Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Go With the Flow : "Paint Yourself Calm"

 Three morning washes

Paint Yourself Calm 

I am thrilled with all the fabulous feedback I am receiving from my latest book " Paint Yourself Calm". With so much happening in our lives and in the news today there has never been a better time than to paint simply for the joy in creating. I have held wonderful workshops over the last two weeks and everyone attending has loved the warm up exercises in them.

So today I am starting something new on my blog. I am inviting you to join in with me. If you have a copy of "Paint Yourself Calm" you should have read the opening chapters to the point where you can focus on page 48 using the waterfall technique for incredible washes. Also read the sections of using colour to relax.

This morning I went for a walk with my gorgeous dog Bailey and looked for a new treasure to bring home to paint. I came across some hogweed, also known as Queen Catherine's Lace. I carried a sprig home with me to paint later. But first, as always I painted three daily washes. These help me loosen up in my work and relieve any tension I may be carrying from business or daily life such as admin chores that need doing.  My aim is to use a new colour as frequently as possible when doing my warm up exercises and today was no exception.

My new favourite and must have colour is Ultramarine Turquoise By Daniel Smith. It is so vibrant. It creates incredible pattern effects and loves moving freely by the addition of water drops. Do treat yourself to this fabulous shade if you don't already have it. Its' amazing! 
A " feel good" colour to work with.

 Ultramarine Turquoise by Daniel Smith

Next I have three scraps of paper at hand and so I played with colour on them. I literally relaxed watching colour flow across the paper with no image in mind at all of what the subject would be. I applied colour to the top corner of each piece of paper and allowed it to flow freely by the addition of water to the added pigment, and immediately below it. I added salt in sections and tried to make each piece of paper look completely different.

 Two pieces here have the same colour on. The Ultramarine Turquoise. The third has violet and yellow shades added

 My favourite piece? Is this one below but here I did add water and try to make the hogweed appear. The salt is creating stunning patterns all on its' own without any help from me! Isn't it beautiful? If we relax and dont overwork a simple wash it can look like this and be very effective.

 My favourite wash created just with one colour.  The Ultramarine Turquoise. There is so much movement and excitement in this piece!

Next I worked on previously painted washes. I had two spare from yesterday which are already dry. That's the advantage of painting three washes a day. You always have scraps of paper already to paint on and play with. That puts no pressure on your shoulders if you ruin them!

The first piece had diagonal colour running from one corner of the paper to the other. But I turned it around to look at it sideways on and painted the hog weed right across the diagonal flow of colour which gave me beautiful ideas for new work. This is the point of these exercises. They aren't meant for you to paint frameable paintings. They are aimed at opening your artistic soul enabling you to use your imagination in painting whilst gaining unique results.

Here is the first hogweed painting, coming along nicely by using negative edge work on top of the existing wash to bring it alive. I love the soft atmospheric feel to this piece already. And yet it is being painted for the bin!

 Hogweed coming to life beautifully in an abstract style, in pure watercolour.

On the second piece I started adding detail to where gorgeous salt effects in the lower section of the exercise piece were.  I started added negative edge work in fine detail behind the salt patterns to represent the hogweed. But look at the beautiful water bloom immediately above the painted hogweed. It could be trees in the background or hedgerow. I love it!

 Hogweed in the country.

The thing is, when we paint these wonderful flowing washes as exercises we have no idea how much fun they can be or where they can lead us as artists. They do definitely improve our technique. They are so useful. I relax and feel so happy when I paint this way and I love working through my new book.  Reading each chapter of " Paint Yourself Calm" taking in exactly why I can use each colour to lift my mood or energise me. But the exercises make me paint. With no pressure. They make me want to race to my studio and create simply for the joy in creating. And we need more joy in thsi world today. More happiness, more smiles, more contentment. More relaxation. Less stress.

So your task is now to paint three fabulous washes using your own favourite colours. Taking your time and enjoying each one.

I will be adding to my blog with more explanation and fun ideas from here. So please catch up by reading " Paint Yourself Calm" and enjoy the flow of colour. Go with it rather than fight against it. Don't try to control watercolour.  Just let things happen and see what develops in your exercise warm up washes. In fact I can honestly say my best washes are when I am not trying to paint a subject. We do try far too hard to be brilliant as artists and sometimes this need to control what we paint really limits and restricts our artistic talent.

Its' time to fly!

"Go with the Flow"

Have fun painting and see you later on with more ideas!

You can buy a copy of " Paint Yourself Calm " from Amazon .com and leading book stores.


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