My friend Sandy O’Connor took these pictures at the Illustration panel at the SPGA chapter of the Graphic Artist Guild last Wednesday. There was a good turnout as the 5 of us tried to address questions about the illustration market and our experiences in the business. The panel consisted of Henk Dawson – 3D artist, Nina Laden – children’s books, Blanca Santander – children’s illustrations, and Diana Fairbanks – Scientific, and myself.
My newest and largest painting, Diva Divine, was chosen to be part of the Northwest Watercolor Society’s Waterworks show which opens today at the Tsuga Gallery in Bothell, WA. This iris sang out to juror Michael Reardon and I’m honored! Of 234 watercolor submissions by member artists, 50 were chosen to be exhibited for a month, until November 22. I became a signature member of this watercolor society, NWWS, last year after being juried into the requisite number of shows. The reception with awards is Thursday October 24 from 6-8pm. I’d love to see you there!
October 22 – November 22, 2013
Reception October 24, 2013 6:00-8:00pm
Tsuga Fine Art & Custom Framing, 10101 Main Street, Bothell, WA 98011
Hours: Tue-Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun & Mon Closed
Once again I had a great group of students for my Watercolor for Illustration class at Bellevue College for the summer session. Many paintings weren’t finished so I will save those for future posts if they are submitted, but I’m pleased to present these fine examples of mostly first time watercolor painters. The variety of subject matter that the students choose always makes this class interesting and challenging for me as a guide for each painter’s process.
I’ll be participating in a panel discussion on illustration at SPGA, the Seattle Chapter of the Graphic Artist’s Guild (GAG) later this month. If you are in the Seattle area, come and check it out. Here’s the info, or click my link above to go the web page.
I just added a large new painting to my Fine Art web site, the first full sheet sized painting of this series. Looking into a blooming iris with its constellation of sparkles and patterns, its fluff of golden beards, and its richly veined purple and blue petals its easy to get lost as if in an other worldly landscape. The iris sings. This diva is divine.
I’m presenting 3 of my sea worthy sumi paintings in this fun show at Tasty, a gallery in the Greenwood neighborhood opening on Street Party night! They look great all matted and framed up. Summer’s in full swing and hot enough in Seattle to take a plunge into the waters to play with the sea creatures.
Here’s the story:
Here’s what else I’m showing, in case you can’t get there:
We had such a fun group of watercolor students this spring at Bellevue College with a wide range of painting subjects. The chemistry in the room was alive with interaction and camaraderie of an international flavor. Here are the amazing results. It’s hard to believe that many were first time painters who worked on these large paintings, mostly 14 x 21″, for the 8 week course. Teaching continues to inspire me to paint more!
|“Ablaze” Watercolor © 2013 Sandy Haight|
I’m so excited to introduce this new series of paintings that have kept me busy this past fall and winter, bringing lots of color into that somber time of year in the northwest. I loved working on these and I hope it shows. It’s a big exhibit for me featuring nine framed paintings all together. I hope you can drop by the reception or during the following month to take a look and celebrate the blooming of spring. Or see them online on my new gallery page.
Artists Explore Watercolor
May 22nd – June 30th, 2013
“Back To The Sea” Watercolor © Sandy O’Connor
“Jawbone Canyon” Watercolor © Claudia Schlosser
Greetings, Two of my watercolor paintings were accepted into this “Being Human” show in Issaquah opening next weekend at artEAST Gallery. Come to the reception if you can on May 4th from 6-8:00pm to say hi, have some refreshments and see the various selected expressions of Being Human. Scroll down for the announcement.
Celebrating the first sale from my new watercolor flower series, before it made it to the gallery in May. Stay tuned for details of this show featuring my flowers as the dates firm up. Cheers to spring, as the earth flowers, reaching for the light and warmth!
Lu Post came to the right place when she contacted me to illustrate a header for her institute’s web site which trains home health caregivers. Its an e-learning/computer training course for the home health and hospice industries whose main icon is an apple. She was looking for something colorful and happy. ”I want to convey the following emotions from the image – engagement, happiness, enthusiasm. That’s why we love your illustrations. They all convey these emotions to us.” She referred to several images on my searchable stock page for color schemes that she liked.
With that encouragement, these required elements to fit into the long skinny banner proportions fell right into place:
- End-users are female nurses (30-40 years old).
- a warm, happy and colorful home setting.
- female working on a laptop at a dining room table (instead of a desk) that’s in front of a sunny window with flowers. Preferred flowers: star lilies.
- an engaged expression.
- a coffee cup that says “I (heart) Learning”.
