Painting With Nature

The bottom left-hand texture of this painting was created with leaves

I started my Wednesday morning with some hot coffee, a Bobby Darin record, and watercolor videos. A few of them were more meditative, which reminded me of how much I myself love this technique. Meditative art–or at least my definition of it–is when you paint/create with having no idea what you are going to come up with. You start with one or two colors, one brush, and just, go with the flow.

See what I did there?

Meditative painting is how I’ve been filling my Wordless Diary, as it is a great way to get my thoughts/feelings down onto paper, without trying to put what said thoughts/feelings are into words. I often feel better after finishing a wordless entry, than I do after writing two pages of whiny nonsense.

Wordless Diary Entries

I’ve been feeling a bit meh lately, and so I decided I needed a good meditative/wordless session. And as I was filling an empty cherry jar with water, I noticed Goo’s flowers from her recital by the window. One of the roses had wilted, and the loose petals were just begging to be plucked. I took a few, along with two or three tiny leaves. My goal was to stamp their patterns into the painting somehow.

The first painting was a major flop–as the first painting tends to be, because I’m “clearing the cobwebs” so to speak–but the next painting flowed together much nicer. I switched between watercolors and pens. I just let my brain wander, and refused to worry about whether or not I was going to produce something extraordinary.

Tip: when doing a meditative painting like this, using scrap paper helps keep you worry-free

Flowers painted with rose petals and gouache

The leaves made pretty “stone” textures at the base of my hills, making me think of a rocky cliffside by the sea. The rose, however, didn’t do much. It was much too soft to paint wet-in-wet with, and even placing something heavy on top of it didn’t leave an imprint. I decided that once the painting was finished, I would try a bit of wet-on-dry with gouache. And it worked nicely!

I have used bits of foliage here and there in previous paintings, but I think I’ll start a whole collection of natural tools. Rocks, sticks, dead flowers, to name a few. Should be fun!

Materials Used:

Daniel Smith watercolors (indigo and Aussie red gold)

-Brea Reese watercolor in (lake blue and pink)

-Winsor & Newton Designer’s Gouache (white)

-Scrap cold press paper

-Mixed media paper

 

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All images/videos ©Lina Forrester

Aussie Red Gold

When I saw Jean Lurssen using Aussie Red Gold in one of her YouTube videos, I knew it was going to be the next color on my list. But Daniel Smith watercolors are not cheap (this one was around 15$ for a tube) and so it remained on my wishlist for a month or two, until I found the means to splurge.

And wow this color rocks!

I think what I like most about this color is its warmness. I have a lot of cool yellows, but I’ve always gravitated toward my Woodlands palette for the warmer yellows and oranges.

So far I’ve only been playing with this color, testing its limits, but I do have a few ideas brewing of sunrises and golden autumns and sunflowers.

This morning, I shot a timelapse of my play, in which I mixed the new color with my other Daniel Smith watercolors, and then splashed around on a scrap piece of paper.

These are the colors I mixed on the video in order:

-Perylene Red

-Hansa Yellow Medium

-Yellow Ochre

-Raw Umber

-Burnt Umber

-Payne’s Gray

-Rare Green Earth

-Prussian Blue

-Ultramarine Blue

-Indigo

-Moonglow

My favorite mix of these was probably the pretty green I got with prussian blue, but I did enjoy the neutrals I got as well, with moonglow and ultramarine blue.

I’m not sure what my next color will be. As of right now, I’m pretty set, and the only thing I may need to buy soon is another primary set, as I’m low on those three colors. But you can be sure that when I buy a new color, I will definitely write all about it on here!

Until next time!

-Lina

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Water-Soluble Oil Paints!

I’ve been wanting to try these for ages, ever since I gave oil painting a try last year. A few things kept me from buying them right away. One was a money thing, as they weren’t a normal paint that went on sale at my local art store. Two was the internet thing, where artists talk about the downside of water-soluble oils and how one should still use a medium other than water. The third reason probably had a lot to do with my big existential who am I crisis at the end of last year, where I–mistakenly–limited myself to one medium: watercolor.

But it’s 2019, Y’all! And my Limitless project is still on! So, the other day when I realized watercolors were getting a bit stale at the moment and I wanted to try something new, I bee-lined straight for the art store and bought the primaries.

The paints are Winsor & Newton Artisan series, and they are gorgeous. What I disliked so much about traditional oil paints–the cleanup, the need for mineral spirits–is a thing of the past with these paints. I have been using only water these past two days, but I will be moving up to linseed oil today. Because the online artists are right about that fact: you should still use a medium to follow the “fat over lean” rule of oil painting. But now that I have a bit more knowledge under my belt, I know that this medium can be something as nontoxic as a walnut oil or linseed oil medium.

Do I see a difference between water-soluble and traditional oils in terms of quailty? I say no, but I’m not too savvy with traditional oils so there may be a difference? I hear from other artists that they are slightly less buttery, that they dry much faster, and also that they’re exactly the same as traditional.

The only real differences I see so far are that they are much easier to clean up, and don’t get all over the place like regular oil paints. Also, a little seems to go a long way with these paints. Meaning I don’t need a ton to paint with. Which saves money!

This is only a second layer, but I used walnut oil and got more of the “fatty” consistency

They are also reminiscent of watercolors for me, just enough that it bridges the gap and provides a bit of familiarity to me. The first day I got them, I watered them way down and used them like watercolors just to play around and they were so beautiful! I know, I know, the nerve of Lina, right?

I think what I like best about these paints is that I can bring them upstairs to my table without worrying about killing my pet canary with fumes. They are also very easy to travel around with, so long as I bring an extra bottle for old water. Because, like many mediums, you don’t want to just dump that dirty water down the drain. The Earth will thank you.

Have you ever tried water soluble oils? How do you think they compare to the real deal? Please tell me all about it below!

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Why You should Keep a Pocket Sketchbook

A few weeks ago I was wandering the art aisle of a well-known store that rhymes with small tart, and I saw the a tiny little 4×5 sketchbook for a couple bucks. I’d been needing a small sketchbook to doodle in while on car rides and sitting in waiting rooms, so I grabbed it and decided to keep it in my purse.

Weird thing is, I didn’t realize how necessary that sketchbook would become. Continue reading “Why You should Keep a Pocket Sketchbook”

Artist Tools: “Woodlands” by Prima Watercolor Confections

My most recent “care package” from my mom

Every so often, I receive a surprise package from my mom filled with art supplies. I’ve begun to call these “care packages” because that’s basically what they are. They’re boxes filled with happiness. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be as far as I am today in my art career if she hasn’t been helping keep me stocked up. Continue reading “Artist Tools: “Woodlands” by Prima Watercolor Confections”

Prima Watercolor Confections: Tropicals

Looking for fresh colors, atypical from the basic reds and greens I’d been limiting myself to for so long, I discovered the joy that is Prima Watercolor Confections. They have many different sets with beautiful colors, all with unique themes such as: Decadent Pies, Odyssey, and The Classics.

The first colors to catch my eye were in the set, “Tropicals.” They seemed to have cooler undertones, and richer pinks and blues. I decided to ask for them for my birthday. Continue reading “Prima Watercolor Confections: Tropicals”