I’ve uploaded a new YouTube video, sharing what I’ve learned about masking fluid, also known as friskit or liquid mask. I used to get so frustrated by ruined brushes after a masking fluid session, until I learned a simple trick for protecting my brushes that isn’t written on the bottle.
In this video I’ll also cover a few more tips for using masking fluid without frustration. Enjoy!
Yesterday I had a little fun and recorded a video answering some of the questions I receive by email or as comments on my Youtube channel. I hope that this can be a regular thing, so keep the questions coming!
In the video I show you my paintbrush collection, palette storage, answer paper type & quality questions, talk about complementary colours (again!) and teaching watercolor at home. Check it out!
Today I’m packing the van and taking the kids for a drive. We’re going to Fairview, Alberta to pick up my paintings from the Fine Arts Centre following the Peace Watercolour Society annual show & sale. While I didn’t sell any paintings at this particular event, it was my first time showing my work in Fairview, so I’m pleased to have been able to exhibit before a new audience. Once my paintings are home, I’m going to be working on a new project that I can’t wait to tell you about. (Don’t you just hate teasers like that? Clue: look up giclée in the dictionary.)
Have a great weekend! I’ll be back next week to show you some fun greeting cards that I painted in my last watercolour class.
If you follow my YouTube channel, you will already know that my sunflower painting tutorial is now available worldwide! I’ve recorded and uploaded a six-part series that you can use to practice your watercolour techniques in a practical way.
Start with Part 1 here and then follow the links to complete the tutorial:
I’d love to hear what you think, or any questions you have, or what you’d like to see as a future video tutorial or demonstration.
My daughters have been away at camp all week, and so during the day I have my son’s undivided attention. He’s just turned seven, and he’s full of energy. He’s talked my ear off all week and I’ve learned all kinds of things about his favourite video games, go-karts, and his plans for the camping trip he and his dad just left on. I’m so thankful he gets to spend some quality time in the bush with his dad, grandpa, uncle and cousins this weekend, and I have six whole hours to myself before I pick up my girls from camp!
During the week, Wes and I went berry picking. We love strawberries, and our little patch at home has never thrived. The nearest “u-pick” strawberry patch is over an hour away, on the banks of the Peace River in Dunvegan, Alberta. It’s a beautiful site, and after we filled our pails, we wandered the grounds of the garden and enjoyed some well-deserved ice cream. I would love to paint on location there, but seven-year-old attention span was worn out by the berry excursion, so I settled for grabbing a few reference photos.
I am very inspired by the blue shadows on these pristine white peonies!
I recently finished a painting that’s all about the wild roses that we love so much here in the north. I clipped a sprig from the edge of our driveway and brought it into the studio to paint. It smelled so wonderful!
I videotaped my process and uploaded it to Youtube today. I spend a bit of time at the beginning explaining my techniques, and then fade to music as I get absorbed in painting and forget to talk to my audience. Painting like this is very energizing and intuitive, and I am so thankful for the years I spent struggling to develop technique and grow comfortable with the medium of watercolour. With that work done, I can throw myself into painting from my heart, and it’s rewarding on so many levels.
I’m looking forward to teaching a new crop of beginning watercolour painters in the fall, but this summer is all about putting some of what I have learned over the years onto video.
One thing I see with new students is that many of them make the same early mistakes, so I make “what not to do” an opening part of my classes. I’ll demonstrate a different “don’t” each week. Some of these are simple things that make sense when demonstrated, and others are mistakes most of us make when starting out in watercolour and will be resolved over time and with practice.
Yesterday I showed you my newest painting, this abstract landscape, and today I’m showing you the video of my process, start to finish. This painting took less than twenty minutes to paint, but don’t let the speed fool you; painting abstracts requires a deft hand and a strong sense of direction!
I’m on fire this week; after months of incomplete, abandoned painting attempts, I start and finish two paintings in two days! Just goes to show that painting time is never wasted.
Enjoy the video – I’d love to hear your comments! Don’t forget to check out all my watercolour painting how-to’s on Youtube.
