Watercolor batik painting- wax resist on rice paper

True story:

Today, I tell my wife that I am “Going to use thick juicy washes in a painting, and then going to play with hot wax (in another painting)”.

And she tells me I am a pervert! 🙂

Not fair.

The August ’11 issue of Watercolor Artist  featured an article by artist Kathie George about watercolor painting on rice paper using wax resist.  Basically, you melt paraffin wax (commonly known as gulf wax)  and apply it to the areas you want to save as white (like masking fluid) on the canvas- the rice paper.  You continue to building layer upon layer and gradually add paint to the areas you have not added wax.  When you are finished with the darkest darks, you crumble the paper creating cracks in the wax, apply another layer of paint, and re-wax.  When you remove the wax, you are left with an image that has a weathered and distinct look.  I love the technique, and hey, I get to play with hot wax!   My table hates it.  It is a mess.

Here were the first two attempts at this watercolor technique:

(Watercolor batik of Banteay Srei- Angkor Wat ruins near Siem Reap, Cambodia)

(Watercolor batik of Angkor Wat sunrise- UNESCO World Heritage park)

I applied too much color to the top of the fully-waxed painting for the Angkor Sunrise photograph, but was rather happy with the gradations of the sky (rice paper has no sizing so it has been difficult to control smooth blending of the sunrise).

For the life of me, I cannot create a painting without hi-contrast.  Really, I am trying….

The original images are for sale (please send an email through my website) or as fine art proofs (also through website).

Sincerely,

Ryan

R. Fox Photography

(919) 645-8345

ryan@rfoxphoto.com

How do you get wax off of your table?

 

Watercolor paintings of Angkor using the mouth atomizer

During the wedding off-season I have been painting as much as time permits.  Of course, with two children (one 4, one almost 4 months), this is easier said than done.
I am currently working on a series of watercolors based on the Khmer ruins at Angkor Wat.  I have visited Cambodia several times to photograph the UNESCO archaeological ruins of Angkor Thom.  The best known local within the city of Angkor Thom is the ruined temple of Angkor Wat.
Recently, I saw a youtube video of Mark Mehaffey using a mouth atomizer.  Basically, it’s a poor man’s airbrush.  Instead of using compressed air to blow the paint onto the canvas, you use your breath.
I composed 95% of this painting using the mouth atomizer and contact paper to build the values and colors.

(Watercolor of sunrise over Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat- Cambodia)

The remaining 5%   image was painted with a brush.

While I had difficulty controlling the spray (especially in the smooth gradations in the sky), I was encouraged by the results and will continue to use the mouth atomizer, a $6-7 dollar product, in future paintings.

Using the mouth atomizer was considerably different from my normal watercolor paintings.  Instead of painting light-to dark, I went dark-to-light.  The contact paper preserves your whites while you spray the dark colors.  Beware of cutting into the paper though as you remove the contact/frisket film

I photographed three recent paintings too:

(Watercolor painting of Eastern Gate to Angkor Thom)

 

 

 

Sincerely,

Ryan

R. Fox Photography

(919) 645-8345

ryan@rfoxphoto.com

www.facebook.com/rfox9

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Raleigh watercolor painter- Ryan Fox

Recently scanned four of my newest paintings.  My time has been limited since my wife went back to work and left me in charge of our 6 week and 4 year old.  Though I want to paint every day, I am often too tired at 9pm to consider doing so.

The watercolors below are 3 watercolor paintings of the Khmer ruins at Angkor Wat archaeological park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  I have visited Angkor twice and would return again in an instance.

All originals are for sale and as fine art prints through Fine Art America

 

(Smiling face statues at the Bayon temple)

(Sycamore tree overgrowing ruins of monastic temple of Ta Prohm)

(Vignetted sunset shot of Stonehenge.  Painted fast and loose)

I have painted more watercolors in a variety of styles, but these were my most successful.  Recently I have been inspired by the watercolors of Jean Grastorf, Cheng-Khee Chee, & Judi Morris.

Two kids, a photography business, and painting.  No wonder I have not worked out in several weeks.  Whew.

Ryan

R. Fox Photography

(919) 645-8345

www.facebook.com/rfox9

Bolivia stock and travel photography- R. Fox Photo

As I near the end of scanning my 35mm chromes (slides) from my travel photography days (currently on hiatus thanks to the birth of my 2nd son), I recently added a gallery for the South American country of Bolivia.  Below are a few photographs from the city of La Paz where we visited my brother-in-laws family.

Bolivia is beautiful, but chilly the wintertime (our summer season).  When that sun dropped out of the sky, it went from a comfortable 65 degrees to COLD.  Quickly.


You also couldn’t fake the altitude.  La Paz is one of the highest altitude cities in the world.  For the first few days you feel like a fish out of the water- constantly trying to catch your breath.

It does not help that you land at the airport, which is at 13k feet, and then descend into the city.

Of course, cold and altitude aside, when you see sunrises like this I could care less how cold, hungry, or craving coffee I was.  The photographs were worth the effort.

 

Lastly,  I have been currently working on  watercolor paintings based on these travel photographs.  This image of the Cementario de Trenos (Cemetery of Trains) in the Salar de Uyuni is a composite of three photographs.  The colors have been dramatically changed.  I was rather proud of the rusty look in the train on the left.  Not too bad for a two hour watercolor (drawing time not included).

Further examples of my paintings are available online at this link.

The travel photographs are available in a variety of options, including cards, proofs, and canvas prints.  Check my Fine Art America Site for further details

Hope everyone is keeping busy and enjoying the weather.

Sincerely,

Ryan

R. Fox Photography

(919) 645-8345

ryan@rfoxphoto.com

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Watercolor paintings- Bolivia, Tunisia, and Ecuador

Been staying out of trouble lately..

 

…who am I kidding.  The truth is, I have been homebound keeping my 4 year old out of trouble while my wife does a fantastic job nursing our month old.   I am not always home, but I am in the car a large portion of the day shuttling Mr. Iron Man back and forth between preschool and home.

Ah, the life of an involved parent.

In my free time, I have rediscovered watercolor painting.

I had a breathrough the other night when I started, and completed this really loose watercolor in only a few hours.  My primary goal was to keep it fast and not get bogged down with mindless detail (one reason I switched to photography in college- my photo realistic painting style was driving me bonkers).

Alvaro Castagnet, the fantastic Argentinian painter, came to mind when I was laying in the dark, loose washes of this scene of the Cathedral in the colonial Ecuadorian city of Cuenca.

A little help from the spray bottle, some salt, and a bunch of paint later, and I was rather happy with the outcome.

This watercolor of the Roman ruins at Dougga took a little longer to complete.  Who would expect Roman ruins in Tunisia?  Not I, but Tunisia is home to some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world.

This painting is a photo composite of the Cementerio de Trenos (no translation needed) in the Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia).  I stumbled (due to elevation & exhaustion) out for sunset one night many moons ago.  It was an amazing, but cold, experience.

Do not worry, I have not given up photographing.  Megan and Sam’s wedding photographs from Milwaukee, WI are processing on my computer as I write, and will be posted online tomorrow.

Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather.

Sincerely,

Ryan

R. Fox Photography

(919) 645-8345

ryan@rfoxphoto.com