pixel
5 Ways to Define Your Focal Point – The ABC’s of Composition Series – Part 2

5 Ways to Define Your Focal Point – The ABC’s of Composition Series – Part 2

Part 2 – 5 Ways to Define Your Focal Point

 

 

The focal point is the main object or area of interest in your painting. You want this area to stand out and be the most interesting part of your painting. If you do not define a focal point you could end up with a painting that lacks direction and or purpose.

A painting can have more than one focal area or point but there needs to be a main one that is more dominant. If two are of equal weight, the eye does not know how to interpret it and can be confusing to the viewer.

 

Below I have listed 5 ways to define where you want your viewer to focus their attention.

  1. Value Contrast
  2. Color
  3. Texture
  4. Position
  5. Detail

 

Using one or more of these methods will make your focal point clear to the viewer

Value Contrast

The area with the lightest light and darkest dark will always draw the eye making it a very crucial part of planning your composition. Make sure you have your highest value contrast at your focal area.

 

Color

The brightest or most exaggerated colors will also draw the eye. You can use bright saturated colors against dull neutrals or you can use two compliments next to one another.

 

Texture

Texture against areas of less or no texture will add interest and draw attention to your focal area.

 

Position

Using the Rule of Thirds when placing your subject matter will be pleasing to your viewer’s eye. You can learn more about the Rule of Thirds outlined in my previous article The ABC’s of Composition Part 1.

 

Detail

The area with the sharpest focus and detail will also draw the eye. Soft focus and less detail will recede and not command as much attention.

Notice where your eye is drawn in my above watercolor painting “Ready for Tea”.

When planning your paintings your focal point or area should be your first consideration. Taking your time to do the planning is the foundation of great artwork.

I hope you have enjoyed this article.

 

Cheers,

Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

 

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

The ABC’s of Composition Series – Part 1 the Rule of Thirds

The ABC’s of Composition Series – Part 1 the Rule of Thirds

Part 1 – the Rule of Thirds

 

Composition is not for the faint at heart lol. It is the foundation of your painting. It is your plan that helps you to execute what you want to say, what experience you want your viewer to have. I am going to do a series about composition mixed in with my articles.

 

I remember years ago when I decided to get serious about painting, I wanted to learn everything there was to know. (I am still learning) I read a book by Ian Roberts called “Mastering Composition” It changed the way I looked at my paintings, the way I planned my paintings. I was both enthralled and annoyed at the same time lol I was so glad to gain the knowledge but now I had to change a lot of things about the way I painted. It was well worth doing the work. I recommend that you read it.

 

There are many factors when it comes to composition; below I have listed some of the things to consider.

 

  • You should not divide your picture in half by placing lines or objects in the center diagonally, horizontally or vertically. Ex: your horizon line
  • As a general rule, you should have a center of interest or focal point.
  • You want to lead the viewers’ eye around all the parts of your painting.
  • Your subject should not be facing out of the image
  • You need to make sure your viewer’s eye has areas to rest.
  • Do not have your items all the same size or equally spaced in your painting.
  • You need to have a dominance of either cool or warm and light or dark you do not want these to have equal weight.

 

I could list many more but I think that gives you the idea of how many things there are to consider and of course each one is a topic on its own.

 

 Please do not be intimidated by this list. In today’s article, I am going to go over the number one thing that will improve your paintings today.

The Rule of Thirds

 

The rule of thirds is simply dividing your image into thirds using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, as shown below. You then position the important elements in. In the below diagram you can see the red circles indicating where the surface is divided into thirds. These four points are the prime location to pick for your focal point or area and you would position elements of your painting along those dividing lines.

Place your center of interest in or around the red circles (marking the 1/3 intersections) Keeping your center of interest away from the center

Placing your focal area at one of these points helps create a pleasing design. You can also place a secondary less important focal area on one of the other points to help balance your painting.

 

That is the beauty of having artistic license we get to move things around and place them where we want to.

Do not place anything that will run along the center lines of you painting as this will cut your picture in half.

If this rule is overlooked it can result in amateurish looking art. I could not believe the difference it made when I started using it. The biggest thing I want to stress is DO NOT place your focal point in the center of your painting. Also do not place your horizon lines or anything that will run along a straight path at any of the center lines.

Example of the Rule of Thirds while planning your painting

In painting a bull’s eye is not what you should be aiming for 🙂

You can see where this one is visually more pleasing and interesting.

Here are a couple of my paintings with the grid overlaid on them. Giving you an idea of how I laid them out.

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed your time here.

 

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Thank You From The Bottom Of My Heart

Thank You From The Bottom Of My Heart

The love I felt was huge

 

First off I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your interest in my articles, artwork and my journey. My previous article was about my life and coping with a chronic illness. The support I received was overwhelming, I cannot express how it touched me to read all of the comments and emails that were sent. I so appreciate those who shared their own story. The love I felt was huge. Thank you. I am so grateful to be able to share my passion with such a wonderful group. I was really blown away.

