Enhance your watercolor in a fun and kind-of-crazy impressionistic way. Watch the video below to see how adding texture with a credit card can supplement your brushwork. The thick and thin quality of a line will enhance the beauty of any painting.
Paper, paint, brushes, and a bucket of water are the basic tools for watercolor. But one of my favorite tools is not on that list. It’s a credit card. A long-ago, inactive card, is useless to anyone but me.
I find this unusual tool can achieve impressive results. Watch this first video for one demonstration technique. A second approach will be featured in the next video.
Sporting such a truly grand mustache may explain his favorite bloom: sunflowers. He marveled at the brilliant yellow flowers with big brown centers and the contrast of the bright green stalks amid gigantic leaves. Sunflowers: big and bold – just like my Dad’s stach.
In addition to the stunning colors, Dad cherished the oversize seeds that brought the birds eating, gathering and spreading them to create flowers for the next season: The circle of life. Like my memories of Dad, there is no beginning, middle or end … just a circle of thoughts.
I painted this sunflower for you, Dad.
Did your mother ever teach you that it's not polite to point?
Well, sometimes pointing is a good thing, especially in decorating. Notice how the birds’ faces point toward each other keeping your eye focused on the table arragement.
This simple trick not only works in home decor, but art compositions as well.
In the painting below, I paid particular attention to the placement of the birds, placing them pointing inward, towards the focal point of the painting.
I hung the art in the gallery and a funny thing happened. A gentleman tapped me on the shoulder, and asked, “Are those geese flying in or out?”
I gave him a puzzled look.
If the geese are flying in, they’re butts are down. If the geese are flying out, they’re heads are up.”
Instantly I knew I had an avid birder on my hands. I squinted at my wee-size, no bigger than 3/8”, water fowl on paper. They were flying toward the center of the paper which was important to the composition. Not so important to this naturalist. I inched closer to the art. Their heads were out-stretched, not up, but not down. I took a gamble and said, “They’re flying out.”
I must have given him the right answer as he bought the painting.
I hope this decorating tip finds you pointing in the right direction, too.
Early mornings are my best opportunity to paint. The gallery opens at ten, so the hours before are quiet, and the all-to-myself space is serene. At six on a recent morning, I opened my watercolor supply drawer and grabbed a smooth, pristine sheet of 300-pound, hot press watercolor paper. The 22-inch-by-30-inch, full-size watercolor stock is perfect for my artwork; it gives the paint plenty of room to flow. As I pulled out the big piece, something small fluttered to the floor. It was a little square of paper with irregular edges. I’d forgotten all about this treasure!
Months ago, maybe years – time does slip by so quickly – I purchased tiny sheets of handmade paper. I picked up this jewel and felt the delicate, feathery boarders on this precious 4-inch-by-5-inch paper.
Instantly I was inspired. Interesting shapes and sizes can do this to me. Why paint only on the standard rectangle sheets that paper manufacturer produce? Often the first thing I do before painting is cut up that standard piece – perhaps into a long, narrow format or maybe a perfect square. Changing shapes is a great way to jazz up your day even before you begin to color mix.
On this occasion, though, the inspiration was in front of me: The paper was mini in size but humongous in potential. So ... I let the paints fly.
On the way home, after a day painting and retail at "the office," we needed a grocery pit stop if dinner was to happen. First, I picked up Mom from the senior center, and soon we were shuffling the food aisles together. I try to walk at an easy pace with Mom.
When getting groceries, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but sometimes I stumble onto something new to try. Having my 80-plus mom along has added to this what's-for-dinner inspiration.
Moseying by the shelves with tuna choices, I heard “my, my,” as Mom gazed at the litany of single-serving pouches: “lemon pepper, Mediterranean, sweet and spicy … Lordy be! I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Since that stroll down the canned fish aisle, Mom’s tuna noddle casserole has a unexpected and spicy new flavor!
What’s inspired you today?
About the Artsy Shopkeeper
Hi, I'm Kate Moynihan. Yes, I am a baby boomer, and my professional life has taken a few interesting twists and turns. The journey began as a registered nurse. After thirteen years of caring for others, however, I got the creative itch. At the time, I was a single mom living in North Dakota; that’s when I caught this bug to paint pictures. Now, twenty-seven years later, I have some stories to tell about my artistic journey. Read more...