White Bear Center for the Arts
4971 Long Avenue
White Bear Lake, MN (map)


Color & Design in Watercolor
September 23-25, 2021
Central Minnesota Watercolorists
St. Cloud, Minnesota

Lisa’s step by step process will put you at ease as you learn how to loosen up and feel confident in approaching a watercolor painting. Learn how to paint a realistic watercolor landscape painting from the planning stages to completion while focusing on the design principles. Lisa will also show you how to fix and finish old paintings that you feel have not been successful. Personal critiques will help guide you through the process with ease.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lester River Watercolor

Start with these reference images:

Start at the top of the page as we paint background to foreground with a sky color and proceed into the foliage areas on each side, keeping the values light. Continue on down the page putting in the local color, leaving the water the lightest value. Cut out the shape of the bridge. Let dry.

Using the middle values, we now start to indicate more shapes, in foliage and rocks. Is your negative shape, the sky, an interesting shape? Putting down rock pigments, put a piece of wax paper over the wet pigment. Let dry. This creates wonderful texture. Bring out some rock shapes by putting a dark value behind some of the rocks, softening the edge as you go.

The final step will be going in with some dark values to bring out some of the dark shapes (refer to the value study). Scrape out some texture with a credit card while the paint is still wet. Stand back from the painting and see if your values are correct and your shapes are interesting, negative and positive.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Snowy Path Watercolor

Start with these reference images:

Before you begin to paint, study the value study on this lesson and notice the white shapes. Begin painting with a sky color, adding water as you go down the page to make the value lighter. At the horizon line, start to sculpt out the white shapes with a similar color and value as the sky. Snow follows the contour of the surface that it's on.

When the first wash is dry, start to indicate the foliage area in the background, using greens to indicate evergreens and burnt sienna to show some dead foliage on the trees. Remember to leave sky holes.

Continue to work down the value scale introducing darker values to show form. Indicate tree trunks with darker values and scraping with a credit card on the lighter side of the trunks. Remember where your light source is coming from. Your cast shadows will follow the contour of the landscape.

Using your darkest values, overlay areas on the tree trunks and some foliage areas. Make twigs and branches in the snow and on some of the trees. Show some dead leaves on the path. Soften the bottom edge of your trees to make it look like it is sitting in snow. Stand back from your painting and evaluate color, values, composition, and edges.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Credit Card Sunflowers Watercolor

Start with these reference images:

Starting at the top of the page, use a variety of hues, keeping the values very light. Continue on down the page until you start to indicate a vase. The light source is coming from the right side, so the left side of the vase will be a darker value. Drop in a background color. I have used contemporary colors.
While your pigment is still wet, use a credit card and scrape out shapes like petals, where the light would be hitting the flowers (refer to your value study). If you are not getting back to the white of the paper, you may not have used enough pigments, or your paint was too dry when you went back in.
Let dry. Now go in with mid-tone hues, starting to show some of the petals and foliage of the plant. Indicate a center of the flower - show a change in value. Soften the edges of the center.
The final wash will consist of dark values. Once again refer to your value study for those dark shapes. Connect the shapes in an interesting pattern. A table edge may be added and shadow from the vase on the table also.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Trees Watercolor

Start with these reference images:

Starting at the top of the page using blue hues, create a graduated wash, by adding water as you go down the page. This will make the value lighter, continue down the page by introducing yellow ochre and then blue hues again for the water. The foreground color is yellow ochre. After this is completed go in with a thirsty brush (a brush with no color and very little water on it) and lift out the shapes of the birch trees. Let dry.

Start the second wash with mid-values with green hues, pay attention to your value study and the shapes. Indicate trunks on the trees and continue with the same color and value into a shadow on the foreground. In this reference the light is coming from the right. Make interesting shapes for the branches. Let dry.

The last wash consists of values 1 through 4 on the value scale. Use your reference-value study as your guide as to where your putting the dark shapes. Do not cover up all of your previous washes, only on the underneath side of the branches. With a mixture of hues indicate grasses behind the trees. Drop in some color for rocks and using a credit card scrape out on the light side of the shapes.

Finish the painting by adding some branches with a rigger brush and some grasses in front of the trees. When evaluating your painting, does it have a wide range of values? Are the negative and positive shapes interesting?

Japanese Garden Watercolor

Start with these reference images:

Start with the background and work to the foreground. Work light values to dark values. The first wash will consist of all light values, starting with the sky and working your way down the page with local hues. After putting pigments on the page for the rock forms, take a credit card and scrape out the highlight side of the rock. Let this wash dry.

Start defining the foliage shapes using your value study, putting in the mid range values. Indicate some tree trunks and branches. Do some negative painting on the rocks, (painting behind the shape). Show a reflection in the water from the rocks. A reflection is a mirrored image of what is above it. Let this wash dry.

Using our darker values, start to accent your dark areas, as indicated on your value study. Darken the reflection shapes and while this is still wet use a piece of a credit card to indicate some horizontal lines in the water on the reflections. Ask yourself if you have a wide range of values, does your composition work? Stand back from your work and make adjustments as needed.