Thursday, April 10, 2014

Whenever You Wish

“You’ve always had the power my dear. You’ve had it all along. You just had to find out for yourself” ~Glenda~ the Wizard of Oz

"Whenever You Wish"  11 by 11 watercolor on Arches cold press watercolor paper  Available  Here

“The deepest courage we can exercise is continuing to believe in our dreams until we make them come true.~Oprah Winfrey

This Painting is Available For Sale Here

Monday, April 7, 2014

Border Collie in Watercolor, Start to Finish

 Start To Finish, watercolor painting of  a beautiful Border Collie

Gather photos, sketch and transfer sketch to stretched watercolor paper, this is 8 by 10.  Masking applied.
Begin to add some color, a little background and the early lightest washes. I am painting on Arches 140 pound cold pressed watercolor paper.  I buy large sheets and tear to the size I need.
Adding some darker colors now, I have used Cerulean blue, UM blue, Paynes Grey, Burnt Sienna,  among others.  Early washes are more dilute than later washes.  All are Winsor and Newton Paints.
Always looking for values, lights and darks, trying to create form.

Starting to take shape here, still loose washes, trying to capture her sweet expression.
Beginning more detail now, I paint fur in the direction of the hair growth.   I remove the masking with my fingers or an eraser. to reveal the saved white of the paper.  But I usually soften those lines, don't want those lines to be too hard looking.  
I do soften some of the lines and washes, to blend some of the color, I use a damp brush to soften the borders between washes, avoid the hard lines.  Here is The finished painting!  Any questions??

Monday, March 31, 2014

Three Amigos, Wild Horses in Watercolor

"Three Amigos"  11 by 14 watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art Available Purchase Here

“A Friend May Well Be Reckoned the Masterpiece of Nature” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is an 11 by 14 inch watercolor painted on Arches cold press watercolor paper, painted, with kind and generous permission, from the reference photo of Equus Ferus, Wild Horse Photography.

A close up view "Three Amigos" ©Maria's Watercolor Art Available  Purchase Here

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Painting of Nala Watercolor Progression

Sketch complete, transferred to watercolor paper.  In the beginning, just a few light washes.

Same idea, but my washes of color get richer and darker, no details, just light and dark areas.

Not much change here, darkening the eye area a little.

A lot has happened since my last photo, but I am starting to think of the detail, direction of the hair growth, eye detail.

Polishing it up, adding a mat and HOPE and fret that the owner will like it :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Emma's Painting, Steps and Progress of a Watercolor Pet Portrait

The Best Portraits Begin with a great photo.
Paper is torn to size, wet down and stretched/stapled onto art board.

I sketch either directly onto the watercolor paper, or sometimes sketch onto the sketchpad and transfer the image to the watercolor paper (saves too many crazy sketch lines).

The next step is to add the masking, which is a glue like substance applied to paper to hold the fine white lines from the white of the paper.  If you look really close you can see the greenish glue around Emma's eyes.  It rubs off easily (when your paint is dry). 
I then begin adding thin washes of color, working light to dark.  This stage is pretty quick and rough, no detail, just thinking of where the dark areas are and which areas will stay light in value.  This is my favorite part!  Sloshing on loose washes of color. FUN.

Important to let the washes dry, before you add too many washes.  The colors dry so much lighter than they appear when wet.  
That is a great time to prop up the picture in the kitchen and make a green smoothie, check Facebook, emails.....throw the ball for the dog....

I keep working this way for days, slosh a little more paint on, let it dry and stare at it for a while to see where it needs to go.  Works much better if you have good music playing.  Loudly.

I use mostly Winsor and Newton Paint.  Arches 140 pound cold pressed paper.  I have a large covered palette with all my colors in it, but add the ones I am using for a particular painting on a little palette like this one.  My paintbrushes are a mixed bag of those I have found on sale at local stores.  Would LOVE some fancier, higher end ones when I have the money to buy some.

