Going My Way (Best Friends)

mermaid painting process with sea turtle
This is where ‘Going My Way (Best Friends)’ started out – a pencil drawing and the darkest shadows sketched in. Notice the extra shoulder on the mermaid’s right (your left) shoulder. ¬†Or was it going to be a wisp of hair? I don’t know; it got painted out in the next step.
This photo is a little darker than the true colors of the painting. It shows laying in the colors of the background. I used a lot of Golden Acrylics Teal, unmixed in the clear water, and on the ocean floor is Golden Titanium White, Blick Pthalo Blue, and Windsor & Newton yellow (I don't know the name, the jar of paint is written in Chinese).
This photo is a little darker than the true colors of the painting. It shows laying in the colors of the background. I used a lot of Golden Acrylics Teal, unmixed in the clear water, and on the ocean floor is Golden Titanium White, Blick Pthalo Blue, and Windsor & Newton yellow (I don’t know the name, the jar of paint is written in Chinese). This step lets me know my silhouettes are correct. I also extend one of her fingers out to give her arm a better line. In the reference photo by @zeroeye on Instagram, her fingers curled under and we couldn’t see them.

A photo posted by Mario & Sel Cisneros (@zeroeye) on

The finished background is somewhat abstract. The sandy ripples are impressionistic and were created with the flat brush.
The finished background is somewhat abstract. The sandy ripples are impressionistic and were created with the flat brush, held with the narrow side vertical and pulled horizontally across the canvas. Ripples on the bottom of the sea floor are structurally similar to the waves on the ocean’s surface, aren’t they! If I put a horizon line in and some baby blue sky this pair could float through the clouds. ūüėČ
The shadows on the mermaid were the most challenging, but I trust my eye and mixed up the color I saw, not the color I thought it should be. And that choice is what gives her good form.
The shadows on the mermaid were the most challenging, but I trust my eye and mixed up the color I saw, not the color I thought it should be. And that choice is what gives her good form. Later I added some warmer tones, but here it’s all about massing the shapes.
I started to give her a rosy pink tail here, like my other popular mermaid painting. But it didn't pop. I love the coloring in this darker-than-reality photo, and will come back to this color scheme later. 'Going my way (Best Friends)' is actually quite a bit brighter and cheerier.
I started to give her a rosy pink tail here, like my other popular mermaid painting. But it didn’t pop. I love the ocean’s coloring in this darker-than-reality photo, and will come back to this color scheme later. Also her hair looks extra glossy at this step- this was the hair the model in the photo had. ‘Going my way (Best Friends)’ is actually quite a bit brighter and cheerier.
And here is the golden mermaid tail getting filled in. Quite a bit better and reminds me of a Koi fish tail. I haven't given her any extra dorsal or pectoral fins but maybe in the future I can have a more elaborate mermaid tail in a painting.
And here is the golden mermaid tail getting filled in. Quite a bit better and reminds me of a Koi fish tail. I haven’t given her any extra dorsal or pectoral fins but maybe in the future I can have a more elaborate mermaid tail in a painting.
Here I'm starting to refine the sea turtle by adding the segments on the shell and adding details.
Here I’m starting to refine the sea turtle by adding the segments on the shell and switching to a smaller brush, still a flat brush.
And here it is two brush strokes away from done. The lighting has blown out the top right but it just adds to the glowing effect of the sunlight filtering in the water.
And here it is two brush strokes away from done. The lighting has blown out the top right but it just adds to the glowing effect of the sunlight filtering in the water.
mermaid honu sea turtle painting
And here is the finished painting, with the mermaid and honu in conversation. It’s called ‘Going My Way (Best Friends)’ and the original painting, or prints, are available for sale at artistkatana.com

Hawaiian Watercolors

red torch ginger lizard watercolors
red torch ginger lizard watercolor
Here is a process photo of the Red Torch Ginger partially finished.
Here is a process photo of the Red Torch Ginger partially finished.

This watercolor was created as a study for the Red Torch Ginger that appears in the Tropical Spirit Mural I am working on.

Would you like to come paint Hawaiian flora and fauna with me? I am going to be teaching on the Big Island. Join the email list for more information as it arrives and come paint with me.

Dreamscapes on Clouds

dreamscape art acrylic painting
Float, a dreamscape where a cloud woman floats on a magic carpet above a green landscape.
dreamscape float woman on magic carpet
Here is how this Dreamscape looked about 3/4 finished. It has the magic carpet and the sun but its missing the defined landscape and I had originally painted the fabric folds. I also wanted softer clouds and more depth.
the hub tacoma wa art gallery wall artist
A few of the Dreamscapes on the gallery wall at the Hub, Tacoma WA during the art show Dreamscapes and Landscapes with Danielle Lusk.
Here it is hanging in my old house when it was half finished.
Here it is hanging in my old house when it was half finished. I always look at my paintings to see how it feels over time.