So as you know I took a little break (I needed to produce some paintings) and decided that going forward I will be doing bi-monthly articles. I would like to do some in-depth demos and weekly doesn’t allow for that. I put a lot of work into the articles and I still need time to paint 🙂

 

Paintings for an upcoming group show about the Weather

Secondly, I thought I would share what I have been up to. I have been hard at work painting. These are paintings that I did for a group show on the weather. The show is at the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, New Brunswick and opens September 13th.

These paintings are done with acrylic and I really enjoyed painting them. I find the more I paint the more I move away from realism especially with my acrylics and oils.

Rainy Night #1 – 10x10″ Acrylic by Krista Hasson

Rainy Night #2 – 10x10″ Acrylic by Krista Hasson

Beauty in the Storm  – 12x16″ Acrylic by Krista Hasson

Coastal Disturbance – 18x24″ Acrylic by Krista Hasson

Walking in the Rain – 10x8″ Acrylic by Krista Hasson

My Studio is Empty Without You

 

I wanted to share this picture again. Since my last post, my sweet dog Jack has left us. It is so hard to lose a beloved pet. They are our family. Jack was in my studio every time I was, it is empty in here without him. He had a wonderful life, he was 12 and 3/4s, he was loyal and always had a wag in his tail (actually his whole back end lol) He will be forever missed. Poor Charlie keeps looking for him :(.

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

What mediums do you create with?

 

I know I use just about every medium out there lol I love to experiment and try new things 🙂 Currently, I am creating with watercolor, acrylic, and oil. What mediums are you using?

Sending love your way, Krista

 

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

 

Read how-to articles on painting  HERE

Living with Fibromyalgia

Living with Fibromyalgia

Living with Fibromyalgia

 

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that can cause widespread pain and tenderness over much of the body.

 

This weeks post is a little different than my usual how-to posts. I thought it would be nice for you to know a little about the person behind the articles.

I normally do not share this part of my story but I am at a point in my life where I am trying to embrace every part of me. Including my continuing journey with fibromyalgia a chronic illness and how I cope with it.

I am feeling very vulnerable writing this. Please understand by no means am I looking for sympathy, I have an awesome life and I love it. I believe your state of mind can greatly affect these conditions and mine 95% of the time is positive. 🙂

A few years back I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, IBS, and chronic fatigue (they usually go hand in hand). I take 2 different medications to help with the fibromyalgia.

I am in denial about my condition. What do you mean I am not a superhero? I have a mug that says I wonder woman lol. Until I have a flare up like I did this week.

I spent all day in bed this past Sunday to Wednesday with joint pain from my fibromyalgia and migraines, I was completely exhausted. I did get out of bed Wednesday night but woke up again on Thursday with a headache and fatigue from the earlier part of the week. I did manage to go to my one night a week 4-hour shift at a local craft store. I woke up today with a bad migraine again. This would be the reason that you are hearing my story instead of a how-to article.

 

I love life! But sometimes my condition can take a toll and I find I am actually starting to feel depressed and then I feel guilty because:

  • so many people have it worse than me
  • my husband has to do more than his share
  • I cannot get a lot done around the house
  • I don’t paint as much as I want too
  • I usually have to sleep through the day from 1-4pm to function the rest of the day
  • I did not get my weekly how-to article done this week 🙁
  • when I do paint other areas suffer and on and on

 

 

Here are my two studio buddies Jack the cocker spaniel (he just had a haircut and was cold) and Charlie my tuxedo rescue cat that is the sweetest little animal I have ever had. Pets are such a gift, their unconditional love and entertainment bring so much joy to my life.

 

I believe that art is healing and without it, I am not sure where I would be

 

I am not one to throw a pity party and I try to stay positive, it is what it is. I really believe that you get out of life what you put into it. I try to be thankful every day for what I do have and I try to live a stress-free life.

 

If you asked how I was, my reply would be “I am awesome”

 

I am so very lucky and thankful because:

  • I get the privilege of doing what I love
  • I have an intelligent and beautiful daughter
  • I have a supportive family
  • I have an awesome and supportive best friend
  • I have made some wonderful friends due to art
  • I am able to share my joy for art and my knowledge with you 🙂

 

 

Here I am as a child painting before bed with my cat Pepper. You just have to love those curlers lol

 

I am an artist, I have been creating since I can remember. My mother was creative and always encouraged her children to be as well. I love creating and sharing so much I can’t imagine my life without it. Even before I was diagnosed it had made a huge difference in my quality of life. Even with all of my challenges if changing them meant that I could not be an artist, I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

The biggest thing to take away from my story is that I am blessed and thankful for being an artist and having the opportunity to share that with you.

 

I have learned that any goal in life is attainable you just have to keep going no matter what obstacles you face. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you just as long as you are heading in the right direction.

 

Everybody has a story and that is mine. What is your story? I would love to hear it.

