Friday, September 27, 2013

Fuzzman the Dog

Fuzzman relaxing after a snack of pellets and lettuce

I have been getting into doing pet portraits recently. Check them out at my Etsy Store. Here's the most recent one I did for a friend. This adorable pastel is of my friend's puppy who her kids call Fuzzman. Before they got the puppy they had two guinea pigs and now apparently Fuzzman is convinced he's a large and adorable guinea pig. He eats the pellets that fall out of the guinea pigs' cage and loves lettuce. Isn't he just the cutest?

Why don't I get to live in a cage?

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Friday, September 13, 2013

White Rabbits

Sometimes things just happen organically. I had ordered some masking fluid, although I have never tried it before so I was a little apprehensive. I opened the bottle, and wow, let's just say I haven't smelt such pungent fumes since my girls were in diapers! Nevertheless I decided to give it a whirl - even though some people have told me it leaves very hard clean edges. But sometimes what a girl needs is hard edges! In this case to create hard tufts of rabbit fur.

I  used watercolor paper and decided to start drawing out some white rabbits in pencil. Then I started putting down the masking fluid with a tiny brush where I wanted bits of highlighted fur. Then I started sponging in the shadows and forms of the rabbits. Things were looking good but I needed more texture so I troweled on some acrylic base that has these gritty beads in it and scribbled around in it with a fork to make it look even more like fur.

Then I let the painting dry trying to control myself from peeling off the masking fluid. When  the paint had tried I let it rip! Let me say that peeling off masking fluid is great fun  - a bit like the thrill of peeling off strips of sunburnt skin (or maybe that's just me). And it did indeed leave white patches that gave some wonderfully stark highlights to the rabbits' fur.

You can use an eraser or your fingers to take off the dried masking fluid
Leaving some interesting whiskery textures

Hmm....yes....those rabbits are starting to look very rabbity

That's it folks!
How do you find working with masking fluid? What subjects do you use it for? I think a lot of people use it for straight lines but it was fun to use it for something organic like rabbit fur.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Creating a Watercolor Step by Step

At school I had an art teacher who said 'A line is a journey from point to point.' That phrase meant both something and nothing. In the same way, a painting is a journey between a blank sheet of paper and one that is splotched with paint (with varying degrees of success.)

But to be a painter you have to keep on truckin! And keep on tryin'

You have to start somewhere!! Be it with a pencil scribble or a dab of paint.

I thought you might be interested in my process of creating a watercolor picture step by step so you can see how I do it. You never know, you might just learn something.

First, before we begin, look at your sheet of blank watercolor paper.

What do you feel?

Nervousness? Or maybe a smidgin of terror?

If like me you often think, help I am staring at a blank sheet of paper and don't know where to start, remember that a good place to start is with a wash. In this case I was painting a sunset so I diluted red, yellow and blue with water and did my first wash.

Slop the paint all over the place in several different directions.

When it had dried my first wash looked like this:

The second wash was more concentrated and I liberally used my water sprayer to keep things moist:

Working wet in wet I started adding in the skyline and the boat dock.

At this point I was happy with the airiness of the sky but I felt the bridge was too blue so I warmed it up with some warm browns. Also I felt that the angle of the dock wasn't dramatic enough so I made some adjustments. I liberally added another wash of red and one of yellow.

Then I decided to add some pastel highlights in warm golden tones to the water to bring it to life and to add dark green pastel to the horizon to give better perspective.

Finally I thought I had captured the view and the light glittering on the water and decided to leave it like this:

Sunset at Middle River, 2013 by Emma Kaufmann

I am pretty happy with the final picture. It is a view of a sunset at Middle River. I think the angle of the dock gives some added drama to the gorgeousness of the sunset.

Let me know what you think and hope you have enjoyed coming on my journey with me!!

Do stop by again soon.

Prints, mugs, cushions and other items of this painting can be bought HERE at Redbubble.