View Full Version : Watercolor Workshop Paintings 2013

05-31-2013, 03:26 PM
This week I participated in a three day workshop using exercises from the excellent book Watercolor Without Boundaries (http://www.amazon.com/Watercolor-Without-Boundaries-Exploring-Ways/dp/0979221870/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370026964&sr=1-1&keywords=watercolor+without+boundaries+by+karlyn+holman)by Karlyn Holman.

These paintings were done in the workshop in about two hours time. Our instructor, Diane Coyle, did a demonstration painting using the technique in the morning. We broke for lunch and then did our painting in the afternoon. So they aren't great art, but they did show us the potential of the technique. :D

Day 1: The Path of Light
Techniques: Pen and Ink on the drawing, accenting a path of light in the composition as well as a path of dark; color sanding where you use a fine grit piece of sandpaper and a colored pencil to add texture and color in spots on the wet paint.

Here is my painting...a bit lopsided, but it is an OLD Greek house, so maybe it would be like that IRL. :lol:


Day 2: Combining Realism with Abstraction
Techniques: Draw realistic subject (water lilies and pads); add Japanese rice paper in spots on the wet paint; when underpainting is dry, cover the rice paper with paste made from a product called Yes! Paste; add geometric shapes behind the subjects. The idea is to balance the lights and darks in the background and the subjects by painting inside and outside the geometric abstract forms. The last step was to paint the flowers realistically.

If I were to do this again, I would place the rice paper on the lily pads to give texture instead of using plastic wrap. I would also be more careful with my colors.


Day 3: Applying Acrylic Outlines with a Gutta Bottle
Techniques: Outlining the key elements in the drawing using liquid acrylic in a gutta bottle (http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/1708-AA.shtml) with a metal tip; use of horizontal flow of colors against the vertical arrangement of flowers.

I used a photo of cone flowers from the RIL as well as the one from the book to draw my arrangement. This is the one I was happiest with in the end.


I wasn't sure what to expect when I first went to the workshop because I tend to be a very controlled and realistic painter. But, I actually had FUN doing these three exercises and will probably do them again in my more relaxed setting at home where I can take more time to plan them out.

I would recommend this book based on these three exercises as well as the others I saw as I skimmed through my neighbor's book.


05-31-2013, 03:38 PM
Wow Sylvia these are SUPER! Especially #1 and #3.

I am sure you have learnt a tremendous amount form the workshop and you will be using the techniques in future work.


05-31-2013, 10:05 PM
Thank you for sharing your workshop paintings with us, Sylvia.

I agree with Doug, #1 and #3 are especially lovely; #3 is my favourite--I love coneflowers and your background colours set them off beautifully.


Strawberry Wine
06-01-2013, 07:56 AM
Sylvia, a 3 day workshop :thumbsup: what fun.

I love the colour choices in Greek House.

The background in the cone flowers is beautiful . did you mask them before you painted the background?

Not sure where the instructor was going and leading in the lilies ?



06-01-2013, 09:37 AM
Thanks Doug, Anne, and Gail. :D

The colors the author of the book uses in her exercise paintings are beautiful, Gail. She also uses a fairly limited palette in each one 3 or 4 colors at the most.

The lilies painting was supposed to be a technique using Japanese rice paper and Yes! Paste which is used to cover the rice paper and hold it to the paper once the paint dries. It has the unique ability of absorbing the watercolor paint once it dries. However, as I found out in my painting, it is darker than the surrounding paint too. That is why I think you need to be selective where you place it.

The cone flowers were outlined with liquid acrylic which acted as a block to the wet watercolor paint when it was applied. It leaves a raised line on the paper. You can use gesso instead, but then the line will be flat.



06-01-2013, 01:17 PM
It looks as though you had a lot of fun at this workshop, Sylvia... I really like the variety of techniques that you were taught! I especially like #2 because of the textures you were achieving... and #3 fascinates me. I have some acrylic modeling paste that doesn't dry flat and may try that.

In the meantime, I hope you're planning to lead some KIUAN's in the very near future!

06-01-2013, 07:48 PM
Sylvia, your paintings definitely look like you had to be spontanious i.e. all these beautiful colours dropped in. I personally LOVE #3 and # 1 is lovely too. #2 - shaking my head side to side in indecision:) but, it is different and different is desireable in ART:thumbsup:

Sounds like a really interesting workshop, I am glad you enjoyed it and I am glad that you showed us and thereby took us along with you. Thank you!!!


06-01-2013, 10:06 PM
Very beautiful paintings!

06-01-2013, 11:17 PM
Sylvia, Karlyn's books are heavenly!! So glad you had fun with the Workshop! Love the lights in the first one and the Cornflowers are amazing!! Like the colors of the Water Lilies. (Interesting little bottles for the resists.)

Thanks for sharing with us, Sylvia!


06-02-2013, 05:20 AM
Your favorite, #3, is even more interesting to see IRL because those white outlines are raised a little above the surface of the paper giving it a bit of a dimensionality. :D

I got too dark off the bat with the second one, so when it was time to add color for the circles, I had to go too dark to get the contrast between light and dark areas. It didn't work, but wanted to show you all what we did. If I were to use this technique in another painting, I would be more careful with my beginning values. ;)

Thanks for the nice comments Bluesman and Katherine. :D


06-02-2013, 06:23 AM
Fabulous results Sylvia!

06-02-2013, 08:10 AM
LOVE the third one!! I may have to try to find one of those bottles.


06-02-2013, 11:26 AM
Very nice, Sylvia. I really like 1 and 3.


06-03-2013, 01:58 AM
Beautifully done, Sylvia.....specially 1 and 3.....:thumbsup::clap::clap:

06-12-2013, 03:53 PM
These are all wonderful! I was especially interested in the use of Japanese rice paper. I have some of this paper. I bought it thinking I would figure out how to use it. That was 4 years ago! ;-) I love the way you used it.
All three paintings are amazing!

06-12-2013, 04:43 PM
Thanks Lulu, Patty, Pat, Pedro, and Renee for your kind comments about this little group of paintings.

Renee, Rice paper gives interesting texture to a painting. Enjoy experimenting with it.