I spend a lot of time looking, that is what takes the longest, right here I liked it but it just looked too flat, I wanted the nose to come right out at you.  So I added some warm colors to the nose, and left side of the face and like that much better.  You can see that in the photo below.  About now, I removed the masking, always brightens the painting.  I work on the eyes a little at a time.  I know a lot of folks like to get the eyes done first thing. I used to wait until the very end, but I'm not as scared of them as I used to be, LOL.  I add a little color at a time throughout the painting, fine tune them at the very end.  

For portraits I like to smooth out the washes a bit and have it not be so chunky. I use an old oil brush with short bristles and wet it and rub at some of the harsh lines, in the direction of the hair.  I add some fine hairs, I don't paint every hair!  I just want to suggest it is hair without painting every single hair follicle.  

Finished!  Any Questions??

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's Better To Look Up

It's Better To Look Up 8 by 10 watercolor on paper Buy Here

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” Gilbert K. Chesterton

Not always easy to look for the rainbow on a rainy day, sometimes it takes a bit more grit.  I hope your day is sunny today and if not, I hope the rainbow will show itself quickly.  

This original is for sale in my Etsy Shop Buy Here

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Soona in Watercolor on Paper

"Soona" Red Heeler 8 by 10 watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art

A recently finished pet portrait, I am getting ready to ship today. Someone is missing this sweet girl, and I hope the painting may help in some small way.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A portrait of Sydney 8 by 10 watercolor

"Sydney"  8 by 10 watercolor ©Maria's Watercolor Art
Here is the most recent pet portrait I had a request to paint.  Such a very sweet face.  Painted in memory of Sydney.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Work In Progress watercolor horses

work in progress 11 by 14 watercolor on paper
I started this painting, while working on two pet portraits.  I was given permission to work from this wonderful wild horse photo and just COULD NOT wait to start on it.  I will post updates on the progress here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Finishing up a painting in memory of Sophie

"Sophie" 5 by 7 watercolor on Arches watercolor paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art,  prints available  here
Nearly done with this watercolor of Sophie, a little portrait of this beautiful little Westie.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bosco, Black Lab in Watercolor

Bosco, 11 by 14 watercolor on Arches cold press paper ©Maria's Watercolor Prints/Cards are available HERE
Wanted to share this painting with you.  It was commissioned by one of my most loyal collectors for her friend, as a Christmas Gift.   They had a late Christmas Get together, so she just rececive it this weekend, and gave it the "thumbs up".  I love when that happens!  Stay warm, keep those pets warm too.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Willie"  8 by 10 watercolor on Arches cold press paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art, prints are available HERE
This was the last Christmas Commission I painted for 2013.  I had previously decided that I would take no more, when I received a special request from a friend of my daughter's.

She wanted it done for her mom, and thought it would be the perfect gift, as her mom struggled with the loss of the cat she had for 18 years.  

I finished and delivered it the Friday before Christmas, in a bit of a hustle with all the other Christmas errands.  

She wrote me the sweetest note yesterday about how her mom said it was "the best Christmas gift she had ever received" and felt like it kept Willie with them in the family. 

Honestly, I was so touched by this request from a teenager and the follow up note.  And the kindness and sensitivity behind the gift.  I feel like it was a gift to me to be able to provide this for them.  Such a blessing.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"Christmas Magic" 8 by 8 watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art

"Christmas Magic is silent. You don't hear it---you feel it, you know it, you believe it." Kevin Alan Milne

Wishing you and your families all of the magic of Christmas today and all year long.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Glass Challenge Daily Paintworks

"Five O Clock Somewhere"  5 by 7 watercolor on paper $45.00
This week's challenge is not to paint a glass object but rather, the shapes and colors that make up the representation of it.  It was to be loose , abstract, had some fun with this and tried not to get too picky.

Busy finishing several Christmas commissions. But wanted to sneak this in for the fun of it. Will post the Christmas pictures, well, after Christmas!