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  37 Step-by-Step Demonstrations Using Watercolor Pencil and Paint
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Book Details
 604 p
 File Size 
 28,799 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 2014 by Cathy Johnson 

About the Author
Cathy Johnson has written more than thirty-five books, many on art. She has
been a contributing editor, writer and illustrator for Watercolor Artist for over a
decade and has written regular columns for that magazine and The Artist’s
Magazine. She started the popular group blog Sketching in Nature
( She also teaches online workshops at and runs the blogs The Quicksilver Workaholic
( and Cathy Johnson Fine Art Galleries
( Johnson lives and works in Excelsior Springs,
Missouri, with her husband and cats.

For an artist, working on the spot—in nature, en plein air, whatever you want to
call it—can be a delight, a wonderful challenge, the ultimate high. And, yes, it is
a challenge—nature sees to that! The changing light alone tests our skill and
speed and our powers of observation.
Still, there are so many reasons to work outdoors: to drink in the beauty of
nature; to find fresh, evocative, inspiring and challenging subjects; to spend time
in the quiet places; to capture the liveliness of birds or the grace of a red fox; to
learn about your environment; to perfect your skill; and just to be out where it’s
achingly beautiful. Whether you take a painting vacation, a field trip led by a
naturalist/artist, or a trip to some exotic, untouched locale, or you find painting
subjects virtually in your own backyard, you will find subjects enough for a lifetime.

Of course, it isn’t necessary to complete a whole painting outdoors. You may
prefer to sketch a variety of subjects with pencil, ink, colored or watercolor
pencils, even mixed media with quick watercolor washes, then return to the
comforts of home to do a more finished piece. You can take photos, both from a
distance and close up. I’ll show you how to put these resources to work!
We’ll discuss the various mediums and try out the techniques together, and
I’ll offer some of my favorite quick tips and hints for capturing textures. We’ll
cover some of the basics, but also explore more specific and advanced techniques.

This book is organized by habitat. Each chapter includes the variety of things
you will find in that specific habitat and hints on how best to capture these
elements in your sketches and watercolors. The forest habitat chapter, for
instance, will show you how to capture individual tree shapes, bark patterns and
leaves as well as forests from a distance and in their varied seasons. You’ll also
learn to paint the wildflowers that bloom in the spring and the birds, insects and
animals that frequent these places.

There is a bit of the naturalist in most of us. Painting and drawing this
marvelous place we inhabit allows us to slow down and learn with our own eyes,
to notice, to pay attention. The child within is still curious about that big moth or
the tiny, brightly colored mushroom that grows along a fallen log. How better to
explore than to observe and draw or paint?
Perhaps Baba Ram Dass was not thinking of artists when he said, “Be here,
now,” but that injunction certainly applies to painting in nature. We look, we
see, we pay attention, we learn … and we delight in it!

Whether you love an aromatic, crackling campfire, a mountain stream, the
robust wildflowers of summer or the calligraphy of tracks in the snow; whether
you find time for canoeing, fishing in the early morning, watching the birds that
frequent your locale or stealing silently almost within touching distance of a deer
and her fawn, you will find magic in this natural world. As an artist, getting it
down in concrete form is to capture those moments forever, golden as a fly in
amber. Your paintings and sketches will have the power to return you to that
moment in time. No matter how busy and frenetic your everyday life, these
tangible evidences of time in nature will transport you back to those magical moments.

Table of Contents
Special Offers
Choosing the Right Watercolor Pencils
Learning How Your Watercolor Pencils Behave
Choosing the Right Brushes for Watercolor Pencil
Choosing the Right Paper
Working With Colored Papers
Prepping for Mixed Media
Working on the spot—Tools for Travel

Getting Familiar With Opacity
Using Saturated Colors
Working Light Over Dark in Watercolor Pencil
Varying Watercolor Pencil Application
Applying Basic Pencil Techniques With Water
Playing With Pencil Pigment
Working Dry-Into-Wet in Watercolor Pencil
Dealing With Shadows
Keeping It Clean
Retaining Whites in Watercolor Pencil Paintings
Watercolor Washes
Creating Flat Tones in Watercolor Pencil
Creating a Graded Wash in Watercolor Pencil
Layering in Watercolor Pencil
Painting With Color Lifted From Your Watercolor Pencil
Using Linear Effects in Watercolor Pencil
Incorporating Elements of Design

How to Get Started
Creating a Field Journal
Learning From Your Own Art
Asking the Right Questions
Bird Watching With Journal in Hand
Travel Journal
Doing What You Have to Do
Field Journal

Tracking the Seasons
Leaves and Tree Bark
Painting Tree Bark
Foliage Colors and Shapes
Painting Foliage
Painting Tree Shapes
Weston Bend
Using Trees in Your Landscapes
Trees From a Distance
Painting Morning Light
Denizens of the Forest—Plants and Creatures
Painting Plants Up Close
Painting Fur and Hair
Painting an Animal’s Eye

