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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Color Wheel Help

Color Scheme Designer is lots of fun to play with:

Across the top, you can click on what type of color scheme you want to try (e.g., analogous, triadic, etc.). Then you click and hold on the little dots within the larger wheel and move those around while at the same time watching the square on your left shift and change accordingly.

Have a favorite color? See what various types of color schemes will show it off!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Transparent Watercolor Society of America

The 2013 exhibition winners are up on the TWSA site:

The winners are at the top of the page and the other exhibitors are listed below (click on a name to see the painting).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June Meeting - Potluck and Planning!

Our June 18th, 6:30 meeting will be a great time to enjoy some tasty dishes and get better acquainted as we share a potluck dinner.  We'll break up into interest groups to work on plans for the year.  

As artists, knowing  the color wheel is one of our basic tools to create a successful painting.  Each color has it's own personality and purpose in a painting.  Each color is essential, and when blended with others creates unique works of art.  The WVWS is made up of some very colorful members working together to provide opportunities for local watercolor/watermedia artists.  Being a part of one (or more) of the following interest groups is a way to let your color shine and make a positive contribution.  

Here are the groups and members who have already chosen to be a part of the team work:
Update By Laws – Verna Ritz, Margie Towery, Mike Phelps, Axie Frey,
Planning monthly programs, fieldtrips, paint outs – Marilyn Martin, Sheila Graveel,  Axie Frey
Membership Team – Mike Phelps, Sheila Graveel
Art Exhibit Team – Rebecca Brody, Bobbi Smith, Judy Sorton
Publicity Team – traditional media, update brochure – Margie Towery, Judy Sorton, Lanni Senn
Publicity –/Social Media – Jerie Artz, Margie Towery,
Community Service/Outreach/Student Programs –
Photographer –  Jean Jackson/Jerie Artz
Workshop Planning Team – Marilyn Martin,
Fundraising Team – Mike Phelps,
Historian –
Hospitality Team – Barb Lee, Bobbi Smith, Sheila Graveel, Judy Sorton
Serve as an Officer –
Other – Where needed- Barb Lee; edit anything – Margie Towery;

If you haven't taken the WVWS survey you can find it listed on a blog post on the right side of the blog.  Print it off, fill it out and bring it with you to the meeting next week!

Like a color wheel, we can all work together, blending our gifts and abilities for the greater good in our art community.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Virtual Visit: Sistine Chapel

You'll need a fairly high speed computer to look at this but it is amazing:

At lower left, you can increase the image size. You can also hold the left click on your mouse down and move around, get close to the ceiling, and so forth.

If you are prone to motion-sickness, be careful!

Margie T.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

WVWS Book Review - The Wilcox Guide to the Best Watercolor Paints

The Wilcox Guide to the Best Watercolor Paints, by Michael Wilcox. School of Colour Publications, 2001–2 edition.
Book Review by Margie Towery

Several months ago, this book was mentioned on one of the artist blogs I read occasionally, though I can’t now remember which one. I was able to snag an inexpensive used copy on amazon. I had thought it sounded like an indispensable tool for a watercolor artist, and it certainly is! This is the tool that will help each artist sort out which pigments she wishes to rely on.
You might already be familiar with the author’s name because he wrote Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green. Wilcox, an artist, art conservator, and engineer, brings all of those skills to this comprehensive, landmark text on paints.
One of the main ideas I brought home from a workshop was a determination to “edit” my current palette to focus not only on transparent paints but also on those that are more lightfast. So this afternoon I spent several hours perusing and getting sucked in to just plain reading this pithy, no-holds-barred book.
I should also mention that the book focuses on watercolor tube paints from about 30 manufacturers. A brief history of each manufacturer is also included.
The text is well-organized with general information at the front, including details of American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) (they examine lightfastness, toxicity, labeling, and so on) and specifics about how each paint was tested. This is followed by sections on each general color (yellows, reds, etc.). A history of each general color is provided along with details of modern pigments. That is followed with evaluations of each specific color (for example, Aureolin) from the manufacturers who market that specific color. For Aureolin, there are 12 manufacturers and/or lines tested. At the end of each section are a batch of miscellaneous colors (for yellows, those include, among others, Antique Amber, Bumblebee Yellow, and Yellow Lake).
The first paint in the Aureolin section is Art Spectrum’s Aureolin W6. The notes indicate that the pigment detail is on the tube, the lightfastness is ASTM II (I being the best), and it earned a high quality rating, along with these comments: “Produced from the genuine pigment, this is a reasonably bright, transparent yellow. The sample handled very well giving smooth even washes. A staining colour” (p. 55).
Wilcox also includes tips such how to mix a specific color instead of buying it, what its exact complimentary is, whether it is transparent, semi-opaque, or opaque, sometimes what it is made of (pigments or other elements such as charred bones), and whether it is fugitive (that is, how fast it’s going to disappear). Wilcox is not an industry spokesperson but freely offers comments about the state of the industry (that is, the Colourmen) and what artists could be doing to help the situation (don’t buy the crappy colors, for one thing).
His voice is at once pithy, informative, and curmudgeonly, but with the intent to inform artists about the best pigments. Of one Scarlet made of Alizarin Crimson and Toluidine Red, Wilcox comments, “Once painted out and exposed to light, it will be a race to see which pigment self destructs first” (p. 161).
I’ve been curious about some of the “neutral tints” on the market. Wilcox has nothing good to say about these particular colors and suggests they are just another marketing ploy to increase profits: “For too long now the race has been on to offer yet another fancy or irrelevant name. Do not join those who feel ill equipped to work unless they have a paint box requiring wheels” (p. 359).
Do you have a tube of Chrome Orange (any manufacturer) in your box? Based on Wilcox’s comments, you might want to rethink that one: “In practise, this is either an unreliable mix of Chrome Yellow Lemon and Chrome Orange, or a concoction of almost anything else. Varies between yellow and red. Best left alone” (p. 105). Of a color named Touareg Blue 049, he comments: “A simple mix, fancifully described. Not used by the Touaregs as far as I am aware” (p. 252).
Let’s return to the main impetus for the guide in the first place: what is the quality of the paint on your brush? The answers are in this book, just as the cover advertises. It is amazing to see how many watercolor paints fail the lightfastness tests, and this holds for many expensive artist-quality paints. If you want your watercolor paintings to last more than a few months or years, you should pay attention to the lightfastness markings on the tubes. And if you want more information about the paint you’re using, I highly recommend this text.

The one major drawback is the lack of an index.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rebecca Brody June 2013 Exhibit

Our own WVWS artist, Rebecca Brody's artwork will be featured at the West Lafayette Library during the month of June.  Add this event to your summer calendar as a "must see!"