Saturday, February 22, 2014

Painting Snowy Landscapes in Watercolor

Here's some of my 12x16 demonstration paintings from my watercolor workshop on snowy landscapes that I taught yesterday. The first one is a limited palette landscape, using only Payne's Grey and Ultramarine. I started by masking out the white areas -- the snow on top of the fence rails, a few branches of the maple trees,  and on the pine boughs. Then using a 1" flat brush I painted wet on wet to get the dark snowy effect in the background and lifted out a few of the branches with a damp brush. I used a #12 Faux Squirrel Reservoir Liner from Dynasty Brush to paint the fence and some of the branches in the maple trees in just a few simple calligraphic strokes. After is was completely dried, I used sand paper and a razor knife to scrape off a few more highlights in the snow.
 In the next painting, I introduced a full palette of colors as well as all of the techniques that I introduced in the previous painting.
I also show my students how to use different types of brushes and tools on their paintings. Here's Linda trying out one of the Dynasty Brush liners on her painting.
I've got lot's more classes and workshops coming up, be sure to check out my Calendar Page to see the full selection!

In other news, I'm heading out in a few days to go back to New Orleans during Mardi Gras. If you're in the area, be sure to give me a ring or follow my Facebook page for info on where you can meet up with me!

posted by Annie Strack @ 2:36 PM   0 Comments

Saturday, February 15, 2014

When to Give it all Away (and when not to)

A lot of artists ask me what they should do about the never ending stream of requests they get from charities and non-profits asking for donations of artwork. Many artists donate artwork time after time, despite the fact that they can only deduct the cost of the materials (not the actual value of the art!) from their taxes, and they usually get little or no recognition from the charity for their donations. Many artists have a hard time determining whether they should donate their artwork, and how much of it they should donate. Here's an easy Decision Making Flow Chart to help professional artists make sound, logical decisions:


One of the most important things I teach in my Art Business and Marketing classes is that if you don't have respect and value for your art, then no one else will, either. If you price an artwork at a thousand dollars and you willingly trade it for ten bucks worth of "exposure," how do you think potential clients will value your art?  Remember, too, that although a charity might be worthwhile, would you want to give them that much money if they were asking you for a cash donation, instead? And would you give away as much cash, and to so many charities, that ask you for donations every year? Part of being successful requires using good business sense and rational thinking. This flow chart will help you with some of it.

posted by Annie Strack @ 2:04 PM   0 Comments

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snowed in

This week, I'm working on a painting of boats on the Tchefuncte River. I shot the reference photos for this when I was in Madisonville teaching a recent workshop. The workshop venue was right across the street from this lovely river view, making it perfect for my seascape painting workshop.
 I paint watercolors in layers, starting with the lightest colors and values. Here I'm using my #12 Faux Kolinsky from Dynasty Brush to layer in some details. The Faux Kolinsky from Dynasty Brush is a synthetic with lots of spring, and it keeps a very fine point while holding a lot of water and paint. It performs just like a natural Kolinsky, but with the added benefit of perfect consistency that you can only get from a synthetic brush. I'll let you know when I'm done with this painting, but in the meantime, you can watch me finish it at my next open studio event.
 I'm also trying out these really cool gel pens this week, from Zebra Pen. These are the Sarasa Rapid Dry Ink Gel Pens, and because of their rapid dry technology they don't smear or smudge, which makes them perfect for artists. It's fun to sketch with these vibrant colors! Each week, Zebra Pen is giving away sets of these awesome gel pens to 6 random winners. To enter for a chance to win, follow them on Facebook and Twitter and enter their contest on their Facebook Page.
This is my patio this morning. We got close to 2 feet of snow, and it's still coming down heavy. Thank goodness I teach most of my art courses online! My next online painting class at Artists Network University starts February 25, and it's filling up fast. Don't wait and miss out -- sign up now!

posted by Annie Strack @ 11:30 AM   0 Comments

Friday, February 7, 2014

Register now to learn how to paint winter landscapes!

Lot's of great events coming up! This month you can sign up for Painting Snowy Landscapes in Watercolor, a one day workshop in my Kennett Square Studio on February 21st. Learn how to mix colors for light and shadows and the art of negative painting for creating stunning winter landscapes. Learn how to manipulate your brushstrokes and use the texture of your paper for depicting the texture of snow, and learn some of my favorite tips and secrets for creating masterworks!  10am to 4pm, $58 per person. Lunch in included. Email me to register. 
Also coming up in February, my next 4 week long online course begins February 25, -  Watercolor Painting for Beginners! My 4-week long online class is the most popular course at Artists' Network University. My classes at ANU always fill up quickly, so artists need to sign up early to get into one of these classes!

posted by Annie Strack @ 12:12 PM   0 Comments

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