Friday, December 6, 2013

One-of-a-Kind Hand Painted Glass Ornaments

One-of-a-kind, hand painted Ornaments by Lorraine Watry ©2013
During this time of the year, I like to take a short break from my watercolors and paint with acrylics on glass ornaments. These one-of-a-kind ornaments are a fun way to create little paintings that can be hung on a a tree. 
     I purchase the ornaments at a local craft store. I begin by painting the front of the ornament with white acrylic. When this is dry, I lightly sketch in pencil my design and then using acrylic paint, I paint in the scene. Some images go quickly and others need several layers and more detail. When the paint is completely dry I may add some glitter or crystal beads to some of the ornaments to make the snow sparkle. 
     The finished ornaments are then sprayed with three coats of an archival sealer to protect them and give them a glossy look. These ornaments are headed to the gallery I am at in Old Colorado City, Arati Artists Gallery. They are priced at $30 each. If you are interested in purchasing any of the ornaments seen here, please contact me on this link - Lorraine Watry.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Watercolor of Colored Glass

Glass Menagerie by Lorraine Watry ©2013
I started this painting as a demonstration for a class I was teaching this summer on painting glass in watercolor. I don't usually paint still-lifes but the reflections and detail in the glasses were exciting. I began by setting up and rearranging all the glass pieces that I collected for the class. Then I tried setting them up with different backgrounds both inside and outside to provide different lighting. I ended up choosing this scene because I liked the contrast that the wooden bird statues played against the blue bird and all the other glass. It also felt like there was a story.
     The next step was to block out all the highlights with masking fluid. It is better to save more whites in the beginning because you can always paint some of them out later. Then I started with the upper right corner and just started painting the shapes in the white glass bowl. Having strong contrasts and looking for all the little abstract shapes when painting glass is important.
     One of the changes I made from my photograph was to paint the little glass pieces around the blue bird red instead of the blue that they are in the photograph. I did this for two reasons. The first was that the red helped the blue bird stand out more and the second reason was to spread the red around the painting a little more.
     After finishing a painting, especially a busy one like this, it is important to look at it for a while to make sure there are no areas that need adjusting. I looked at my painting from across the room and in different light, I also looked at in reverse in a mirror and saw a few areas that I wanted to adjust. After making the adjustments, I removed the masking that had saved the white of the paper and painted in the areas that needed color. The rest of the masked areas were cleaned up by painting some of the surrounding color to make them look less cut out or I scrubbed some of their edges to soften them to look like highlights on the glasses, ex. as seen on the green goblet in the upper right hand corner.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Watercolor Study for Parrot Painting

A Little to The Left - Color Study ©LWatry
This is a color study for a larger painting. Color studies are great tools to help a watercolor artist have a "plan of action" before starting a painting. A color study can be any size and done to any level of completion. These studies can help the artist decide where to start, what colors to use, and what possible composition adjustments that may need to be made.

When I began working in watercolor, I used to do very complete color studies like this for most of my paintings. It was a way to get a lot of the planning for the painting figured out before going on to the actual painting.

Now, I usually only do a color study when I haven't worked with a subject before or some aspect of a painting. I did this color study to show the students of a class I was teaching. The size of this study is 6.5 x 4.75 inches. It became a nice little painting in itself and helped me decide my plan of attack for the larger painting.

This painting is for sale on Daily Paint Works.You can follow this link to bid on these brightly colored parrots: "A Little To The Left" by Lorraine Watry.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Painting Clear Glass in Watercolor

Salt Shaker ©LWatry 2013
Many watercolor artists avoid painting clear glass in watercolor because they are unsure how to approach the subject. This is a painting I did as a demonstration for a class.

I chose a simple subject with three objects and a dark background. The salt shaker was clear, patterned glass and contained some salt. I purposefully tilted the salt to make the composition more interesting.

To paint clear glass you, like other glass, you need to look for the reflections and refractions that occur in the glass. The reflections in the salt shaker are things like the bright yellow on the lower left of the glass that occur due to the lemon. Refractions happen when something next to the glass or on the interior are bent, curved, or the color is changed due to the glass. In this painting the green of the pear can be seen through the glass, but it is distorted and the color is slightly brighter than the actual pear.

