A Fine Watercolor Workshop

Flaming Gorge Resort

Flaming Gorge Resort

I traveled to the Flaming Gorge Resort to present my “Finding Motion & Life in your Watercolor’s” Workshop for the Uintah Mountain Artists last month. Dave and I wound up hair pin turns on a dark road the night before with blackness pressing in on the headlights and owls and racoons darting in and out of view.

Uintah Mountain Artists

Uintah Mountain Artists

The next morning the sunlight and a beautiful view met our gaze. A nice group of ladies met at the conference center

 

 

 

 

 

The mature group.

The mature group.

but you never knew what they were doing behind your back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The palette and the photo.

The palette and the photo.

Students brought a photo of a family member or an old photo of a relative to use in there paintings. I demonstrated some of these principals by painting a picture of a great grandmother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sketch

The sketch

The portrait and the story.

The portrait and the story.

The face coming into view.

The face coming into view.

Working on the portrait and the mother holding her baby.

Working on the portrait and the mother holding her baby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did a quick sketch on the board of Colleen.

I did a quick sketch on the board of Colleen.

We talked about getting life into the figures we paint using angles and putting your mind into your painting. We discussed what makes a figure really say what we want it to say. Here is a sketch of Colleen with Colleen. It’s amazing how just a few lines can capture personality.

Have you ever tried to paint and talk at the same time?

Have you ever tried to paint and talk at the same time?

Working on her painting.

Working on her painting.

Colleen and the painting of her grandpa.

Colleen and the painting of her grandpa.

Flaming Gorge Workshop

Flaming Gorge Workshop

Flaming Gorge Workshop

Flaming Gorge Workshop

Talking about transferring sketch to watercolor paper.

Talking about transferring sketch to watercolor paper.

Demonstrating to the group.

Demonstrating to the group.

Painting for the group.

Painting for the group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great conversation and painting during the day and mountain sheep and great views at night. It was a perfect two day workshop. Thanks to Deena Millcam for the invitation and for many of these great pictures.

 

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Robert’s Biking Shoes

Robert's Biking Shoes

Robert’s Biking Shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our recent biking tour of southern Utah, we went by the Bingham Gallery and the Thunderbird Foundation just outside of Torrey and on the way to Mt. Carmel. We were sagging past some road construction and I talked a few people into making a quick stop into the gallery. One of the ladies found the perfect painting for her husband. It was a small original oil painting on board of a pair of hiking shoes.
“I’m going to buy this for my husband.” She was so excited. He was outside and she was going to surprise him. He walked into the gallery. I had the painting in my hand and was ready to run interference but she asked her husband for a 10 dollar bill because she didn’t have enough change. One of the owners of the gallery was so excited that they liked her painting. She had said that the painting was Seven-Fifty. Robert’s wife thought great. What a bargain. The owner said, “No $750.00. That was a bit more than Robert’s wife wanted to pay.
We had a good laugh about it. She had been so thrilled. I told her if she had a pair of Robert’s hiking shoes, I would paint a watercolor of them for her. They didn’t bring a pair of hiking shoes because, after all it was a biking trip, so I painting Robert’s biking shoes.

Bingham Gallery

Thunderbird Foundation

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Young Heber Valley Artists

Talking about line, shape and angle. Photo by Ivana Radu

Talking about line, shape and angle.
Photo by Ivana Radu

 

I had the great pleasure of presenting and visiting with some young artists at the Wasatch County Library in Heber last Thursday Evening. I was greeted by Sally Baird who made me feel welcome and got everything set up with the help of three rambunctious girls. The pictures were taken by another mother, Ivana Radu who said I was welcome to use them on my blog.

Discussing book dummys photo by Ivana Radu

Discussing book dummys
photo by Ivana Radu

 

 

 

We talked about the importance of getting in the sketch book habit. We discussed making books and talked about illustrating stories and what to think about when we hear the words and how do we get the pictures we see in our mind down on the paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From story board to book dummy to finished book.

From story board to book dummy to finished book. photo by Ivana Radu

 

I dropped some dye in water for some marbling and when I pulled the paper out, there was an appreciative gasp. I loved to see the art the kids produced and answer their questions.