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

Cheers, Krista

 

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

 

Read how-to articles on painting  HERE

3 Simple Tricks to Create Texture in Watercolor

3 Simple Tricks to Create Texture in Watercolor

Creating Texture with Watercolor

 

A little texture in your paintings can go a long way. It can really help take your art to the next level if done properly. This article covers three easy ways to create some texture with watercolor using 3 simple household items that you most likely already have.

1. Salt

 

This is a great trick to create snow, stars or frost. It is more noticeable and dramatic when used on darker colors. The salt is dropped or sprinkled onto wet paint. The effect will vary depending on the coarseness of the salt, thickness and the wetness of your paint. If your paint is just damp it will have little or no effect. Make sure you let the paint dry completely before removing the salt.

Table salt (Fine)

You can see how thick the salt was here and how it has left a dark spot where the salt was sitting. Thicker applications of paint will leave this effect. When painting a snow effect you would want to use less salt. The result will be more believable.

Coarse salt

Here I used a thinner paint and dropped the salt in right away. You will receive different results depending on how soon you drop the salt in. But if your paint is starting to dry you will have little to no texture.

TIP: Your painting needs soft neutral places for the viewer’s eye to rest when looking at your art. If there is too much texture in your painting the viewer will be overwhelmed.

2. Rubbing Alcohol

Dropped onto wet paint

As with any texture, the results will vary with the thickness of the paint and the amount and strength of the alcohol used.

Painted on dry paper

I used a paint brush and painted on some of the rubbing alcohol. I then painted over it right away.

3. Plastic Wrap

 

This technique is really nice for a stained glass effect or for rocks.

The plastic wrap is crinkled up and laid down on the wet paint. You can also move the wrap around when you first put it down to get the desired effect you want.  It is not removed until the paint is completely dry.

Here are the results after it was allowed to dry and the plastic wrap was removed.

 

This is only 3 textures out many more. You can use just about anything you can think of to create an interesting texture.

Texture can be a great addition to your painting but here is a word of caution, with texture, less is more. Too much texture will make your painting too busy.

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

What is your favorite way to create texture?

 

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

 

Read more articles on painting  HERE

How to Handle the Edges in Your Paintings

How to Handle the Edges in Your Paintings

Handling your Edges

 

Knowing how to handle edges is an important part of your painting process. Every shape in your painting has an edge. Knowing how to paint them will help in creating a pleasing painting. To do this, you should have soft and hard edges.

Hard and rough edges attract the eye and will lead the viewer along those edges. Hard edges are good to use at or leading to your focal point in your painting. There can be different degrees of hardness.  For example, a hard edge with high contrast has the most pull great for focal areas. A hard edge with less value contrast will have less pull than one with more contrast.  But it will have more pull than one with softer edges.

Soft edges recede. They are good for backgrounds and the outside areas of your paintings. Your eye can travel over instead of along soft edges going into the next shape. An objects edge can have hard and soft edges.

 

Below I have demonstrated the types of edges and how to achieve them in watercolor.

Rough edges created by using the dry brush technique. Draws the eye with texture and the contrast.

Rough edges created by using the dry brush technique on a closer value creating less contrast. . Draws the eye with texture and the contrast but not as much as our first example because there is less contrast

Hard lines created by painting one section wet on dry and when it is dry painting another section wet on dry beside it.

Soft lines created by painting one section next to another while they are still wet painting another beside it on dry paper.

On the top stroke, I softened the edge almost all the way around (notice where your eye goes) by softly lifting the dry paint with a wet brush. Both strokes were painted on dry paper. You can also soften an edge by blending it out while the paint is still wet.

Hard edge created by painting dry on dry. The soft edge was created by painting wet into wet.

Soft edge painted wet in wet into another color.

Hard edge created by painting dry on dry. Notice how it pulls the eye more than the wet on wet one to the left.  But our eye is not drawn to it as much as the hard edges with the increased contrast on the right.

Even with these two hard edges of the same value, you can see how the color can also play a part in the edges drawing attention. Notice how the vibrancy of the hard blue edge draws the eye more than the black edge.

Use your edges to control the movement or path through your painting

 

In our example below let’s pretend this is our finished painting. A is our focal area with the hard corner and B is the outer perimeter of our painting.

Controlling edges in watercolor by krist hasson

In the first example B (the outside edge of our painting) is just as hard as our focal area. Notice how your eye travels along this line right out of our painting. Your viewer has nothing to draw their eye back into your painting.

In the second example B (the outside edge of our painting) our edge is softer than our focal area edge. Notice how your eye travels along the hard line and when it hits the softer line it bounces back to the focal area in our painting. Your viewer is back to where you want him to be.

