Iain Stewart Workshop- Washington, VA

architectural watercolor painting, Scotland landscape, watercolor Scotland, sheep painting, Ryan Fox painting

Yes, I have been bad and ignored my blogging responsibilities…..

In late February I attended a workshop led by watercolor painter Iain Stewart.  Thanks to Carole Pivarnik for hosting and organizing the workshop in Washington….

……Virginia.

Never heard of it?  Neither had I.  But I was elated not to have to deal with DC traffic in February.

Iain’s work focuses on architectural illustration and fine art.  Iain (pronounced Ian)  is a member of The National Watercolor Society, Louisiana Watercolor Society, and others.

Iain specializes in small watercolors ( usually 11×15″) of architectural subjects.

 

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His palette is a small travel palette with large mixing wells.  Iain uses a ton of water and plenty of pre-mixed watercolor before laying down his initial washes.

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End of the demo at Day 1

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Sketch of Crail waterfront (below).  I was especially impressed how quickly he drew the subject and began to paint.

Two years ago, I took a watercolor class from John Salminen.  In John’s class we spent two days drawing our paintings.  Two days.  Iain spent two minutes sketching the painting.

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First washes applied to the top of the painting.

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Rest of painting developed…..

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The students of the workshop copied the painting demonstrated by Iain.  Ours, of course, were not half as good as Iain’s originals, but it gave us insight to how he paints and the processes behind it.

IS_Workshop9IS_Workshop14     These are my paintings laying on the ground.  IS_Workshop8

Don’t ask what was going on here…..

One of my favorite workshop moments was looking through Iain’s sketchbook.

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Yeah, I, um, can draw that well too….

 

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More of Iain’s work can be found online:  http://www.stewartwatercolors.com/ or  his facebook page

Ryan Fox

www.rfoxphoto.com

www.etsy.com/shop/RFoxWatercolors

ryan@rfoxphoto.com

(919) 645-8345

LOUISIANA WATERCOLOR SOCIETY 44th Annual International Exhibition

LOUISIANA WATERCOLOR SOCIETY
44th Annual International Exhibition
Juror: Anne Abgott AWS, NWS
My painting was accepted in the LWS watercolor show a few months ago.
My wife and I found a babysitter for the two kids (thank you Abu Titi- my wife’s mother) and for the first time in 7 years we spent a weekend without children.  My how time flies…..
As a bonus, we would be spending the weekend in New Orleans.  New Orleans, as we all know, is a non-festive, some suggest boring place to travel.  There is never a parade or party going on.  And there is nothing to see except for the bar upon bar upon bar on Magazine Street (my personal favorite) or anywhere in the French Quarter.
The show was fantastic.  The super talented English painter David Poxon won first place in the show.  There were many local artists who attended and my work was hung with contemporary modern watercolor masters such as Antonio Masi, April Rimpo, Iain Stewart, Laurie Goldstein-Warren, Ken Call, Don Taylor, and others.
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Lousiana Watercolor Society 44th Annual Juried Show reception

Lousiana Watercolor Society 44th Annual Juried Show reception

Antonio Masi, watercolor NY

Antonio Masi’s painting

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Lousiana Watercolor Society

David Poxon’s painting

Ken Call watercolor, juried watercolor show

Ken Call’s painting

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Finally, here is a photograph of my wife and I in front of my painting:
New Orleans painting, watercolor New Orleans, French Quarter watercolor
Ryan Fox watercolor, Raleigh artist, Watercolor Society of North Carolina
The weekend was great.  Wonderful art, met some fantastic painters, and did I mention that we saw Arnold Schwarzenegger on Magazine Street?
When you teach children to draw pictures of people, you try to steer away from the BIG head and stick figures they commonly depict.  This is anatomically inaccurate.
Unless you are ARWNOLD.  In this case, after seeing him in person, I think the stick figure with the massive head (albeit with a few massive muscles) is spot on.  I was looking at a person with a 50lb watermelon as a head.  Weird!
Sorry Governator.
Ryan

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Watercolor batik of Stonehenge ruins in UK- tutorial

My recent painting of Stonehenge was based on photographs I shot years ago while visiting the monument.  The original pictures were shot in the evening, but I was inspired to paint the ruins in a moonlit scene.

Watercolor batik on rice paper of Stonehenge- UK by Raleigh, NC artist Ryan Fox

I began by doing a sketch on top of the rice paper.  Since I paint with high contrast values, I make sure to use dark enough lines (generally with a 2H pencil) so I can see the pencil marks once I start applying paint.