Painting glass is like working a puzzle, you paint or leave white, the small, usually abstract shapes that make up the whole. The metal lid of the salt shaker is another place to look for unusual reflected colors or highlights.

For the colors in a clear glass jar, don't just use grays, but look for other colors that might be reflected from surrounding objects or lighting. In the salt shaker I added yellow, green and blue to areas of the glass. Some of my grays are purple tinted or blue tinted to give them some variation. The whites of the shaker and salt are the white of the paper. The smaller lines were masked out to save them, then the masked removed and the white cleaned up by matching the paint around the white area . Some of the whites were scrubbed to soften them to give them the look of a reflection.

This Salt Shaker painting is available for sale on DPW. If you would like to bid in the auction, click the link here: My Auction at Daily Paint Works

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Miniature Paintings

Sunset Iris Miniature LWatry ©2013
I decided to take the three new miniature paintings that I had for sale on Daily Paint Works to Arati Artists Gallery. This is where I show my watercolors in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs. The miniatures do well at the gallery and since it is almost Valentines Day, they might find a home as a gift for a loved one. They are all florals and measure 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". They come framed and are ready to hang on the wall or sit on a table.

If you would like to see what else I have at Arati Artists Gallery, click this link: Lorraine Watry at Arati Artists Gallery.
Pink Oriental Lily Miniature LWatry ©2013
Pink Waterlilies Miniature LWatry ©2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Painting Metal in Watercolor - French Horns

3 Figures in French Horn Painting LWatry ©2013
I started my new band painting on November 1, 2012. I worked on it throughout November and December between holiday preparations and other events. I am now approximately two-thirds of the way done. I thought I would post the process and explain some of the steps.

This is a painting of french horns. I wanted to paint them because I loved the repetition of the instruments and the girls hands, and the shiny instruments! I took a long time on the drawing and used a grid to sketch the piece from a photo that I took. Next I transferred it to a full sheet of watercolor paper (140lb. cold press Arches). I then used masking to mask all of the highlights on the horns, so that I could get that sparkle on the shiny metal when I removed the masking at the end.

I started with the figures in the painting by washing in a light skin tone over their hands, arms, and faces. I wanted to make sure before I got to far into the painting that I was getting the figures to look the way I wanted. If they weren't working out, I could start again without having invested too much time into the piece. Also, their skin tones were one of the lightest colors in the painting and I usually start with my light colors. I have slowly added layers to the figures and I may still add another layer of color after I get more of the values into the painting. I would rather add the skin color a little at a time rather than make it too dark all at once.

French Horns LWatry ©2013
In the next image you can see that I have started to work on the horns and a little bit of the darks. I needed to put some of the dark in so that I could start judging my other values by them. You can see the chart I made in this picture to test out black mixes. I have an early post that talks about black mixes. You can see this post by clicking here. You can also see my photograph that I am painting from. I adjusted some of the horns and added some more blue reflection that is not in the original photo.

French Horns Closeup LWatry ©2013
French Horns with Nook LWatry ©2013
There is a lot going on in this painting in the horns and the reflections so it is nice to have some resting places for the viewers eye like the faces, arms and dark areas. However, I don't want my dark areas to be flat black. I want some color variations to give interest to the piece. You can see where I have removed some of the mask from the highlights on the closeup image at the left. I was getting a little anxious to see how they would look. It also helped me judge if I was getting the color around those highlights dark enough. Here the figures faces are still sort of light. I have since added another layer to the skin.

In the next image you can see that I have now started adding even more dark to the background. It doesn't show up in the picture, but the dark goes from a cool black at the upper left corner to a warm burgundy/black in the lower left corner. I have also begun to work on the dark reflections in the horns themselves. I am using a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Pyrrol Orange for the dark in the horn. I used a mix of Prussian Blue and Alizeran Crimson for the background dark. I also started using my Nook to help me see my photo better. I uploaded my photo onto the nook and I can enlarge it to look at sections of the horns to better understand the colors and what I am painting. Also, I get a truer sense of the colors on the nook than from the print of my photo.

French Horns LWatry ©2013

The final image is showing where I am currently. The photo is a little light, so it is not totally representative of the true colors. I have a lot more darks to put in on the black dresses of the figures and I have a lot of the center of the horns to complete. I will continue to try and post this paintings progression.