Edge recap:

 

Hard or rough edges

 

  • attracts the eye
  • your eye will travel along the hard edges
  • used to help lead viewer where you want them to look
  • used in focal area especially if high contrast is also there
  • hard edges also come forward

 

Soft edges

  • The eye will travel over these edges into the next shape
  • The eye will not be drawn to these edges like they are to harder ones
  • Are used to depict distance in backgrounds
  • Soft edges recede compared to their harder counterparts
  • Shadowed edges will be softer

 

Using a variety of edges not only puts you in control of where and what people see in your painting but it also adds interesting passages and places for your viewer’s eye to slow down and rest. So let’s practice those edges!

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed your time here.

 

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Pug Demo Painted with Only 2 Colors in Watercolor

Pug Demo Painted with Only 2 Colors in Watercolor

Pug Demo using 2 colors Step by Step in Watercolor

 

This pug demo was a watercolor commission I did of a dog named Stella. You can see just by the look on her face that she is a sweet dog. I love painting pugs; their faces have so much personality. They are one of my favorite dogs.

Anyone that has followed me for any time knows that I am a dog lover actually an animal lover. I will stop and talk to any animal I see lol.

It doesn’t matter how busy I am, I just can’t resist a taking a commission for a dog portrait I get so much joy painting them.

I used a very limited palette for this pug demo. The colors I used were:

 

  • Burnt Sienna (Winsor and Newton)
  • Ultramarine Blue (DaVinci)

Pug Demo

Step 1

For the pug demo, I drew my picture out on my paper first (not pictured). I started the painting by blocking in where the darks are going to be. I used the ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and a mix of the ultramarine blue and burnt sienna to get a cool black for the darkest spots. I let it dry completely.

 

Step 2

I started to add some burnt sienna over the ultra blue of the dark areas. For the ears, I added some of the blue-black mixture to the inside Shadows. Using a dulled down blue I added more to the outside bottom of the ear and the nose. I let it dry completely.

Step 3

I darkened down the pupil of the eye with a layer of Ultramarine blue. I then used a very thin layer of burnt sienna to areas of the body and also over the top of the previous layer of ultramarine blue darks of this little cutie. I let it dry completely.

 

Step 4

Here you can see how I started to refine the shape more and I continued to deepen the darks. This was accomplished by alternating very thin layers of the ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. I know you are thinking – why not just use the mixed blue-black everywhere? Using multiple thin layers builds depth and variation in your color which makes for a much more interesting painting.

 

Step 5

I added an extremely thin layer of burnt sienna to the body to give it some more color. I reshaped the irises and repainted them with burnt sienna. You can see where I lifted out some highlights on the face to give it more form.

 

Step 6

To finish the painting I darkened the face more and lifted out highlights in the eyes and nose. I also neutralized the blue Shadow under his face some with a thin layer of burnt sienna.

That is it, all done and with only 2 colors!

 

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

Thank you for reading to the end :).  I hope you enjoyed this pug demo.

 

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

 

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Lemons Study in Watercolor Step by Step Demo

Lemons Study in Watercolor Step by Step Demo

Lemons Study in Watercolor

This watercolor study of lemons was fun to paint. There is something about fruit that I love painting even if it is just a quick study.  Not to mention that the visual compliments of blue and yellow are one of my favorite color combinations, it feels so crisp and clean to me. For this painting I used the following colors:

  • Burnt Sienna (Winsor and Newton)
  • Hansa Yellow Light (DaVinci)
  • Indian Yellow (M. Graham)
  • Cobalt Blue (DaVinci)
  • Ultramarine Blue (DaVinci)

Step 1

I drew my lemons out on a 6x8″ piece of 200lb Saunders Waterford Cold Press paper. I taped it down with masking tape to a piece of gatorboard. I painted on masking fluid to save the white of the paper. You can see in the picture of drawing where I used the masking fluid.

Step 2

With clean water, I wet the background carefully keeping the water off of the lemons. I then used cobalt blue, applying a more concentrated color in the areas I wanted to be darker or in shadow. I let the painting dry completely.

Step 3

After the background was completely dry I wet the lemons and painted them with a nice layer of Hansa Yellow Light.  I then set it aside to dry completely lol you are going to be so tired of me saying that :). I cannot stress it enough let it dry completely before touching it 🙂

Step 4

I added a layer of thin Burnt Sienna to the shadows and added a mixture of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine blue (brownish black) to the end of the lemon. If you notice my lemon on the right became bigger. I decided I wanted the lemons to overlap so I gently lifted some of the dark shadows with a soft synthetic flat brush.

Step 5

After the painting was completely dry I painted the half lemon with a mixture of Indian yellow and Hansa yellow light on the outer and inner edges of the sections of pulp. I painted straight Hansa in the middle of the sections while it was still wet. With the same warm mixture, I glazed over the left edge of the full lemon making sure to cover the lifted area as well. I then blended it out with water towards the middle of the lemon. I also dropped a little of this color over top of my masked highlights and blended it out with a damp brush. With a mixture of Hansa yellow and just a touch of Ultramarine, I made a yellow with a green cast. I used this cooler yellow to apply to the right side of the full lemon again blending it out towards the middle of the fruit. I let the painting dry completely.