- a hint of medical reference without the subject wearing scrubs or a lab coat.
- with an apple as their icon/theme, include one or more apples in the image.
- with an office is full of dog lovers (especially Yorkies), incorporate a dog.
Once a sketch was approved, I executed the final image that you see above as a vector drawing to read best on the web. I got all elements squeezed into the designated space and it was received with enthusiasm. With great direction, such as Lu provided, its much easier to deliver great results. Here’s the link as seen on the web with the logo connected to the artwork. http://hcilogin.com.
Join me at this art reception on February 28, next Thursday. The venue has an amazing, delicious dinner buffet with wine and music! I had two watercolor life drawings selected for this big group show.
Artists include: Chloe Allred, Gail Baker, Sarah Banks, Sofya Belinskaya, Lee Berry, Dyan Bone, Ellen Borison, Louise Britton, Lance Carlton, Monique Catino, Tom Cogbill, Mel Curtis, Jini Dellaccio,Jennifer Frohwerk, Rob Garrison, Sandy Haight, Elizabeth Halfacre, Jennifer Hines, Irena Jablonski, Kiraya Kestin, Janice King, David Ko, Jim Kurihara, Larry Larsen, Donna Lough, Annette Lusher, Carol Milne, Naoko Morisawa, Karen Richter, Juliette Ripley-Dunkelberger, Suze Woolf, Curtis Wright.
Here are shots of my entries. The show will be up until June 15.
During this week of hearts and flowers, love and chocolate, romance and delight, I have a valentine image for you. This illustration was created for a book published by Peter Pauper Press and titled “Friends Make the Best Presents”. It’s a miniature hardbound book with a dangling red ribbon bookmark and charm attached. The book actually shows more Christmas present images than Valentine’s, but this picture has a heart so is fitting for this week. The text accompanying this full (tiny) page illustration is: ”Accept affection with open arms, and give it with an open heart” written by Holly Stevens. I wish I could offer you chocolate affection with my open heart. I hope this eye candy will suffice. Happy Valentine’s week!
If you drive through Montana, you quickly notice a wide variety of license plates on the vehicles you follow or walk by in parking lots. Any organization in the state can sponsor a license plate to promote and raise funds for their cause giving a new customer over 125 choices at the DMV. Look here at just the available wildlife plates. I was contacted by Steve Kelly, a board member of Friends of the Wild Swan, and Wild Rockies Alliance who, as a gallery owner and artist himself, was in charge of putting together the license plate. I was thrilled that he wanted the subtle elegance of a sumi painting of a bull trout to represent the wilderness and wildlife protections they advocate. After painting dozens of trout, this image was chosen then assigned a blue-grey color.
I enjoyed working on the design as well, following a template with drill holes, tab and alpha-numeric spaces, consulting with the graphic designers in the prison, then watching, by way of Steve, as they enlarged the state name, lightened the trout even more than the 50% requirement and added a borderline over the course of several months. Now, I wish I lived in Montana to see the plate on the road.
Here are some of my other sumi trouts that we considered. All are available for purchase.
Enjoy these finished paintings from the students of my Watercolor For Illustration class at Bellevue College this past fall. My recent enthusiasm for flower painting is evident in several of these, all working from their own photos. As first time painters its a challenge to jump into painting large, but the scale and use of photo reference encourages the commitment needed to learn control of the medium and finish a painting on a deadline, as an illustration assignment would require. A finished work of art is the happy result and readiness to tackle illustration or commission assignments. These are all half sheet paintings, about 14″ x 20″ in size. My next class starts January 14 for 8 weeks. It’s a great way to spend the dark days of winter immersed in color. Here’s the work from the fall students and a couple of bonus paintings sent to me from earlier students!
Melissa repeated the class to do the sunset below after her earlier Methow Valley sky painting last winter.
Poorwa took my class in the spring then applied her skills in a Children’s Book illustration class creating this painting. Scroll through my teaching posts to see her spring 2012 painting of the Coliseum.
Anthony was also a student from last winter who sent me his next beautiful mountain landscape. You can see his previous landscape and Melissa’s by scrolling through the teaching posts to winter 2012.
Thanks to all my students for an inspiring year. They are amazing!
As December marches on and it gets harder to avoid the need to shop for gifts (or materials and ingredients to make gifts), I’m reflecting on some illustrations I did for one of the big retailers, Macy’s. These line art and color images were used for holiday ads. Ho ho ho…
A trip to Yellowstone in mid September brought me up close and personal with the turning of the Aspen leaves to all shades of yellows and oranges. Their bright colors can’t help but make you feel sunny as they flicker in the breezes. Getting close, the masses of color aren’t the only theme as the spaces in between the sprigs take on more importance.
