Founded in 2002, the Society encourages the creation of watercolor at all skill levels and promotes interest, appreciation and enjoyment of watercolor and watermedia. Please feel free to attend one of our meetings. Monthly meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month, at 10 a.m. at the Cincinnati Art Club, 1021 Parkside Place, Cincinnati, Ohio, unless otherwise noted.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
OCTOBER 2014 PROGRAM - SUE GROGAN
introduced our own Susan Grogan to be our Presenter for October. She told us that Watercolor Painting became
Susan’s “favorite” when she was in high school. Although she has worked in many other
mediums, especially while attending technical college for Art, during her work
as a fashion illustrator, and other classes and workshops, Watercolor remains
her favorite. Susan has her work in a
number of places around the Greater Cincinnati area, including One Main Galley
in Milford, the Queen City Art Club and the CincinnatiNatureCenter.
She also teaches classes – at Hobby Lobby in Eastgate, and MiamiTownshipSeniorCenter in Milford.
(From personal experience – all her students love her)
about her “process”, that is, she does a small “thumbnail” sketch to make
decisions about the composition – so that the eye will travel around the
finished painting. Then, she does a
“value” study, to make decisions about where the light source will be, and
which parts of the painting will be light, and which will be dark. And, even though her students love to “hate”
doing these thumbnails and studies, Susan believes that a much better painting
is the result of completing them. An
easy way to do the value study is to put a piece of tracing paper (a very
transparent one is Canson) over your thumbnail and color in the lights and
darks. Then, you can place your tracing
paper on top of a white piece of paper so that it is very easy to see. Have this, and your thumbnail handy nearby as
you paint, for reference. Lately, Susan
has been painting on 140 lb. coldpress, Arches Rough paper as it has more body.
If one looks
closely at pottery, you notice it has a glaze, with runs, and granulated
colors. In order to replicate this
finish in a painting, Susan likes the rough paper, uses salt and sometimes,
just splattered water. She first used a
kneaded eraser to take off some of the pencil marks, especially if using yellow
colors, because you want to let the white of the paper show through to make the
yellow bright, not heavy paint to make it bright. She does not have many expensive brushes, but
just replaces hers when she wears out the point (as she prefers round brushes
for most things). Granulated colors
(usually opaque) are good for pottery as the pigments tend to sit on top of the
paper. She uses mostly Di Vinci paints,
with some Daniel Smith or others. She
tries not to use miskit, but paints around the places she wants to leave white,
etc., or uses more water, or “lifts out” afterwards.
Thumb nail . . .
. . . and value study.
believes in using “loaded” brushes, much water and paint, dipping in often,
trying not to “drag” the paint around.Most of the time she paints a light wash, drops in a few other colors,
allowing them to “bleed in”.As long as
it is still wet, you will not get “blossoms”.Just when the shine goes away, sprinkle the salt or water onto the
painting, and allow it to dry – don’t blow dry.She then goes back in with a number of other layers of paint as needed
(don’t cover up your “lights”), for shadows, cast shadows, etc.She generally paints the table or ground,
etc., then, when dry, puts in the cast shadows.
principles that Susan reiterated:Think
carefully about your Composition, e.g. decide on the “Star” object, the
Supporting Actor, and the other actors.The star should have the lightest lights and darkest darks, and have the
most detail.The others should be toned
down, with less detail.
Warm and Cool, e.g. if objects are farther away, or in shadow, use cooler
colors; in sun or close, use warm.
Shadows are cooler and darker close to object; also remember reflective
colors in the shadow from the object.
Hard and Soft Edges – most paintings need a mixture of these.
the Background. What does the painting
need? Should it be light or dark? Warm or cool?
Bright or muted? Colors on
opposite side of color wheel or the same colors you used in other parts of the
painting, for Unity?
taught Susan to make some trial paint “puddles”, add some colors to it, and
test them on a small piece of watercolor paper, until you are satisfied with
all of this, sometimes you just have to go with your feelings; or your
intuition as an Artist; and break the rules, to complete a great painting!
some discussion about getting copies made of your paintings from such places as
Studio 42, Howard Bell;General Graphics
in Indiana, Robbins in Cincinnati, and Vista Print.If anyone is interested in details, please
In order to
be a professional Artist, Susan said she realized she needs to be a Writer – to
put creative names on her paintings; and to prepare her bio. She needs to be a Businesswomen, and PR
Expert; a Marketing Specialist, and Saleswomen, and a Performer and Teacher.
It is the
Teacher, but also very much the Performer, that we enjoyed at our GCWS
meeting.Susan’s talent and delightful
sense of humor was appreciated by all who attended.
Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, October 2014