Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Framing Tips For Watercolor Paintings

Tips For Framing Watercolor paintings (prints of this image available Here)

I paint the most in watercolor, I love the way the colors mix on both the palette and on the paper, love the way you mix yellows, reds and blues to get beautiful lighting effects, and how easy it is to clean up after, I love everything about the medium.  

A unique aspect of watercolor painting is the framing needs.   Unlike oil or acrylic, watercolor needs to be matted and framed behind glass to protect the painting.  I enclose some tips with my paintings when I ship them and thought I would share those here as well.

Basic Tips on the Care of your Painting 
  1. Do not place anything on surface of the painting, watercolor paintings are not varnished and have no protection from moisture and stains.
  2. Avoid touching the surface of the painting because oil from your skin can damage paper and leave marks.
  3. Watercolor paintings are meant to be framed behind glass, UV protective glass is recommended.  You want at least 1/8 inch space between the surface of the painting and the glass, a mat will help to preserve this space.
  4. Use acid free material to display and frame your work, including mat and backboard.
  5. Do not  place your painting in direct sunlight because you may see fading over time.
  6. Do not display your painting in a damp location (such as a bathroom) because watercolor paintings are not varnished and have no protection from moisture. 
Tips For Framing
      
 1.  Request conservation materials, including glass, matting and backing. This will help protect your painting from fading, deteriorating, etc. 

 2.  Ask for neutral matting, at least for the predominant mat, so the colors in the art can make their own statement. If a double or triple mat is used, small accents of color can help support the colors you used in the art. 

 3.  Be sure to use mat borders and frames that are proportional to the art. It is so common for people to select mats and frames that are too small for the art. When this is done, the framing tends to crowd the art and diminish its perceived value. Wider borders help to provide visual relief, enabling people viewing the art to really focus on it without being distracted by the room around it.


Tips For Framing Watercolor Paintings (Prints of this image available Here
Any other tips you would like to add?  I think the framing of any piece of art is so important and can really change the look of the piece. You can follow my Framing Board on Pinterest if you are looking for inspiration.  
Here is that link:  'Framed" on Pinterest

Monday, July 13, 2015

Can We Keep Him? Step by Step to this Watercolor on Paper.

I wanted to share this painting along with a few photos of the progression for those who like to see the process. It is 17 by 14.5 inches on Cold Pressed Arches 140 pound watercolor paper.  Original is not for sale at this time, but prints, canvas prints, cards, tote bags of the image are available HERE

"Can We Keep Him?"  17 by 14.5 watercolor on paper Prints available HERE

 I start with finding a photo reference that appeals to me, and work out a sketch and any changes I want to make to the layout,  I knew I wanted to zoom in on the image, and make the little girl's hair longer than it was in the photo. When I am happy with the sketch, I transfer it to the watercolor paper with graphite paper, pressing lightly!


I have masked out some highlights to retain the white of the paper using masking. Then I can begin to add the color, working from light to dark.  Skin color is a mixture of yellow, blue and red, I used Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue and Permanent Alizarin Crimson.  I prefer Winsor and Newton watercolor paints.  My primary paintbrush is a pointed round Kolinsky by Rosemary and Co.


I continue to add more color, stepping back often to check for values from a distance, remembering where the light is coming from, here it is from the upper left. The horse is painted in Burnt Sienna, I will add some Ultramarine Blue, and Perylene Maroon to darken his color.


Adding darker colors, and dropping in a light sky background.  I used some masking tape to keep the fence line straight. 


I often prop the in progress paintings in my kitchen, to let them dry and look and see what needs adjusted, and I will jot notes on the tape to remind me of what needs work.  The arrows in the corner, indicate the direction of the light on my subjects.  


Finally I continue to fine tune and darken the colors, letting them dry completely in between.  I added color to the fence itself, removed masking to reveal the highlights, and soften with a damp brush any areas that appear to harsh.  



Please let me know if you have any questions!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How To Create This Work Table for Your Art Studio

A quick glimpse at my work space this morning.  I have it divided up into areas for painting, storage, shipping.  I use this work bench to trim, mat, frame and package my paintings for display or shipping.  AND I made it myself (almost)!  And it is so simple and not very expensive so I thought I would share with you. 

I found these premade workbenches at Harbor Freight and they go on sale regularly. Here is a link where they are 159 dollars.  They are five feet long but only a little over 20 inches deep.  I loved them but some of my paintings are larger than that and of course the matting and boxes are larger still, so I bought two of these.  
They come in a box and you must assemble, but not too difficult, and besides my boys having to carry them in for me (they are VERY heavy and awkward) I put the rest together myself.  I then used two c-clamps to hook the benches together so they wouldn't shift.  Here is the link for the benches: 


They were very solid when I put them together, and when you buy two, there are 8 drawers, 4 on each side, perfect for pencils, tape, erasers, matting supplies.  There are shelves below which are perfect for storing binders, art books and magazines, and shipping supplies.  
The top is made of a beautiful hardwood but I wanted to use it for cutting paper and mats, and so I was looking for a self healing mat to place on top, and found a size that fits the two benches perfectly, like it was made to fit.  Here is a link to one which is 40 by 60 inches at 199 dollars, I bought mine on eBay a few years ago for 150 dollars, so shop around to see if you can find one at a good price:


Here are some photos let me know if you have any questions.  The only way it could work better is if it had wheels, I will have to work on that :)

My Matting Workbench in my Art Studio
Art Workbench with 8 drawers and two shelves for storage of supplies.

