I am eager to begin following the exercises on the CD and experimenting with painting flowers.  I am not good at sketching what I see in a picture or in real life.  How can I get around this?  I know I will need some kind of outline to work to.  

Cheryl - Canada



Try to think of your drawing as a guide or map to follow to help you paint. It is not necessary to produce a perfect likeness to be filled in later. Just try for some of the major shapes, drawn loosely and lightly - pastel pencil is good for this.
Drawing doesn't have to be limited to the first stages of a painting. Try working lines of pastel pencil or ink into your painting as it progresses 
I encourage all my students to buy a couple of cheap, blank, A4 pads and fill them up with sketches - draw anything - don't try and produce good finished drawings and don't look for interesting subjects. Draw anything that happens to be in front of you. Try and see your subject as an arrangement of abstract, positive and negative shapes. Disassociating yourself from the subject in this way forces you to draw what is actually there rather than your perception of the subject.


Displaying Paintings

I have several finished watercolor paintings and I need your help on how to store them. At the moment I have them laying flat in the back of my watercolor pad book but I would like to view them, maybe around the room, to see how much my painting  improves over time.   Framing them can be rather expensive, is there some alternative?   I love your CD-ROM    

Lorraine - Victoria, Australia




I have several white matts with a card backing hinged to one side. This allows the painting to be slipped in and viewed behind the matt without the expense of framing. It is amazing how isolating a painting behind a simple border like this improves it's appearance.
I have a couple of these with 10" x 13" openings for 1/4 sheet paintings, and a couple with 14" x 20" openings for 1/2 sheet paintings. My framer made them from off cuts and damaged sheets. He also cut me 4 long white strips 4" wide to place around full sheet paintings. These strips can be shuffled around to crop a painting into a more satisfying shape.

I hope this helps solve your problem.  

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