Dropping the dye into the water photo by Ivana Radu

Dropping the dye into the water
photo by Ivana Radu

The dyes are dramatically brighter on the paper. photo by Ivana Radu

The dyes are dramatically brighter on the paper.
photo by Ivana Radu

 

We put all the art together at the end to let everyone see what the others had made. One student came up to me after the class and quietly asked, “Whose art did you think was the best?” I told him, “Everyone is at different levels with their art and everyone has their own style. You can’t really choose if one is better than another.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here is the Marbling die from Bolu-Undo photo by Ivana Radu

Here is the Marbling dye from Bolu-Undo
photo by Ivana Radu

Picking a postcard

Picking a postcard- photo by Ivana Radu

 

 

 

I paused and he looked up at me and then I said, “But I can say that your art was very nicely done.” He got a big grin on his face and said he was going to be an artist when he grows up. We had a lot of talented kids in the class. It was a great evening.

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Watercolor Workshop at Flaming Gorge Resort

Sherry Meidell plein air painting Bountiful, Utah

Sherry Meidell plein air painting Bountiful, Utah

 

Last Saturday was the Bountiful Music & Arts Festival on Main Street. It was a fine day for painting outside. I met some great people and checked out the new location for the Bountiful Davis Art Center.

I will be doing a two day watercolor workshop for the Uintah Mountain Artists on September 26th and 27th at the Flaming Gorge Resort’s Conference Room in Dutch John, Utah. If anyone wants to join us for the watercolor workshop in some beautiful country, you can call Lori Burchinal at 435-828-3668 to register. The info is below:

The Sherry Meidell’s “Finding motion and Life” Watercolor Workshop will be September 26th & 27th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The price is $150.00 per person.
The material list:
sketch book 9 x 12 or so
pencils & kneaded eraser
black pilot pen
one or two 1/2 sheets 140 lb. or 300 lb. arches watercolor paper, watercolor paints, water and brushes and everything you need to paint a picture

photos of people in motion and a nice face or old photos of grandparents or great grandparents or random people

We will discuss drawing and painting people in our watercolor paintings, how to get motion in your paintings and people. We will talk about finding the stories in our paintings.

Come join us.

Painting the view across the street.

Painting the view across the street.

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Biking Shoes and Watercolors

 

Stopping in at Gallery 24 at Torrey, Utah

Stopping in at Gallery 24 at Torrey, Utah

 

Our friends, convinced Dave and I to take a 430 mile, or so, bike ride through some of the most beautiful back country of Utah. We started in Blanding, went to Lake Powell and wound our way through Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, The Grand Staircase National Monument, ending in Zions National Park. We met some of the greatest people. The bike ride went through Torrey, Utah. I was able to stop into Gallery 24 and see a couple of my watercolors that are on display there, part of the prize for winning best of show at the Capitol Reef Plein Air Competition.

The picture was taken by one of the ladies on the ride. My friend nick named her the Green Hornet. She is 76 years old and she beat me on the uphills and the downhills.

Being passed by the Green Hornet in Capitol Reef National Park

Being passed by the Green Hornet in Capitol Reef National Park

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The Boy Scout Motto “Be Prepared”

Sketching at the Days of 47 Parade

Sketching at the Days of 47 Parade

 

 

 

 

Packing your sketch book around is a great idea. There is always that question, “Do I bring it or not?” “Will I have time to sketch?” Will it just get in the way?” I’ve found it’s better to have it on hand. If something comes up, I’m ready.

On the 24th or July our extended family stakes out a spot at Liberty Park for the Days of 47 Parade. It’s a great opportunity for picture taking and sketching. Below are some examples from the day.

Kids love to have you draw their picture

Kids love to have you draw their picture


I
t’s also a great way to make new friends. People often ask me, “How do you draw people? My answer is get a sketch book and start sketching people from life. You will teach your brain and your hand to see.

 

 

 

Sketches can catch the personality better than a photo

Sketches can catch the personality better than a photo

These sketches are in your book for reference on future projects.

These sketches are in your book for reference on future projects.

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Blog Tour: Writing Process

Shawna Tenney

Shawna Tenney

Shawna Tenney invited me to participate in a blog tour about my writing process. This should have been posted  a week or so ago but here goes. First I introduce Shawna.

