Friday, February 17, 2017

2-point perspective drawing

In one of my classes yesterday, I struggled to explain 2-point perspective to my students. Here's a video that I saw today, which demonstrates it clearly. The two thumbtacks are the two "points" in this perspective exercise, and all lines converge at these points. These are also referred to as "vanishing points" because the it marks the spots where the perspective ends, or "vanishes."

posted by Annie Strack @ 9:35 AM   0 Comments

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Demo paintings from recent classes!

I had new classes start up again in January, and each week my students learn new techniques and methods. Here's a few of my demos from the recent lessons!

posted by Annie Strack @ 12:59 PM   1 Comments

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

8th Annual Signature American Watercolor Exhibit

I'm overjoyed to have a painting juried into the 8th Annual Signature American Watercolor Exhibit! This prestigious juried show is only open to artists who have earned Signature Membership in at least one national watercolor society. I have earned eight Signature Memberships, so far, and each one was a tremendous honor to achieve. This exhibits highlights the very best watercolor artists in America, and I'm incredibly proud to be included.

posted by Annie Strack @ 5:08 PM   2 Comments

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Watercolor Painting Workshop in Maryland!

My upcoming workshop in New Jersey sold out right away, but never fear! I've just added a workshop in Maryland hosted by the Baltimore Watercolor Society! This one will also sell out fast, so hurry and sign up now to reserve your space! 

Contact the Baltimore Watercolor Society to reserve your space in this workshop. BWS members $60, non-members $65. Saturday, March 25 at the Howard County Center for the Arts, Ellicott City, Maryland. 

"Annie guides students through the painting process with helpful step-by-step demonstrations and individual attention. All artists, whether they are new to watercolors or experienced painters, will learn new skills from watching Annie as she explains her techniques for creating spectacular paintings. Multiple watercolor techniques are covered in the workshop, including glazing, washes, dry brush, masking, lifting, & more. Students will gain an understanding of the properties of different paints, learn how to successfully mix colors, and how to use values and color temperatures to enhance their compositions.  Students will watch and learn as each technique is explained and demonstrated with a clarity that makes the lessons easy to absorb and replicate. Students will benefit from personal and group critiques, and receive individual attention from the instructor."

posted by Annie Strack @ 4:18 PM   0 Comments

Saturday, December 17, 2016

More new paintings, again!

December is getting off to the busy start, with classes filling up and lots of new bookings for workshops and demos. Still, I've managed to find a little time to paint for myself, in between the myriad of holiday parties and travel. I just finished this watercolor painting of dinghies, from a reference photo I took on one of my recent trips to St. John. I love the water in the Caribbean -- it's as warm and inviting as it looks! I'll be entering this painting in competitions this year, and hopefully the judges will like it as much as I.

Destiny Awaits, 14x20 watercolor

This floral is a demo from one of my classes in my studio. I have several stems of silk flowers and an assortment of vases, and every now and then I arrange them for a still-life painting exercise for my students. It's a wonderful break from painting from photographs, and I can rearrange the flowers and lighting to give my students some different experiences in colors, compositions, designs, and values. This one is on Arches rough paper, and painted with my Mission pan watercolors. I used squirrel mop bushes, which combined with the rough paper helps to give it a looser feel.

Floral Demo with Mission Watercolors

Last week, I drove down to Rehoboth Beach for the Delaware Watercolor Society's holiday party. They gave all the artists a cute little apron with their logo on it, and the Signature Members received an additional gift of a lovely tote bag. I'm always toting bags of stuff around, so a new tote bag always comes in handy!

Signature Member gifts from the Delaware Watercolor Society

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posted by Annie Strack @ 2:02 PM   0 Comments

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Watercolor Painting workshop in Spain!

My watercolor painting workshop in Spain is almost full, there are only a few spaces left. I'm thrilled to have such a great group of artists sign up for this, and I'm looking forward seeing so many old friends on this trip as well as meeting so many new ones!

 Here's the list of art supplies that you will need to bring on the trip.

