painting Island LightHouse at night

Painting light may seem intimidating, but I have some tricks that will make it look like you are an artist!

My notes:

Watercolor is translucent, so if you put down yellow, then put down blue, you're going to get a muddy looking green in your sky. To avoid that, you need a bit of a small white buffer between your blue and your yellow.

To do that:

1. paint and let the yellow (light) dry first, remember you don't want a hard edge. you want the yellow to fade into the white of the paper. 

2. Once the light (yellow) is dry, add your night sky. I like to start farthest away from the light and move in. when you get to the light (yellow) make sure there are no hard lines, and make sure you are leaving just a bit of white so you don't accidentally over paint onto the yellow.

3. WALK AWAY! seriously, put that brush down, walk away, clean up your crafty mess, read to your child, make supper, find something to do to not touch or mess with it until it dries!

It really is that simple!

Materials used:
Hobby Lobby Watercolor 140 lb paper cut to 5.5x4.25

Blue Knight Rubberstamps Island Lighthouse
Prima Watercolor Decadent Pie Pallet
Size 6 round simply Simmon brush

Happy Painting!

I learned how to paint light in Angela Fehr's Sky clinic class, I learned so much about how to paint light (the sun)

Want to learn more about how to paint fearlessly like me? I am a self-taught Artist, I started an in-depth watercolor series 18 months ago, my teacher and mentor Angela Fehr has helped me Paint how I feel.
I recommend all of her classes (I am her watercolor university student and Mastery student.)

Check out Angela's free watercolor Jumpstart class It's worth it!
I love her Watercolor Card class

Paint with me: Rainbow and Unicorn Blue Knight Stamps

I am really stoked that I found a way to make a magical card for my daughter and all of her friends in about 10 minutes.

Using watercolor to paint a rainbow just makes sense, so when you add pearl colors (shimmery gorgeous goodness) It becomes magical! You can also use regular watercolors, it's just super fun to paint with pearl colors for this card!

As always Thank you for supporting my blog, and I can't wait to see what you have created!

Class Review: Angela Fehr Watercolor Work out

Prairie Grass- inspired by an intuitive painting session from my warm-ups.

You know that excitement that comes when you start something new or start something you have been missing? That is how I feel when I dig deeper and stretch myself with watercolor. In less than a month I (you too) have an opportunity to paint alongside Angela Fehr in her Watercolor Workshop class! I loved taking this class, and I hope to learn more of the mastery techniques that she has shown in this class. If you had taken her Lovely Loose Floral class in the early fall it looks like it will be very similar to that, with daily check-ins and lots of great critiques. I just want to shout out that IT'S GREAT TO BE A SELF TAUGHT ARTIST! Thank you, Angela, for being so dedicated to teaching watercolor to your students! Really, it means a lot to me, and to other students that are on your Watercolor Mastery. 
The Plein Air piece that made it into the gallery during the Plein Air Art Festival

Enough of me going on about how excited I am about this interactive watercolor workshop starting February 4th, I think she picked the PERFECT time when everyone is going a bit stir crazy from being inside all winter long right?  

Here are some of the Highlights that I have taken away from the class that has helped me become a better painter:

1. There are 9 lessons, unlike most of her classes, she isn't building on paintings. The 9 different lessons to help you learn what your style is. That makes me happy, Sometimes I need to be pushed with different ways of painting, and trying new watercolor mediums to develop more as an artist. 

2. The Plein Air Section helped me understand what Plein Air was and wasn't. I am so glad I tried Plein Air, and I loved it so much that her lesson pushed me to be involved in our local Plein Air festival. 

Plein Air piece that I loved painting.
3. Recreating a work from the masters helps us understand composition and value, the work is already done for you, you just get to play with how you would paint it to help you develop your style. This lesson goes great with the book how to steal like an artist by Austin Kleon. Good stuff! (you won't find my masters painting examples here, It's harder than I thought. But this time around I will focus on Georgia Okeefe, Maybe a Matisse. I have my favorite Artists, it depends on my mood on what I want to paint. (who knows I may surprise my self and do something with animals.)
Memory swept landscape Inspired by all those roads in Rural Iowa in the summer!