I used this composition to teach a glazing process for creating colorful neutral backgrounds to my fall students at Bellevue College. I layered a thin flat glaze of Aureolin yellow, followed by thin glazes of Rose Madder, then Cobalt blue after each layer dried to create a luminous gray. This was too pale and flat alone for my interest, but made a foundation for adding more color wet on wet to blend and flow to enhance the neutral foundation. After 6-10 layers of color here’s what the background looked like before I even started painting the main attraction….the leaves.
In the beginning I masked out the leaves so I could brush the background colors freely over the whole surface. This image shows the mask removed, the veins sketched in and ready for color with additional masking fluid added to the lightest areas preserving the white of the paper. Still, when the leaves were painted, the background needed to have more blues and greens to tie in the green leaf in the lower right to make it feel like it belonged to the painting, so more layers were carefully added to unify the painting. What do you think? I think it works and I’ll add it to my watercolor gallery on http://sandyhaightfineart.com and enjoy the rest of the yellow Seattle autumn.
Here’s the watercolor painting of crocuses popping up through an overgrowth of ivy that I’ll be exhibiting in the NWWS member show opening next week. These flowers are a bit out of season now, but offer a cheery anticipation that spring will eventually come as we plunge into the dark northwest winter. They are first to tease us out of the cold with their bright smiling colors. Crocuses was one of the 55 paintings from 181 submissions that juror Stan Miller selected for this show, so its an honor to be part of this watercolor event.
Exhibition: October 23 – November 28, 2012
Reception: Thursday, October 25, 6:00—8:00 p.m.
Kaewyn Gallery 10101 Main St. / Bothell, WA 98011 / 425-483-7385
Gallery hours: Tues – Thurs 10 – 6, Friday 10 – 5, Sat 10 – 4.
I’ve been juried into the final Unclad art exhibit which will be on display only one weekend this year in Stanwood, WA, an hour north of Seattle. Two of my sumi figures will be on display in the show, and many of my unframed sumi and watercolor figure paintings will be available in the gift shop that is associated with this event. Unclad has been unique venue for me over the past 5 years and I’ll be sorry to see it stopping. The address is:
Floyd Norgaard Building 27130 102nd St NW, Stanwood, WA 98292
If you can’t make it to the real show, the artwork can be viewed online at the Unclad Art web site. Here’s my other painting that will be presented at Unclad:
More of my sumi paintings can be seen on my Fine Art web site along with galleries of watercolor figure paintings and other sumi-e and watercolor galleries.
Summer is over and I’m getting ready to start teaching a new group of watercolor artists tonight. I had an enthusiastic group for my first offering of Watercolor for Illustration in summertime and it shows in these paintings. It’s hard to believe that most are beginners with this challenging medium. I really enjoy the variety of subjects they choose and range of watercolor techniques they use to gain control and get glowing results. Aren’t they amazing? Kudos to these artists!
This Sunday, September 9 at 11:00, Ragini Michaels will present a FREE Teleseminar featuring 16 of the 26 illustrations I created to help her explain her strategy for achieving happiness and peace of mind as described in her recent book Unflappable. (I posted a blog about my sumi illustrations in that book on May 19, 2012). Here are some examples of my NEW stylized “stick figure” characters acting out their tensions both antagonistically and as a creative dynamic as they struggle to resolve their quite unresolvable dilemmas. These illustrations are quite different from the book artwork as they are totally created as vector art for the web in Adobe Illustrator.
Each concept is formatted with a boxed heading labeling the issue category that we may be struggling with. We fluctuate between polar opposite feelings that are stated by the text that makes up the character’s torsos. Antagonistic expressions of the tensions have jagged bases labeled “dilemma”, while the Creative Dynamic Tension expressions have a rounded base with the “dilemma” label. The polar pair characters are made of one rounded character and one angular character, also distinguished by tone. Here’s another simpler set:
You can see that I had fun with colors, fonts and vector art while creating these illustrations. It was also fun working with Ragini to figure out what sort of actions the characters might be doing. Here’s a set just in time for football season:
Tune into Ragini’s Free Teleseminar on Sunday to see the rest of these illustrations. It will be fun for me to see them in use and perhaps we can all find more enlightenment, happiness and insight for dealing with our inner tensions.
