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Dali Lama once said, that successful meditation did not require anything special.
The place did not matter.
The equipment was irrelevant.
Whether one was to find a quiet space was not of concern.
All that was required for effective meditation, he said, was the willingness to take a few moments to focus as best you could on the task.
I’d say, that these words are perfectly suitable to painting.
Of course, beautiful surroundings and comfortable studio could be very helpful, but what is really important is to take time, concentrate on your art and practice.
Don’t be focused on perfection, work for progress in small daily steps. Breath, smile and enjoy!
Painting is a kind of meditation 😊🎨🧘🏻♀️❤️
A Watercolor Painting isn’t really done until it’s framed.
The proper matting and frame can preserve and protect a watercolor and show off it in a best way.
Every frame should be handsome by itself, but remain as a complementary backdrop to the painting.
When it’s possible, it’s always a good idea to order a custom frame made by the artisan framer.
The one from my photo is done by Ciro Scala “Scala” in Torre del Greco (Via Nazionale 32-Torre del Greco- NA) but you should seek out the best framer close to your home.
The mat that goes around your watercolor should be white, cream white, or a very light, neutral colour, such as beige or light gray.
The frame should be simple or non-distracting from the painting.
The width of the frame should be different than the width of the mat and well balanced ( here an expert framer’s advice will be very helpful).
As most watercolors are done on paper, they must be framed under glass. It’s the reason the paintings are usually shipped unframed, without heavy and fragile frames.
I’d advice plexiglas frames because the plastic can damage the art over a long period of time.
If you would like commission portrait in Watercolor for you or your friends, come to visit my Etsy Shop.
I am always happy to receive your feedbacks and photos. Feel free to contact me anytime.
Working in Watercolor involves using a lot of water. If you put a fair amount of water on a light weight (less than 140 lb/ 300 gsm) sheet of paper, you will see it start to curl.
Heavy paper can absorb more water and doesn’t need stretching.
Heavy paper can be very expensive, but in my opinion is always preferable.
After experiencing different types of paper, I stopped my choice on Arches Watercolor Paper.
Arches Aquarelle: the paper chosen by professional artists since 1492. This heavy weight paper (I’m using 650 gsm weight) is made of pure cotton according to the ancient technique and characterised by a natural grain. This process makes paper more stable, which deforms very little when wet, thanks to a better distribution of the long cotton fibers.
This paper is also great because of very high resistance to scraping and an exceptional color rendering.
I’m using large wooden board (several inches larger than the paper) and fix the paper on the board using the paper scotch tape.
Some artists are used to staples, but I’d avoid destroying painting surface with holes.
When the painting is finished and it’s completely dry, I remove the tape, leaving nice white boarders.
Hope to be helpful!
You’re welcome to visit my Etsy gallery to take a look on the finished artworks results https://etsy.com/shop/AnnaGArte
How do you decide what makes a good subject for a painting? You can rely on tried and tested themes, the timeless repertoire that historically makes good pictures: the bowl of fruit, the vase of flowers, the nude or classic postcard view.
But what about other ideas?
Much around us, the details and small corners, the events that move us emotionally – these too are visually interesting, but not always immediately obvious to us as inspirational subjects for paintings.
Learning to see, learning to feel ‘… the artist has only to trust his eyes.’ Rodin
Most people probably accept there is nothing the artist cannot paint, but, even knowing this, still find it difficult to pick out from the view in front of them the inspiration for a good painting.
One of my favorite Watercolor Artists Mary Whyte teaching her students that they have to identify what they are feeling in order to paint, that the quality of their production is not primarily about technique or copying.
As artists, we paint from our hearts as well as our heads.
As Mary saying: “Painting is not just about matching a tube of paint to the object. They should be recording what the summer sky feels like, or with a cuff of lace, what really matters is how it momentarily gathers and falls around the sitter’s delicate pale wrist, its lithe stillness matching hers. And that, in a moment, the sitter and her lace cuff will rise from the chair and, like a fleeting cloud, disappear.”
Truly learning to paint then becomes, in large part, a matter of learning how to see. This means we must become masters at observing and feeling the world around us before we can begin to express it on an easel.
It also becomes a matter of knowing ourselves.
Everything that we paint is in some way who we are.
Each of us is given the same set of colors with which to compose our lives, certain themes continually creep into our work.
With time, our creations become less like those of another’s.
It doesn’t matter in painting if there is no real life. The only reality is the painting itself!
No thing by itself is beautiful. All things change their appearance according to our point of view.
Objects are beautiful, or not, depending on our response to them. Just as a falling tree in the woods needs someone to hear it in order for it to make a sound, a vision needs reaction in order for it to be noteworthy.
Our true aim as artists should be to nurture the sensitive quality and appreciative imagination that we once had as children. As we grow up, society suppresses much of creativity as fanciful or wasteful. We spend most of our lives attempting to act like mature adults, and then wonder why our lives seem empty. Where did all the fun go?
When we are truly engaged in the experience of living and are not concerned with worldly expectations, the fruit of an artistic expression is inevitable.
It will happen in spite of ourselves.
Trust your feelings and emotions!
I’m wishing you to discover your personal journey and invite you to visit my Etsy gallery https://etsy.com/shop/AnnaGArte
Further advisable reading – “An Artist’s Way of Seeing” book by Mary Whyte
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) worked in watercolor throughout his career, but it wasn’t until he was in his forties, already famous painter, that his interests in the medium accelerated.
Exploring here the use of Dry Brush technique to express almost any subject on paper.
The term dry brush is actually a misnomer, as the paint on the brush is really damp.
With dry brush you use just a small amount of paint on the brush, working on dry or damp textured paper and dragging the brush across it to create broken areas of color or interesting textural brushstrokes.
By holding the handle low so that it is almost parallel to the paper, you will achieve the best results.
The technique is especially good for painting things like the bark of a tree, a course beard, hair, water and so on….
Here some great examples from Sargent’s masterful watercolors.
The first component to all pure Watercolor painting is the wash.
A wash is a Color laid into an area too big to be accomplished by a single brushstroke.
The wash can be done on either wet or dry paper with different outcomes.
If the paper is wet, the wash will flow faster and smoothly (imagine painting smooth texture of sky).
A wash on Wet paper
Laying a wash on wet paper will leave no visible brushstrokes.
Cover the surface with Clean water using a Large brush.
Mix a Large puddle of color on your palette.
Always mix more color than you think you’ll need, since stopping halfway may cause patches and uneven results.
Maintain the same tilt of the board while applying the wash.
When making a large wash, paint a stroke, then attach another stroke beneath it.
Before the first brushstroke has time to dry.
Quickly reload the brush and paint the next horizontal stroke, touching the bead edge of the previous stroke.
It is important to work quickly and with the same speed, always reloading the brush with the same amount of paint and water.
A wash on Dry paper
A wash that is laid on dry paper will have controlled edges.
If you want your wash to maintain a specific shape, apply it on paper that is completely dry.
Make sure that the board is always on a tilt and that you always start the wash at the top, using horizontal brushstrokes.
Always use the Big Brush, making sure to put enough paint on it and work quickly.
You can combine different colors, creating marvellous Variegated Washes with different colours mingling together.
There is no “right” technique or style to painting people. The way I paint is only One way.
With earnest effort and hard work, you will find Your way.
Painting Portraits is a special breed of art. It requires sound drawing skills and general understanding of human anatomy and how it works.
Nonetheless, it is not enough to be a portrait painter. First and Foremost you must be an Artist, a maker of images that appeal to the Senses.
– Mary Whyte