Still Water—Lakes, Ponds, Coves, Marshes
Reflections and Wave Patterns
Painting Reflections
Maine Coast Morning
Creating Reflections in Rivers and Streams
Painting Lakes and Ponds
Fast-Moving Water—Rivers and Streams
Painting Rivers and Streams in Perspective
Painting Waterfalls
Promised Land
Ocean Habitat—Tidal Zones and the Seashore
Painting the Sea
Painting the Light of Sunrise and Sunset
Cliff House
Natural History Sketches—Plants and Wildlife
Painting Feathers
Painting Flocks of Birds
Creating a Bird’s Portrait
Painting Different Types of Clouds
Painting Snow
Painting Rain
Painting Rain Clouds

Trees That Follow the Watershed
Painting Flowers in the Distance
Mammals of the Grasslands
Birds of the Grasslands
Painting Weeds and Grass
Painting Grass
Cultivated Fields
Painting Aerial Perspective
Limestone Fence Posts and Windmills
Painting Night
Painting Intimate Landscapes

Trees of the Eastern and Western Mountains
Mountain Wildflowers
Birds of the Mountains
Mountain Wildlife
Mountain Sheep
Mountain Painting
Painting Rocks and Boulders
Using Rocks in Landscapes

Desert Wildlife
Ground Squirrel
Trying Out Desert-Toned Paper
Signs of Early Occupation
Desert Plants
Following the Rules of Perspective for Plants
Raven’s Hole

Small-Scale People
Painting People in Watercolor Pencil
Creating Skin Tones
Painting Hair in Watercolor Pencil
Landscape With Figure
Going Camping
Capturing Firelight
Canoes, Kayaks, Dories and Jon Boats
Sunset Canoes
Hiking or Walking in All Weather
Implied Humans
Variations on a Theme


Published by
North Light Books, an imprint of F+W Media, Inc., 10151 Carver Road, Suite
200, Blue Ash, OH 45242. (800) 289-0963. First Edition.

This e-book edition: April 2014 (v.1.0)

A Beginner’s Step-By-Step Guide

Birgit O’Connor
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Book Details
 384 p
 File Size 
 27,177 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 2018 by Birgit O’Connor  

Watercolor Materials You Will Need
These are the materials needed to complete the exercises and
demonstrations in this book. I noted the brand I used in
parentheses, but use any brand you prefer. For advice on
choosing materials, see Chapter 1.
Cold press (Arches), 140-lb. (300gsm) for practice and 300-lb.
(640gsm) for finished paintings
No. 30 natural round
Nos. 8, 14 and 20 sable/synthetic blend round
No. 3 synthetic round 2" (5cm) bamboo hake
Mop or other wash brush (such as Mottler no. 60 synthetic wash brush)
Transparent Watercolors
(all by Winsor & Newton except where noted)
Burnt Sienna • Cerulean Blue • Cobalt Blue • French
Ultramarine Blue • Green Gold • Hansa Yellow Medium* •
Indanthrene Blue • Indian Yellow • Indigo • Permanent
Alizarin Crimson • Permanent Rose • Permanent Sap Green •
Quinacridone Gold • Quinacridone Magenta • Quinacridone
Pink* • Quinacridone Purple* • Transparent Yellow • Winsor
Blue (Green Shade) • Winsor Blue (Red Shade) • Winsor
Violet (Dioxazine) or Carbazole Violet*
* = Daniel Smith watercolors
Large plastic paint palette (shallow wells, large mixing areas, covered)
Large wash bucket, 1–2 gallons (4–8 liters)
Small spray bottle
Terry cloth towels or paper towels
Pencil (2B)Kneaded eraser
Masking fluid or drawing gum (Pebeo)
Masking tool of choice (old brushes, Uggly Brush, Incredible Nib, etc.)
Rubber cement pickup
Original Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (generic name: melamine foam sponge)
Sketchpad/drawing paper
Graphite or transfer paper
Artist’s tape
Hair dryer (optional)

As you look through these pages, you might, at first glance,
think this book is only about painting flowers, but it’s actually
much more than that. The floral compositions presented are
just a vehicle for freedom of expression to play with water,
color, movement and design.
For some, flowers as a subject matter can seem a little
limiting, but your perception is really all in your approach.
Exploring exciting compositions and experimenting with the
amount of water you use with your paints can dramatically
change your perspective.
In general, watercolor is the most fluid and expressive
medium. The variety of effects that can be created offer you
many ways to express yourself. It can even become an
emotional experience. Watercolor moves with or without our
help and has the ability to reflect light off the surface of the
paper, through transparent layers of paint. The luminous color
that results is well suited for the beautiful blooms we will paint.
All the techniques used throughout this book are universal
and can be applied to other subjects, such as landscapes and
still lifes. Lots of people think they can’t use watercolor or that
it’s too hard, but it really is all in how you approach it. Nothing
compares to this medium, and once you learn the techniques,
you can allow yourself the freedom to explore, have fun and
find your creative artist within.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Getting Ready to Paint
Chapter 2
Basic Watercolor Techniques
Chapter 3
Understanding Color
Chapter 4
Designing Strong Compositions
Chapter 5
Lessons and Demonstrations in Watercolor
Orange Cactus Flowers
Tree Peony
Calla Lilies
Apple Blossoms
About the Author


