Monday, February 20, 2017

Elmer the Elephant Scissors

Elmer the Elephant Scissors

One of the illustrations that did not make it into my book is of my favorite pair of scissors.
They are my favorite pair because they remind me of the story of Elmer the Elephant that I use to read to my children when they were small. 
I'm not sure where I bought them but had to add them to my collection of art supplies as soon as I found them. 
I wanted to paint these scissors for the book but with constraints on space and the plethora of information and images that needed to be included, they didn't make it in. 

To go along with the idea of my photos being turned into paintings, this the image being considered:

 (the scissors are painted and the scrub sponge is the photo)

To see more about Elmer, you can view a video of the book being read here.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Watercolor 365 - Film Canister

Film Canister Illustration

For those of you that are familiar with watercolor, you probably already have guessed what I use film canisters for. For those that are new to the medium, you will just have to buy my book to find out :)

The above illustration is another combination of photo and painting. It is another illustration that appears early in the book. Therefore, it is more photo than painting.

Here is the photo:

And here is the painting:

And of course, the first image is the combination. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Watercolor 365 illustrations- Masking Fluid

 Illustration of masking fluid

Part of my idea for illustrating Watercolor 365 was to start off with photographs of my supplies and painting tools. Then as the book progressed, my favorite supplies slowly turned into paintings.

One of these illustrations is of masking fluid. So, using my painting know how and my Photoshop skills, I combined a photo of masking fluid with a painting, creating the above image.

Here is the original photo:

And here is the painted version:

This illustration is an earlier image in the book, therefore it is more photograph. 
But can you tell which part is painted now that you know what I did?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Silver and Gold

Silver and Gold

Over the weekend I taught a workshop on painting a still life from photographs. 
Since I have recently been asked by several people how to paint silver, I thought a painting of utensils would be a good exercise in just that.

For the course, I had a photograph of utensils and asked that each student chose their own composition by using L shaped pieces of paper as a cropping tool. Once they had chosen an appealing composition, the photo was traced onto watercolor paper.

Then I had them mask out certain areas that they felt were too small to paint around.
Some of the larger highlights were left unmasked so they could practice how to soften a color into a lighter area without the hard line that is left behind when mask is used. 

Once the mask was dry, we painted in the yellow. Although it is hard to see from the photo, a cool yellow wash was used on the silver utensils and background (which is a red tablecloth), while a warmer yellow wash was used on the gold utensils. Occasionally quinacridone rose was dropped into the yellow.

After the yellow dried, the painting was then built up in layers or glazes of wet -in-wet washes.

By combining your primary colors, a beautiful black can be achieved. What is nice about making a black like this is that in some areas, the black will be cooler by having it be more blue, and in other areas it will appear warmer by adding more yellow or red.

On the background/tablecloth, a glaze of Winsor Blue was added to the shadow/darker areas of the tablecloth, combining with the yellow and making it appear green.

The spoons were then darkened more with controlled washes of darker color, keeping in mind hard and soft edges. 
A glaze of red was put over the tablecloth. Where the blue was painted, the cloth now appears a darker shade of red, indicating the shadows of the utensils. Where it was left yellow, the cloth appears a brighter red, like it would appear when light hits it. 

The golden utensils were built up with the warmer yellow and what I like to refer to as a golden brown color that makes the lighter yellow pop and give the look of gold.

Finally, highlights were softened and certain lines defined.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Quinacridone Rose

While writing Watercolor 365, I got the idea to paint some of my favorite supplies. The book starts out with photos of my supplies and then they slowly turn into paintings. 
Last summer I posted some of the supplies I had painted on my other blog, Leslie Redhead Fine Art.

A few of these paintings made it into the book, others did not. Now that the book is out, I thought I would post those that did not. 
Quinacridone Rose is one of the paintings that didn't make it in. However, I just love this color. It works well in mixes and even better alone. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Watercolor 365 now available

Those of you that followed Watercolor Weapons are in for a treat! My tips, techniques, and inspiration are now available in the a book. Watercolor 365, published by North Light Books, is a year's worth of how to get your watercolor mojo on. 

It has been a couple years to bring this about and an interesting, crazy journey but it is done! I appreciate the help of so many friends, family, and faithful followers on this journey.

To read more about the book and to order a copy, please click here.

