Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Questions on How-To Friday’s

It’s coming up on three months of blogging How-To Friday’s. I have been concentrating on watercolour, which is my first love. I am open to expanding this into other painting medium but before I do, I have some questions.

Are you finding these How-To blogs helpful?

What would you like to see covered in these postings?

What are your special areas of interest?

Are you interested in seeing posts using other media?

Which ones?
I could gear these How-To Friday's blogs to something you are more interested in if you could take a few minutes to answer these questions in the comments section.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Born to Blog – A Book Review

While wandering through a book store recently, I found a book called Born to Blog. After reading the back cover and skimming through the book, I decided to purchase it. Since I have been working on my blog trying to post on a regular basis I thought that finding this book was timely.

Born to Blog – Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post at a Time is well written and easy to read. The authors provide a review of common traits of successful bloggers. They determined that bloggers have a similar set of skills – Dreamers, Storytellers, Persuaders, Curators or Teachers. They expand on these skill sets in further detail and even provide a small quiz to help you determine your skill set. Some portions of the book do apply more to businesses (as the title indicates) but even these chapters have something to offer the personal bloggers. They discuss How to Measure the Success of your Blog; Developing a Content Plan as well as how frequently you need to post and have a section on how to handle negative comments. There is a chapter devoted to Personal Blogs and Blogging Habits (something I need to work on).

All in all, I have found this book to have some excellent suggestions on how to write, plan and track how well my blog is doing.

Born to Blog
Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post at a Time
Mark W. Schaefer and Stanford Smith, Copyright 2013
McGraw Hill
ISBN 978-0-07-181116-3
CDN $12.95

Friday, 8 November 2013

How-To Friday’s – Painting Snow

The Stacy of the ACEO Challenge blog is hosting a Swap. The theme of this Swap is Winter/Snow/Christmas. If you are interested in joining the swap send your name and address to Stacy at the email address provided in her posting.

In since the swap involves snow, I thought that would a good topic for today’s posting.

There is a nice article on the Artists Loft website called “Making Snow Sparkle” How to layer watercolor to make snow look bright white. It was written by William H. Hays; The Artist's Magazine, February 1992. It is still relevant today.

Deb Watson shows "How To Paint Snow Scenes inWatercolor". In this demo, she paints with a limited palette using only four colours.

Also, in an earlier posting on Creating Texture with Salt, Lee Pierce commented that Salt is a good way to imitate falling snow in a winter landscape. Give that a try!
Work in Progress - Acrylic

Monday, 4 November 2013

Reference Photographs

I’m not a photographer so I won’t be getting into various cameras, lens or all the attachments here. I don’t have any bells and whistles on my camera. My camera does an adequate job for my purposes at the moment. Regardless of which camera you own, they are not perfect. The view your eye sees through the viewfinder is not the same as the image captured. They aren’t the same colour. The lights are too light and shadows are too dark and often they lack depth of field.

I can’t blame all my bad photos on the camera though. I have my fair share of blurry pictures and family members who are missing the top half of their head. Some bad photographs are just that, bad. Some, however, are excellent for references.

Reference photographs are a collection of photographs you put together on various themes. This collection is used as inspiration for creating original artwork.
Start a collection of photographs of possible subjects for painting. Organize your photos into categories to make it easy to find the different elements you want – sky, water, trees, flowers, barns for example. You can use the sky from one picture, the water/waves from another to compose your painting.

Keep some photos of people and some of benches and flower pots or other objects that draw your eye. You could include some of these elements in landscape or cityscape paintings.

You want pictures that aren’t too busy. Look for simple shapes both positive and negative. Keep your great shots, but not as a reference photo. You may be tempted to just copy it and where is the challenge in that?

Arrange these photos where you can access them easily either in photo albums, binders, file folders or boxes or even on the computer; whatever works for you. I prefer to hold the photographs in my hand so all my photos are on standard size 4 x 6 inches paper. Once you have decided how you want to organize your reference photographs treat yourself to an “Organize your Photos Day”. Have your organizational supplies on hand and a beverage of your choice and start organizing your photos. Have fun with it and maybe even share the day with your artist friends.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

How-To Friday's - Painting Skies

So OK it’s really Saturday. I’m a day late with my posting – computer problems – now resolved.
Today you will find three great videos on painting skies.

Patrick Ley-Greaves shows how to paint How To Paint A Blue Sky With Clouds he is using only three colours.

Wilson Bickford shows a wet-in-wet technique in How to Paint a Watercolor Sky.

Bob Davies paints a stormy sky in his video How To Paint A Stormy,Atmospheric Sky In Watercolors.

Some interesting skies from my photo collection.