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Some where in the middle

Finding that livable spot

As an artist I have struggled with emotions for most of my life.  The worst one is fear.  Not fear like, lets say, “end of the world fear”, but fear in failure.  For me as an artist, it’s failure in itself.

Over coming Fear

Let me get this straight I have not over come FEAR, but I have have learned to identify when it starts to overcome me.  Right here I say “starts to”.  I am able to stop it and remove it.  But I really had to pay attention to it.  I had to identify it.  I Had to be able to stop it prior to it taking my emotional state of well being over.  I had to be honest of when and why it was happening and be very mindful of what my thoughts were.

Art as a meditation

I can only speak for myself because each of us is different.  Different experiences, different ways of dealing with it,  different stresses, triggers and issues in life. You get the picture.   But for me, art is a way of mediation.  A way of letting things go, of sitting in my authentic self.   I discover so much about my self, both good, and things that I need to work on.

Idea

Here is something that you may be able to do if you like creative things.  I have started working on tea bags.  Yep, used tea bags.  I love the color and the transparency of the paper that the tea comes in. I love tea.  I love the smell, the warmth.  I love tea shops. To me its a place that the world stops and magic happens.  The creative universe starts to talk and influence.

My Steps

I have taken a tea bag that my Benevolent Dictator used for his tea.  I allowed it to dry first.  (you can cheat if you have a heat gun or dehydration unit) I carefully looked at how it was folded and then carefully opened it up.  Some tea bags are attached at the sides so you will have to be careful in opening up the sides, but don’t worry if you tear it or it becomes ragged.  That just adds to the character of the creation.   You will notice that different teas will interact differently with the paper so every image you do will turn out slightly different in color.  Now empty and brush off the dried tea.

For the paints

For the paints I used my watercolors.  You can use anything, including but not limited to,  inks, such as liquitex or Micron pens.  Different paint mediums will all interact differently, so have fun!!!  After all this instruction is just for meditation, but out of that can come beauty and creative flow and works of art.  What I am trying to say here is don’t rush to the end result.  It is the journey that is important, that is the meditation.  Becoming overly concerned with the end is a distraction from the meditation.  Let the flow come with out thinking too heavily on the outcome.  The end doesn’t matter.

Benefits

We are all creatures that loves reward.  Will you get a reward after doing one exercise of meditation?  I have no idea.  Here is what I have found.  I have found that I am more centered.  That I can feel when fear or other harmful emotions start to take over.  I can react to them and stop them.  I am more focused and feel better after doing it.  With each time that I do it I get BETTER.  I have a busy schedule.  I always have.  My schedule like my life has changed over the years, but I can say that no matter what I have in my life, I will honor my meditation above all other things.

 

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This is an image of my Benevolent Dictator off to fight dragons.  The day was wet and cold. It is a snapshot of a moment in time.  A reminder that all things are just that.  

 

 

This image is available at my Etsy store for purchase. Edith Schmidt ART 

 

Thank you for allowing my into you life and hopefully I have giving some inspiration and positive energy to you.  Have a creative and centered day.

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Appearance of Texture

Using watercolor for texture.

Where to begin.  A LOT of what I do is intuitive.   I would say an important point would be to know your watercolors and brushes and what they do.  Play around with them.  Some paints, like rose madder, have a grainy look to them when applied, so if you have not created a watercolor mixing chart then you may want to play around with one just to see how the paints interact with each other and the paper.  Time consuming they are but worth it in the end.  (Sounds like another blog post to me.  Be sure and request it and I’ll be attentive to post it)  If you are unsure about your colors, then pick the colors that you will use in your image,  and do a small color mixing chart based on your image and color choice.

The first step to this layering process, and that is indeed what it is, layering,  is to sketch out what your subject is.  I am currently working on character development of another pig for my Super Pig series so I will be using Ollie the wonderful pig, for this example.

I use two glasses of clean water, one for washing and one for rinsing.

My paint selection today will be Windsor and Newton

  • Cadmium Red
  • Raw Umber
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Umber
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Ivory Black
  • Sap Green
  • Naples Yellow

Other Supplies

  • Brush
  • Nib
  • pencil
  • eraser
  • Canson 140 lb watercolor paper cold pressed

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Everyone has their favorite brushes to work with.  I recently purchased this floral brush size 6, and I love the point on it and the angle.  I find that it makes great uneven strokes when held on the angles and moved across the paper with irregular movements.

