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Fresh Paint, Fresh Approach

Fresh Paint, Fresh Approach - An Artistic Exploration of Daniel Smith Watercolors with Linda Cameron

Creative painting is an intellectual endeavor. For a painter, the introduction of a new pigment encourages change, which in turn stimulates artistic growth. An artist must be flexible, accept change, disclaim absolutes and above all, have the courage to explore.

A safe, satisfactory painting can become a point of departure on a road to discovery. Once a few technical applications are explored and mastered, strive to break free from the routine of formula painting. Experiment beyond the limits of mere decoration

Daniel Smith Luminescent Watercolors are great tools for creative exploration. From experience, I can guarantee they will help you pave new ground in your paintings. Paint them wet, damp and dry and premix Luminescent pigments into any of your favorite hues for elusive, surprising effects. In short, use them as if they were any other paint.

Free your creative spirit! Explore pigment properties and experiment with techniques. Discover the seneuous pleasure of art done for the sheer joy of doing it. I find the harder I play, the luckier I become. Each brush stroke carries with it a wave of feelings, thoughts, brilliance and movement. From imagination to image, it is technique that delivers the idea and experience that develops freedom.

For the artist, the interesting part is that magical moment of creation when the creative act becomes more important than the artwork it prduces. From "paint it safe" (we all begin that way, as craftsmen), it takes courage to risk your comfort level and expose the unfamiliar. And remember-- it's only a piece of paper and one can always start all over with fresh paint.

With the following five exercises, my hope is that you will run wild and let chance intervene. Have fun, grow as an artist and let the paint flow.

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Experiment with the glow of Quinacridone Gold and Quinacridone Burnt Orange and the versatility of Van Dyke Brown and Buff Titanium.

I love to paint the shiny golden skins of onions. Quinacridone pigments are ideal whenever you want transparent color that is also strong, vibrant and clean. These onions incorporate washes of Quinacridone Gold and Quinacridone Burnt Orange, which I substitute for Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna in mosty of my paintings. Notice how convincingly they suggest the subtle color modulations and sheen of the onion skin. Lines and details are added with my beloved Daniel Smith Rigger in Van Dyke Brown and Buff Titanium.

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Bring Pewter and Silver to life with Pearlescent Shimmer and add depth to the shadows with Indigo and Moonglow.

In this study, you can see some of the textural possibilities made possible by special Daniel Smith colors. For the eggs, I floated Buff Titanium into water. The blueberries are simply a dot of a mixture of Indigo and Moonglow, painted onto dry paper. I carefully reserved the white of the paper for highlights, and blotted in places to modulate the color. The gleaming silver spoon is painted in Indigo mixed with Pearlescent Shimmer. I also used Indigo and Moonglow for the blackberries and added a touch of Pearlescent Shimmer to give them their characteristic sheen. All the shadows are a dilute wash of Indigo.

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Rose, Silver and Copper-- colors that blossom with Quinacridone Rose, German Silver, Interference Copper and Pearlescent Shimmer.

This inspiring pigment can be used in unlimited ways. Starting at the top, I painted Quinacridone Rose onto dry paper, then blotted it to lift some color. Next, I floated it into a wet shape. The third and fourth flowers combine underpaintings of solid Quinacridone Rose with overlays of Quinacridone Rose pre-mixed with Pearlescent Shimmer. The grouped buds forms are simply strokes of that same mixture. The fifth flower is a thick mixture of Quinacridone Rose and Interference Copper, with details squeegeed out with a Colour Shaper. The final flower was painted with Quinacridone Rose, blotted lightly, then dusted while damp with Daniel Smith German Silver Metallic Watercolor.

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The first bud of spring can be achieved with Sap Green, Iridescent Antique Gold, and a dusting of Palegold and a dab of Interference Copper.

These six leaves are painted with Daniel Smith Sap Green (one of my favorite pigments) and various Luminescent and Iridescent colors. The top leaf is pure Sap Green, applied rather thickly and blotted when still slightly wet. The next two leaves combine underpaintings of Sap Green with washes of pre-mixed Sap Green and Iridescent Antique Gold. The fourth leaf is Sap Green with veins squeegeed with a Colour Shaper. The fifth leaf is painted with a mixture of Sap Green and Interference Copper, and the last leaf is Sap Green, blotted to suggest form, with some damp areas gently dusted with Daniel Smith Palegold Metallic Watercolor.

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The first bud of spring can be achieved with Sap Green, Iridescent Antique Gold, and a dusting of Palegold and a dab of Interference Copper.

Finished Painting - "D'aprés Monet" by Linda Cameron

The original pond painting-- satisfactory and sold-- became a magical breakthrough when a 2:00am muse teased me to continue. In a moment of inspiration (or a fit of artistic temperament?) I concocted a Tom Sawyer-like whitewash potion of Daniel Smith Acrylic Gloss Medium mixed half and half with hot water, sprinkled in generous portions of several varieties of Daniel Smith metallic powders and stirred anxiously with a craft stick. I then poured the mixture over the entire painting.

The effect was amazing. I watched as the image blurred and ran everywhere-- including onto the studio floor. Phthalos and Sap Green puddles oozed and dripped.

While I worried about spent sale money, the acrylic film began to dry clear as promised. The metallic flakes were successfully suspended in the painting. A blow-drier hastened this stage and once it dried, I began to redefine and brighten selected passages. The clear acylic/metallic glaze added depth and atmospheric mood to the painting.

Breakthroughs offer unexpected rewards. I let chaos strom and realized one has to dare to be overwhelmed in order to know freedom. Or, perhaps, I merely got lucky again!