Step 6

For step 6, I glazed over the background using Burnt Sienna on the corners and alternating with Ultramarine blue as I painted. Once the background was dry I removed all of the masking fluid. I reinforced my shadow areas with another layer for the warm and cool sides of the full lemon. Her it comes lol I let it dry completely 🙂

Step 7

I worked on the half lemon mostly creating a watery mix of Indian yellow, Burnt sienna and just a hint of Ultramarine blue creating a dull yellowish tan color. Using this color I shaped the pith and cleaned up the edges left from the masking.  Using this same color I darkened the shadow on the right side of the cut lemon and the shadow under the end of the full lemon. Mixing the Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine blue I created a dark almost black to paint the seed and center of the cut lemon. wetting the outer rim of white pith I dropped a little of the burnt sienna (very light) in some areas. I let the painting dry completely.

Step 8

To finish this study, I went back in with my darker colors adding another layer to the shadow areas always blending towards the center so the edges would not be hard. Once completely dry I removed the tape.

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed your time here.

Cheers, Krista PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

Read more articles on painting  HERE

10 Ways to Create Depth in your Paintings!

10 Ways to Create Depth in your Paintings!

10 Ways to Create Depth in your Paintings!

 

Depth in a painting is known as atmospheric perspective, also called aerial perspective, it is a method of creating the illusion of depth, or recession, in a painting. It is recreating the effects that the atmosphere has on the distance in real life. Atmospheric perspective happens due to moisture and tiny particles of dust and pollution.  There is a lot of scientific information out there on it but I will not make this complicated.

Have you ever noticed how light and blue the distant hills or mountains look? Next time you see distant hills look at them and squint. You will be able to see the cooler and lighter values as they fade off into the distance.

 

The following tips will create the illusion of depth in your paintings.

  1. Cooler colors recede
  2. Warmer colors come forward
  3. Detail and texture come forward
  4. Less texture and detail recede
  5. Lighter values recede
  6. Darker values come forward
  7. Strong saturated colors come forward
  8. Less saturated colors will recede against more saturated colors
  9. Using larger items (example trees) in the foreground
  10. Using smaller items (example trees) in mid and Background

 

So let me simplify the above information. A painting should have three planes, a foreground, middle ground, and background.

  • The foreground colors compared to the background will be warmer and more saturated. You will also see more detail and or texture.
  • The middle ground will start to lose some of its warmth, detail saturation etc
  • The background will be softer and less detailed.  Your colors will be lighter in value and have less saturated cooler hues. The wet in wet technique works well for backgrounds.

 

Examples of Atmospheric Perspective

In the original picture above you can see how the hills in the background have the components necessary to create the depth.

In the adjusted picture above, everything is mainly the same saturation and value. if it weren’t for the smaller trees you would think these hills are a short distance from the foreground hill, painted like it is would result in a flat painting.

 

A lot of times when we are taking reference pictures we end up with some that look like the one above. It is our job as artists to use our skills and artistic license to create a better painting from our pictures.

In the picture above I have exaggerated the effects of the atmosphere. The fore, mid, and background are 3 distinct planes giving you a good sense of depth and atmospheric perspective.

I would love for you to give it a try. You can post your paintings in my private Facebook watercolor group. Click Creative Watercolor with Krista now to join!

Thank you for sharing your time with me, I appreciate all of your support.

 

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

Clematis Video a Demo in Watercolor

Clematis Video a Demo in Watercolor

This weeks post is going to be short but sweet 🙂

I have been working all week on the article (video) for you. The painting part was faster than the editing of the video. It took 5 hours of straight out working on this and it was painful lol. But the more I do it the easier it is becoming. This is my best one yet! Click on the link below to watch. Let me know what you think. Comment below and let me know if you would like to see more videos.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I appreciate you and I am so thankful for your ongoing support.

 

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

 

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

QOR Watercolors vs. DaVinci, M. Graham and Winsor Newton Watercolors

QOR Watercolors vs. DaVinci, M. Graham and Winsor Newton Watercolors

QOR vs. DaVinci

First off I just want to say that I love Golden paints, their acrylic is by far my favorite.  I was so excited when I heard that they were getting into watercolor as well. I didn’t rush out and buy them only for the fact that I have so much watercolor paint, I buy large tubes because of the batiks. I recently got some QOR (the name of the golden watercolor) paints when my husband brought them back for me when he was away on a trip.  Just to read their brochure convinced me that I now had a watercolor that was different from all the others 🙂 Here is what their brochure that comes in the package says:

“QOR Modern Watercolors – Deep, Rich, Beautiful color. QOR’s exclusive binder gives color greater intensity and clarity while retaining the best qualities of traditional watercolors. QOR offers a strength range and versatility unmatched in the history of watercolor.” 

Now we’re cooking with butter lol. I did a quick painting of my cat Charlie just to test them out. The QOR have a lovely feel to them and they cover nicely, so I decided to do some comparisons with some of my DaVinci watercolors.

