*This post contains affiliate links. I receive small commissions for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.
These commissions help me keep this site up and running, in order for me to keep providing helpful and inspiring art content. :)
In today's post I'll be sharing my most recent paintings and sketches. I've been working hard on, not only staying consistent with my blog and YouTube channel while teaching art classes locally, but also on producing the work I will be selling as soon as I'm able to open my online shop.
The two oil paintings included in this small compilation are the last two in the collection of five large (90 x 70 cms.) landscape oil paintings that I sought out to create about two months ago. It was a self-imposed challenge as I had never really created a "series" of larger paintings, and I really wanted to push myself to explore one single theme.
This weekend, I'll be starting on a collection of five still life oil paintings that will also be for sale and I'm very excited about that!
Through my online art shop, I'll be selling originals created with both oils and watercolors!
Aside from these two oil paintings, I'm sharing the watercolor illustrations I created for the July calendar I sent out to my e-mail subscribers this week (at the end of each month I send them a calendar for the following month). I really enjoy painting with watercolors and pushing myself to continue improving with this medium.
Aside from using these illustrations as part of the calendar design, I also create awesome products for my Society6 and Redbubble shops with them, which I'd LOVE for you to check out! :)
And, finally, I'm also including some sketches. I'm always going on about how I find drawing so important, and how it's important for artists to keep drawing throughout their journeys, and I'm holding myself accountable!
I'm continuing to push myself to create human figure studies in more complex/dynamic poses (as opposed to the very stiff and uninteresting poses I drew when I first started). The human figure is a great challenge for me, but I've seen significant progress since I've started drawing it more consistently.
Thanks so much for dropping by and checking out my work. I really appreciate it! And if you're a beginner/intermediate artist looking to improve your skills and find your voice, make sure to check out past blog posts!
Hey there, art friends!
I've been busier than usual the last couple of weeks because I'm launching my first two mini-courses, which will be free for my newsletter subscribers! These two mini-courses are intended for total beginners looking to start drawing and/or painting with watercolors and are coming out mid-May.
Each of these courses is three classes long (10-15 minutes each) and each class includes its own exercise I ask you to complete before moving forward. They are chock-full of information that I wish I had when I first started drawing and painting with watercolors. Knowing this information will not only give you a solid foundation to build skills upon, but will also help you save some money (we tend to buy supplies in the beginning that we really don't need).
To be notified as soon as they're out, make sure to subscribe to my list here:
Aside from working on my mini-courses and teaching my afternoon art classes, I'm continuing to challenge myself to improve my drawing skills, which is INCREDIBLY important, no matter what artistic medium you plan on developing skills in. The past couple of weeks, I've been sketching a lot of female figure studies, as well as portraits.
In case you're not following me on Instagram (instagram.com/erika_lancaster_art), you should! On there, I share what I'm up to on a daily basis. If you've already been following me, then you're probably aware that a couple of weeks ago I challenged myself to produce a total of five landscape paintings using oils. I've nearly completed the second, which I will be sharing soon! I'm including the first in this mini-collection of my latest artwork!
See the process that I went through to create this oil painting in this YouTube video of mine:
That's it for now, but stay tuned for much more to come!
I hope you're having a wonderful day and that you've been able to set aside at least a bit of time to work on your art!
*This post contains affiliate links. I receive small commissions for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. These commissions help me keep this site up and running, in order for me to keep providing you helpful and inspiring art content.
Ever wondered how to go about painting a watercolor landscape? Do you find complex, layered watercolor compositions too hard or intimidating to create? Are you curious about how to paint a unique landscape using a photograph as reference?
Painting a watercolor landscape can definitely be daunting when an artist is just starting out with this medium, especially due to its fluidity and transparency. We often hear that watercolors are "difficult to control" and "unforgiving", which may cause beginners to stay away from painting certain types of compositions. This, if you ask me, is a complete shame.
