wised up and all these colors are popular and bred for, these days.

Doodlewash prompt ‘chocolate’.

I don’t use many browns other than burnt sienna and occasionally a little burnt umber. I tend to mix other colors with these two to get the brown I want or mix purple and greens. But I do love Daniel Smith’s Piemontite Genuine.

It pairs well with Lavender. The challenge for this painting was to get that sheen of a healthy dog’s coat and I think the two were perfect. I sort of regret painting this particular scene on a postcard. A larger size would have allowed me to play with the sheen and all the textures more easily. One of these days, I’ll have to paint it again.

Tools

And Where You Can Buy Them

Hahnemühle Cold Press Watercolor Postcards (review).

Zebra Zensations Technical pens (review)

DANIEL SMITH Extra Fine Watercolors 

Princeton Neptune Travel Brush, Series 4750, Round, Size 8

Goat Yoga – Postcards for the Lunch Bag


Goat-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen& QoR watercolor on Hahnemühle Rough Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Escoda Aquario Petit Gris size 12 . Reference photo courtesy of Capri23Auto on Pixabay.

Are you looking for:

Have you experienced goat yoga yet? I haven’t, but I’m tempted. It sounds like fun! In essence, you try to perform yoga while goats wander around doing goat things. And really, is there anything that isn’t made better by having a goat in it?

Don’t believe there is such a thing? Google it!

Tools

And Where You Can Buy Them

Hahnemühle Cold Press Watercolor Postcards (review)

QOR Watercolor Half Pan Set of 12 Ultimate Mixing Set   (review)

Escoda Aquario Petit Gris Mop, Series 1130 Size 12

 

Purple Cow – Postcards for the Lunch Bag


Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and Daniel Smith watercolor on a Hahnemühle Burgund Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Princeton Dagger Elite Size 3/8 in. Photo courtesy of 1195798 on Pixabay.

Are you looking for:

Today, my hubby took a purple cow in his lunchbag.

The Doodlewash prompt for today is ‘Simple Pleasures’. I’ve always enjoyed silly little poems like ‘Purple Cow’, and that is about as simple a pleasure as you’ll ever find, lol.

(Reflections on a Mythic Beast Who’s Quite Remarkable, at Least.)

I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one!

by Gelett Burgess

Tools

And Where You Can Buy Them

Hahnemühle Burgund Rough Watercolor Postcards

Princeton Series 4850 Aqua Elite Dagger Striper 3/8 in

QoR Watercolor 11ml tube:

 

 

Cactus Garden on Indigo


Schmincke Watercolor & Escoda Aquario Petit Gris size 12 brush on Indigo Hot Press paper. The textured effect was achieved using salt and sprayed water.

Back in May, around my birthday, we stopped at the MerriArtist on our way home from the beach. Hubby gave me a spending limit and set me free! I found this brush that I’ve been curious about for a while.

The Escoda Aquario Petit Gris Mop, Series 1130 Size 12.

The painting was done on Indigo Artpapers 100% Cotton Handmade Paper for Mixed Media, 16 x 20 Inches, 200 GSM, which was also part of his gift. Even though it’s called mixed media paper, it is so excellent for watercolor!

I haven’t had the chance to use either of these very much yet, though I’m loving them both.

Snow White Silky Chicken


Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and Daniel Smith watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Princeton Neptune Quill size 4 and Velvetouch Round Size 8. Photo courtesy of Axe77 on Pixabay.

If you are looking for the Life Imitates Doodles Weekly Wednesday Giveaway #17 , you can find it here. My Fun & Easy Swirly Tree & Squiggle Bush step-outs can be found here.

Today, my hubby took a Silky Chicken in his lunchbag.

The Doodlewash prompt for today is Snow White. The silky chicken is definitely snow white. They don’t just look unusual – they are. Besides the fine fluffy feathers they have black skin, black bones and blue earlobes. I truly have to wonder if they aren’t space aliens in disguise!

Wanna buy some of these cool toys now?

Hahnemühle Cold Press Watercolor Postcards (you can find my review here).

Zensations Technical pens (you can find my review here)

Daniel Smith Watercolor Half Pan Set of 15 Ultimate Mixing Set  ( review )

Princeton Velvetouch Series 3950 Synthetic (review)

 

Copper-bottom Kind of


If you are here for Life Imitates Doodles giveaway #16, you can find it here.

Doodlewash prompt Copper-bottom.

I confess. This one is a stretch. But the colors in the shadow are kind of coppery so I’m going for it!

There was something I was trying to do with this painting. Then I got interrupted and when I came back, I couldn’t remember what it was. They say the mind is the first thing to go, and this is a situation where mine definitely got up and went.

I don’t really think it’s quite finished, but I’ve set it aside in case I ever remember what my purpose was.

Artwork-Qor watercolor on Hahnemühle Britannia cold-press watercolor paper: Princeton Neptune Quill Size 4 & Neptune Round Size 8.

Wanna buy some of these cool toys now?

Hahnemühle Britannia watercolor paper.

QOR Watercolor Half Pan Set of 12 Ultimate Mixing Set

Princeton Artist Brush Neptune, Brushes for Watercolor Series 4750, Round Synthetic Squirrel, Size 8

 

Red Hot Ghost Peppers


If you are looking for the Life Imitates Doodles Weekly Wednesday Giveaway #14 , you can find it here.

The Doodlewash prompt for today is ‘Red Hot’. And is there anything hotter than Ghost peppers?

Artwork-Qor watercolor on handmade Indigo Art Mixed Media paper. Brushes: Escoda AquarioPrinceton Neptune Quill Size 4 & Neptune Round Size 8. Reference photo courtesy of LaserJim74 on Pixabay

For Christmas, I received some Indigo ArtPapers paper. It shows on Amazon as Mixed Media, but the label says Hot Press which usually means watercolor paper. Either way, it works nicely with watercolor, though it does have some limitations.

I won’t say I love this work. I was testing the paper though, so liking the finished piece isn’t really the point, lol. I was out to destroy the paper!

Wanna buy some of these cool toys now?

Indigo Art Mixed Media paper

QOR Watercolor Half Pan Set of 12 Ultimate Mixing Set

Escoda Aquario Petit Gris Mop, Series 1130 Size 12