I was very surprised at the comparisons. The two paints were so similar it was hard to tell the difference.  There were a couple of slight differences:

  • the QOR Alizarin was a tad brighter after it dried
  • I found the DaVinci Hansa had a bit more vibrancy but again nothing that was plain to see.

The chart above shows the colors next to each other and their transparency. The colors that are less transparent leave a hazy film over the black line. After the black line, you will see a line where I attempted to lift the dried paint with a synthetic paint brush. They were all pretty close when it came to lifting the paint off of the paper. Here is what I noticed:

  • QOR Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine blue are not as transparent as the DaVinci (Qor are rated semi-transparent and DaVinci are rated Transparent so that makes sense).
  • I like the undertone of the QOR Alizarin better
  • I absolutely love the QOR Pyrolle red
  • I prefer the jewel-like depth of the M.Graham Phthalo Blue

Note: I tested the Pyrolle red against DaVinci Red because I was out of Winsor Red which would have been a closer equivalent. Also, the Phthalo blue tested against the QOR was made by M. Graham I have yet to find a brand I like better for the Phthalos.

 

If you compare the 3 different Burnt Sienna paints above, the QOR and DaVinci are very close. The Winsor Newton is my all time favorite Burnt Sienna, I love the orange tone. Although it has the same name, it is actually made from a different pigment than the other two.

There are many properties of color that you need to understand. Getting a handle on these will help you save time and money. You can learn more about color by downloading my free guide  –  “5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Watercolor” 

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you have enjoyed your time here.

 

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

 

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

Glazing with Watercolor a How-to Article and Video

Glazing with Watercolor a How-to Article and Video

GLAZING WITH WATERCOLOR A HOW-TO ARTICLE AND VIDEO

 

Glazing

Glazing is painting one color on top of another dry color to change the value or color.

I wanted to touch a little more on glazing this week after my demo in last weeks article. I hope this exercise will help anyone who is still a little unsure about glazing.

Draw 3 – 2-inch squares, paint them with juicy pigment (not watery) with Winsor or Hansa Yellow, Winsor or pyrrole Red, and Burnt Sienna. Allow this to completely dry. Touch the squares to the back of your hand if it feels cool to touch it is still wet. You could dry these with a hairdryer to speed up the drying time.

After they are completely dry you are going to mix up about the same consistency as before of Ultramarine blue. Cover each square with the blue.  As you can see in the picturebelow, you have created a 3rd color by glazing the 2nd color over top of the first.

Below are the results of mixing the same colors we glazed with the ultramarine blue on the palette before applying them to the paper, they are dull and boring compared to the glazed versions. That is why I love glazing!

Below is a quick video demo on glazing. Please note that between every layer of new color, I let the painting dry completely before adding another layer.

The video has no sound 🙂 I struggled with this, sorry for the poor quality. The next one will be better 🙂

Here is a close up picture of the lily bud from the video. I could have kept adding layers to this to make it more detailed but I hope this was enough to give you the process of glazing with watercolor.

Click on image to enlarge

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you have enjoyed your time here.

 

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

Join my Facebook Community – Creative Watercolor with Krista

 

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Learn more about color by downloading my free guide  –  “5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Watercolor”

Pears on Arches Watercolor Board Demo

Pears on Arches Watercolor Board Demo

Pears on Arches Watercolor Board

Demo by Krista Hasson

This watercolor pears demo was done using Arches watercolor Board and professional grade watercolors by M. Graham, Davinci, and Winsor & Newton. For this demo, I used the following colors:

Perylene Maroon
Cobalt Blue
Hansa Yellow
New Gamboge
Burnt Sienna
Sap Green

 

I used a 2b pencil to draw out my picture. Make sure you draw lightly.

I wet my background and foreground being careful not to get the pears wet. I then loosely dropped in some Perylene Maroon adding more where it will be darkest and less where it will be lighter, this is called working wet in wet. Then I let this layer dry completely.

Watercolor tip:

If you touch the paper or board with the back of your hand and it feels cool it is not completely dry, wait until it is no longer cool to the touch.

After it was completely dry I added a layer of Cobalt blue to the background and the shadow. With layering, I do not pre-wet the paper or board again I put it directly on the dry surface; this is called working wet in dry. I let this layer dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Watercolor tip:

Keep your paint thin for layering and let some of the underneath colors show through, your color will build up and have nice depth as you add thin layers of color.

I glazed another layer of P. Maroon over the Cobalt Blue and the table. I Let this dry completely. I then started working on the pears by adding hansa yellow, avoiding the highlight areas; while it was still wet I added small touches of sap green and maroon to start to define the form. I used burnt sienna and a little maroon on the stems. I let it dry completely

Watercolor tip:

If your paper is still shiny, you can add more pigment. Once the shine goes off the paper do not add more paint. You will get blossoms.