I'm here today to encourage you to give watercolor landscapes a try! If you have a basic understanding of this painting medium, as well as Art Fundamentals like perspective and proportion, it's not as difficult as you may think. In this post and the video included here, I will be taking you through my complete process, one-step-at-a-time. I will also be sharing some of my personal tips and tricks that allow me to manipulate watercolors to create the effects I'm looking to create.
I completely, 100% believe, that it is through experimentation and stepping out of our comfort zones that we learn faster, not only about the particular medium or technique at hand, but also about our own tastes, strengths and possible areas of improvement. I've personally been able to speed up my artistic growth by remaining open to mediums and techniques, challenging myself on a consistent basis, and by embracing mistakes as signs of exploration/growth.
Want to learn about one of my FAVORITE methods of exploration? Read my blog post titled How to Effectively Use Other Artists' Work as Inspiration and a Great Method to Start Developing Your Own Artistic Style!
Welcome to the fourth (and final) part of the Watercolor Landscapes for Beginners Series!
In this series, I have broken watercolor landscape compositions apart into commonly used elements and/or layers in order to help you gain a better understanding of the painting process. By making time to study individual elements before jumping into a complete composition, you gain confidence in your painting skills AND increase the chances of producing a finished piece you'll actually be proud of!
A landscape composition is usually made up of different layers (foreground, middleground, background), as well as a large variety of colors and textures. The artist has to have a good sense of compositional arrangement, depth and perspective. All of these items are HUGELY important when attempting to recreate any kind of believable scenery that transmits harmony.
Watercolor Mountain Landscape
All of the "base" layers of paint were created using the wet-on-wet technique. I used less and less water in my paint mixtures as I moved on with subsequent layers, which allowed me to create deeper values, textures and details.
2. I painted the first layer of my sky using the wet-on-wet technique. Using my two inch paintbrush, I wet my entire sky area using clean water and started adding in my first layer of blues, making sure to create a variety in values since the very beginning (I used my rag to do lifting wherever I wanted to create the illusion of clouds). I then decided to allow my first layer of paint to dry, jumping to the opposite side of my painting. *Refer to the How to Paint a Watercolor Sky blog post/video.
3. I wet the entire grass section of my sketch using clean water. I then dropped in and played around with a few yellows/light greens until I had to allow that section to dry.
4. I wet the entire mountain area and started dropping in and playing around with greens in this section, making sure to observe my reference picture in order to have a general idea of where darker values would be placed later on (this is very important especially when there are overlapping elements present).
5. At this point, I went back to finish my sky area by adding darker blues and a bit more definition in specific areas of my clouds. I was very careful not to go overboard! Add some definition here and there, and leave other areas blurrier.
6. I decided to jump to the lake area of my picture because the sections around it were already dry. Again, I wet this area with clean water and started dropping in my blue paint mixtures, making sure to create a tonal variety since the beginning. I allowed this area to dry.
7. Jumping back to the dry mountain area, I started adding in deeper, darker values. I made sure to observe my reference picture constantly for this, but wasn't attempting to make everything exactly the same. It's important to be very careful when placing darker values of color because you risk flattening out your painting!
8. I jumped back to the middleground/foreground area, adding in deeper, darker greens where I saw them in the picture, allowing the lighter greens already there to show through.
9. I created a purple paint mixture and quickly practiced my lavender flowers before adding them into my painting. I added a few here and there, but made sure not to go overboard. I also made sure to place them in irregular patterns and to make some smaller than others. Remember, when painting anything natural, go for asymmetrical and irregular patterns and shapes! *Refer to the Watercolor Flowers and Rocks blog post/video.
10. At this point, I wanted to start adding in trees/plants and started with the ones located in the middleground. I used gentle scribbling motions in irregular triangular shapes to give the impression of pine trees in the distance, and made sure to keep them quite small, as they are quite far away from the viewer. It's very important to give thought to the size of each element you'll be adding in, as this helps give off the impression of depth and perspective. *Refer to the Watercolor Tree Tutorial blog post/video.
