Red Rhino

Red Rhino

Ever since I painted my Rainbow Elephants piece I have wanted to paint another wrinkly animal skinned animal so I can use those same techniques. I finally got that chance with this painting of a red rhinoceros. I had so much fun layering on the masking fluid between layers of paint to create the textured effect.   This painting brought so much joy to me heart as worked on it and it refreshed my desire to be creative and experiment.

If you’re wondering what inspired the color scheme it was actually Dr. Seuss. In his ABC book there is a girl named Rosie who has a red rhinoceros. As a kid that was always one of my favorite illustrations from that book, so to pay homage to the master of silly words and illustrations I decided to paint it red.

I hope you enjoy watching the speed painting. From start to finish of actual painting time this painting took me about 2 hours to paint. Because I have to get the paper so wet to get the effect I want and have to let it and the masking fluid dry completely before the next layer it took about 7 hours to do.

The original  of this piece are available at my etsy shop.

Have a great day!

-Lauren

Wise Lion Watercolor painting

Wise Lion Picture
Wise Lion – Watercolor

The Other day, I took a break from designing commissions to paint this colorful lion. Between being sick for a few weeks and constantly working on commissions since October I haven’t been feeling super excited to paint lately. I love doing commissions but there hasn’t been much time to do paintings that recharge me creatively.

When I realized I was just spinning my wheels and not making any progress on any projects. I decided to do something about it. Over the years I have learned the best way to cure artist block is to paint something that inspires me in a loose and colorful style while my music is blasting away. I don’t think about any other upcoming projects or my ever growing “to do” list. I just paint. I’m not concerned about whether it turns out perfect or if other people like it. I just focus on how the paint and water interact on the paper.

So I found some lion reference photos on a commercial use website that I liked, picked a color scheme, and turned up my music. It took a few minutes to really get into it but then like dam bursting, creativity suddenly started flowing through me. I had all kinds of ideas about how to use my brushes in unusual ways, how to layer paint colors, and about which direction to take the painting.

I love how the painting turned out and even more importantly the feeling of all that creative energy flowing through gave me the jump-start I needed to finish my other projects.

What about you? Do you have a routine that you do to help you get out of a creative funk? Let me know in the comments below.

-Lauren

Beach Flowers: Beginner Soft Pastel Tutorial

Beach Flowers
Beach Flowers – Soft Pastels

I enjoyed painting the last beach scene so much that I decided to do one more. This time I got my reference photo from the website called Paint My Photo. It’s a great website to get reference photos for artists. This website allows you to use the photos as references in your commercial work. Unfortunately, The rules on that website restrict me from showing you the actually photo here on my website. So here is a link to where you can get the reference picture. You just need to create a login in for it. The picture is from Pauline West.

I started my painting process buy first picking out the supplies and pastels I need. The pastels I am using are a mix of Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils, Prisma color nupastels and Jack Richeson Soft Pastels. The harder pastels will be used for the under painting and details. I also made sure to pick a variety of values (lights and darks) in each color family. This will allow me to create contrast and depth in my picture without relying on straight black and white pastels as much. Nothing wrong with white and black pastels but if you only use those for your highlights and shadows your picture can look flat and uninteresting.

Color Palette

I also picked our warm tones and cool tones of each color family. Having warm and cool selection in each color family can aid in color mixing and layering. Every color will either have a warm undertone, be neutral, or have a cool undertone.   For example, a warm toned blue would be a Phthalo blue because It has some green undertones. In contrast a cool blue would be a ultramarine because it tends to be closer to purple on the color wheel. I’m working on a tutorial to explain and demonstrate this more clearly. For now I’ve posted a picture below to help demonstrate what I mean on the actual colors I’m using.

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The rest of this supplies I’ll be using are 600 Grit Uart sanded pastel paper cut down to a 6×11” size, Krylon workable fixative, Generic rubbing alcohol, an old stiff bristled paint brush for blending out the under painting, a size 1 round white taklon brush for applying the ink (any old acrylic brush with a fine point will work), purple and black waterproof ink I’m using Dr Ph Maritns Bombay India ink, plastic pallet knives, and rubber shapers. You can use a traditional blending stump if you don’t have rubber shapers.

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This painting took me about three hours to complete from start to finish. The video is significantly sped up so feel free to slow the video down and/or pause it as you work through the various steps. I also find it beneficial to watch the video all the way through before starting your project. That way you are more comfortable with the process and know what to do next.

