Early in January, I bought different packs of watercolor pads from Jackson’s Art. I wanted to try different brands of watercolor paper. One of which was a pack of 25 Fabriano Artistico postcards. I painted on these cards in January only when I felt like painting.
My first postcard was a winter scene from Niigata Prefecture in Japan where my friend Grace lives.
I guess I was busy from February to May because the next postcard I painted was done in June. I also have painting tutorial on how to paint these tulips.
I was pretty hard working in June and painted all these.
In July, I challenged myself to not paint flowers and I was happy with this little accomplishment that I posted this photo on Facebook.
Two of my friends (who happened to be husband and wife) took notice and asked me if they can buy all the postcards. I knew I had 4 empty postcards left of the 25 so I offered that they might want to wait for the rest of the postcards to be painted so they could chose which postcards they would like to buy. Without hesitation, they offered that they will buy all the 25 postcards. My jaw dropped. They have not even seen the rest of the 15 postcards! I am grateful that they appreciate my art. As a little token for their appreciation, I asked what they wanted me to paint on those 4 postcards. My friend asked for postcards representing the four seasons. She picked what subjects to paint and it was up to me how I was going to paint them. I made these.
And I then I found out I still have an extra postcard so I decided to paint this.
And these are all the post cards in one photo. I hope my friends like them all.
Since I will be saying goodbye to all these postcards, I made a Youtube video!
I finally got around into writing another art tutorial. It is almost the end of July and it is World Watercolor Month. For this month, I challenged myself to not paint flowers so this tutorial is about painting cherries. The reference photo for this painting is from Pexels.
I always start with a drawing and I marked all the areas where I put my highlights and shadows.
I used Raphael kolinsky round brushes (size 2 and 4) and I used Daler-Rowney watercolors. For this painting, I used alizarin crimson, cadmium red, prussian blue, chinese white, viridian and yellow ochre.
To get the colors I wanted that are close to the dark red plump cherries. I play with these three colors: alizarin crimson, cadmium red, prussian blue. I mix alizarin crimson with prussian blue when painting the areas and the shadows. I used the individual colors to match the different tones in the cherry.
Whenever I start painting, I always have this fear that I would be wasting my time trying to paint and end up with unsatisfactory painting. I like to scare myself that way. (Praning-praningan. hehehe) When I started, the first cherry did not look like a cherry at all. Honestly, I was not sure if I am going to successfully paint it but I continued painting. It took me almost two hours to complete the painting.
As you can see there were areas that I avoided painting, those are the areas for highlighting. Cherries have shiny skin. To show that shine, you need to leave areas unpainted because it is easier to add color to these areas later than to remove the pigment. For me, the markings on the drawing where to put the highlights and shadows are helpful in the painting process. I have not yet developed the skill of painting from memory. I still need planning on how to tackle a certain painting. I always look at the reference photo as a whole and try to understand where the light source is and how the light casts shadows on the surface. I also try to identify the different colors on the object so even if we see that the cherry is dark red, there are different shades of red you can see and these shades depend on how the light illuminates the surface. This is how I study the subject so that it would closely resemble the real thing.
In every painting I work on, I always have a tissue near my palette to easily blot the excess water on the brush. I also have another paper on the side where I test if I mixed the right color.
My usual painting technique when using watercolor is to apply my strokes using a dry and more saturated color on the dark areas and I gradually spread the color using a wet brush. I use this technique when my subject is either a flower, fruit or animal. It may look like I am very certain and precise about my strokes and colors. In reality, I am really looking at the reference photo every now and then and I paint the different shades on the different areas as I see fit.
At this point, the painting is slowly taking shape. Attention to details is important in realistic paintings. Each little highlight and fine stroke contribute to the painting a whole. This is one of the benefits in learning how to paint; you tend to be very observant of your surroundings.
All these colors used in painting cherries are the different colors that are produced from mixing alizarin crimson, cadmium red and prussian blue. These are the specific pigments I used. You can also try different shades of red available in you palette. Try to experiment one bright red pigment, one medium red and one dark blue or any combination of red and blue. Cherries have stages of ripeness and different varieties so different combinations of reds and blues could still result to a realistic painting.
Painting a glass jar can look challenging. It is easier to paint it by studying the jar. Understand that this jar is a clear object. It does not have color. The reflection of the cherries on the surface tells us that this is a glass jar. Also try to observe the way the light hits the surface. For the rim and grooves on jar, I see shades of light gray to gray on the surface of the glass. I used the existing colors on my palette . I mixed everything which made the mixture close to black and when I mix black with white, I get grey. The different shades of gray is dependent on the amount of white mixed in. In that way, I did not have use tube of black paint. I get save on paint by the the colors I already have in my palette.
In painting a jar, you do not have to paint the entire shape. You just paint the reflection and shadows and when finished, you can already see the shape of the container. When looking at the reference photo, I really try to identify the very dark areas and try to replicate it in the painting. The contrast between light and dark adds depth and makes the painting look real.
For the finishing touches, I went over the painting and started blending the colors until I was satisfied with the outcome.
