Monday, October 28, 2013

Open Studio this Friday!

Whoo hoo! It's almost First Friday again, and time for my monthly Open Studio! Bring your own art supplies and paint along with me, or just come and hang out and chat over a cup of coffee. My studio is open to the public from 10am to 6 pm this Friday, at 105 Kabob Lane, Kennett Square, PA. Totally free event, no reservations needed, and you can just stop in anytime. I hope to see you there!

I have a new class starting again tomorrow -- Watercolor for the Absolute Beginner, Part 2! This online painting course is perfect for anyone who has completed my classes and workshops, and wants to learn more! Sign up NOW at Artists Network University

I spent the last week painting at breakneck speeds in the Plein Air Brandywine Valley and now that it's over I'm having plein air withdrawalls. I finished 9 paintings during the 4 day event, and sold 4 of them during the exhibit at Winterthur over the weekend. I only have a few of these left, so send me an email if you want to get one of them! 

posted by Annie Strack @ 7:48 PM   0 Comments

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Plein Air Brandywine Valley

Yesterday I drove down to Alexandria, Virginia, to meet up with my old friends from the Louisiana Watercolor Society,  Philippa Gillen and Carrie Waller. Phil was one of the artists juried into the art exhibit that Carrie curated for the National Military Spouses' Network. It was fun to spend the day and catch up with old friends that I haven't seen in several months!
The week-long Plein Air Brandywine Valley starts today, with a cocktail reception for the artists in Chadds Ford. The weather is forecasted to be fantastic all week, and I'm looking forward to painting in the gorgeous landscapes. Everything painted during the week will be exhibited at Winterthur Estate and Gardens next weekend, beginning with a cocktail reception on Friday evening. I haven't yet decided which locations I will be painting each day, but I will most definitely be at Janssens Market for lunch each day! If you see me out and about during the week, be sure to stop and chat -- I always look forward to meeting my fans!

posted by Annie Strack @ 11:05 AM   0 Comments

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Step by Step: How to Paint a Beach Triptych with Watercolor!

I started painting a new triptych last week! Here's a step by step tutorial showing my painting process.

 This triptych is being painted on 3 blocks of Arches 140# CP watercolor paper. Each block is 24x18, which will make the final triptych 24x54. One of the benefits of using watercolor blocks for painting multiple panel paintings is that I can butt the blocks up tight against each other, and paint across all at them at the same time. That allows for a seamless transition between panels when it's done.
 After drawing my beach scene and applying masking fluid to the areas I want to reserve, I paint in the sky using a wet on wet technique.
 I have a lot of area to cover before it gets too dry, so I'm using a 2" brush to apply cobalt, violet, and indigo colors to the sky.
 While it's still wet, I use paper towels to create clouds by blotting. This is not a random pattern -- I don't draw the clouds on the paper, but I do plan them out in my head before I start so that I have a composition planned before I start.
 Next I moved on to layer my lighter values on the land mass, using warm colors on the areas that are closest to the viewer.
 Working wet on dry, I let the colors mingle and mix on the paper to give the impression of texture.

 I layer in colors always starting with the lightest first, and adding darkest last.
 In the foreground areas, I use more drybrush techniques and warmer colors. This makes it seem closer, and adds more texture.
 For the water, my first layers were lightest. I used cool Ultramarine blue near the horizon to help push it further away, and a more neutral cobalt in the middle. Indigo is quite warm and dark, and I use that to add depth to the waves coming ashore.
 To help give it a tropical feeling, I used Viridian in the area where the water would be shallow. Notice that I don't cover the paper in a flat even wash -- water seldom appears flat and even.
 Painting right over the masking fluid, I layer in darker values of cobalt and indigo to give the waves depth. I'm using a #24 round brush called "Orange Ice" from Dynasty Brush for almost every part of this painting. This brush is very large and it holds and release water perfectly. It is slightly soft so it responds well to the texture of the paper, but it also has wonderful spring so that I can use it for fine details and precision.
 While layers of paint in the water area are drying, I move back to the land mass and layer darker values there. To give it texture and visual interest, I'm using a variety of colors but sticking to color temperatures and values to move the land mass where I want it.

This photo shows the painting not quite finished -- the masking fluid is still there, protecting the whites of the paper
Last, after peeling off the masking fluid I detail the foam and surf by pushing the paint around to soften edges, lighten some spots, and deepening a few others.

Finally, here's the finished painting! I'll be mounting this on cradled art boards next. My finished triptychs sell for $1,200. Let me know if you want this one, or contact me to see if I have one still in stock! And be sure to check out my video tutorial that shows how to mount a watercolor triptych on cradled art boards, too!

posted by Annie Strack @ 6:41 PM   1 Comments

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