The smaller brush is just used to add water to the image in a controlled area.

The pen, with a fine tip, is used to out line and create hairs.

Liquitex ink

  • Titanium White
  • Transparent Umber

After sketching the image I apply a base color.   Naples yellow.

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Stage One

This is applied to the areas that the skin shows through.  Then I start to layer on top of that.  My second color is the Cadmium Red, that is applied on top of the naples yellow.  I am careful to think of lighting as the shadows or contours of the pig will be slightly darker.  I am also thoughtful in how much water and pigment I add.  I can always add more as I go along.

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Stage two

Even now I can start to see the textures.  I let the paint create the shadows etc.  Those that I like, I add and continue to  encourage.  If there is a shadow that seems out of place, a bit of clean water and a soft scrub with the brush , dab of a paper towel will remedy it.

 

 

I continue working in this manner adding little layers over the  contours of the subject. Seeing shadows develop and working with them.

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Stage Three

This little rooter, has been in something green.  Grass perhaps?  Who knows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep working

Don’t stop now.  Next comes the darker pigments.  This will help get more couture and texture in the image. I am sure that you will develop your own style and sometimes the best strokes are happy accidents.  So just keep at it and work with it.  Remember that when it dries there will be irregularities when you add more paint.  If you need a smooth transition keep it wet.  Here are the next few steps all together so that you can see.

Be careful not to over work.  Its easy to do.  At this point I start to out line and tidy up.  I wait until the image is dry, to prevent feathering of the ink.  I do sometimes use a heat gun and hold it back from the image.  Holding it too close will cause your paper to warp and buckle.  Using a 140 lb weight paper will help in the reduction of buckling.

This is the finished product.  Ollie.  I say that loosely, because I can sometimes catch something that needs to be worked in etc.

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Olli the Wonderful Pig

 

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And there you have it.  No mediums used, just watercolor.  Layering can be a wonderful way to create shadows and texture.  Study your subject.  Fall in love with it.  Appreciate different aspects of it that make is special, then use those aspects when your painting.

As always have a wonderful and creative day.

Edie

 

 

Art supplies have been purchased from Dick Blick and local art supply stores.

 

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You Feeling It? Texture Medium

Back again,

For another week in the studio, and ready to go.  This week is going to be full.  This past weekend was a bit hectic and here’s why:

You know what’s really scary?

Finding your laundry room flooded, and having to call for a repairman at Christmas time.

You know what is really satisfying? Having spent the extra money for extended warranty, and the repair man comes on Tuesday.

And last but not least….the whites have been done so everyone has clean underwear.

It’s the little things!

Texture

Todays medium is “Texture”.  Winsor & Newton Water Colour Texture Medium to be exact.  This adds a fine grit or sand like feel to your art.  It goes on alone, or as a base, it can even be mixed into your paint, however you prefer to do it.  It does have a textured feel, and you can removed by rubbing your finger across it or with water, so if you get it on an area that you did not intend it will rub off.

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Working with texture, wash over Texture Medium

I used it  as a base, applying it first on my paper. I had to be carful when I applied my wash, as it  started to migrate.  So, my advise to you is to beware, it will move about,  and play with it as much or as LITTLE as you need  to achieve the required results.

You can see in this image that the pigment will collect around the sandy texture, and give a wonderful appearance of a rough surface.  So its not just up to the “feel” but it is also viewable.

The Second Layer or Wash

Being careful in not moving the texture medium too much, I applied another layer and worked with making the grain of the wood.  I created a few knots etc, to add more character.  IMG_3129place setting15You can always apply more texture to your image and work it up how ever you like. Add this to your art journal and keep a record of your experiments so that you can see how the medium interacts with your paint.  This is important because memory will not supply you with all that you need.  Keep consistency in the image and work with the same paper that you will be using for the finial image.

Summing It All Up

Texture is not just in feel, it is in how something looks.  The visual will cause the brain to fill in the gaps.  I look forward to using this medium in my images, and  give this a 2 thumbs up.  I didn’t think that I would like it or find it useful, but I have changed my mind.  I see a LOT  of potential for this in my studio.

