Tuesday, November 24, 2015


After finishing my last painting it took me a long time to clean up my area.
I  realized that I just wasn't done with these objects and this color palette.

So I happily begin another set up using this georgous fabric with a few
 new objects from my prop collection.

WIP (section)
Watercolor, 18" x 24"

I'll pop back every once in a while with more progress.

I hope you enjoy the true spirit of Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bottle Light

All done!
I learn so much from every painting.
The more bottles I do the more confident I feel with the subject.
And that's good because I am slightly obsessed with them right now.

©Carmella Tuliszewski
Watercolor, 15" x 30"

No title yet.  This will go up on my board to study and deciede if I need to play with it more.
It looks more rich in person.  I need to play with my camera as well to get the best photograph.

Here is where it began with a detailed drawing.
That is after the scene lived in my head for a few days.
I took my objects out on the driveway early one sunny morning to get the best warm elongated shadows.  And to get the best sparkle from the glass.

You can see here that I saturated the color somewhat from my reference.
I found this vintage Laura Ashely cloth in a little shop while on vacation this summer.

Laying in a shadow over a complex background works as long as you have a light touch with that first pass over.  Also I've found that watercolor becomes more set in the paper the longer it is there.
So I wait a day or two to work on the shadows.
My shadow colors here are Shadow Violet and Colbalt Violet.
Since the scene is overall a warm color scheme, adding a violet shadow as a complement to the yellows sets off the sun exposed areas even more.

This gives you a better idea of scale.

There is much to consider when painting tinted glass as in value shapes, reflections both inside and outside of the bottles, reflections the bottles gives to each other and the lighted cast shadows.
Careful planning and working one area at a time works well for me.
I need that instant gratification of seeing each completed area as I go.

We are having amazing and beautiful weather here!
I need a few days off to run errands and clean out my gardens for winter.
But the whole time I'll be thinking about the next painting.
Like I said, an obsession!

Have a good week.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Back at the bottles

I have a new piece in the works.
Exploring more tinted glass bottles but now with a few new ones added to my collection.
During my vacation in New Hampshire this summer my sister in law and I
 haunted a few old and new antique stores.  
I found so many beautiful objects to place around my house and to use in painting set ups for my stills.

The vintage Laura Ashley cloth and a cobalt violet bottle flask are my new treasured finds.

 WIP, Watercolor, 15" x 30"
©Carmella Tuliszewski

My drawing on 300 lb. cold press Arches is ready to go.
My line drawing is a map of shapes which help to make the painting part more spontaneous
and give confidence when I lay that first color glaze in.
No amount of glorious color will fix a bad drawing.
For me it's worth the time to get the foundation as best I can.
Before I begin I will use a kneaded eraser to pick up any excess graphite to ensure
clean, crisp color application.

I like to keep a high key photo copy to refer to as I go just to keep those dark areas correct.

Don't you love this part!?
All the happy hours of painting ahead.
I'm very excited to get started!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I actually got it finished for the 30/30 challenge deadline of today, September 30th.
A real change of subject for me and I think not the last.
I had thought these guys would be a one time appearance but they may be back.

Watercolor, 14" x 22"

Each character has a memory for me either of my own as a child or may children.
This made the piece a pleasure from beginning to end.
My attraction to this particular set up is the reflections in both the tray and the bowl.
They gave me the chance to exaggerate the already ridiculous subject.
The fabric under the set up is actually an old bed sheet from my then little children's rooms.
(Formally dug out of a drawer where it was saved as a drop sheet for house painting projects.)

This style is also a bit different for me as I have outlined each object with a very thin application of 
Paynes Gray and Shadow Violet.
My hope was to give it a comic book/ cartoon look to add to the theme.
The shadows and highlights are also exaggerated for the same reason.

Thank you again for following along this month for the challenge.
The basic idea for this challenge is to paint every day and to try new things.
So I come out of this with at least one new way of working and a finished painting.
A good months work.

On to other things!

Monday, September 28, 2015

I am so honored to have been awarded both 
Signature Status and The Award of Merit
by The Pennsylvania Watercolor Society
at the opening reception of the 
2015 International Exhibit.

2015 Juried Show
The Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s
36th Annual International Juried Exhibition 
 Carlisle Arts Learning Center,
38 W. Pomfret St, Carlisle, PA 17013
September 25 – November 13, 2015 

"Summer Harvest",  Watercolor, 18" x 24"
Recipient of

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Treasures Still

I'm back to my "Treasures".
My weekend and early part of next week look very busy with non painting things.
I am hoping to finish out the challenge on the 30th with the completed painting.
But at the very least I will have it done by the end of next week.

"Treasures" (section)

The last peek before the finish of my "Big Kid September".
This fun comic book styling may never get juried into a show or hang on a collectors wall 
but I enjoyed the process and the recording of my little collection.

I am anxious to get back to my regular schedule.
I have commissions and a new large still life in the works that I am very excited to begin!

Thanks so much for following along this month.
Have a great weekend.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Daisy Doings - Pouring

I have been wanting to try Pouring Watercolor for quite a while now.
I've watched many demos and gathered my supplies.

So here goes!

First, you need a simple "cartoon" drawing outlining
shapes where values change.

This is my second pour. The first was using only yellow and red.with no mask.
I use a Windsor & Newtown masking fluid to cover shapes I want to keep at a desired value.
With each pour a new mask is applied.
I am using a soft wide brush to rewet the paper before each pour.
If you don't the pour does not move around well on the surface.

So after remasking, pouring and drying five times
(which took three days)
 this is what I am left with before removing the mask.
Promising, or so I thought.

Mask removed and YIKES!  What happened to all my bright, georgous color?
The mask has picked up the color as it was pulled away from the paper.
I don't use mask over color on my paintings so didn't realize it would take away so much paint.

The only thing I can think of is the quality of paint.
I did not want to "waste" my good WN or Daniel Smiths on this so went with the Grumbacher.
Maybe the better quality paints stain the paper better with less lift?
Lesson learned.

So I went back into it very carefully in an attempt to bring back the original color.
Much better.

I do love the look of poured paintings.
They have a beautiful old time reproduction quality.

As a detailed, realistic painter, this process forces me to simplify shape and color.
This always helps in composing any picture I may choose to work on.

I am not a fan of the process.
I do not shy away from complicated details but at the end of the day I can
step back and examine what I've done with my time.  Pouring goes on for days.
Pour artists usually keep two or more paintings going at a time because
there is so much down time in between pours.

 I missed using my brushes.

I followed the purest route on this using only the three primary colors.
I think I might like a more free flow pour with less masking and using colors of my choice.

But I won't totally abandon the process.
I foresee incorporating this into my regular painting for backgrounds and under paintings.
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