Shawna Tenney graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Brigham Young University and started illustrating as a freelance illustrator a year later. Since then, she has created artwork for 18 books along with children’s magazines, charities, educational materials, religious materials and theater playbills. Her primary medium of choice now is digital. Lately her focus has been writing and illustrating her own stories.

Besides the process of making art, She enjoys being involved in the art community and has been running a monthly local illustration critique group. She is a volunteer at SCBWI and also enjoys teaching kids art and visiting children at local schools to talk about being an illustrator.

Shawna lives in Utah with her two very artistic little girls and a very sweet and supportive graphic designer husband. shawnajctenney.com

Now about my process.

First I transfer my character to my watercolor paper.

First I transfer my character to my watercolor paper.

1. What am I working on?
A Picture Book. I am always working on a picture book. I love combining the pictures with the words. It is a journey that bounces back and forth from idea to book dummy to revisions of words and pictures.
A watercolor painting. One or two watercolor paintings bubble around in my brain. The paintings are fun to work on because you use your whole arm to put paint and water on the paper. It is a good break from the picture book puzzle. I just sent an entry to be juried for the National Watercolor Society’s International Exhibit. There’s always another painting to paint. It seems to be a good combination, the picture books and the watercolor paintings, because both projects need to be put aside to view with a fresh pair of eyes. The picture book is like a puzzle that finally comes together in a book dummy. I work on it until I feel confident about sending it to my agent. I am currently working on a Halloween picture book.

 

I start with the lightest watercolor making sure I save the whites.

I start with the lightest watercolor making sure I save the whites.

2. How does my work differ from others of this genre?
I work with brushes, paint and paper. I love having a physical copy of my illustrations when I’m done. A lot of illustrators use the computer. The computer is a useful tool that I use for book dummy’s and checking out values but when I’m doing the final illustrations, I use the watercolors. I also use my sketch book as a tool where I can record ideas with words and sketches.

 

I start adding darker watercolors adding depth to the character

I start adding darker watercolors adding depth to the character

3. Why do I write what I do?
The ideas for picture books seem to come flying out of the atmosphere and I catch them with a great deal of excitement and quickly get them down on paper. That is the initial idea. Then the work comes. I capture that excitement and put it down on paper. Sometimes the words come first. Sometimes the pictures. I work on what current idea has come flying at me. There are a ton of ideas out there.

Adding a bit of background color.

Adding a bit of background color.

4. How does my writing (illustrating) process work?
When the mornings go the way I want them to, they start with some contemplation, some physical activity of some sort to keep my heart beating and then a walk up the six stairs to the studio. When I’m working on an illustration project with a deadline, I schedule out how much I will do in a day so the finished illustrations will arrive on time. When I’m working on my own projects, I work on a story board and move to the book dummy. I usually have several book dummies by the time I arrive at the final one. While I am working on projects I’m also collecting sketches and ideas to use on future picture books and paintings.

Finished Character study.

Finished Character study.

 

Well, there is my process and here is my finished character study. Now let me introduce you to my friend Susan Detwiler. She is the SCBWI Illustrator Coordinator for MD/DE/WV and a great illustrator. Her new book is coming out in September. 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Detwiler

Susan Detwiler

Susan grew up in Maryland and was educated at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where she and her husband and two sons now live. Besides books for children, her illustrations have been used for advertising, merchandise, and greeting cards.

www.susandetwiler/susanblog/

http://shawnajctenney.blogspot.com

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Paintings Off to Capitol Reef

 

"Trail to Hickman's Natural Bridge" 15"x22" watercolor

“Trail to Hickman’s Natural Bridge”
15″x22″ watercolor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Back Lit Grandeur"  15"x22" watercolor

“Back Lit Grandeur” 15″x22″ watercolor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two paintings are on their way down to Gallery 24 in Torrey, Utah. One of the prizes for the Grand Prize winner in the 1st Annual Arts and the Park Light on the Reef was the chance to display three paintings down at the gallery. If you are in the area, stop by and take a look.

Gallery 24

Utah Watercolor Society

Capitol Reef National Park

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Three ways to Get out of the Studio

Utah Watercolor Society Small Works Show

Utah Watercolor Society Small Works Show

One: The Utah Watercolor Society Small Works Show is hanging up at the Logan Fine Art Gallery. The opening was last Friday. It is one of the finest small works show the watercolor society has hung. You can see it until the end of July along with some other fine art in Logan.