Here is the complete list of supplies and tools I used and links so you can look into them in more detail:

Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil https://goo.gl/qgq9ew

Jack Richeson Soft Pastels https://goo.gl/kPCgvn

NuPastels https://goo.gl/Bf3aBV

Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks https://goo.gl/sJvcui

Uart Sanded Paper https://goo.gl/2Uf46y

Krylon Workable fixative https://goo.gl/aKKaVn

Rubber shaper https://goo.gl/rhDSEk

Plastic Pallet Knives https://goo.gl/nskzKU

Oil brush https://goo.gl/t2SVof

White Taklon Brush https://goo.gl/oNrgWj

T-Ruler https://goo.gl/GZRy1v

Heat Tool https://goo.gl/vNCg1p

(Affiliate Links)

If you would like to purchase the original painting you can do so here.

If you would like to request specific tutorial or have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren

Path By The Seaside: Beginner Pastel Tutorial

I have some big pastel commissions coming up so to help switch my mind from watercolor to soft pastels I have been doing some smaller pastel paintings. I figured it would turn this little painting into a tutorial for those who interested in learning how to paint and draw with pastels.

With it being in middle of winter here in Montana I wanted to paint something warm and sunny. I found my reference photo on pixabay.

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Before I start any pastel painting I look at my reference photo and I pick out the pastels I am going to use to paint it. This just helps me stay in the zone when painting because Im not constantly stopping to sort through hundreds of pastels deciding which ones I want.

When picking out pastels I make sure to grab some harder pastels like the pastel pencils and Nupastels from Prismacolor along with the softer ones. The harder pastels are great for the base layers of the painting because they don’t fill in the tooth of the paper as easily. With this painting being  fairly simple and smaller in size I knew I wasn’t going to be doing as many layers as normal so I didn’t grab any of my super soft pastels like my Sennelier or Schmincke . The softest pastels I used for this were Jack Richeson pastels which I find to be about medium softness.

Another thing I do when gathering my pastels is to  grab several values of each color. Pastels aren’t like watercolor where you can just add water to it to make it lighter or more paint to make it darker. You need to make sure you have a variety of values in each color. These are the colors I picked for my pastel painting and when I was painting I ended up needed more darker tones. I will show you in the video how I worked around that but if you decide to do this painting I would pick some darker cool blues, greens, and violets.

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After selecting my pastels I gathered the rest of my supplies.

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For this piece I used 6×11 inch UArt sanded paper in 600 grit. I really love Uart paper because it can take a lot of layers really well. It is also easy to tone the paper yourself using watercolor or with pastels and rubbing alcohol (which is my preferred method).

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Some other tools I used with my painting include some old paint brushes and rubbing alcohol for the underpainting. The Ink is for blocking in the darks of the painting. I like to use rubber shapers and plastic pallet knives for blending the pastels. For this piece I only used the rubber shaper with the rounded tip which i found really helpful in shaping the clouds. Not pictured is a T Ruler that I used to draw my horizon line with.

Here is the complete list of supplies and tools I used and links so you can look into them in more detail:

Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil https://goo.gl/qgq9ew

Jack Richeson Soft Pastels https://goo.gl/kPCgvn

NuPastels https://goo.gl/Bf3aBV

Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks https://goo.gl/sJvcui

Uart Sanded Paper https://goo.gl/2Uf46y

Krylon Workable fixative https://goo.gl/aKKaVn

Rubber shaper https://goo.gl/rhDSEk

Plastic Pallet Knives https://goo.gl/nskzKU

Oil brush https://goo.gl/t2SVof

White Taklon Brush https://goo.gl/oNrgWj

T-Ruler https://goo.gl/GZRy1v

(Affiliate Links)

I hope you learn some new skills from watching this tutorial. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren

Mothers Love Speed Painting and Tutorial

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If you have been following my journey you know that one of my goals for 2018 is to start a YouTube channel and create painting tutorials. I am doing this as a way to help me get used to teaching my art process so that I can offer classes and eventually be able to travel the world giving art demonstrations. Teaching lessons online is a great away for me to develop those skills. Over the past few weeks I have been utilizing my Iphone to learn how to make videos and tutorials. I have even posted a few on to my YouTube channel.

Well today, I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone a little further and create a voice over for my latest video instead of just having it be a speed painting with music. I was super nervous doing it because I have never had to explain the how and the why of what I’m doing as I paint. It’s going to take some time and practice to get used to it but I am very proud of the fact that I did it even though I was nervous. We can’t improve on anything in life until we take the time to actually practice it. Thats why I can no longer remember how to play the piano, much to my mothers dismay.

The picture I am painting in this video is a commission I was asked to do as a gift for an OBGYN. When the client came to me with her idea for the painting I was ecstatic. I love doing bright, colorful, contemporary, and personal watercolor paintings and this fell into all those categories. It even inspired a whole series of colorful anatomy paintings that I will talk about and have available this Thursday.

