Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dead Sea - New Art!

"Dead Sea"

Here is my newest painting! This is a commissioned painting. I was given free reign with a photo the client gave me. I love commissions like this! Since I've been on a mermaid kick lately, here is another! :) I believe this will be my last mermaid for a little while though.

5 x 7" watercolor and white gouache.
Prints are available on my website, eBay and Etsy!

I discovered something simple but neat while working on this painting. I discovered that there is indeed a difference between using zinc white gouache and titanium/permanent white. A while back I'd done some reading about gouache painting because I was thinking and still hope to do some all-gouache paintings someday. I'd read that zinc white isn't as opaque as titanium white, but it is good for making tints. When I first began combining white gouache with my watercolor, I mainly used it to add some white highlights here and there, so for that I wanted the most opaque white. Over the years my techniques have changed some. I paint in watercolors in transparent and opaque techniques. I know the traditional watercolor approach is to use watercolor and let the white of the paper show through. For the most part I do paint that way, but I do like to use other techniques such as bodycolor, which is the use of opaque watercolor (either all-gouache or by mixing opaque white with transparent watercolor). I usually do this by mixing a little of a color (watercolor) with white gouache. I was never a stickler for tradition and am more concerned with the final result.

I've been using this technique with titanium/permanent white for several years now, since that was the white I had. While at Michaels last week I saw a tube of zinc white and remembered what I'd read about it being good for making tints. Since that is basically what I've been doing I bought the tube and tested it out on this painting. I have to say that I love this white so much better for my technique of painting! It is a more sheer white, but this works so great for building up subtle layers! And it can become very opaque when desired. I only used zinc white for the gouache parts of this painting, which includes much of the skeleton fish, the bright highlights and detailing in her hair and scales. It seems like it blends better with the watercolor and looks more natural and less chalky. I've always wondered whether it would really make a difference... now I know. :)  I'm sure there will still be times when the opaqueness of titanium white will be better suited, but I'm glad that I made this discovery about zinc white for my bodycolor techniques!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sea Swept Series

I knew I wanted to paint another mermaid. I wanted to do another one in a similar scene/color scheme as my painting, From the Dark Depths. So I was trying to come up with the right pose that I wanted for her. I wanted her sitting up more, not lying down like in "FTDD." So often for paintings when I'm trying to figure out a layout for them, I'll do rough little sketches just to get an idea of how I want it before I do a final sketch. I sketched several poses (pictured right) and I still couldn't decide. I even posted this on Facebook and asked for opinions, but ultimately I was fond of several of these. So I decided that I had to do the few I liked best and make a series of them.

I've always felt that I needed more mermaids in my gallery anyway! I think that I have about enough to give them their own gallery on my website soon! :)

Here are the finished paintings! I painted them all using the exact same coloring but done in different ways. It was fun to see all the different combinations that could be done. All are 5 x 7" watercolor and white gouache. The prints and originals are available on my website HERE.