Eileen McKenna Art & Design

Watercolor Art | Creative Inspiration to help you be creative on a regular basis


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Painting the ocean

Living near the ocean, and loving it as I do, I’ve often tried to paint it. It’s not easy! There are so many shadows in the water even on the calmest days. I’ve created paintings where I’ve tried to paint each little shadow and they have looked stiff. Nothing like water. I’ve found that sometimes the quick paintings of the ocean, where I don’t over work them, end up being the most successful.
In this painting I added a little water below the blue and it pushed into the blue creating blooms that look like a wave. Happy accidents!

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Creating fades (Gradations) with Watercolor

sunsetfinal
I’m looking forward to the warm days of Spring and Summer. The weather this weekend was a combination of extreme cold (4 degrees), followed by snow and rain. I’ve had enough! I tried to stay busy, which included painting. 🙂 First I painted some blobs, with the intention of adding ink and turning them into feathers.

3feathers1 3feathers2 3feathers3 3feathersf

Then I painted the sunset above. I was inspired by a watercolor heart I created a few weeks ago, where I blurred the edges of the heart so there was a soft edge. To blur the edges I let the paint mostly dry. With a wet brush, I pulled up some of the color at the edge of the shape. Then I soften the edge into the white area to create a fade.
featheredheart

I wanted the sun to have the same soft effect as the heart and I wanted to keep the sunset simple. I painted the sky part first and let it dry before painting the bottom. I didn’t want the bottom bleeding into the sky! In addition to softening the edge of the sun, I added water (to the water) to soften the blooms.* (This word was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn’t remember what they are called. Thank you to this link for the definition below.)

*Blooms or blossoms – are cauliflower looking marks created when extra moisture creeps back into a damp or partially dry area of a painted. As the excess water levels out it will “push” the tiny pigments of paint to the outside edge of the watermark. A back run can totally ruin a smooth flat area of a painting, unless you add the excess water intentionally. (also known as back runs, back wash, and water blossoms)

sunset1 sunset2

I’m not sure what my next project will be, but that’s part of the fun, right?