The Moon Goddess Over Greece Painting

moon goddess
Moon Goddess Painting in progress.
radiant heat josan pocket venus reference photo
I took this photo of my friend Pocket Venus, of Radiant Heat, here with her fire spinning nucleus, to use as a reference photo.
image
Here is the moon goddess sketched in with Greek inspired scene only suggested.

This is a gallery wrapped canvas which means it doesn’t need a frame, it is ready to hang right up. Black and white acrylic paint create the strength of this painting, and a small touch of silver create the stars, which are small and don’t appear in the photos. This was a commission painting that is now hanging in its new home.

Before it was even finished someone else wanted to purchase it! I told her I could paint a similar painting, and we could put her face and favorite landscape in the painting instead. Something like that would go for $1300, if we are looking at a similar size (36×48″).

Greece artwork painting Moon Goddess
Moon Goddess Over Greece 36 x 48″ acrylic on canvas.

image

Montessori Printable Sets

Parts of a flower Monocot montessori
A tulip is a Monocot because it has petals in sets of three.
Parts of a flower parts of a tulip parts of a rose montessori.
These are Printables, ready for your classroom with a custom order from Diamond Montessori.
Parts of a Dicot flower monte
Parts of a Dicot- kids are easily able to absorb new vocabulary. Montessori teaches them the words in a clear and beautiful way.

My friend Ashley and I have been working hard on creating beautiful language learning materials for Diamond Montessori and are delighted to announce they are now available.

 

I’m very pleased with everything I’ve illustrated and Ashley’s writing is perfect for kids, and it’s all to Montessori specifications- beautiful, clear, and straightforward, to inspire little ones to grow and learn.

 

 

Painting Lake Joy Plein Air

When we first moved up to Washington a few years ago, I did these paintings. I was talking about them and couldn’t find them on my website anywhere so I’m sharing¬†them today. These ones sold right away when I shared them on https://m.facebook.com/artistkatana

Original acrylic painting sold for $75
This is the same composition, painted a second time, the next day at the same hour. Acrylic on canvas board, sold for $75.
Original acrylic landscape painting photographed plein air
I painted this original acrylic painting plein air and photographed it inside the scene.
Palette for plein air original acrylic painting
This shows the palette I used for the painting. Cyan, path all blues, titanium white and three greens, burnt umber.
Plein air painting two versions
I used the same palette for the second painting, and this version was smoother than the first day, speaking to the power of iterations and artistic studies.

Commission Painting: Estonia

So this painting started off by painting the canvas grey. Because there were so many small shapes here I wanted to cover the canvas with a flattish color.

This is just after all the blocking in of main shapes has been completed. You can still see the under painting and the grid lines on top.
This is just after all the blocking in of main shapes has been completed. The ocean is Ultramarine Blue, Golden Acrylics. The greens are made with Pthalo Blue, Primary Yellow, & Hooker’s Green, Stevenson Acrylics. I use ¬†mix of my primaries to get grey. I also use Pyrrole Red (Golden) for the rooftops but later on add some Burnt Umber.
blocking in the main shapes estonia painting
Working out the main shapes and trying to find how all the little puzzle pieces of greys and squares result in looking like buildings. Little attention has been paid at this point to the trees and distant harbour area.
The reference photo my client sent me.
The reference photo my client sent me.
The finished commission.
The finished commission.

It just arrived at its home!

Painting an Impressionist Monet Bridge Over Lilies

This is the second Monet painting in a series that I’m creating to teach at my Paint Nite events. This new one is called “Impressionist Monet Bridge Over Lilies.”¬†You can search the title ¬†+ ‘Paint Nite’ to find out if it’s being taught in your area.

See the first one, “Impressionist Monet Water Lilies”¬†here.

