Tips and Techniques:

I would like to share some of the techniques I use throughout my paintings: I know some of you have been painting a long time and already know these techniques, but there may be some of you that have just begun your painting journey and maybe these techniques will be of help to you.

Base Tinting: This is similar to base-coating except you float the color around the inside of the particular element of your design. For example; when you are base tinting a leaf, float around the inside pattern lines and along one side of the main vein line, and then apply your small vein lines with a liner brush. Let it dry. This will give you natural highlight area. You can apply a wash over this and you will still have a lighter highlight area showing through.

Pitty Patting: Applying short little applications of color with your brush as you walk an area out.

Spattering: Using paint thinned with water, load your brush ( I usually use a #8 flat brush ) and tap the handle of your brush with another brush ( I usually use a large wash brush ) over the area you want to spatter. It is good to do this over a piece of paper first to be sure you have the right consistency of your paint.

Soft Float: Many times throughout my instructions you will see apply soft floats of color for shading and highlighting. After I have wet my brush with water or medium and pat the brush front and back lightly on a paper towel, I load the corner of the brush with paint and stroke the brush on my palette (no more than 1 or 2) to blend the color into my brush. Turn the brush over and with the side of my brush that was loaded with paint, I go back into the paint that is on my palette where I stroked and stroke it some more. I do this several times to soften the color. You should have a gradual fading across the bristles of the brush. I always tell my students that what you see on the palette is what will appear on your piece.

Pat Blending: When two colors are merging, there should be no defined break between the two colors. Lightly patting these two colors together will alleviate the defined line. Pick up the basecoat color and pat-blend that color back into the shade area for a soft transition of color.

Watercolor background: I have been having a lot of fun trying new techniques with backgrounds. One of the techniques I used recently was making a watercolor background and painting the design with colored pencils. I use hot pressed 140 lb. watercolor paper, because of the smoothness of it when applying colored pencils. Wet the paper on both sides well (this prevents buckles in the paper) and apply the watercolors ( I apply one color at a time) and move the paper all around so that the color moves into different directions, but leave some of the white background showing. This will give you an interesting effect. You can use your brush and pull out from the color into areas that have no color to make branches and such. Let it dry overnight before applying your design.

Experiment a little and have fun! Its all about the learning journey that is so much fun!