11. I could tell that my mountains (which had already dried) required a bit more contrast and darker values in certain areas, so I went back to work on them.
12. Jumping back to the foreground, I used a darker green to add in the effect of short shrubs/plants in some areas. I used a scribbling motion to create these textures. Remember, you're creating the ILLUSION of plants, and not trying to paint every single detail! I recommend keeping it loose and expressive!
13. At this point, it was time to add the large tree in the foreground! I created my lightest and most translucent green and started adding in the illusion of the layered leaves I could see in the picture using light scribbling motions. Once I was done laying down the general shape of the tree, I started adding in deeper greens in certain areas, making sure to not go overboard.
14. I created a light and translucent green paint mixture and started adding in individual blades of grass using upwards strokes with my smaller round brush. I knew I was going to go back in later with a variety of greens to make this area look more believable. Remember that the blades of grass that are farther away (closer to the horizon line) have to be a lot smaller than the ones closest to the viewer. Once my initial layers of green grass had dried, I start adding in my mid-to-darker values.
15. Finally, I stepped away from my painting and compared it to the reference image in order to pinpoint where darker values have to be added in. Because watercolor paint dries lighter than it looks when wet, usually deeper contrast has to be created later on. Don't be afraid to add darker values! Just make sure to add them deliberately and carefully (only where necessary and never covering up large areas of your previous layers entirely).
Specific colors I used for this study:
Permanent Green Olive
Permanent Green Olive
Permanent Green Olive
Plants and Trees
Permanent Green Olive
What areas do you find most difficult when painting landscapes? Are there any elements that you avoid adding in because they've been too difficult to render in the past? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below!
It's been a while since I last posted a little collection of my latest pieces and I wanted to share a few of them with you. I also want to let you into my personal life a bit every now and then, so that you can get to know me and what I've been up to.
Lately, I've been very busy taking business courses, networking with other artists/creative entrepreneurs both online and locally, doing commission work for clients, teaching my afternoon painting classes, and producing quality, helpful content for blog/YouTube channel. It's been a lot, but I REALLY want to make this work.
I constantly find myself wishing the day had more hours so that I could continue with my personal drawing and painting studies (as I should be), but right now I really have to prioritize my business goals if I don't want to go back to full-time employment.
I'm extremely happy to share that I'll be traveling to Toronto at the end of March! It's been a dream of mine to visit Canada for many, many years! At some point in April I'll be sharing photos and videos of my trip, things and places I was inspired by, and other great things.
Because I'll be taking a week of from blogging and YouTube March 28th-April 4th, I'll be working extra hard to create awesome content before I leave AND I have BIG things planned for April which I will be sharing with you very soon! :) Stay tuned for that!
Hope you've been able to work on your art as well.
As busy as life can get, try your best to make time for it!
Talk to you soon!
New Saint Patrick's Day and Spring-inspired products at my online shops!
This week was exciting for me because I finally opened my first online shop on Redbubble. Click here to check out the cool stuff that I have created with my artwork and make sure to visit it later because I am still working on scanning more artwork to place on products. Next week I will also be opening a Society6 store and within the next few months, I'm starting on Etsy!
Hope you enjoy and come back soon!
This was my third week starting my work days with hand sketches. That means that next week will be the last week I will be doing studies of this subject as frequently as I currently am. I will do my best to close this hand month by creating some paintings that include hands. I also did a watercolor wine glass study and, for the first time, I pushed myself to paint a portrait of a specific person using oils. I needed to find a quality picture of somebody's face that not only I knew well, but others around me knew well, in order to get feedback. Because of this, I decided to go for a picture of a well-known celebrity that I found online.
Thank you for coming by and make sure to visit next week to read more about art tips I have learned as well as my personal progress! I am super excited to announce that October will be the month in which I start selling my work online! Yay!! :) Have a great week!
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