Art Workbench with 40 by 60 workspace with self healing cutting mat. 


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Racehorse Painting in Watercolor Work In Progress

Racehorse Watercolor Painting In Progress
Here is a new painting I have just begun.  From a photo taken at the Little Brown Jug, a Standardbred horse race I attend each year.  I started with some bold color in the background, which will lighten as it dries, and will begin on the horses today.  The paper is Arches 140 pound cold pressed, bright white and has been soaked and stretched, and stapled to the Art Board.  The colors I have used in the background are Winsor and Newton Indigo, Winsor Blue (red shade), and Cadmium Yellow Pale.  This has dried over night and I will mask off the white areas of the harness and then begin work on the horse, will post an update soon.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Latest Watercolor Work In Progress

Work in progress ©Maria's Watercolor Art

Work in Progress ©Maria's Watercolor Art

Work in Progress © Maria's Watercolor Art 
Keeping busy with the paintbrushes.  Many custom commissioned paintings started, finished and delivered.   Planning this New Year to work on some paintings from my stack of favorite photos.  Have made a goal to complete 3 larger pieces for entry into a show this summer.  Have had this reference photo earmarked for some time.  I was intrigued by the early morning light in a dark horse arena and the reflections from the crystals on her shirt.  Still a work in progress.  Approximately 16 by 20 watercolor on Arches cold press watercolor paper.  Have the perfect frame picked out for this.  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Closing Out The Old Year and Ready for the New Year

So hard to believe it is the end of 2014, looking back it is a blur in the rear view mirror.  Have been working hard at the end of the paintbrush finishing Christmas Custom Pet Portraits.  And I am so very happy to hear that the recipients were happy with them.  I am looking forward to working on some of my own ideas for painting in 2015 and I plan to work on a few pieces for some art competitions.  How about you any big plans for 2015??
"Eskimo Kisses"  8 by 10 watercolor of Paint Horse Mare and her Foal, watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art Prints available HERE

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Coming Home

"Follow Closely" 8 by 10 pencil sketch watercolor print available for purchase Here

A busy day today in the Art Studio, a couple of paintings to pack and ship, one custom pet portrait to finish, supplies to order, blog to write.  I want to fit in a weeks worth of work today, and take the rest of the week off since my daughter is home for Fall Break from college... tonight!  We have horses to visit, shopping to do, cookies to make, concerts to watch, lunches at Panera to attend.  I am thankful that my art allows me to be flexible with my time, take days off when I want.  

It reminds me of why I sold my veterinary practice years ago when my two children were young.  I couldn't bear to miss a field trip, school open house, a soccer game and wanted to be home with them when they were home and was never satisfied with babysitters (however wonderful they were).  

I loved practicing as a small animal vet, loved my patients and my clients and my staff too.  But when I commit, I commit wholeheartedly and it was hard for me to be the parent I wanted to be and the vet I wanted to be.  In my mind, I had to choose.  

There are days I miss practicing, miss my stethoscope, the white coat with my name tag on it, miss the new puppy visits, but know I would make the same choice if given the chance again.  

I love how my artwork allows me to love what I do, learn something new everyday, but take days away so easily, and never lose a day I have to spend with my family.

Anyway, I am back to my to do list now.  Be back next week.  



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Starting to like Fall

A little Fall color in the my entry way
For Sale Here

Has been many years since I have ridden outside and enjoyed the leaves falling on me on a sunny Fall day.

A  Few flowers are still bright and cheerful before the frost ends their season for good, great inspiration for a painting.
For Sale Here

Honestly,  have never been a big fan of the fall.  I like summertime, long days, warm sunshine, being outside in shorts and a T.  Fall has moved in and I am trying so hard to adjust, to the shorter days and cool evenings.  I am painting the Fall flowers, going for rides with Cosmo on windy afternoons, watching the leaves turn bright orange, baking pumpkin spice gingerbread cookies (with cream cheese frosting!)

“Autumn...the year’s last, loveliest smile.” by William Cullen Bryant

Came across this quote, and since I have read it, I have noticed the crazy fall clouds and the dew on the pumpkins, and the smell of bonfires on our afternoon walks, I am digging out the wool scarves and my favorite mittens.  Even watched a little college football !
Spiced GingerBread Pumpkin Cookies
Recipe Here!

