Saturday, May 7, 2016

Watercolor Painting of a Cyclist in Motion, Finish!

Shifting Gears ©LWatry 2016
I have finished my bicycle painting, Shifting Gears.

I still had parts of the bike to paint and some values to adjust at the end of the last post.

I again mixed, Pthalo blue and Permanent Alizeran Crimson to make a black for the bike. I painted the black in around the lettering without masking it because I knew I would eventually soften and blur the lettering edges to add to the feeling of motion.

I darkened the values on his left leg, the water bottle, and a few places on the bike. I decided to paint a little more orange along the stripe in the background to help pull the viewers eye toward the left. I softened a few edges here and there and cleaned up a few edges by painting around them.

I am happy with the painting over all. If I do another painting with bikes in motion, I might change the background process and instead of painting it in wet-on-wet, I might try letting the paint drip. I might also take the time to mask some of the lettering and parts of the bicycle to make the painting of the bike posts easier and quicker.

Thanks for following along.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Watercolor Painting of a Cyclist in Motion, Part 4

Shifting Gears ©LWatry2016
This is part 4 of my cyclist in motion painting. I added more value to the skin tones and I also increased the shadow on his jersey.

The helmet now has some shadows and I added some of the colored markings on the helmet and the jersey. I started painting in the wording on the jersey. I tried to keep it simple and slightly blurry so that it wouldn't be too distracting and would add to the feeling of movement.

Shifting Gears ©LWatry 2016
Next, I started painting in some of the blacks. I don't use a tube black. I generally mix Pthalo Blue and Permanent Alizeran Crimson to make a black. I use more pigment and less water in this mix and some times I let the mix be cooler (more Pthalo) or warmer (more Alizeran). Tube blacks tend to not have as much life as a mixed black.

I painted around the lettering on the shorts and then went back and blurred some of the lettering by softening edges and lifting some of the color back off, leaving a ghost of the black still there.

I also added a little orange on the yellowish stripe in the background to help add some warm to the cool background. The warm color in the background mirrors his warm skin tone and helps move the viewers eye around the painting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Watercolor Painting of a Cyclist in Motion, Part 3

Shifting Gears ©LWatry 2016
I have begun to add more value on the shadows of the figure and now the arms and legs are starting to look muscled. I painted in the hair with mixes of ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and some quinacridone magenta that creates a dark blue/brown.

I painted in the shiny gold/orange sunglasses. I have started adding the colorful stripes and markings on the bike with new gamboge yellow and sap green. I am looking for areas that I can paint in to help describe the shapes before I paint the black on his shorts and the bike.

I will continue to make adjustments to the values as I add shapes. I can already tell that I may have to darken the shadow on the side and back of his jersey. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Watercolor Painting of a Cyclist in Motion, continued...

Shifting Gears ©LWatry 2016
I am continuing to work on my new bicycle painting. I decided to title the painting, 'Shifting Gears'. I have added more layers to the cyclist's skin to increase the value and start to introduce the lights and shadows I am using the same color mixes I talked about in the first post of this painting, but I have started to increase the amount of pigment in the mix to increase the values.  When working with a figure in a painting, I usually start by painting the face. That way if the face is not looking right, I can start again if I need to without having invested a lot of time into the piece.

I will continue working on the figure a little longer and then start the clothes and bike. I am still thinking of adding a warmer stripe of color in the background, but will wait until I get more of the cyclist done before deciding.

As far as watercolor paint, most of the paint I now use is from Daniel Smith. I would highly recommend these paints because the pigment is very saturated and they reconstitute and become juicy even after drying in the wells on my palette.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Watercolor Painting of a Cyclist in Motion

Cyclist ©LWatry 2016

I started working on this cyclist last week. I have had this photo for several years now and every now and then I think about painting it. Then I heard of a show that will feature bicycle art and decided now would be a good time to try it. The background is blurry because when I was taking the picture I panned with the cyclist as he was going by, thus blurring the background. 

I started the painting by masking off the cyclist and bike using masking tape and liquid mask to protect them while I painted the background. Then I wet all of the background and started painting on the colors that were blurred. I may still go back into the background to adjust values or add some brighter color. But, I will wait to make adjustments until I have more of the cyclist painted in.

Today, after removing the mask from the figure, I cleaned up the edges and then started by painting a base coat on his skin using a very thin mix of cadmium red with a little aureolin yellow mixed in. After this dried I started layering thin glazes of color onto the face and limbs. I used mixes of Permanent Alizeran Crimson & burnt sienna, Perm. Alizeran & Ultramarine Blue, as well as the Cadmium red & Aureolin Yellow mix from earlier. I will continue adjusting and adding to these layers to create the shadows and highlights.