The book can also be ordered on 
by clicking here

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

NWWS Diamond Anniversary Celebration

Me demonstrating at the Northwest Watercolor Society Convention

On July 11, I had the opportunity to demonstrate at the Northwest Watercolor Society's Diamond Celebration in Seattle. What an event! I had a full class of 50 people to watch and help me pour paint.
It was fantastic to meet so many talented and wonderful watercolor zealots. 

Here I am again showing how to move paint around. I had some very willing participants that helped me as well. They did a fabulous job!

This photo is of me being like Julia Child. Since I had so little time to demonstrate and the painting takes so long to dry, I had one all ready to pull out from my magic bag.

These are the different stages of the painting all lined up and drying.

Here I am with some amazing artists, Birgit O'Conner, Judy Morris, and Marcia Giant. So lucky I was able to hang out with these incredibly talented ladies.

Me and the famous Judy Morris standing in front of my painting, Fish Food, that is hung at the Daniel Smith store in Seattle.

And here is the finished painting:

Hotel Don Curro
Malaga, Spain
poured watercolor

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Painting In the Moment

Work in Progress

This week I am preparing painting for a workshop on Painting Still Water. It is a small private group that requested I show them how to painting boats and reflections. So I looked through a bazillion photos to try to find one that had what they requested, yet was simple enough that it didn't overwhelm my students. I am not sure I succeeded but the photo I found is one I had in my "to do" file and has gorgeous reflections. Only there was one problem. I was finding it difficult to want to paint at all. Boats and reflections didn't seem profound enough to capture how I feel. Perhaps it is because of everything I have been through lately. All those major setbacks and tough decisions were getting to me. So instead of painting, I procrastinated by trying to figure out how I felt and what I wanted to paint.

Then I came across a quote by Paul Cezanne that made me realize that I need to just paint.

"Right now a moment of time is fleeting by! Capture its reality in paint. We must become that moment, make ourselves a sensitive recording plate, give the image of what we actually see, forgetting everything that has been seen before our time."

Although I may not be painting my world as it passes by, my inner world can be painted into what I do. It will all come out in the painting whether I want it to or not. Indeed, I can look back at some of my work from previous years and remember what I was doing in my life and how I felt during those times. My worries and problems became clearer as I painted and sometimes resolved. I realized that ideas for paintings and for life flow into me as the paint flows across the paper.

So I picked up my brush and started to paint. I must admit the painting is slow and isn't a mad dash onto paper but so are my thoughts. I am in no rush to finish this painting. I am just enjoying the process of painting in the moment and ruminating about the issues at hand.

Monday, June 8, 2015

I'm Back!


I know I've disappeared for awhile. Even my other blog where I showcased my paintings more than my tips has suffered. Life can always be a bit crazy with work, kids, dog, and school but mine really started to unravel a few years ago. The emotional strain took a huge toll.  I tried to hold it together as best as I could but a few months ago I was forced to make some changes. I had to walk (run!) away and leave everything but my kids behind. 
I am now living back in Victoria with my son and starting over again. I say again because I have been here many, many times. Perhaps this fact has helped me to realize what is really important. 

The good news is that I hope to now be able to concentrate more on doing what I love. Painting and teaching. I have faith that it will all work out and I won't have to get a desk job somewhere. 
I am now also a representative of Indigo Artpapers. Indigo has some beautiful handmade watercolor paper which I just love! The are fairly new and are located in Canada, made in India.
I am also trying to set up online classes and consultations. If you are interested, you can contact me at A tab will all the information will be located at the top of this blog very soon.  

But the really great news is that Watercolor Weapons has been picked up by a publisher (North Light Books) and I am getting it all written and organized to be published. Yay!! The release date is January 2017.Sounds like the title will be changed but all the good stuff will still be there. I will keep you posted about more of that. 

Now it is off to work I go. Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Business of Art

Today I want to share a few links with you about some inspiring websites that discuss the business of art.
I felt the need to share these sites because I am often asked about how to turn art into a business.
Although I can offer what I hope are valuable tips, these women know how to coach creative people into realizing their dreams.
They also offer some ideas that might get you thinking differently about your art and how to turn it into a business.

These websites are:

Maria is the wife, agent, and brand manager to Drew Brophy, a well known surf artist.
Her expertise lies in licensing, promoting, and branding art.
She is also a coach for those wishing to brand their own art and creative lifestyle.

Another website which I would like to mention is:

Monica Lee has many inspiration interviews with other creative people who are out there selling their art.
These interviews offer many ideas and tips on how to reach out to your audience.

Hope you find these helpful.
I have.