Friday 6 January 2017

Beating The Blues 2017

 My easel this morning.
Beating the Blues Jean Haines Style!

My word I feel energised! I do. I can't help it. Its' a whole new year ahead to look forward to filled with promise, excitement and challenges. And the first thing I aim to do is set myself some new challenges. And if you are reading my blog, the bad news is you have to as well. That is, set yourself some new challenges. Or follow mine. Like this one.

Okay, so  lets' start with a really easy challenge.

Its' January. So this months challenge is finding a new blue shade that you really love. Perhaps you need to scour the catalogues of art supplies to find one. Or perhaps like me you have a box of unused colours that just sit there dormant never being opened or worked with? This month is the month for an art clear out. Lets' get all those unused tubes out and get experimenting.

I started my day as always with three washes. I limited my palette to blue shades but yes, a violet crept in gradually! 

Wash number 1. 
Three new blues to me and I have a feeling they won't be guessed easily! One has a French sounding name but it isn't French Ultramarine Blue. Another sounds Dutch. Another has a stunning name. All three shades have sat waiting for me to play with them and oh boy, I did today. I love the movement in this piece and I have an idea of what it might be but I didn't have a subject in my mind when I created it. I start my days painting for fun always.

Wash number 2

 Salt effects can be seen in this wash result of course and aren't they lovely. I play with salt application to gain feathered and varied results. I discovered on my workshops so many artists literally just dropped salt onto their washes and expected great results automatically. You need to experiment with salt to gain gorgeous patterns and I have a lovely result here. What will this be? I will think about it before working further.

Wash number 3.

 Positive or negative?
This simple wash is fascinating me because I can see the dark outline surrounding a white plant. Or I can alternatively see a dark plant against a paler background. Great fun so I will play with this piece further too , as with the other three washes.

What is the point of these washes?
1) They get me painting with no pressure to achieve a masterpiece.
2) I use colours that have been long forgotten or new shades added to my collection.
3) I practise and improve  my watercolour techniques.
But if you own my books you will know exactly why I do them, the above reasons and far more.
But mainly they make me feel happy. What better way to beat the blues if you are feeling low or despondent?

If you have read my latest book " Paint Yourself Calm" you will understand this blog post. If you haven't read it yet? Get a copy for the New Year and join me with each new challenge I set on my blog. 

 January Challenge 2017
So what new blue shade will you discover for my January Challenge? And can you guess what any of the blue shades are that I have used? None have been mentioned in my books or DVDs. These are completely new to my favourite blue shades!
Please leave a reply to this post if you join in and please let me know what your new favourite blue shade is.
Come on, lets start the new year as we mean to go  on. Trying new ideas and getting to the end of this year with a feeling of satisfaction that we did something special!
Happy painting!


P.S. I must admit I am thrilled to see so many artists on social media who have been to my workshops, read my books or are now teaching themselves creating washes and sharing them. Its' fabulous to see these fun experimental washes is taking off so well.



Unknown said...

I'm inspired to try this! I will let you know how it goes.

isabella kramer - veredit said...

Oh, this is such gorgeous idea!! I'm with you in Blue mood and will join my new discoveries!!


barb said...

Mayan Blue is my favorite! I think I use it in just about every painting.

barb said...

Mayan Blue is my favorite. I use it in just about every painting!

Lodahl Art Works said...

I've recently discovered DS Lunar Blue... gorgeous granulation and bleed out..

Lazybird said...

I love blue! So much that I have to challege myselft not to use it always and everywhere.
This week I found Old Holland's blues and fell in love once again.
From your clue, I would guess that you have Scheveningen blue in there, by Old Holland. 😉

Unknown said...

I will visit the art shop tomorrow to find a new shade! I have been so inspired by you since I attended one of your workshops a few years ago! Are you doing any in the South of England this year? One question. When is the best time to apply the salt to the wash?

conniswatercolors said...

I love indanthrone blue by DS - makes gorgeous darks!

conniswatercolors said...

I love indanthrone blue by DS - makes gorgeous darks!

Leilani Smith said...

I am not a blue girl, so after shopping today I settled on HWC Manganese Blue Nova. I bought several other blues as well. I can't wait to sit down and have fun!

Marie-Christine Lalange said...

Hi Jean, I would say indigo but "donne ma langue au chat" for the other two
I enjoy your posts every morning Thank you

isabella kramer - veredit said...

Just discovered MIJELLO BLUE from MIJELLO and it works so beautifully with BRILLIANT RED VIOLET from SCHMINCKE.
The Mijello blue is very dark with a hint of a dark violet included, love it a lot.
These are my today faves!!