Monday, February 27, 2017

Painting Chopsticks


Chopsticks are not one of my usual art supplies but I did include them in my book. Why? you may ask. Well, you will just have to read the book to find out.

Anyway, I did the above image by combining a painted chopstick with a photo of one. However, the complete image was not included in the book, only a portion of it.

I only had to paint one chopstick and then make it into two.
Here is the painted version:

Here is the photo:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hake Hake

Illustration of Hake Brush

Another illustration that did not make it into my book is of a hake brush. I use this brush when I am applying large washes of water and/or color. The above illustration is the combined one of photo and painting.

Here is the painted version:

And here is the photo:

It was a challenge to recreate my supplies as they were in the photograph so I could seamlessly combine them. But as with all challenges, there is an opportunity to learn. Not only did I have the opportunity to perfect painting and drawing skills, but I also had to think about photography, layout and design, and the technical skills involved when playing and working digitally. 

Although I am not a book designer, my editor, Kristin Conlin, requested that I do a rough layout of each one of my pages and entries. I really enjoyed figuring out what to place where and if it was going to work. Once I did the layouts, Kristin sent them off to an actual book designer, Breanna Loebach, who cleaned it up, tweaked it, and did an amazing job of creating such a super awesome looking book. 

Through all this, I discovered how much I enjoy book design and layout as I played around in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. 
I also rediscovered how much I love color. I tended to paint my supplies just a bit brighter and more colorful. 

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