His shirt was painted with a variegated wash of cobalt, manganese, quinacridone rose, and aureolin yellow. I used the yellow to make the front of the shirt glow. Normally I would paint the shadows in last, but because there are some defined graphic shapes and lettering that I don't want to possibly blur, I started with the shadow.

I will try to post the stages of the painting as I work on it.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Self Portrait in Watercolor

Reflections of Mystelf ©2016
I am a member of a cooperative gallery in Colorado Springs. During our winter months when the gallery traffic is a little slower we don't have featured artists in the front windows, but do group shows instead. This year we decided to have some theme months from January to March. We chose to do self-portraits for January.

I decided to have fun and not do a conventional self portrait. I love to paint metal and glass and I new my sons baritone would make a great way to get a reflection of myself. The horn automatically flipped my reflection upside down, adding to the fun of the image.

I did not want to spend a lot of time on this painting because I had to fit it in around other paintings, classes, and the holidays. So, instead of masking a lot more of the lights in the horn, I only masked the whites and tiny highlights. You might be able to see a little masking fluid on this first image.

After masking, I started on the grays of the baritone and then jumped over to work on my self portrait. I figured if I didn't get my face right, I could start over before I got to far into the painting. One of my favorite grays to make now is ultramarine blue and italian burnt sienna.

Reflections of  Myself ©2016
I continued working around the painting. You can see some of the other reflections in the horn now. I also started the blue water bottles that were behind the baritone and reflecting in the metal.

I wanted the paint on the palette in front to be warmer and provide a contrast to the blues and greens in the back. For the palette, I used pure pigment, and put it on pretty heavy, so that it would appear solid like the paint in my real palette.

I started to add more darks (mixing ultramarine and italian burnt sienna as dark as it would go). As, the painting neared completion, I added some warm reflections in the horn and completed my hand in the lower left. I like to start my skin tones with a warm mix of cadmium red and aureolin yellow. Then I add layers of other mixes.

The last time I did a self portrait was college. I am actually pleased with the final painting.
Reflections of Myself ©2016
Reflections of Myself ©2016

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Time Flies When Having Fun With Watercolor!

I can't believe it has been almost a year since my last post to my blog! This last year has flown by and I have decided to make an early resolution to get back to adding a post to my blog at least once a month. I took time earlier this year to update my website,, and I have been busy teaching classes, entering juried competitions, and taking workshops.

The following paintings started as my demo pieces for some of my classes:
Watercolor - Guarding the Gold by Lorraine Watry
Watercolor "Guarding the Gold" ©LWatry 2015

This painting was for my class - "Closeup on Trees and Rocks". I had taken this picture of a chipmunk among the gold aspen leaves. It fit perfectly for the tree and rock class with the rough textured stone that the chipmunk is standing on. The little tree and the aspen trunk in the background satisfied the tree part of the class. I love the dramatic lighting of the image and the warm glow of the gold leaves.


Watercolor "Blue Birds Fly" by Lorraine Watry
Watercolor "Blue Birds Fly" ©LWatry 2015
"Blue Birds Fly" was for my bird watercolor class, as you may have guessed. I took the picture of these blue birds several years ago and always wanted to paint it. It was a snowy, cold day and the birds were on their way through Colorado. Their bright blue colors and fluffy feathers were a nice contrast to the neutrals and hard angles of the fence.   Sold

Watercolor "Through the Ages" by Lorraine Watry
Watercolor "Through the Ages" ©LWatry 2015

In June, I taught a pouring watercolors workshop and my demo painting was "Through the Ages". This image came from my photo of a sculptural piece on the side of a building in Paris. The photo was all in grays. For the pouring workshop we masked all of the layers, starting with white and then poured the watercolor. We kept  masking the next value and pouring color until only the darkest value was left unmasked to receive our darkest color. After removing all of the masking fluid, I went back and added some texture and value to some of the areas.
Watercolors "Show Stoppers", "Bufflehead Duck Reflections"
and "Spectacular Sunrise" ©LWatry 2015

I also taught an aspen class, a reflections in water class, and a dramatic skies class. My demo paintings for these classes are to the left.

I just finished my class listings for the winter/spring of 2016 and they are now available for viewing on my website at:
If you live in the Colorado Springs area or will be in town, perhaps one of my classes will fit into your schedule. I am also available to give workshops in other locations.

 I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with art!