4. Creating a Landscape Painting from Memory. This was where I shined the most, I had so much fun painting from memory. I love what Angela said "that your mind filters out the important things, those are the things you should focus on" Those details are what stood out in your mind, and that is what you as an artist picked up.  Reference photos are great, but using your mind and artistic abilities has so much more merit than relying on a reference photo.  
using your warm-ups for card panels! (Taylored Expressions Stamp)

5. Keep your paintings. Mixed Media is another art form you can do with your not so good paintings. I have tons of them that now when I am in a funk and need to play for art sake, I get out my old paintings that didn't amount to anything and do some mixed media stuff to them. Like using stamps to add a background, or using ink to add lines and movement to my painting. Nothing is off limits! 

sketch for a landscape painting I am working on
6. Last but not least (there was so much I have learned from this class) is that when you start your painting session it's imperative to play with your watercolors. USE YOUR SKETCHBOOK.  I don't think she screamed it, but the fact that we need to warm up before we do any serious fun painting should be after we warmed up and feel like painting, Paint once you are in the mindset of leaving the world/ your troubles behind you. 

As always her lessons make you feel empowered, and that is huge for a stay at home mom artist! Big Thank you, Angela! 

Available to anyone who wants to learn more about watercolor 

By clicking on the links you are supporting my blog. I am an affiliate with Angela Fehr, Thank you for your support!

week 3 of Watercolor Mastery

Paint along with Angela, using color theory and brush handling.
Listen to your heart, what is your mood telling you, what colors fit your mood...

This week was all about how to create with color, and use that color theory to add harmony into your paintings.

I loved this straightforward approach, I love studying all about color. I love learning about the different relationships colors have with other colors and the relationship between color and the viewer.

This week wasn't the most creative week for me in terms of producing works that I personally made, this week was all about painting along with Angela, which for this week was a good thing.

Winter Scene using warm and cool complimentary colors
My ahh hah moment or take away was this: Angela is fearless in her watercolor because she knows her subject well, she has painted the same scene a handful of times and by the time she is ready to teach it, she knows exactly how to paint it, and what colors, Like in so many things in life, we have to learn and experiment before we get it just right, sorta like your grandma's favorite chicken noodle recipe, she has made that at least 100 times in her life, it's the best because she has made it over and over. Same with most art that is created. Van Gogh, Monet, O'Keeffe, painted the same subjects over and over again, why? to learn! So my take away is paint something until you get it so good you want to teach it!

Today while painting and doing some warm-up exercises, I was reminded of being fearless in watercolor, and fearless with the color choices you choose. So I did, and I  found a lot of freedom in painting more how I feel with color than I did when I carefully chose what color because of the name. It was liberating!

As the next couple weeks continue, I am excited to shift from learning and painting along to going out and painting from my own reference photo's and get more of how I would like my style to be!
Autumn forest using expressive lines and bold colors.

I will say that in between painting sessions, I would feel like a fish out of water because I was using colors in ways I hadn't thought about or even wanted to try, I was always afraid of adding more than 5 colors to a painting, but introducing colors really does help add more drama to the page!

Thanks, Angela, I learned a lot and I can't wait to start painting again this week!

I am curious if your color choices are a go-to tool in your toolbox? I know want to paint all the things in vivid and beautiful color, with some neutrals I have made!

Week 2 on my Watercolor Mastery journey

This week was intense with watercolor. I went to bed thinking about my paintings, then woke up thinking about those paintings.

Watercolor was on my mind, It's funny how when you are as stubborn as I am, (Taurus) that you just don't back down.
What I mean is, all my free time was spent watercoloring. not on Social Media, not on watching Netflix, although I did manage to watch some Netflix while painting. My point: You can still produce watercolor paintings even when you think you can't find the time.

Going into the week, I knew it was a busy week, PTO stuff, Two field trips for my 4th grader (one was a trip to the art center) Can't pass that one up, the Georgia O'Keeffe and Matisse are my favorite ones! While Family will always come first, I still hungered for my creative time.

So I persevered. Finding those 15 minutes of time here and there along the way. I was surprised at just how much you can fit into a 30-minute painting session. As Artist's, we are so melodramatic! I thought there is no way I can produce art in 30 minutes. YOU TOTALLY CAN!

This week was all about learning to see and paint Value (the contrast between light and dark) I was totally ready as a professional photographer once a lifetime ago (Before Kids) I thought, I got this, This week was harder than I thought.

Seeing Value is one thing, That's easy! Painting Value, and understanding your paint and the value it has is a completely different ball game. I am so glad I didn't give up.

used my own reference photo, It had been something I had been doodling for a while and thought now it needed to be a painting. I planned my value studies, and came up with a good game plan and was off to paint.

I am happy with the end result, only because It taught me how to successfully paint a background, (negative painting)  Good I thought the assignment was over.

While thinking I could never paint like Angela, NEVER (again with my melodramatic antics) I thought, I am not supposed to paint like Angela, she wants me to paint in my style, ok, I will... So I actually used her recommended reference photo and really took her lessons to heart, but didn't paint like her. I painted in a way that I wanted too... literally for the first time. And I loved the result. I see lots of things I would change, but I loved the process, and hope to do more like this until I find the right way of how to paint the way I feel.  Thank you, Angela, for helping me feel and paint what I feel!