The background has another layer of cobalt and then Maroon, letting the layers dry in between. I stopped once I achieved the darkness I wanted. I worked on the form and shadows of the pears by adding cobalt to the shadow sides and some more Maroon, I warmed up the light side with new gamboge still avoiding the highlights. You will have to work quickly so you are not working into an area that is starting to dry. Let your painting dry completely. I darkened the stems with a little cobalt and Burnt Sienna and let it dry.

To achieve the depth on the pears I glazed 2 more layers of blue, maroon, and yellow, always allowing my painting to dry between layers. Remember to stay away from your highlight areas keeping your whites.

Watercolor tip:

If you do happen to lose your highlights you can gently lift a little paint with a soft brush – synthetics work well for lifting.

I hope you have enjoyed this demo.

 

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

Join my free Facebook group – Creative Watercolor with Krista

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Learn more about color by downloading my free guide  –  “5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Watercolor”

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

Mixing Greens with Watercolor

Mixing Greens with Watercolor

Mixing Greens

 

I prefer mixing greens but when I first started painting I had every color known to man. Can you say addiction, maybe I should be starting a support group not writing articles lol. With my paint addiction under control 🙂 I now use a fairly limited palette. Phthalo Green is a premixed green that I do use when needed, but I always mix other colors with it. Getting good greens that look natural is very important. If your greens are too garish they will take over your painting.

 

 

Color Charts

 

The following colors were used to create the charts below:

Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue, Winsor Yellow, Indian Yellow, and Phthalo green.

In the Chart above on the left, you can see how the Winsor yellow lightens the blue’s overall value and creates cleaner greens than the chart on the right. Take a look at the Phthalo green and Winsor yellow. It creates a green that is vibrant and is not achievable with my basic palette. That is why I use it.

A general rule in watercolor is that if you need a subdued color or a neutral you add the color’s complement (color opposite on the color wheel) You can see in the chart above the Indian yellow creates earthy greens and brownish hues. This is because the yellow is a warm yellow-orange and orange is the complement to blue. Cobalt and Ultramarine contain more red than the Phthalos do, making their mixtures even more neutralized and muted.

I recommend making color charts from all of your paints. You will have a great reference to go to when a certain color is needed. Once you get used to the results of color mixes,  it will become second nature and you will automatically reach for the right color.

 

 

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

 

 

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

 

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Learn more about color by downloading my free guide  –  “5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Watercolor”

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

How To Paint Believable Shadows

How To Paint Believable Shadows

Shadows can be a tricky thing to paint. Especially if you are painting from photos instead of real life. In order to paint believable shadows, you must first understand how a shadow works. Note that in the photos below, I adjusted my reference pictures so they would show the needed information. Most times shadows in photos have been flattened into a solid dark mass. It all depends on your equipment and lighting conditions.

 

1. Highlight – the lightest spot where the source of light directly hits the object. Size of the highlight depends on the smoothness and hardness of the object it is on. Smoother and harder surfaces have a smaller harder highlight. On softer and textured surfaces the highlight would be larger and softer.

2. Light side – the side of the object that is facing the light source.

3. Shadow side – the side of the object facing away from the light source.

4. Reflected light – the light that is reflected off of the surface the object is sitting on (note: the reflective light will take on the color cast of the surface). It also varies depending on if it is on a light or dark surface.

5. Core shadow – is your darkest shadow area on the object.

6. Cast shadow – the closest area of the cast shadow will be the darkest.

7. Cast Shadow – the outer part of the cast shadow will lighten as it moves away from the object.

Notice how the cast shadow is actually reflected onto the apple. These reflections will also be more or less pronounced depending on the objects surface hardness and smoothness. Shadows are not black. It will serve you well to set up an object with a light and observe shadows in real life. Try putting them on different colored surfaces etc…

When you study shadows from life, it gives you the ability to fill in the missing information when your picture does not have it.

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

Cheers, Krista
PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

To read more articles on painting visit my main blog page

Negative Painting – An Exercise to Help Make it Positive

Negative Painting – An Exercise to Help Make it Positive

Negative painting is where you define the shape of the object by painting the space (negative space) around it. The painting below was painted using the negative painting technique.

 

Negative painting white cone flowers by Krista Hasson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below, I have included an exercise that you can do to help you get the hang of negative painting. Let me know how you make out.

 

Negative Painting Exercise

 

I painted this exercise in watercolor but you can do it in any medium you have. The colors I used are listed below but again use what you have.

  • Hansa Yellow (light cool yellow)
  • New Gamboge yellow (medium warm yellow)
  • Cobalt blue (medium cool blue)
  • Quinacridone red (medium cool red)

For this exercise I used a 6×6” square and made my smaller squares 2×2”, but you can make it any size you want.

 

Negative painting exercise by Krista HassonNegative painting exercise by Krista Hasson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start this exercise buy wetting your paper and paint it wet in wet with your light yellow (Hansa) paint. Let it dry completely (use a hair dryer to speed things up if you want). Once this is dry draw 3 smaller squares (not touching) on your paper. Paint around these squares negatively with your medium yellow (Gamboge). Let it dry completely.