paint dark red areas to map out painting
Map out the composition. Using dark red I outlined the three parallel lines on the bridge, the reflection of the bridge in a smile shape, and that scrubby line under the three rainbows is the shoreline. I would make these all a bit thicker when I teach it.
Working from the dark red over to blueish purple, scrub in with the drybrush technique the shadowy areas. While the edges are fuzzy, the shapes should be opaque.
Working from the dark red over to blueish purple, scrub in with the drybrush technique the shadowy areas. While the edges are fuzzy, the shapes should be opaque.
I load my brush with blue and yellow and it mixes to a streaky green right on the canvas. Fill in the pond area around the reddish colored reflection. Its blue with a little teeny bit of white in some areas.
I load my brush with blue and yellow and it mixes to a streaky green right on the canvas. Fill in the pond area around the reddish colored reflection. Its blue with a little teeny bit of white in some areas.
Here you are with the finished emerald green painted pond.
Here you are with the finished emerald green painted pond.
Next up, chartreuse. Its lotsa yellow and a little little bit of blue, and it just piles right on top of the shoreline. Theres a little bit above the bridge but not much. Use vertical brush strokes, let it be streaky.
Next up, chartreuse. Its lotsa yellow and a little little bit of blue, and it just piles right on top of the shoreline. Theres a little bit above the bridge but not much. Use vertical brush strokes, let it be streaky.
Finish the top of the painting with more of that emerald green - teal combo.
Finish the top of the painting with more of that emerald green – teal combo. Use that dark green to add in some grassy texture along the shoreline, too.
Go over those dark red arcs with light blue. Its okay if that dark red shows through. Then add four vertical lines for the posts on the back of the bridge. IT looks good, but its a little flat.
Go over those dark red arcs with light blue. Its okay if that dark red shows through. Then add four vertical lines for the posts on the back of the bridge. It looks good, but it’s a little flat.
Use regular blue to add partial shadows in the bottom of the arcs. You dont have to completely paint over the light blue.
Use regular blue to add partial shadows in the bottom of the arcs. You don’t have to completely paint over the light blue.
Light blue again, but with just a tint of yellow to get seafoam. Put in the front railings of the bridge; four vertical posts and a rainbow overtop. They are above and beside the back railings.
Light blue again, but with just a tint of yellow to get seafoam. Put in the front railings of the bridge; four vertical posts and a rainbow overtop. They are above and beside the back railings.
Use white to highlight the front posts and railings. The white paint will make it pop forward!
Use white to highlight the front posts and railings. The white paint will make it pop forward! You can see this is where I added more paint to the red shadows, but I recommend teaching it this thick to begin with so you don’t have to go back. Every color change takes time.
Now were on the home stretch. Pale green streaks with the round brush begin the lily pads.
Now we are on the home stretch. Pale green streaks with the round brush begin the lily pads.
Layer those lily pads in varying green all the way to the bottom of the canvas.
Layer those lily pads in varying green all the way to the bottom of the canvas.
The lotus flowers are little three petaled Ws joined at the bottom. They are just three little brush strokes pivoting at the bottom.
The lotus flowers are little three petaled Ws joined at the bottom. They are just three little brush strokes pivoting at the bottom.
Add in some more streaky grasses in the shoreline if youve got a few more minutes.
Add in some more streaky grasses in the shoreline if you’ve got a few more minutes.

Tarot Thursdays at Walks Within

Beginning this year, Mary Malinski, the Prosperity Priestess at Walks Within, and I, have been working on our deck of Tarot Cards. Every Thursday we are releasing a new Tarot card. If you’d like a chance to model for a tarot card (the more variety of persons the better the deck will be!) than send a few poses and faces to us. It’s helpful if you are posed as the figures on the card may be, but I¬†can amalgamate images as well. Costuming is not necessary.

The idea is to fill the cards with art, love and light, and they are all digitally illustrated to create a clear story to help you read the cards accurately.

0-The-Fool-blog
The Fool Tarot Card
8 of Swords Tarot card
The 8 of Swords
3 of Wands Tarot Card
3 of Wands Tarot Card
Temperance Tarot Card
Temperance Tarot Card

 

How to Paint Water Lilies like Claude Monet

I created this version of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies to teach at Paint Nite. It’s called “Impressionist Monet Water Lilies.” Click here to find it on the Paint Nite schedule near you.

I’m providing the steps for other Paint Nite master artists to teach their own version, or for you to have a sneak preview of how easy it is to follow along at Paint Nite.

View more of the paintings I teach on Pinterest!

Step one pthalo blue green white acrylic paint
The first step is starting with pthalo blue ragged streaks across the top of the canvas, than green, than white. Then light blue to the bottom of the canvas. The more ragged and streaked the better, so you don’t need to wash your brush between colors. Use lots of paint so it stays wet.
How to paint reflective water
While the paint from the last step is still wet, sweep your brush back and forth across the canvas to drag the paint back and forth and flatten the reflections.
How to paint water lilies
How to paint the water lilies: Using blue white and yellow, mixed, dab ovals in groupings across the canvas. Mix up the paint in different quantities so some are darker and some are lighter and some are brighter!
Dabbing color on the lilies
Start adding blue and yellow dabs on top of the lilies.
Paint lotus flowers
Add red and white W’s wherever you want to paint the lotus flowers.
Paint nite tickets
Your completed water lily painting. If you’d like more instruction and all your painting supplies provided, look for this painting on the Paint Nite website – use code SEATTLE for $25 tickets!