Roses from a friend – painted

My friend gave me a bunch of gorgeous roses from her garden a couple of months ago, and I immediately took pictures so I could paint them.

Roses from Marsha's garden in a crystal vase
Roses from Marsha’s garden in a crystal vase

Watercolour paints and paper at the ready

Several failed attempts later I was happy with this one, painted freehand with the brush as my pencil.

watercolour painting roses in crystal

 

Hate the light pink rose, love the rest of the painting

 

Watercolour paper trials and paper weight information

Watercolour paper is finicky. It is either too soft, too thin, too smooth, too rough, can have insufficient sizing ...

Paper for painting is sold by its weight in pounds (lbs) or grams, in sheets or blocks or pads, its surface texture, and its content.

In the picture at the top, I used 300 gsm sketchbook. This paper absorbed less of the water and so the pigment was more diluted, drying paler, and could be glazed for deeper colour. There is no cockling.

In the other (110 gsm) sketchbook, the cockling is very evident. The paper absorbed more water, making it buckle, and glazing would not be satisfactory.

 

300 gsm watercolour paper

300 gsm watercolour paper

Cockling on 110 gsm watercolour paper

Cockling on 110 gsm watercolour paper

Paper weight

In metric terms, the weight of 500 sheets of paper can be:

 
  • 90 grams per square metre (gsm) — great for sketches, notan thumbnails, but too thin for watercolour. Imperial equivalent is 60 lbs.
  • 110 gsm/74 lbs — often on a school requirements list, but not recommended by most serious artists for paintings. Again, great for sketchbooks.

The two most popular papers for watercolour painting are:

  • 300 gsm/140 lbs is the paper of choice for many artists, although it may need stretching to prevent cockling, especially if you are using very wet washes.
  • 640 gsm/300 lbs is excellent for painting your 'masterpieces'. Although the cost is greater, the results are far and away worth paying the extra.
Turquoise Flight

Turquoise Flight (300 gsm paper)

doodlescape in mixed media

Watercolour Painting Techniques Require Frequent Practice

When studying watercolour painting techniques, I kept hearing "Practise, practise, practise!"

Any discipline, be it physical or mental, involves practising. A marathon runner needs daily practice, so do artists. In order to get better at art, you can start your day in the studio with warm-up exercises, such as colour mixes or trying different brushes to discover their potential strokes.

I have been exploring palettes, water, pigments, paper, brushes, and reading many digital books on the subject. As well, I have watched several videos, and completed many online video courses on watercolour painting techniques.

Review and revise 

On the opposite side of my studio from where I paint,  I place practice pieces, beside works in progress. The distance helps me see 'errors' and decide which painting technique will fix these.

Which technique?

Techniques for painting with watercolour are numerous and, depending on the instructor's ideas, can be different from one book or video to the next.

Playing with watercolour is both exciting and frustrating!

Cabinet in studio

Some of my pieces

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Octopus Garden
Wet in wet layer, wet on dry layer, doodles with watercolour pens
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Look Beneath
Glazing, layers A5
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Primula
Negative painting, drips, A5
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Close Focus Rose
Layers, glazing 8in x 8in
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Pink Roses
Blending, wet on dry, wet on wet, spattering
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Doodlescape
Doodlescape wet-in-wet watercolour technique, A4
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water colour balls
Wet-in-wet watercolour technique, A5
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Daffodils
Daffodils in loose watercolour technique, A5
love is

Watercolour Gallery

My latest watercolour efforts

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Curly Petals Iris
Close view of iris flower, 16in x 12in, Arches cold press paper
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Dabee Street Cottages
9in x 8in, watercolour on Arches cold press paper
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turquoise-flight
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water colour balls
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abstract
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yellow roses watercolour painting
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Look Beneath
https://i0.wp.com/jantsutopia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/octopus-garden2.jpg?w=900 https://i0.wp.com/jantsutopia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/octopus-garden2.jpg?w=900
octopus-garden
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Daffodils
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watercolour painting roses in crystal
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watercolour-paintings-tulips
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watercolour paintings vase abstract
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Yellow Rose Watercolour Painting
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Rose and Bluebell
Jasper's Portrait - one of 5 sold paintings

Sold paintings in watercolour, acrylic and colour pencil

Five sold paintings

I exhibited paintings in two local exhibitions during the last five months, resulting in three sold paintings. At one venue I sold an acrylic painting, while two watercolour pictures were sold in another.

