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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Painting Christmas cards

The Monday Exploring Watercolor class decided several weeks ago to exchange handpainted Christmas cards. Some are working on them in class and others at home. We'll exchange cards next week--they can bring one or two cards and receive the same number, drawing from a box. It has been fun to see some of the ideas for cards and I'm sure next week's exchange will be great fun. To go along with the winter theme, I showed some techniques using white paint a couple of weeks ago, spattering on a painted or mat board surface to make falling snow. You can make brighter white spatters with Titanium White than with Zinc or Chinese White, which makes a mistier kind of atmosphere. If you put a little white gouache into a damp wash, it will spread and make a neat effect.

Last week I brought salt and isopropyl alcohol and demonstrated the sparkly effects you can get with these on a damp watercolor wash. I don't recommend using salt in paintings for exhibition and sale, but for cards and illustrations that will be reproduced, there's no problem. The effects are so dramatic sometimes and make great backgrounds for children's stories, in particlar.

This week I took some metallic powdered paints, gold and silver, and sparkly glitter pens, but no one seemed interested in them. Hmmm. I thought they would be great for the cards. I also did a quick demo on painting people with a few brushstrokes. They tend to get too involved with detail on people in backgrounds.

Stay tuned. Over the next few days I'll be reviewing ten books on the blog.

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Blogger Annette Bush said...

Somehow I missed this earlier. How gently you have turned a discussion of cards into a little primer on special effects! Anyone who hasn't tried them should certainly have their curiosity piqued.

6:35 AM  

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