Tag: watercolor

Watercolor Workshop with Allan Servoss

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Once again I traveled to the Heyde Center for the Arts to take another three-day Allan Servoss workshop, this time in watercolor.

His watercolor work is amazing, and I left with a better understanding of design and color as well as a creative process that feels refreshing and, well, creative.

He had five main lessons with paintings that got progressively more challenging. We moved from brushwork to shape to negative painting, the entire time discussing color choices, paper, brushes, etc.

Notice the turtle in the painting above? I couldn’t help adding it. I could see a turtle so there it is.

The painting below of the ravine ended up being the one I did quite a bit of work on when I got home, and as a result, it looks as much like a drawing as a painting. I gave in and tuned to watercolor pencils for the details that I just had to add—tree trunks and roots and more trees.

We also had a chance to try painting on a varnished, textured surface. The paint sticks in a different manner, more like Yupo. For this project, we did our own designs, and I ended up with birds and a busy background. No surprise there.

It was a great workshop, and I am once again fascinated with watercolor.

Pen and Ink and… Watercolor?

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My reference photo was blurry, taken in low light after the sun went down. Instead of putting in a detailed background and adding a lot of contrast to the deer, I kept everything soft.

Honest-to-goodness watercolor, something I set aside years ago in favor of pencils and fountain pens. I’m getting ready for a watercolor workshop, so I bought a few new brushes, some M. Graham watercolors, and tried a new paper, Canson rough. I think the break was needed. I’ve spent a lot of time sketching and taking a design course in embroidery, and I have a different process than before. It’s funny how much I enjoyed painting these deer, but using a brush! That will take some getting used to.

The truth is, only on occasion do I use fountain pens with sharp line work. Most of the time, my pen and ink sketches look like watercolor.

Pen and ink in a Strathmore 500 sketchbook. This is a rooster who lives at our new boarding stable. He’s a friendly fellow.
Monochromatic but still watercolor-ish. Pete, drawn with Monteverdi Blue Azure and the amazing Sailor Realo with a Zoom nib, my all-time favorite pen.

More Marker Sketches

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This cow was sketched on my favorite paper, Stonehenge.

I love paint and I love pencil. Combine the two, and you probably get a marker, so what’s not to love? I’ve been using my Staedtler watercolor set quite a bit, like on the cow above. And I’ve ventured into the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens. They use India ink, so the end product is permanent, water resistant, and lightfast. Both bird sketches are done with Pitt pens, and all sketches have a wee bit of a white gel pen here and there. Yes, I’m broadening my horizons and can now say it’s okay to use a white pen.

A goose on Stonehenge paper.
Cedar Waxwing on Duralar.

Watercolor Brush Pens

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I used about four or five of my photos to piece together this watercolor. It measures 19”x12”.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ve found a perfect medium, a cross between drawing and painting, the watercolor brush pen. I bought a cheap set and loved using them. I already have a set of Winsor and Newton watercolor markers but it never clicked. I’ll give them another try, but in the meantime, this set of 36 Staetdler markers are not lightfast, but they’re vivid and work well with a waterbrush.