I’ve been working on a large landscape painting for the last couple of weeks. My method these days is to put down my brush as soon as the process starts to feel forced, allowing thinking time to be an important part of the process. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at a painting that I’ve set aside to “percolate” and had a sudden flash of insight into exactly what was needed next in the painting.
This means that optimally I should have several paintings on the go at any time, in various stages of progress.
In my recent landscape, one of the elements is a large evergreen tree. I’ve painted spruce and pine trees for years, and was content with my results, but in this most recent painting, I suddenly thought, “What if?…” and started throwing some unexpected colours into the process. The result was a tree that shone with life and colour, and I may never paint evergreens the old way again!
I wanted to share my findings, so I made a video talking about the new colours I’m using in painting evergreens, showing a little more technique and talking about my mother’s soft spot for baby pine trees. Enjoy!
The kids finished their school work for the year last week and are officially on summer vacation. (Don’t tell them, but we’ll be packing lots of learning into the summer months, just in a sneaky, hands-on way!) This afternoon I took them on an outing; I wanted to get a run in without getting up early, so I jogged while they biked the walking trails in town. We did a quick 5km and then packed the bikes back in the van and went swimming at the pool. It was actually a lot of fun – so often my plans for a fun outing hold a lot of frustration and complaining, so maybe they are growing up!
I got a little watercolor painting in this morning and I wanted to share my video of my newest endeavours because I’m trying something new. Jean Haines in her book Atmospheric Watercolour said something that stuck with me, about painting only half the detail you think you need. I think that’s what I need since I really struggle with “overpainting”; that is, painting the life out of my subject. Nothing makes a watercolour look more dead than that.
So I pulled a number out of thin air and said to myself, “What about trying five-stroke paintings?” The idea being, do an exercise where I allow myself only five strokes to paint my subject. Obviously, this is an exercise, not a way to complete a full painting, but in limiting my strokes, I can still play with amazing colour washes and edges, while avoiding painting my subject till it’s dead.
I tried it out today, using this photo as my reference:
Love these saskatoon berries! And my five-stroke version of the berries:
In hindsight (and requiring a sixth stroke), the berries really need one more stem joining the top berries to the leaves. As an exercise, this rocked! Take a few minutes and watch the video in which I demonstrate this painting from start to finish. Two five-stroke layers got it to the point you see here.
I would really love to see how the five-stroke exercise works for you! Email me with your projects ang @ angelafehr (dot) com. Have a great day!
So I had kind of a funky idea and I haven’t showed it to anyone else yet, so I don’t know if it works or if it’s just all in my mind, you know? Sometimes I’m not very objective when it comes to a project into which I’ve poured a lot of energy.
My idea was to make something cool to hang on the front door. Something that says “spring” and something that suits my vintage rustic style. I like rusty signs in my kitchen, vintage sleds leaning against the wall, and broken garden tools sprouting in my garden. So I used an old license plate.
The year on the plate is 1963, and I bought it ten years ago at a yard sale to use in crafts. It’s about time I got around to it!
I didn’t want to cover the plate entirely, but I did want to have a message beyond the numbers on the plate, so I used Scrabble tiles (another passion, and just to let you know that I thoroughly beat my sister the last time we played; she usually beats me.) So, using a piece of Prima Resistant Canvas as my base, I watercoloured the canvas, stamped it and adhered the Scrabble tiles, and then covered the whole thing with Rock Candy crackle paint.
And just as a treat for you, I’m practising my videography and did a little tutorial on using watercolour on canvas. Just FYI.
I’d love to know what you think of this project! It was fun to make, and I think it says my name, if you know what I mean.
Something I am often asked about in regards to my watercolour painting, is how I paint leaves. Because flowers and fauna are my favourite subjects to paint, I’ve spent a lot of time studying the beautiful organic lines and shapes of plants, and certainly different techniques suit different kinds of leaves, so I’ve prepared a video showing three techniques I’ve used in the past for painting leaves, focusing mainly on my favourite “negative space” vein technique, while sharing two others that can be useful.