Add caption

I was able to get in some structured play time this week with watercolor, you know that time when you are painting, but it feels more like an escape from your world?

I loosely followed how to do leaf print tutorial and made those leaf prints into a painting, Third time was a charm!  I was happy with the composition and went to bed thinking of other color schemes that I want to try, watercolor is so addicting!

Snowfall on the river bank

Lastly, I used my new Daniel Smith Colors, (the Primatek set) I like to call it the Mineral set, These colors are amazing! and did another pallet knife/ no brush painting. I loved it, I used tissue paper, a fork, and a palette knife instead of my brush, I can't wait to try another painting like this! While painting this landscape, thoughts of QI (Chinese brush painting philosophy/term) came entering into my mind, and before I knew what I was doing my painting was done. It felt magical.  I'm leaving this piece alone and will frame it. I love this painting, I love how it made me feel while I was painting this. Do you see the snowy river bank? I just love this painting!

Although I had doubts about my watercolor journey this week, I learned to doubt my doubts before you doubt what you are capable of. That I did, and am grateful for my stubbornness to not give up when I wanted too, I would not have had the breakthrough that I did!

If you have dreamed of painting loosely and love watercolor I recommend this free class from Angela Fehr! 

If you are following along with me, Here is week one, 

Week one in Watercolor mastery with Angela Fehr

First Snow- Final for Week 1 in WC Mastery 

I needed a Creative distraction, and Week one of my Watercolor class helped me have that distraction that I hungered for.

Hungered to me is the right word, I was creatively starved. This class Angela has created meets you where you are as an artist! I felt like I was still in the newbie stage, where I knew all the techniques and the mindset of how to watercolor, but I was struggling to paint something more original.

This week was all about exploring your tools, and what you love about watercolor. I have so many ideas on how I want to develop my watercolor style! That I want to paint all day long.

Painting all day long is not an option for this busy stay at home mom with three kids! So taking Angela's Advice I spend a small amount of time in the morning (before breakfast) to paint for about 15 minutes. I can't believe how much creativity can come just from painting a little bit before the kiddo's wake up. then I start a small studio session once my youngest is in Pre-school. That is where I learn.

Then I try to find little bits during the day to "paint" doddle, created, learn, and read the suggested reading materials. By the way, the books are amazing! I can't wait to really dig in and do those exercises as well, to help with my style.

My Ahh Hah! moments that Angela taught, and finally sank in into my work:

my paintings in process

sketchbook play

The paper doesn't Owe you anything, play around with it, make mistakes, those mistakes often lead to those breaks through
!  I love my sketchbook for that! (but need a watercolor sketchbook for Plein air!

Do What you feel: That is where you will find your style! Then ask your self What do I want? Go with that feeling! 

And lastly: Use more Fresh Paint from the Tube! (I love the vibrancy and the intensity of the pigment straight out of the tube of watercolor!

My take away from week 1 Watercolor Mastery:
Learning to use the tools I already have, has made me want to do some mixed media pieces with watercolor, stencils, and gesso! I forgot how much fun it is to get my hands messy, and not worry too much about how loose and fluid my work is! I can't wait to play around with that!

Painting with colors that make you happy and help you convey the mood of the picture. I spent an afternoon outside with my Qorr Natural and Chroma Watercolor pallet, I was planning to paint what I saw, And I did, but when I was able to get to my "studio" (dining room table) I used all the vibrant colors that made my heart sing, using the knowledge of color theory, I was able to be happy with the color choices and that made my heart sing!

My Break Through this week: Color! I am loving the color choices and the way color can help make the mood of the painting yours! Watch for more dramatic uses in color in my paintings!

If you are learning watercolor, or want to learn how to watercolor, Angela has a ton of great content on her website. I have taken over 90% of her classes and love them all, they are a great resource for all artists!  Here is one of my favorite ones that started it all for me! Or try her free class for everyone! (it's worth watching!)

 Sketchbook play
 Happy Painting! Doubt Not, Fear Not!

How to watercolor a Christmas card in 5 minutes with 3 colors

It's possible to paint something in just about 5 minutes, and I have the perfect tutorial for you.

Are you like me and love to paint sunsets? This card is perfect for you!

Using the Snowy village stamp by Blue Knight Stamps is one of my favorite stamps for watercolor cards for Christmas that isn't a green or red card.

I would love to know if you look for stamps that you can add a sunset too? I know I can't be the only one right? 

Enjoy the process and creativity! 

Happy Creating!
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