 

 

 

The Illustrator's Mini Worshop at the Writers & Illustrators for Young Readers taught by Sherry Meidell

The Illustrator’s Mini Worshop at the Writers & Illustrators for Young Readers taught by Sherry Meidell

Two: This is the group of illustrators that attended the illustrator’s mini workshop at the Writers & Illustrators for Young Readers Conference that I taught in Sandy on Tuesday. It was a great group and fun to get to know them and share some ideas with them. We discussed the design behind the story board and character design. There was a lot of creative energy in the room. The conference is open to the public on Thursday June 12th at 2:15 for the plenary session with Cheri Earl “Cold, Hard Readings and Critiques” in the auditorium and then the keynote address will be given by James Dashner “Writing Commercial Fiction” after James there will be a book signing for those who want there books signed by the faculty of the conference.

Illustrator at the Writers for Young Readers Conference

Illustrator at the Writers for Young Readers Conference

Published Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from around Utah meet amongst the books

Published Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from around Utah meet amongst the books

Three: The published writers and illustrators in Utah were invited to a pot luck get together at the Kings English Book store last night. Since the weather had turned wet and cold and snowy in the mountains the pot luck was moved inside where all authors and illustrators should be, in the middle of some great children’s books. It was great to get to see old friends and meet new ones.

Utah Watercolor Society
Logan Fine Arts Gallery
Writer & Illustrators for Young Readers
The Kings English Book Store

 

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Watercolor meets Red Rock and Navaho Sandstone

 

The 30 participating Utah Watercolor Society Artists at Robber's Roost Book Store in Torrey Utah

The 30 participating Utah Watercolor Society Artists at Robber’s Roost Book Store in Torrey Utah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was one of 30 watercolor artists from the Utah Watercolor Society who were invited to participate in the first annual Arts and the Park Light on the Reef at Capitol Reef National Park.

First day and first painting.

First day and first painting.

 

The first day and first painting was a short afternoon hike up Capitol Gorge.

 

 

 

 

The light was perfect

The light was perfect

 

Cliff Shade

Cliff Shade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second day, second painting was a short hike up Sunrise Point off of the Gooseneck Road. Dave and I found a good spot and then he took off to explore and take a hike in the National Park.

Gnats

Gnats

 

There were two kinds of gnats, the ones that randomly fly into your eyeballs and die and the ones that bite. Both kinds were out in force.

 

Dave hiking out

Dave hiking out

After a morning of gnats and painting, it was nice to have the help of a pack horse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third day, third painting

Third day, third painting

Third day, third painting was no hike, painting one hop skip and jump from the van but an early start to catch the light.

 

 

 

 

 

Morning light hitting Navaho Dome

Morning light hitting Navaho Dome

Becky Hartvigsen painting at Navaho Dome, Capitol Reef National Park

Becky Hartvigsen painting at Navaho Dome, Capitol Reef National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One solution for gnats was this lovely painting attire.

One solution for gnats was this lovely painting attire.

 

This is how I looked when I met the car load of ladies from China and the bus load of people from France and the people from Germany and the Netherlands and several random bikers.

 

 

 

The ladies from China

The ladies from China

The bus load of people from France.

The bus load of people from France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After three days of painting, the watercolors were framed. Morning light at Navaho Dome was framed thanks to Ray Conrad, one of the artists showing at Gallery 42 in Torrey. He took a screw out of one of his paintings to give to me so I could attach the wire to the back of my frame. The kit was missing one screw. (Note to self, next time bring extra framing hardware.)

The paintings were displayed at Robber's Roost for judging and auction.

The paintings were displayed at Robber’s Roost for judging and auction.

Some of the crowd at Robber's Roost.

Some of the crowd at Robber’s Roost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning light at Navaho Dome

Morning light at Navaho Dome

With so many amazing artists, I was thrilled that the painting received the blue ribbon. A big thanks to the Entrada Institute, Capitol Reef National Park, Robber’s Roost and Utah Watercolor Society who made this weekend so special for all.

Utah Watercolor Society, Entrada Institute, Capitol Reef National Park, Robber’s Roost, and Torrey, Utah

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