  • Watercolor paints, either in pans or dried on your palette. Tubes and wet paint are inconvenient and messy for traveling, but you may bring them if that is what you are most comfortable using. I use a lot of blues (indigo, indathrone, payne's grey, manganese, cobalt, ultramarine, and anything else I have on hand) and I believe you can never have too many different versions of blue. You'll need at least two yellows -- a warm and a cool, and at least two reds --  , a warm and a cool. Additionally, I like to use a light green, a green/gold, sepia, and a violet. I fill the rest of the spaces in my palettes with an assortment of other colors, but if you have a basic split primary palette of six colors -- a warm and a cool version of each primary -- you'll do just fine. You don't need to use the exact same colors as I do -- bring the colors that you are most comfortable using. 
    Example of a "split primary" palette

  • Brushes: I use an assortment of round natural hair brushes. I prefer large brushes, and the largest size is a #6 squirrel mop. My largest round is a #12 Kolinsky. Natural hair brushes hold more fluid than synthetics, so they will perform like larger brushes. I also use a 1" flat for washes, a liner or rigger, and a few small stiffer brushes for lifting and scrubbing. 
  • Paper: I suggest you use watercolor blocks, nothing larger than about 12x16. You can bring an assortment of sizes to suit your fancy. You can use other watercolor sketchbooks, loose paper, pads, or other formats if you are more comfortable with that. 
  • Masking fluid and remover. 
  • pencil and eraser
  • paper towels
  • hat (to shield your eyes when painting outdoors)
  • water container (I use collapsible pet bowls)
  • salt packets (to add texture to watercolor)
  • tote bag or backpack to carry your supplies to our daily painting sites
  • Easel
  • plein air umbrella
  • other paints or mediums
Workshop supplies

This photo shows all the items that I will be using during the workshop. I prefer watercolor pans because they are easy to travel with and take up very little space. Most of my brushes are collapsible pocket brushes -- the cover becomes the handle.

Most of the small items fit right into my folding palettes.

Gifts for my workshop students!

There are a few things that you will need, that are not on the list, and that's because I'm bringing those items and will give them to you! These include black pens for sketching, 4x6 sketchbooks, and white pens. 
The white pens are for adding white to your watercolor paintings. The ink is opaque and archival, making it perfect for adding details and highlights.

Black ink pens are great for sketching, and drawing in details when painting watercolors en plein air.

posted by Annie Strack @ 5:21 PM   0 Comments

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

My Favorite Art Supplies

I'm thrilled to be a contributor for the latest article on! Click here to check out what I (and other leading artists, too!) have to say about favorite art supplies, and leave a comment to tell us about your own favorites, too! 

posted by Annie Strack @ 4:01 PM   2 Comments

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

New Watercolor Classes!

Registration opens today for my new class at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, Pennsylvania! My classes always fill up fast, so hurry up and register NOW -- before you miss your chance!

10:00 AM-12:30 AM on Thursdays, January 12 through March 2.
Everything you need to know to paint luminous watercolors with ease! Learn to capture and create the beauty and radiance of watercolor painting from a professional artist. Annie Strack is passionate about teaching watercolor painting and will provide you with personalized watercolor instruction as she walks you through the essential techniques and the foundational concepts of watercolor painting. This class is packed with demonstrations, discussions, individual help, personal and group critiques. There is something new to learn for every artists' level!

posted by Annie Strack @ 3:05 PM   0 Comments

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society Award

I'm proud to announce that my painting "The Gossipers" won the "Sandra Ludwig Award in Memory of Mother, Hilda Ludwig" at the 13th International Juried Exhibit of the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society! Juror Tom Schaller complimented my painting both with the award, and with his words describing his decision to choose my work: "Outstanding storytelling by means of outstanding artistry!" I am truly humbled. 
"The Gossipers" 14x20 watercolor, Annie Strack

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posted by Annie Strack @ 2:06 PM   1 Comments

Friday, October 28, 2016

More new paintings and demos from Plein Air Brandywine Valley festival!

The last couple of weeks I've been busy with the Plein Air Brandywine Valley festival. The event kicked off with a reception for the artists at the Marshallton Inn, where everyone received their welcome packets with the event schedule and artist info, and swag bags full of wonderful goodies donated by our generous sponsors. Artists started painting the very next morning and continued for four days. We started the week off by painting at farms and estates in the Greenville, Delaware area on Monday, then Marshallton, Pennsylvania on Tuesday (including a Quick Draw event!), then Chesapeake City, Maryland on Wednesday (followed by a Nocturne painting event), and finished up back in Delaware on Thursday. On Friday, we hung the show at Winterthur and the paintings were judged by Steve Doherty, editor of Plein Air Magazine and prizes were awarded during a gala reception. 

I demonstrated landscape painting using Mission Gold Watercolors provided by Martin F. Weber Fine Art Products on both Saturday and Sunday for visitors enjoying the exhibit at Winterthur.  

Painting away in Chesapeake City. Busy Bridge, 5x7 watercolor on canvas, SOLD. 

I finished 8 paintings during the event, and sold 3 of them before the paint was dry. 

Me, with Steve Doherty after the judging. As one of the event organizers, my paintings were not included in the judging, but I did get to participate in all the events and sold several paintings! 

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posted by Annie Strack @ 12:42 PM   0 Comments

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