Edited by Stefanie Laufersweiler
Production edited by Jennifer Zellner
Cover designed by Clare Finney
Interior designed by Nicola DosSantos
Production coordinated by Debbie Thomas

A Clear & Easy Guide to Successful Oil Painting 

Mark and Mary Willenbrink

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Book Details
 2.00 USD
 364 p
 File Size
 21,707 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 978-1-60061-784-3 (pbk. : alk. paper)
 2010 by Mark and Mary Willenbrink 

About the Author
As a husband-and-wife team, Mark and Mary Willenbrink have been
writing together for over a decade. Mark works as a fine artist, illustrator
and art instructor. Mary is an author, literary analysis teacher and
homeschool mom. Mark and Mary's art instruction focuses on the needs
of the absolute beginner. Mark's art and teaching expertise along with
Mary's encouragement and understanding provide the perfect balance
for those just embarking on their artistic journey. Mark and Mary's other
books include Watercolor for the Absolute Beginner and Drawing for the
Absolute Beginner. Mark and Mary reside in Cincinnati, Ohio, with their
three children, two cats and Australian shepherd.
To see more of Mark's artwork, visit his website at

Thank you to all of those behind the scenes at F+W Media who helped
put this beautiful book together: Guy Kelly, Mark Griffin, Jennifer Lepore,
Ric Deliantoni and Adam Hand.
We give special thanks to our editor, Mary Bostic. Because of your
editorial insights and questions, this book is just about perfect!
Thank you, Tom Post, for your encouragement and advice, and thanks
to Cheryl and Jeff Cook. We thank everyone with Heavenly C Ministries
for your encouragement and constant support.
The support of our kids as we work is absolutely amazing. With great
pride and our utmost love, we thank our three children.
Throughout the writing of this book, we constantly thanked each
other. As a husband-and-wife team, we bring out the best in each other
and can honestly say we are best friends.
Lastly, we thank the Lord for His inspiration. We are all created in our
Father's image to be creative, and with our creativity we praise Him.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Gather Your Materials
Solvents and Thinners
Stretching Canvas
Additional Supplies
Indoor Setup
Outdoor Setup
Discussing Materials

Chapter 2
Basic Art Principles
Structural Drawing
Measuring and Proportioning
Linear Perspective
Color Basics
Complementary and Analogous Colors
Color Temperature
Color Intensity
Combined Perspective
Discussing Art Principles

Chapter 3
Practicing the Techniques
Mixing Paint
Loading a Brush
Cleaning Brushes
Get a Grip!
Creating Brushstrokes
Painting Techniques
Wet-Into-Wet Painting
Wet-Into-Dry Painting
Painting With a Palette Knife
Lifting and Wiping off Paint
Positive and Negative Painting
Hard and Soft Edges
Discussing Plein Air Painting

Chapter 4
Let’s Paint!
Getting Ready
Using a Ground
Underdrawing and Underpainting
Monochromatic Rocks
Sunset Beach
Mountains With Primary Colors
Pear Still Life
Cloud Study
Landscape With Cottage
Painting Trees
Seascape With Boats
Springhouse in Summer
Twilight Gatehouse
Drawing People
Portrait in Profile
Drawing Profiles
Girl With Flowers
Finishing Your Paintings
Metric Conversion Chart
About the Authors

Ideas. Instruction. Inspiration.

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During an outdoor celebration our eldest daughter exclaimed, “Ooh, look
at the fireworks,” to which our youngest child gleefully replied, “Those
aren't fireworks, they're dancing bananas!” How fun! Their perceptions
are unique, yet both are filled with wonder. Wouldn't you love to see their
artistic expressions of fireworks?
Capture that feeling of curiosity and excitement as you work through
this book, using the lessons as a tool to express yourself through your
artwork. Then allow yourself to stand back from your paintings and say
something like “Ooh, I love the reflections in this pond” or “I really like
the way I painted those trees.” Don't be overly critical of your work. Note
what you like about it, and always date the painting so that you can
follow your progress.

First Things First
We suggest you go through the materials and take time to set up your
own studio. Our definition of studio is a space that transports you away
from the concept of time, responsibilities and worries. Each time you
pick up this book, prepare yourself to be an active participant. Start
reading it as if we were speaking to you directly. We hope that as you
work through these demonstrations, you will cultivate your abilities
while having fun in the process. Seriously, we want you to have fun!
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