Below is a list of the supplies and materials I used to create this piece and I’ve added links to where they can be purchased if your interested.

Mijello Mission Gold watercolors https://goo.gl/rNnRkt

Dr PH Martins White Bombay ink https://goo.gl/sJvcui

Mimik Synthetic Squirrel Brushes https://goo.gl/rqHEVR

Royal & Langnickel Brushes https://goo.gl/F5puvU

Arches Watercolor Paper https://goo.gl/iqjUfE

Pik Up Eraser https://goo.gl/8XShGW

Fine line Masking fluid https://goo.gl/bkaqpi

Kosher Salt

(Amazon Affiliate links)

I chose to use Mijello Mission Gold Watercolors because they were the least staining of my vibrant watercolors. The brighter the watercolor the more they tend to stain. For the techniques I typically use in my paintings I like having colors that stain because of the way they layer. However, the problem with staining colors is the obvious…they stain the paper and make it so the color is difficult to lift off. For this painting I knew I wanted add blooms to my piece using kosher salt and by dripping water on to the paper. For that to work I needed a paint that could lift off to some degree. This paint did that while still being very colorful and vibrant. The colors I used for this specific painting were: Red Violet, Bright Clear Violet, Cobalt Blue, Peacock Blue, Ultramarine Deep, and Yellow Green.

I also used Dr Ph Martins white india ink. It is a great ink to use when using watercolors because it is waterproof. You can put layers of watercolor over the top of it without reactivating it unlike a lot of gouache paints. It’s a semi-opaque when used as a watercolor but when applied in multiple layers it can become opaque.

The Mimik Brushes are my favorite watercolor brushes because they have a great point to them, aren’t to floppy, and hold a large amount of water and paint. I like using the Royal and Langnickel (R&L) brushes for ink instead of the watercolor brushes. Sometimes acrylic inks can be hard on on the fine bristles of the watercolor brush and I don’t want to risk ruining those. The R&L brushes are really economical and are sturdy enough to handle the ink without an issue.

Arches cold press paper is my go to watercolor paper. I love how absorbent it is, it helps the paint flow beautifully, and holds onto the pigment really well. Its also a sturdy paper and can handle many layers and vigorous scrubbing without getting damaged.

The fine line masking fluid is great because I can add masking fluid directly on the paper in tiny amounts without the risk of ruining a paintbrush. The pik up eraser and other rubber cement erasers are the best way I’ve found to remove masking fluid from your paper with out damaging it. In the video I couldn’t find mine so I used a clean rag (made from an old burp cloth) and rubbed it on the picture to get the masking fluid off. It worked fine but it took more work to do it that way.

For the salt I used Kosher salt because the bigger pieces create larger blooms. You can also use regular table salt for this you’ll just use a little more of it to get the larger blooms.

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Thanks for watching and if you have any questions about this painting or would like me to talk about any specific things in the realm of art, watercolors, pastels, running an art business, etc. let me know in the comments down and I will try to answer those questions.

-Lauren

Starting a Youtube channel

One of the goals I set for this year is to start a youtube channel.  This is one of my goals for the year that is really going to push me out of my comfort zone.

Last year I started videoing short time-lapse videos of my work for Instagram but I didn’t do anything that required much editing. So over the past few weeks I have been watching youtube tutorials about how to record and edit videos. Those helped give me a starting point. However, the best way for me to really learn the knowledge taught in those videos is by actually applying it to my life.  So after learning enough to stumble my way through the process I recorded my first full length time-lapse painting. I obviously have a lot to learn about producing high quality videos and will be making modifications to my recoding area in the upcoming weeks. You know what though, I did it and I am excited about that! I set a goal and I am actively working toward it and that is deeply satisfying. In the words of one of my favorite disney songs, “It’s a step in the right direction.”

So why youtube? Well as an artist youtube offers a great opportunity to expand my online reach. The more social media platforms that my work is shown on makes it so people can more easily find me and my work. Youtube is a visual based platform which really allows people to see my work and the process I use while creating.

Also one of my long term goals is to start teaching both in person and online based art classes. I wont be able to do that unless I get comfortable painting in front of people, the camera, and talking about what I am doing. Making videos is a great way to practice this skill. For now I am just trying to get used to recording and editing videos. In the upcoming months I will be adding voice overs and eventually do a more tutorial based format.

If you would like to follow me on youtube you can find me under the name: Lauren Watkins Art and hit red subscribe button.

I am nervous about starting this channel but I am more excited about the opportunities it will make available to me in the upcoming months and years.

What about you? Do you have any goals this year that make you both nervous and excited? Let me know in the comments below.

-Lauren