Thursday, May 11, 2017


It has been busy to say the least.
Some of it good busy and some of it not so good.
But in between I manage to actually sit at my table and focus.

"Encore", Watercolor, 22" x 30"
©Carmella Tuliszewski

A little intense with the color this one is.
That was the plan all along and I loved making all these vibrant hues work together.
When I set my bottles up in bright morning sun everything just sparkles and bounces off one another.  The shadows of violet, fuchsia and lime green enhance the color of the bottles and change the fabric beneath everywhere they land.

I begin in the back and labor over one bottle at a time.
I'm an instant gratification junkie and need to see finished pieces as I go.
The colors need to be layered many times to get the effect of tints and shades.
It usually is a slow go but the process is the thing for me.

Almost there at this point.
I use as little white as possible,
usually just to hit tiny highlights at the very end.
I use Winsor & Newton Colourless Art Masking Fluid.
Always works very well.
This is painted on 300 lb Arches Cold Press 
watercolor paper, which I do not soak and stretch.
I believe the colors stay more true when the sizing is not washed off and
I do not like to be encumbered by a board under the paper.
At least not on these large pieces.

And here is where it began.
A long process indeed but to me so worth it.

So back to my busy life, in the garden, with my grandchildren,
hanging out with my newly retired husband and 
trying to keep the house clean and the food cooked!

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, April 14, 2017

April Doings

March and April have been about 
house projects, grandmom time, hanging out with my recently retired husband 
and preparing to host my daughter's upcoming baby shower.
You know, life.
But in between I manage to catch time here and there
to work on my watercolor projects.

This large painting, 22" x 30", I began a few weeks ago.
The colors just keep me totally engaged and the magical things the light does 
through the colors keeps me challenged. 

I set this scene up in my driveway and waited for the early morning light to hit it just right.
All my photos then go into iPhoto for cropping, twisting, turning, brightness and saturation adjustments until I "feel" it and can't wait to get it on paper.

It has a ways to go but I'll get there.

"Sweet Treats", Watercolor, 20" x 24"

My Easter painting while in progress and the completed piece.
I love painting a season/holiday scene.
And thats just what it has to be, a labor of love.
Seasonal pieces are almost never juried into exhibitions and 
really don't sell for whatever reason.

Nevertheless, some things you have to do for the sake of doing.

I'll keep going on that bottle painitng and be back with a finish...eventually.

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 10, 2017

February's Flowers and the FAV 15

February turned out to be a floral month for me.
During my many years as a greeting card illustrator flowers were my 
bread and butter as a freelance artist.
I still go back to them now when I need a refresher.

"Sunbathers II", Watercolor, 12" x 14"

The complementary hues of green, yellow-green and red, yellow-orange made this piece
just pop from the paper.  I have always found oranges difficult to work with but I'm getting better at it by slowing down and not building up the darks too quickly.
Vermillion is my go to paint, in combination with various reds, to get the vibrancy needed here.

"Lupine", Watercolor, 7" x 14"

I found this beauty while walking through a garden show in my sister in laws neighborhood last summer.  All flowers seem to be given a meaning and that meaning for the Lupine is loyalty.

"Sunset", Watercolor, 20" x 21"

I am thrilled that "Sunset" was included in the FAV 15 from January's
Bold Brush Painting Contest on FASO.

I will go back into it soon to deepen and brighten in a few spots.
I set this still up in the early morning sunrise in December when 
the light coming up cast long saturated shadows. 

My bottle collection is growing by leaps and bounds.
I find them in a favorite thrift store for $1 or less a piece but I have seen some of them 
on eBay for much more.
(One at $250! Gotta love a good bargain :)
They live in the windows around my house as a source of constant inspiration.

I am working on a new bottle painting now.
Just in the drawing stage, which will take awhile, as the piece measures the size of a full sheet of watercolor paper at 22" x 30".
But I am just mesmerized by it and cant wait to lay a brush to it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sunset Completed

We are fortunate to have a beach house at the Jersey Shore.
It sits facing west out over the wetlands and the sunsets are
a spectacular sight to enjoy from our porch on a warm summer evening.
(Sounds amazing right about now, but I digress)

Early one morning last month I set this still up to resemble all those summer sunsets.
Then I sat and, with camera in hand, waited for the sun to come up. 
I was rewarded with the magical long, saturated shadows only a 
winter morning can make happen.

"Sunset", Watercolor, 20" x 20"

We are really in the depths of winter now.
So I think its time for some flowers next.

Thanks for taking a look!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Glass Process

I know how daunting painting colored glass can be.
You must take into account reflections, refractions, color, value and texture all in a small space.
I just started painting glass a couple of years ago and after much trial and error I managed to self teach my own process for this complicated subject.
I pushed through because I love it so much.

There are as many ways to do this as there are artists at work and glass to study.

Here is just one method that works for me.

Begin with a simple contour drawing.
Within each bottle more contour drawings to map out
significant value changes.
Use liquid mask to cover white highlughts and the lightest value.
I use W&N Colourless Art Masking Fluid.

Glaze in your medium and dark values.
You are looking for the appearance of transparency here so vary the colors you choose.
Here I am using M. Graham Watercolors in 
Perm alizarin crimson, Naphthol red and Scarlet Pyrrol 
while picking up some yellow or purple to vary the lights and darks.

Remove the mask.
Ugh! It's always a bit of a shock to see all that white after 
laying in all those beautiful colors.
Now is where the real challenge begins.

Glaze in lightest, brightest color and begin the process of glazing in more color,
picking up hightlights and glazing again as you move through the piece.
This is not finished yet but at this point I stop and move onto the next one.
Once the whole painting is filled in I spend another day carefully
looking for tweeks usually by picking up color here and laying in there.

This is a large piece with lots of bottles.
I should finish it this week.
And its all worth it in the end.
The process is the thing for me and I'm always sorry to see it end.

I find my vintage bottles in my favorite thrift store and antique shops.
And when they are not sitting for a painting they are sitting pretty in my windows.

I'll be back soon with the reveal of the finished painting.

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