It was a total joy to paint this close up of lilies that I saw in Vancouver’s Granville Island Market. The sensuous shapes, vibrant colors, and minimal texture were fun to build up with my glazing techniques making them richer with every layer. Dark color, such as the background and the deep wells of the flowers, are always difficult in watercolor because the paint dries many shades lighter than when applied. It can take 5-10 glazes to build up to the dark value that I envision. I wanted the background to be dark and neutral yet still glow with luminous color to compliment the oranges and reds in the flowers. Certain colors lift and move around when re-wetted making it even more challenging to keep from streaking a large smooth area like the background or blending into a gradient area like the left two lilies.
Flowers are a constant seduction for me. They can be beautiful, ephemeral and oh so fragrant in nature. It’s another pleasure to capture the colors and the mystical designs within them to enjoy as art, larger than life.
This painting was just added to my Watercolor Gallery on my fine art site at sandyhaightfineart.com. There are a few other flower paintings there and more to come!
I decided it was time for me to record my painting process from reference photo to finish when one of my students, Rodney Hill, documented the different stages of completing his class watercolor painting. His printouts were of great value to future students explaining the steps they would use to paint realistically using photo references. Watch how my watercolor painting of a young elk evolved. The reference photo is at the end of this post.
1. Once the paper is stretched by stapling soaked watercolor paper to gator board, dried, and outlines of the shapes transferred to the paper, a mask is applied to the foreground subject to preserve the white of the paper. Some of the flowers and lighter grasses are also masked to allow a free and loose underpainting. The mask has a yellow tint in order to see where it has been applied. (This 1st photo is not lit correctly).
2. More background is added including the mountains and the dark forested hillside. More washes are layered onto the underpainting of the field.
3. Not being a landscape painter, I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle all the texture of the field but was eager to paint the subject. I procrastinated dealing with that dilemma and I removed the mask a bit early. Usually I build up the background to a near finished state before removing the mask. Now all the whites are available for adding in pure color or lighter tints.
4. At this point, the elk is painted (my favorite part) and the background herd, rocks and bushes are added as well as more foreground layers of washes and textures to make all the masked grasses blend better into the field. Now that the animal is developed, though, I realize that the dark background hillside is demanding way too much attention, distracting the viewer from the beauty of the elk by advancing with its strong values. Do you agree? I need to tone that down. My other concern was that having applied mask to details in the field I was stuck with the task of defining the grasses and wildflowers more clearly than I might have liked. Since this started out as a demo painting, it worked well for teaching purposes by showing various ways of using and applying masking fluid.
5. Yes, it is possible to fix watercolor errors, to a point. I scrubbed away at that dark hillside to force it to take its proper, more subtle place in the back of the picture. I tried to straighten the horizon line a bit which was at an awkward downhill slant. This was as light as I could get it, and it still has some room to create a sense of the trees by adding more glazes of color.
6. I masked the yellow flowers again so that I could intensify the foreground with further washes and grass detail while preserving the color of the flowers. It’s hard to see the little blobs of mask over the flowers.
7. Here’s the finished painting again from top of the post, with trees suggested in the hillside, grasses more defined and yellows enhanced. Another layer of sky was added and more layers of washes in the mountains to finish it.
8. Below is the photo I used for reference. Driving out of Rocky Mountain National Park we passed this brave young elk, grazing right by the roadside. I’m not sure I’ll ever be a landscape painter…it’s hard to improve on Nature, but I loved painting this beautiful animal who let me get quite close for a photo.
Once again my students impressed and inspired me with their watercolor paintings. We met one night a week for 10 weeks at the Bellevue College north campus. Most are beginners at using watercolor, some with other art experience. Working from photos of their choice to practice matching colors and controlling the media they end up with a half sheet sized painting suitable for framing. Here’s a display of the finished paintings:
1. A returning student, Rodney Hill did 2 atmospheric seascape paintings this term, really capturing the surf. At the end of the post are his paintings from winter term 2011.
2. Margie Holzer completed her second painting on her own taking on 2 difficult subjects, babies and furry creatures.
3. As a lover of Italian architecture, Purva Sarkari took on a very complex image of the Coliseum in Rome and made it beautiful and intricate spending time outside of class to accomplish this.
4. Ketheren Zanaqui honored her boyfriend’s Iron Man medal in this double portrait of him with his dad. She persisted for many, many layers to get a rich, glowing dark background by mixing colors…no black paint allowed….and paid tight attention to detail in the faces and graphic details in the shirts and signs.
Rodney Hill, who painted the above seascapes, took my class last year and documented the steps of this painting from masking, developing the sky, figuring out how to paint the branches and finally the bird. I use his documentation to introduce students to the process, from photo reference to painting. Here’s his first painting from a photo he took from his deck.
And another small study of the Stellers Jay: