Monday, 17 September 2018

Round & Rectangular

Cathie and Carol worked on still lives, they are very different, except that both are absolutely awesome!
Last Tuesday we got together to paint with watercolours. The weather, the music and the tea all helped to get the best out of all of us. We finished the Totem poles, started a new project (nothing to show for yet but you'll see some results soon) and the three new aquarellistas worked on their exercises, with success! See and enjoy all below:

Michele's Totem Pole, Detailed and Funny. Well done!

Last Week's Jury prize in it's full glory with luminous star on forehead by Violet

Absolutely fabulous, this totem by Brenda. It is the blue sky and the light and shadow that makes it so real. Love it!

 And here's another funny totem, by Marie-Claire - the stick it has between its teeth says 'Marina' . I interpret it as being the thing that helps it bear the pain 😆

Ice cream with sprinkles to make your mouth water! By Liz

Glen joined us again and painted the blossom tree with amazing light - as well as a very contemporary still life with tomatoes.

Lynne worked on the background of a flower still life. It will all be about the detailed sunflower that is not yet there - but it is already looking fantastic!
So looking forward to see this wet-in-wet painting of a rainy day (by Liz)  when it is finished! There's still quite some masking fluid on it and the white will make all the difference.

And here are the amazing results of a first (and second) tries of 3 new aquarellistas:

Ilse has washed her painting of last week and is now using the dark and light tones and 'patterns' to suggest depth and volume!
 The Balls I - by Judith. They look fantastic - and the lower 3 on the left are done with complementary colours, see how 'soft' they are?
 The Balls II by Jutta - completely different, very soft and balanced.
Then they started with the Washing Exercise and it is amazing how fast they go.... ! Both are already quite strong and exciting - Next stage they will be washed and become very light and transparent - and then get volume. Above Judith's and below Jutta's

Monday, 10 September 2018

Totem Poles

Ilse is a brand new Aquarellista - and she did an awesome job on the 'balls'

To mark the 'rentree' (coming back after the summer holidays), we painted Totem Poles, in watercolours of course. A big part of our Aquarellista group is still on holiday, so we had plenty space and we could take the time to paint and to catch up!
Although not yet finished, as far as I'm concerned Violet is already the winner of the day with this powerful pole in soft browns

Michele wasn't too happy with her totem, but I love it, it is funny and well done. 
Looking forward to seeing the final version!
Marie-Claire is creating an original (and funny) totem -with a big smile and in swimming trunks

This serious totem is going to be finished in typical Brenda-style, with dark lines. Looking forward to seeing it finished!

And then there were the other projects...
Beverly's Piazza Ducale in Vigevano is slowly but surely coming to an end, getting more and more interesting

Carol started a new still life - looking fabulous already!

And because Ilse actually finished the balls, she started the 'washing' exercise... More next week!

Monday, 27 August 2018

Testing Watercolours in the Sun Part IV

It is now over 7 years ago that I started testing the colour fastness of Winsor & Newton Artist Quality Payne's grey, Sap Green, Sepia, Crimson, Ultramarine, Lemon Yellow, Winsor Blue, Winsor Red and Winsor Orange

I painted stripes of those colours on a piece of 300grs Arches torchon  paper and cut that in 3 strips.
Then I put 1 strip in a binder and of the other two, I varnished one and did not treat the other. After that I taped them to the south facing window of my atelier (bright sunshine every day, all day, I live in the South of France...). 

For 4 years, I compared them and already after the first year it was clear that the Alazarin Crimson had faded a bit. I found out that I hadn't used the 'permanent' version, so that is an explanation.
With the other colours the changes are minimal. The unvarnished Sepia has faded a bit more, but in general I think the colours have stayed good.
Conclusion: buy 'permanent' versions of your W&N artist quality paints, and if you use a lot of sepia, give it one or two sprays of varnish. (I used schmincke aquarelle varnish)  

We are now 3 years further - in total over 7 years of bright sunlight and there is nothing spectacular to report. 
 This pic is made this morning, in August 2018. Above strip: 2 layers of varnish, 7 years in the sun, middle strip: has not seen any sunshine, below strip: unprotected.

Top strip is varnished
 
If after more than 7 years in the bright sun, your painting behind glass will still be almost perfect, I think most of you will be fine with that. But - for those of you who work for eternity- I will return the strips to their spot in the sun and report every X years. 

There is something spectacular about this anyway! And that is how something that is printed (by an official printer) fades... Unbelievable - and that was on the Hangar window, not even south facing - and half the time behind a steel door... Cool stuff, our paint!!
Before                     After

This is how a standard printed folder fades in less than a year.

That's all about the W&N colour fastness for a couple of years... I will come back on it from time to time - hopefully without much to report! 

Monday, 13 August 2018

Inflatables through Aquarellista eyes. And more!

 The little inflatable dolphin by Vanessa can't wait until some lovely kid goes swimming with it

We had a full-force heatwave in place and it was so hot in the Hangar. That's why we chose a 'cool' subject. Inflatable pool toys - and the watercolours of Sheila and Vanessa were so lovely, they really helped fight the high temperatures and made us feel refreshed 😆
 And how about this one by Sheila! Has expression of friendly dino. Looks cool. And cute. And well-painted!!

 Of course we also continued with the eyes for the expo-poster.

 Michele painted her open eye-without-make-up. It is naturally hers and truly well done, with the highlights and the soft colour change on the eyelid.

Carole worked on het bottle & brush challenge (getting there, and spectacular when finished no doubt) and in between painted a new version of her eye. Although I was pleased with the previous I must admit that this one is better. Also the angle is more suitable for a 'wink' later.

Marie-Claire was desperate about her eye-painting and she did not believe us when we said it was actually quite good - until she saw it from a distance - and then she became a happy bunny 😊

Violet was back and painted this absolutely fantastic poppy!It is transparent and still strong. What else can I say... awesome!

We have to miss Sylvie a lot, but last Tuesday she joined us and worked on an abstract version of colourful sailboats against the outlines of a village. Of course you can only see the real quality when it is finished - but it is already so colourful!
 
I didn't take more pictures - I blame the heat 😎 (I blame the heat for everything at the moment) but believe me when I say it was a lovely last session, everybody helped each other and there was music and witty conversation, ginger tea and cookies. I look forward to seeing everyone back in September - and maybe during the one 'bring your visitors' watercolour session on 14 August...

Monday, 30 July 2018

'Crashing Waves' & Winks in watercolours

It is Hot in the South of France and that's where we are! Painting with Watercolours helps us cope, especially when we have a cool subject... Amazing results already!! Not too many - the group gets smaller as we are in, or very close to the holiday season!

Crashing Wave by Vanessa! That's the power of nature in one painting. Fantastic.

Very impressive high waves by Sheila. It is really her subject! Great stuff.

Another one by Sheila, again spontaneous and although this was marked 'work in progress', when I see the photo I wonder if it isn't exactly right like this, what do you think?

And last but not least #1/3 by Sylvie who really needed this and, like Sheila, mainly worked with colours, achieving a gorgeous effect. More like this next week!!

We are also continuing with the Bottle & Brush (no news today) and with our eyes, one closed and one open. A good exercise, with a highlight, a round shiny shape, skin colour, shadows, darks and lights, you name it! And also input for the Expo- poster, announcing our Aquarellista Expo in 2019. (We're well in time 😜) Carol and Marie-Claire started with their opened eye:

 Marie-Claire is going to finish hers next time - but painted a good basic shape!!

 Carol's eye is so Cool! She may create a next version, as she thinks it may be a bit too much 'Comic Book'. Anyway, looking forward to her Wink!

 
I absolutely adore the eyes Avril painted!  I hope she sees this and is proud of herself 😊

Lydia already works like a master-Aquarellista (after 3 classes) and her eyes are stunning. The real ones as well as the painting!

Monday, 23 July 2018

Abstracts & Eyes and more - in watercolours

 Lydia has a great feel for watercolours, amazing this is only her second try...

As part of the getting 'acquainted with watercolours'- program, the starters group worked on an abstraction exercise. First doodle with pencil, colour all compartments without colours bleeding, wash the whole painting and then give it volume using light, shadow and patterns. Amazing, Picasso-like artwork happened last week! I am so happy with it!

 Avril also worked on the exercise and it is already showing real volume, look at those brown checkers and red stripes!

 
 Board member Cassie passed by last week and participated, and this time we used her experiment as a demo and to try stings out. Look how great it looks!

 Other subject: Eyes. Coming weeks we are painting our own eyes, as a preparation for our group expo in 2019... They will form a series and give a personal touch! Here are the first ones:

 Vanessa

 Brenda

 Marina

 Liz
 
 And of course the Bottle & Brush challenge continues! So many great versions - and it looks like we're going to create the perfect one someday soon!
 
Sylvie D. finished hers - and it is amazing!

 Carol did the first brushstrokes, it looks very good, with interesting, sharp white light light

Brenda gave her water a last wash and now it is done, she achieved a very special effect! Love it...

And last but not least, Cathie is experimenting with gesso and other textures. I think this cup is absolutely stunning!!