Sources

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Brushes and Pens used in this post

#6 Grumbacher brush 

#20/0 Roval & Langnickel MSGE850-20/0 

Calligraphy nib (what ever size to create your desired effect)

Canson Cold Pressed Watercolour Paper 140 lb.

Winsor & Newton Texture Medium

Liquitex Ink Transparent Raw Umber

Winsor & Newton Watercolour

Procurement Source

Dick Blick  

Michaels Craft Store

 

Shout Out

Recently, I had stumbled across a fellow blogger, and low and behold they also are doing a moon phase so you may want to check out 1961.9 Life in (H2O) Colour, who is thinking about doing some tutorials on moons, and who has already posted some examples. Evidently we are swimming in the same inspiration pool.

 

Until next time have a creative week, day or moment, just have one.

Edith Schmidt Art!

 

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Working with Lifting Preparation

This morning, prior to heading out for a few odds and ends at my local store, I thought that I would head up to the studio and play around with some simple sketching.  This turned into something that was akin to playing with every watercolor, and  this intern developed into a mess.  But a learning mess.

Lifting Preparation…

Is one of the better mediums that you can invest in.  It is wonderful for just going back over your image,  with a wet brush, and a paper towel, and lifting off some of the pigment, to create that lighter or illuminated look.  I love this because some times I tend to over work, and then need to remove some of the pigment just a little.

Example on Reflective or Glass Subjects

Here is an example that I created.  I will add this to my art journal, you can see I have already started to make my notes.

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Working with Lifting Preparation Shown here is an example of ” Lifting Preparation by Winsor and Newton.

I over worked this image purposefully to see if the color could be lifted from the paper and how cleanly it would come off. I applied the lifting Prep. and then allowed it to dry as per the instructions on the  bottle.  I only applied it to the area that I had previously sketched out for the glass. I then worked the glass and back ground, lifting off the pigment from the glass as I went.  I used a spray bottle, filled with water, to soften the paint and then used a tissue to remove the pigment in the area that I wanted the reflection.

Working on Natural Subjects

I worked up this rose later in the day just to see if it could be used in a more natural looking way. The worked well to remove color .  I can see some very good possibilities using this, and it will become a staple in my studio.  It does create a skin betweIMG_3118place setting15en the brush and the paper. This may or may not be noticeable with every artist.   Some pluses with this medium was I did not get the paper deterioration that you can get with rubbing and scraping the paper to remove the pigment.

Well that all folks.  Thank you again for joining me here in the studio.  I will see you on Monday.  Tomorrow I will be heading to the movies to see the James Bond movie.  Until then have a creative weekend.

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Let’s Have Fun

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

But inside the studio is delightful.

Any time I head to the studio, I try to have fun, to play.  To open that studio door, and expect something exciting to happen,  If by planning, or by happy accident.  How ever it happens, but art,  has never disappointed me. It’s a place that I can go to, and have any experience I want.  Sledding down the hill with Super Pig or just playing with the mediums that I have been collecting.

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To work with Mediums or not.

Is it worth the experiment, or the bother to change what already works for your style.  Yes,  yes, it is.  Inspiration starts with curiosity.  That little “what if,” nagging question, can set you on the road to something wonderful.  I think the ability to stay fresh and current is a must.  Even if you don’t use additives to your water color it will help to know what they do, and how they interact with your pigments/watercolors. Lots of times I have needed to repair something and have reached for some type of product to help.  If you have experimented with different types of mediums you know exactly (or approximately) how they will help achieve your completed work.

Today’s Medium “Granulation”

I am using Winsor Newton medium, and the instructions listed on the bottle say,  “For maximum effect dilute color generously with medium alone and always work with painting horizontal.”IMG_3033

As you can see the paint floats and feathers,  The first image is just the paint and the medium, the second image is with a color back ground applied, dried then the medium placed on top then the green pigment.

The last example is the same as the second but with varying colors.

 

This next image is a small example of trees and their reflection on water. Again I have used the IMG_3035Granulation Medium on the top, for the tree line, and in the water for the reflection.  I did this in stages making sure that after applying the medium, I worked the upper (tree line), separate from the water’s edge.  That way I had more control.

I have made my notes directly on the cold pressed paper, and will place this in my art journal.

A little sub note, If you spray your image with water, it will really dance across the paper, but remember to experiment on the same paper that you will use for your project and make notes.

Until next time, have a creative day and a playful one let your passion flourish.