 

 

Negative painting exercise by Krista Hasson  Negative painting exercise by Krista Hasson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draw on more squares (not too many, leave room for more) letting the first ones overlap. Paint the negative spaces with quinacridone red, leaving hansa yellow squares. Dry completely before moving on.

 

 

Negative painting exercise by Krista Hasson Negative painting exercise by Krista Hasson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draw a few more squares on the quinacridone red layer and paint the negative areas with a layer of cobalt blue. Dry completely.

Then draw in your last few squares on the cobalt layer. Mix a nice purple with quinacridone red and cobalt to apply to the last few negative spaces left. You have created colored squares without painting squares.

This technique works great for background layers of leaves or trees and many others.  Paintings can have both negative and positive painting in them. This technique can really add interesting areas and backgrounds in your paintings. Try it out, the possibilities are endless.

Thank you for sharing your time with me!

Cheers, Krista

PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

Read more articles on painting  HERE

Learn more about color by downloading my free guide  –  “5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Watercolor”

Why You Need to Start Using a Colored Ground on Your Canvas

Why You Need to Start Using a Colored Ground on Your Canvas

Standing there staring at the stark white, blank canvas. Is this a familiar scene? It was for me until I started using a colored ground, (toning with a color) on my canvas. It was amazing how much this one technique improved my paintings. Now, I never start a painting with the white of the canvas.

Benefits of toning your canvas

  • can create visual energy
  • painting on a ground can be faster
  • can help you to paint looser
  • unifies, creating a nice color harmony in your painting
  • makes judging your lights and darks much easier

toning canvas with colored ground article Krista Hasson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colors used for toning your canvas

Traditional colors that artists use as grounds.

  • neutral grays
  • yellow ochre
  • burnt umber
  • raw sienna
  • burnt sienna

These colors were wiped with a cloth before dry to create a light, more even stain on the canvas.

red colored ground dog painting article Krista Hasson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red is one of my favorite colors to use as a ground. I love the energy it infuses into my painting, especially when you are using a limited palette.  The red is also a mid value making it easier to judge the values of your light and dark colors. (I do not wipe it down. I like the solid red peeking through)

In the close-up picture below you can see the hints and flecks of red showing.  This adds to the visual energy of the painting and creates unity in the look and feel of the piece.

close up of red colored ground article Krista Hasson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can use any color that you like to tone your canvas.  If you are not sure what color to use, here are a few guidelines you could follow when you first start toning:

  • if your painting is cool, use a warm ground
  • If your painting is warm, use a cool ground
  • use the complementary color of the dominant color in your painting
  • red tones are good for green landscape
  • green tones are good for portraits
  • Warm orange tones are good for water scenes

If you don’t already tone your canvas, I recommend that you try it. Experiment with some of your favorite colors!

Paint some smaller paintings first so you get a feel for how it looks. Then move to larger pieces once you find the tone for you. Happy toning.

Cheers,  Krista

PS: Sharing is always appreciated!

Hi, I'm Krista!

I am an artist who truly loves to share and help people succeed. I want everyone who paints or wants to paint to have a joyful experience. I want them to have the tools and the foundation that they need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so your journey with art can be a rewarding one!

Subscribe

Join my Free FB Community!

My Facebook Group Krista Hasson

This is a group where you can share your joy and journey with watercolor. It is meant for learning and sharing in a safe, kind, supportive, non-judgemental community.
JOIN ME HERE

Free Inspiration for Artists

Free Inspiration for Artists

 

What should I paint?

 

We all struggle with what to paint next at one time or another. My advice is don’t worry about trying to paint what will sell (if you are at that stage). Paint what excites you, paint the things you love. Your passion will shine through and your paintings will be better. If it is flowers, for example, start with a specific flower and paint a series of 10 paintings, then move onto another flower.

If you don’t know what subject you love yet, that’s OK no need to worry.  Start by painting your surroundings, do some still life, experiment with different subjects, and have fun, it will come. I love to paint many subjects, as that keeps me excited about my art.

 

 

There are many free places online if you are stuck for an inspiring reference photo. These sites have royalty free images that you can use and they are a great place to find inspiration.

 

Top 5 free places to find inspiring reference pictures

 

  1. Morguefile.com 
  2. Pixabay.com 
  3. pmp.com 
  4. Photos for Artists on Facebook
  5. My last one is not a site it is your own surroundings, set up a still life or get outside, be adventurous, and take some pictures that inspire you. Then get painting!

 

Happy Painting!

 

Krista

PS – The pictures in this article came from free sites : ) (pixabay.com)

 

Create Great Art watercolor batik oil coursesartist Krista Hasson

Enter yourEmail below to get myfree guide on the“5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Watercolor”.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Create Great Art watercolor batik oil coursesartist Krista Hasson

Enter your email below to get myfree guide on the“5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Watercolor”.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest