Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My guest column in The Artist's Magazine...

watercolor, 9" x 10.5"
Chris Beck

Now that the January/February 2014 issue of The Artist's Magazine has reached subscribers and is in bookstores, I can share the paintings I created for my guest column on masking fluid. 

The article features expanded steps in the creation of both Arabesque and Pelican Dreams as well as several other illustrations to help you make the most of masking fluid, regardless of your choice of subject matter.  If you aren't a subscriber or don't have easy access to a shop that carries the magazine, you can order a paper or digital copy by clicking here or going to the link in the sidebar.

The addition of gouache (pronounced "gwash" -- opaque watercolor -- for more info, check out this page on the Daniel Smith website) to your watercolorist's bag of tricks opens up possibilities for surface embellishment and the use of lighter colors on top of a dark base of transparent watercolor. In Pelican Dreams, I spattered gouache on the background both to tone it down and add visual complexity. Gouache would be off-limits in certain national exhibitions that require transparency, but there is a long history of using gouache, sometimes referred to as bodycolor, to add highlights and depth to a painting.

 Pelican Dreams
watercolor and gouache, 8" x 6"
Chris Beck

Schnozz made his debut here about a month ago, and is just back for an encore visit. He's painted strictly with transparent watercolor.

watercolor, 6" x 6"
Chris Beck

In other news -- I'm sorry to report that I have closed my Zazzle shop.  I discovered quite by accident that they had disabled the design controls I put on my mugs and stamps and allowed buyers to apply the images to different products in the same category. That meant the images were being distorted to fit shapes they were never intended to be displayed on. After going around and around with customer service, I learned there was no option except to re-post every item and reset the controls. And since Zazzle has periodically made other changes that required me to repost some of my products, I have no guarantee that they wouldn't disable my controls again. I cannot constantly monitor something that was supposed to be a fun, no-hassle way to share my work.