I will enjoy whatever Mother Nature has in store. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Collage of the Thirty Day Painting Challenge September of 2014

Thirty Day Painting Challenge September 2014 ©Maria's Watercolor Art theme of 'Moving On'

A collage of the 30 days of painting in September made with PicMonkey.  Please let me know if you are interested in any and I will provide you with more information and pictures, thank you for following along!

Crazy, I Know. 30 Day Challenge Complete!









Thirty Days of painting and 30 completed paintings!  Yippee!  I enjoyed this challenge so much, less stressful than previous challenges, tried not to worry about the outcome but just kept painting!  Theme was "Moving On", paintings showing movement or action.   

I was able to keep up for the most part with the painting, had to double up and even triple up on a few days!  Much harder time keeping up with posting the photos, and listing them, that seems to take me so much time.  I think I have them all listed here.  Please contact me if you are interested in any, most are for sale.  

And honestly, I just can't wait to go and start something new :)  Crazy, I know.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Still Painting, Moving On With The 30 Day Challenge

9 by 12 watercolor on Arches Rough Paper
This Should be number 24 in the 30 day painting challenge. May be my favorite so far.  Theme of the 30 paintings in September is "Moving On"  or action paintings, and this one just came off the pencil and paintbrush so easily, a late night sketch finished with an early morning swish of bright colors.  So much fun to work on.  Wish they all came so easily :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Three more in the 30 day challenge!

7 by 10 watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art:  Available

7 by 10 watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art: Available

7 by 10 watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art: Not For Sale
Three more to add to the 30 day Painting Challenge.  The theme is 'Moving On', and I am painting subjects showing action or motion. I think the watercolor lends itself well to showing action, and am becoming a little more comfortable and loose with the theme.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Number 18 19 and 20 of the 30 day challenge!

8 by 10 watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art Not For Sale
8 by 8 oil on board © Maria's Watercolor Art AVAILABLE
7 by 10 watercolor on paper © Maria's Watercolor Art AVAILABLE
OK, Getting back on track with the 30 day Challenge, two watercolors and one oil painting, brings the count to 20, 10 more to go before the 30 days of September pass!  So much fun :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"The Far Turn" 17th painting of the challenge to paint 30 paintings in September

"The Far Turn" 7 by 10 watercolor on paper

This is the 17th painting of the 30 day challenge.  A tough painting to work on in one day, so much detail and a difficult angle.  Tried to remember what I found interesting in the photo, the speed of the horse and the warm September Sunshine and focus on those two things.

Painting is for sale here for 45.00, plus 5.00 for S/H







Monday, September 15, 2014

A Taste of Fall, watercolor on paper

"A Taste of Fall" 7 by 10 watercolor on paper ©Maria'sWatercolor Art
Number 16 of the Challenge was inspired by a friends Facebook Page Post.  Thank you Jill for letting me use your wonderful photos.  Cool Mornings, afternoon sunshine, Fall has most definitely made its arrival known.  Enjoy some apple sider and dust off the fall sweaters.

This is available for purchase Here  55 dollars plus 5.00 shipping






Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Where's the beach?" Number 15 of 30

"Where's The Beach?"  7 by 10 watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art

OK we are at the half way point of the challenge.  My strategy has changed, trying to simplify, complete these sketches in one or two hours.   15 more to go to complete the 30 day painting challenge with the theme of "Moving On"

For Sale 35 dollars plus 5 dollars S/H






Saturday, September 13, 2014

Number 13 and 14 of the 30 day painting challenge



Number 13 and 14 of the challenge to paint 30 paintings in 30 days.  Struggling a little at this midway point, going to try and keep it simple.  Maybe a 1 to 2 hour limit for each painting?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Play Ball, number 12 of the 30 day painting challenge

"Play Ball"  7 by 10 watercolor on paper Maria's Watercolor Art SOLD
"Play Ball" Number 12 of the 30 day challenge, thank you Donna for sending the amazing photos, I loved the lighting in this one, which is what I focused on in this study. Tried not to get into the detail, but get the values and light changes. I need a simple subject next to rest my brain a bit :))

SOLD














Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Number 10 and 11 of the 30 day challenge

"Scarlet Lake" 7 by 9 watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art

This little painting is number 10 and 11 of my 30 day Leslie Saeta painting challenge, as I painted it once yesterday and again today!  Feeling a bit challenged by this pose, yesterday's attempt went straight to the recycle bin and I am ready to start something new today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Just Passing By 9th painting of the 30 day painting challenge

"Just Passing By" 7 by 10  watercolor on paper ©Maria's Watercolor Art
"Just Passing By"

Maybe not everything is meant to be kept or even understood.  Maybe some things are just to be admired as they come passing through.

The ninth painting of 30 in the 30 day painting challenge, them is "Moving On"  or action paintings.

This painting is available for purchase.  75 dollars plus 7.50 S/H