Friday, December 19, 2008

A Watercolor Christmas Card







With this watercolor Christmas card I wish you a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!

Lesson #10 will be in January 2009.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lesson #9 How to Paint a Watercolor Color Wheel Continued

As we continue to paint a watercolor color wheel, if you missed lesson #8 go back to that post and take a look! It will show you the materials you need and examples of me mixing color with a brush.

We learned about the three basic colors that make up all the colors of the color wheel: primary colors. They are red, yellow, and blue. See where I put one color dot next to each primary color on the color wheel.

Then we mixed primary colors to get secondary colors. They are orange, green, and purple. See where I put two color cots next to each secondary color.

Now I will tell you about the third group of colors. They are called tertiary colors. ( I don’t know why they don’t just call them third colors! Tertiary and third both start with the letter T – that’s how I remember). I have also put three color dots next to each tertiary color on the color wheel.

Here I have mixed the primary color yellow with the secondary color green to get tertiary yellow-green.

Next I mixed secondary green with primary blue to get tertiary blue-green.

Then I mixed primary blue with secondary purple to get tertiary bluish-purple.

Here I mixed primary red with secondary purple to get tertiary reddish-purple.

Then I mixed primary red with secondary orange to get tertiary red-orange.

And lastly I mixed secondary orange with primary yellow to get tertiary yellow-orange.

Yellow-green, blue-green, and bluish-purple: all tertiary!
Reddish-purple, red-orange, and yellow-orange: all tertiary!



I can hardly wait until our next lesson when I will show you how to shade with color! This is really very easy. All it takes is lots of practice playing with water and paint.

Lesson # 10 will be in January. I will be taking a little time off for Christmas. So I’ll meet you back here in about 3 weeks!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Children's Book Illustration in Watercolor




It's such a cold, rainy day today and my husband started a cozy fire in our fireplace.
It reminded me of this children's book illustration I did for the title, Dusty's Beary Tales (see a previous post), which got cut in the final editing. This little guy is enjoying the warm fire, some heart shaped honey cakes, and a story from a good book.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Door Decorations in Watercolor

With door decorations we express welcome to our home and as we are in this Christmas season I pray that You are blessed by the meaning of Jesus' birthday.

5 1/2" x 8 1/2" original sold

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lesson #8 Watercolor Wheel


This is a watercolor colorwheel. Aren't it's colors pretty? Like a rainbow! It is a chart to help us choose and understand colors. We can buy color wheels at an art store, but making our own is very helpful to our painting.

All these colors are made with only 3 basic colors called primary colors. They come first. Like the first school you start with is primary school, the first colors we start with are primary colors. Even brown and black can be made with the three primary colors!

Orange, green, and purple are called secondary colors. They come second (secondary). Notice that I have some color dots on my color wheel. Those colors with one dot near them are primary colors. Those colors with two dots near them are secondary colors.

The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. It takes primary colors to make secondary colors.


If we mix yellow and red together we get orange. If we mix yellow and blue together we get green.

If we mix red and blue together we get purple.



You will need a couple (2) shiney paper plates, a container of water, a paint brush, some watercolor paints (red, yellow, and blue), some watercolor paper, some paper towels or cloth rags.

Squirt just a tiny bit of each color of paint onto one paper plate. Dip your brush to wet it with a little water and mix it with the edge of the yellow paint to make a watery mixture. Put the watery yellow mixture onto the other plate. Then swish your brush in the water to clean it.


Do the same with the red paint and transfer it onto the other plate across from the yellow mixture. Mix the two together until you have orange. You may need a little less red than yellow because red is so dark. Paint a little on your watercolor paper like I’ve started to do here. Always swish your paint brush in your water between colors to clean it.


Now do the same thing with yellow and blue. And have fun painting on your paper.


Then experiment with red and blue…have fun painting on your paper. Now just do anything you want and have fun seeing what happens. I wish I could see what you are doing!


Here are some Christmas Pictures to practice drawing with a grid like I showed you in previous lessons.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pencil Portraits for the Holidays



December is the time of year I do pencil portraits. People want to give their loved ones something unique and creative so they commission me for a portrait. I did these from photographs with nothing more than #2 and #5 graphite pencils, and a kneaded eraser on acid-free paper.

8" x 10" original sold

Friday, December 5, 2008

Country Cottage Painted in Watercolor with Flowers and Snow

A cozy country cottage, surrounded by flowers and snow at the same time!
Sometimes those of us who live in warm climates don't know that there can be snow on the ground along with flowers. It's not that uncommon.
I grew up in the Midwest and a late Spring snow or an early Autumn snow can be a beautiful experience. Too late or too early isn't always a wonderful experience for a farmer, though!

7" x 5" orighinal sold

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lesson #7 Grid Drawing of Keira Knightley continued


Keira Knightley makes a good model for grid drawing. You may review Lesson #6 to see how we made a grid for this drawing.

Now we erase all grid lines until we see a clean sketch – no lines.

Keeping the original magazine picture of Keira Knightley close by, begin carefully drawing in hair with the tip of a pencil. You don’t need to do this exactly like the picture because hair always moves around anyway!


Lightly begin to darken the lips, shadow under neck, and variations of skin tones with the tip of your pencil.


Shape a point on a kneaded eraser. A kneaded eraser feels kind of like clay because it is soft and you can mush it into different shapes, pull it, roll it into a ball. It never leaves crumbs on your artwork. Use it to “pick up” or remove pencil marks off your drawing to make highlights, little areas where bright light shines like on the tip of a nose or a twinkle in an eye.

Darken the eyebrows. Always keep looking at the magazine picture so you get it right!


Lightly shade under the eyes and continue on the neck. With the kneaded eraser lighten the line at the top of the lip.


Darken the lips more and add a dark line under the bottom lip. Darken the eyes. Use a shading stump to begin blending and smoothing the pencil strokes on the neck. A blending stump is a pointed tool made of soft paper.


Or use a Q-tip to blend. I like to use my finger. Pick up some pencil strokes right next to the shadow on the neck.


Pick up some pencil to make highlights on her bottom lip. Look at the picture very carefully. Start making top and bottom eyelashes. You may add more shading on her lids just like putting on makeup eyeshadow.

Keep adjusting, erasing, redrawing, until you get it the way you like it. I didn’t make her hair dark here but you can add more pencil and blending to make the hair on your drawing darker.

And don’t forget to sign your name!



Monday, December 1, 2008

Cross Hatching Technique for drawing Santa Clause in Pen and Ink

This is an example of the cross-hatching technique using pen and ink. Better watch out...Santa Clause is coming to town! Thanksgiving is over, and I hope you will continue to be thankful to God for many good things in your heart.

I went to the mall this weekend (but not on black Friday) and it was full of holiday shoppers. And I think Santa is at the North Pole preparing for the season ahead!

I drew this quick sketch of Santa back in 1982…let’s see…that’s 26 years ago! I think he still looks the same.