I am an oil painting newbie. My friends gave me this Daler-Rowney set when I did commissions for them. (Such generous friends! Thank you, Maea and Randy!) It took me 8 months to try oil painting. I got the set last October and I got the brushes from Jackson’s Art in January.
But I was only able to buy linseed oil last week.
My friend, Jeanne, who asked me to teach her how to paint flowers in acrylic, has done several oil paintings already. She is so artistic! (And a fast learner!) So I asked her where she was able to buy linseed oil. She referred me to a local bookstore. When I was able to finally buy linseed oil, I tried to learn how to paint with oils. I also watched the Youtube videos of Lena Danya and Andrew Tischler.
This was something new that I was going to try so I documented my learning journey though a vlog! This was also the first time that I was in front of the camera talking about my art. LOL. I was very awkward. Hahaha Twenty years from now, I hope I would be able to look at this video and see my younger self with much fondness even with the grammar mistakes I made. ( Bisaya is my default language.) Here’s my video:
I shared my thoughts and realizations in the middle of the video and at the end of the video. Oil painting is difficult! Perhaps I will write another blog post about that.
These are my oil painting outputs.
I also painted botanicals with oils.
Comparing my output with my watercolor painting, I have better result with watercolors. I think I should focus on watercolors for now. Hahaha!
I am happy I have the time to do watercolor painting this month so I have another time lapse video on Youtube! It is a quick painting process. I was not doing much detailed work. I am still in process of practicing my strokes before I paint something for sale on Artfinder.
I am lucky to have friends who had my back and Wela was one of them. It is only fitting to write about her today, her special day. So let me tell you how awesome Wela is.
1. She is one of my longtime friends. Our friendship spanned 32 years and counting. We first became friends when we were seatmates in grade 4. Both our mothers accompanied us on our first day of school and sat us together after telling us that we are cousins.
This is her grade 4 ID picture which I kept. I did not even have a copy of my own ID picture but I have hers with dedication from her.
2. She taught me how to draw Garfield and we would create different cartoons featuring Garfield. I need a lot practice now. Hahaha!
3. She is a true friend through and through. Even though I betrayed her, she saved me from embarassment. And that mistake was forever in my conscience. Yes, 32 years of forever apologizing to her. So here’s the story: We had a classmate who kept on teasing us. I can no longer remember was it was about. It was recess and we were hanging out at the terrace of our classroom. When recess was about to be over, I went inside and Wela followed leaving our classmate behind, oblivious that the class was about to start. I had the brilliant idea of closing the door with him locked out in the terrace (which should not be a huge deal because he could always knock and ask to be opened. Duh! There were at least 30 other classmates inside who could hear him.) So I told Wela to lock the door. The classmate started crying. The teacher heard the crying and asked me, “Katrina, what is that all about?” I answered, “Ma’am, it was Wela.” (I feel like Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus.) Wela then answered, “Sorry, Ma’am.” And she then opened the door. My heart sank and I carried the guilt all these years. Wela acted like it never happened- that I did not betray her. I do not know what nice things I did to her all those times that she still kept me as her friend.
4. She was my high school penpal along with our friend, Shirly. I studied in a different school in high school. I would always look forward to reading her letters whenever my mama visited me in my school. I lost all her letters when mama did some spring cleaning while I was away for college. I remember her drawing of her cheerleading uniform in one of her letters.
5. She was my college dorm mate. I was glad we went to the same university. We really did not hang out a lot because she spends her weekends with her relatives in Bulacan while I stayed in the dorm but it was comforting for me knowing that I have my childhood friend just two rooms away from me.
I am the one wearing striped shorts; Wela in blue shorts.
6. Wela was my officemate. For more than a year, we worked in the same company. We were both busy with our respective jobs. We may not look like close friends at work but unbeknownst to many, Wela was my voice of reason. She would get emails from me whenever I am upset at something work-related. She would share her thoughts on the matter and made me feel better. Wela made work meetings a lot better just because she was there. ( I hated meetings because I had processes I had to run on my computer that I need to monitor.)
I was sad when she left for another job because her leaving felt like losing an ally. When she broke the sad news that she was resigning, she also told me she found love. She made me forget the bad news by bringing happy news.
This is Wela and Kit on their wedding day.
7. Wela was there during my saddest birthday and made it a little better. It was 2009. My father was bedridden for a month already. He just suffered his worst side effects from oral chemo. Celebrating my birthday was the last thing on my mind. Wela came in the afternoon and brought me flowers and brownies. Even for a few minutes, I was happy to celebrate my birthday.
8. Wela is a great poet. I am lucky and blessed to receive two poems from her. You can read her poems about me in this post and this post. These poems are few of my treasured possessions that no one can take away.
Wela and I on my 40th birthday.
9. Wela is a great mother to Lui and wife to Kit. She makes sure she spends time with them that we already understand whenever she misses many of our get-together with friends.
10. Wela makes sure to drive me home whenever we spend time together. Even if it is difficult to navigate the narrow road to my house, she drives me home anyway. Thank you, Wela!
I am really blessed to have a friend in Wela. I love you, Wela. Happy, happy birthday! Thank you for your friendship! Mwah!
Note: I swiped some of the photos from her Facebook account.