In addition, I sold an acrylic painting and completed a commission in coloured pencil,

Sadly, I only took photos of one of these sold paintings: Jasper.

Commissioned 'portrait' one of the sold paintings

Jasper is the faithful companion of Kevin and Marsha, who own other paintings of mine.

Using Prismacolour Premier pencils on Colorfix paper, I enjoyed painting the portrait. It was very satisfying to do. One thing that surprised me though, was how quickly the sanded surface wore down the colour pencils. Had to buy more white and ginger pencils!

As a result of painting this picture, I have another commission for a portrait of Buddi, who is a very old Jack Russell/Maltese cross much loved by his owner.

 

Jasper sold painting
Hake brush

Hake brushes: What are they?

Watercolourists use a hake (pron. har-kay) to help them when painting

Artists use hake brushes in different ways, but I was impressed with how it was used to re-wet areas that were drying and to dampen areas that are next to paint, while watching a video boxed set course by Paul Taggart, Learning to Enjoy Painting  in Watercolour

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Paul showed how to use a hake brush in several ways:

  • Wetting the page
  • Wetting the area you are about to paint
  • Removing extra water before it causes problems
  • Blending areas together
hake brushes
Image: Dick Blick Art Supplies, click the image to see more details.

Of course I had to go straight away to the art supplies store, Express Hobbies to buy myself one.

The hake I got from Bob at Express Hobbies was like the largest one in this picture. It has soft goat hair bristles packed thickly together, which makes it a ‘thirsty’ brush which will hold a lot of water.[su_spacer size=”40″]

How to use a hake successfully

  • To stretch the paper before you start to paint
    • Thoroughly wet the brush and starting at the top, brush across the paper moving down at the same time.
  • To wet or re-wet an area you about to glaze or paint
    • Wet the brush thoroughly, then flick it to remove the excess water and gently stroke the surface where you want the wetness
  • As you paint, runs may start if you work at an angle
    • Image: John Lovett Watercolour Workshops - Hake brushDry the brush on a towel by stroking it across the towel, and then stroke across the painting where the run is, and blend it away
  • In the same way, blend an area of sky with a mountain or hill top

While I painted Cudgegong Afternoon, I used a large squirrel hair mop brush but wasn’t able to get it flat enough to do what the hake will do.

Now that I have my own hake brush, I will get more control of the wetness, an issue for me as I paint on the verandah outside the cabin.

I will let you know how I fare with it.


Cudgegong-afternoon watercolour painting

Watercolour Painting Sold: Cudgegong Afternoon

I made Cudgegong Afternoon to put in the show in town. Although it took me several weeks to finish as I painted it in layers of very diluted pigments, I really enjoyed the process,

The new owners of Cudgegong Waters Park were so delighted that I consented to let them buy it, because they absolutely loved it.

Please enjoy it.

Update: Veronica called in to show me the framed painting. It looks spectacular!

Watercolour Painting Sold

Cudgegong Afternoon

Arches™ cold pressed paper, A2, watercolour tube paints from Art Spectrum (an Aussie company).

Acrylic painting takes first prize in section

Remember my replacement acrylic painting of the lotus made for my friend? She insisted that I put it into Rylstone Agricultural Show.

Prize winning acrylic painting

Lotus Blossom  which I entered into the acrylic painting section, was hung in a really prominent position.  On Saturday it won a first prize. Very chuffed.

The judge was impressed by the way the background created reflections in the water.

Lotus Blossom acrylic painting
Lotus Blossom 24in x 36in

Also entered was a watercolour of Lake Windamere. Used Art Spectrum watercolours on Arches cold pressed A2 paper. No prize, but may be sold.

Cudgegong-afternoon
Cudgegong Afternoon on Lake Windamere

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