Watercolor batik on rice paper of Stonehenge- UK by Raleigh, NC artist Ryan Fox

My first wash was localized color.  I have not added any wax to the rice paper yet.  Rice paper has no sizing and the color will spread if you use a lot of water.  To control unwanted bleeding,  I use paper towels to dab the paper dry.

Watercolor batik on rice paper of Stonehenge- UK by Raleigh, NC artist Ryan Fox

I applied my first layer of wax to the lightest areas.  Since this is a moonlit scene with lower contrast, I wil not have any pure whites showing.

I proceeded to paint the entire surface with a medium value mixture of green/blue.

Watercolor batik on rice paper of Stonehenge- UK by Raleigh, NC artist Ryan Fox

The next stage was to apply wax to more of the monument and the foreground.   A darker mixture of blue and greens were applied to the entire surface.  At this point you can see the separation of the lightest values.

When I work on rice paper I often “throw” random bits of color on the surface, encouraging the eye to move throughout the piece.  You can see little specks of red applied to the sky and foreground. (more…)

2014 Georgia Watercolor Society XXXV National Exhibition

My 1/2 sheet painting “Kathmandu Street” was accepted in the 2014 Georgia Watercolor Society National Exhibition.

Kathmandu watercolor, Nepal painting, watercolor Nepal

This painting is an example of “poured watercolor”.   I masked the whitest whites of the piece and  poured watered-down solutions of reds,yellows, and blues on top of the surface.  Tilting the paper allows the colors to blend and flow in certain areas.  A spray bottle also helps blend colors or remove paint from the wet surface.

After each layer dries you add more masking fluid.  You continually add more color until reaching the desired value.

The next layer of poured paint is applied.  The sequence continues until you  reach the darkest darks.

I learned this process from Roland Roycraft, a fantastic Michigan artist who I took a workshop from years ago, and most recently, Linda Baker, a South Carolina artist well known for poured watercolor pieces.  I have never taken Linda’s workshops, but I have found information on the internet.

I was particularly proud of this painting since I had ankle surgery less than two weeks prior and was unable to move around without crutches.

Typically, I move  a lot when I paint.  I  stand back and observe the painting from a distance.  I turn the painting upside down (helping me concentrate on shape and value to judge the composition).  I procrastinate.  Then I paint.

Sitting still was a different matter.

Since the “unwanted” paint was sprayed off, I was left, with one leg, to mop up the pools of paint lying on my kitchen floor.

What fun.

I did have a good time.  I was real happy with the final piece.  My original photograph resembles the painting in many ways- except for the colors.  The original photograph is a morning photograph; less contrast, low-key lighting.  I changed the painting to a hi-key sunrise/sunset.

The exhibition opens March 7th at Carrollton Cultural Arts Center.

Hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

Ryan Fox

(919) 645-8345

ryan@rfoxphoto.com

Fine Art America- Fine Art Reproductions & Original Paintings

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Commissioned work

My first two commissioned pieces were paintings I did for my German friends married in Switzerland at the Hospiz Grimsel (paintings below).

Watercolor painting of Swiss Alps rising above architecture of Grimsel Hospiz at Grimsel Pass- Switzerland, Europe

Watercolor painting of Hospiz Grimsel surrounded by Swiss alps in the country of Switzerland

These full sheet watercolors (22×30″) were based on photographs I shot in Switzerland.

While I wasn’t paid for these images (they were their wedding gifts), the idea was the same as a commission- I knew what they wanted, we talked composition & colors, and the final watercolor paintings were based on their specifications.

Recently, I was hired by Betsy Bardi of Bardi Designs to create a smaller replica of the Raleigh Skyline batik available on my Etsy storefront:

Watercolor batik of Raleigh skyline(Original watercolor batik of Raleigh downtown skyline)

This was a little more difficult to execute because the original painting is 20×32″.  Betsy’s clients were looking for a 12×15″, which usually isn’t an issue.  Except when you dealing with hot, dripping wax…

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My first attempt at recreating the painting produced the painting above.  I needed to get smaller brushes for the wax.  My second attempt turned out much better:

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It is more difficult to match the details of the original when working smaller.  Wax has a tendency to spread on rice paper because there is no sizing.  You need to apply the wax  1/8″ from the line you want to preserve.

I managed to complete these pieces over the holidays- even with the in-laws in town.

Currently, I am working on another painting for Bardi Designs.  My commissioned work will not be sold as giclees on my online storefronts.   These are original and unique watercolors.

Please contact me if you are interested in an original painting for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, or any occasion.

Sincerely,

Ryan Fox

R. Fox Photo/Arts

Etsy Storefront– fine art giclees

Fine Art America– watercolor, canvas, and metallic prints