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Adding Iridescent Medium

Once I rekindled my love for watercolor, I started to think, what if….

What if I used a Blending medium, what if I used and iridescent medium, how would this look, and on and on.  So I went to my favorite “artist what if”  store, that is Dick Blick and ordered all of Winsor & Newton’s watercolor mediums.  ( A Link to the supplies used in this post appears at the bottom of this post.) 

1st up Iridescent Medium

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Pretty self explanatory on the label.  I would use this to high light or give luster to an object/element.  I don’t think I would use it all over an image.  According to the label: “Mix with transparent water color or apply over a dried watercolor. Particularly effective when mixed with transparent color especially over dark backgrounds.”

Examples

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You can see it working well on the black, but it also does do a good job with the other colors.  As you tilt the card back and forth you get a good look at the effect.   It is translucent and requires just a good brush over the area you are wishing to apply it.  By adding it to water the effect will lessen.  A good way to work with this is to play with it a bit.  Mix it with the transparent color directly or apply it to the top of the dried color or place in a water and then brush over your desired element.

Christmas Time

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It’s that time of year when every thing requires a bit of glitz.  So I worked up just a few simple illustrations to show some examples.  As you can see by this example, the iridIMG_3017place setting15escent medium added just that little bit of shimmer.  I applied it on the holly leaves and berries as well as the pine branches and ornament.  On the ornament I used silver ink for the top metal part, you can see that the metallic ink works like the water color medium.

Sugar Plums IMG_3018place setting15

 

 

It works really well on purples and blues especially on indigo.  These Sugar plumbs turned out great as examples.  I will include all of these elements in my art journal.  That way when I look back I will see it, and it will trigger some of the uses and act to inspire new creations.

IMG_3019place setting15As you can see on my card here on the left, I have carefully labeled the colors and what medium I was using and then dated the card.   I will punch some holes in the sides and place it in my art journal.  I keep them under the month that I worked the example in.  Since I design according to season this helps me with ideas and keep it all on task.  It is all up to the individual as to how to keep it all current and accessible.

Keeping a Record of Play

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Not everything I do turns into a work of art some of what I do just turns into lessons for my self, such as these images I have used in this post.   Art journals are fantastic to work through life issues or to have records of your art play time, some even advertently turn into art.

Hopefully this conversation on Iridescent Medium has inspired you to try some.  If you have any questions just leave a comment.

Materials used in this post

 

 

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Color Pallets

Mango in the paint watercolor copyI have a friend that prior to painting, she will have defined her color pallet.   I admire her planing, and how she consideres value and placement.  I on the other hand think in my head.  Look at the paper and see the image.  I may have a certain color that speaks to me or inspires me to create a certain setting. That color will be what I base every thing else on.    If I am doing a collection,   or doing the same subject over and over,  then to have  consistency, I work with the same color pallet over and over. Now if you are mixing colors to obtain a certain color or working with color value, well its very important that you keep a list as to what you have used, and how you mixed it. What helps me keep every thing organized,  I will do a card, with cold pressed 140 watercolor paper, keeping it the same paper that I will use for my painting,  and mix my paints and brush them on the card label it and let that be my guide.  That way if I need to add to the illustrations or collections, after they have been completed, then I have a point of reference.  When you are choosing your pallet, its important that you let yourself deviate from it when the need arrises. If something is not working then change it.  If something is working then keep it.  Just don’t set rules and expect that to be the limit.  Art is 40% planning and 60% accident.  Probably more than 60% accident if truth be told.

Fun with new colors

I am currently adding to my studio colors the limited addition Winsor Newton Transparent color pallet or “Desert Set”, and the “Twilight” color pallet.  I have ordered from Dick Blick Art Supply, and used a discount code CDYY that will expire on 12/11/2015.  This gives free shipping on orders of $69 or more, and 20% off of $99. Soooooooo yea, go order that.  You can visit my wish list at Dick Blick Edith Schmidt Art   and see the paints that will be coming in on about the 22nd of this month.  Below are the examples. 4990bdb49361b0ffc9473a37a2f46d07PaulW&N1(1)

As you can see these color pallets will inspire you to think about all kinds of things to paint.  That Quinacridone Violet is just speaking to me on so many different levels.  So on about the 22nd of December I will be showing you what these look like once I get them.  In the mean while I am working on Super Pig.

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