Wednesday, 29 October 2014

odette's picks - week 43: BIRD

WOW! WOW! WOW! or should I say Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!

....pull up a chair, pour a glass of something delicious....this week's picks post is a marvellous marathon of pure amazingness!

This challenge has personally brought so much to my life. The ritual, diligence and practice of completing the weekly themes has certainly helped me improve my arty skill set. Beyond that though, I have gained so much in lots of other ways. This week in particular, seeing all of the exceptional artworks come through my FB feed has lifted my spirits, made me smile, and inspired me to keep going.  And let's not even get started on the wonderful artists I have met and become friends with along the way! I turn 40 on Thursday (that is a pretty big deal to a 39 year old!). As I make the momentous step up to the next stage, there is no mid-life crisis in sight, just a calm and content sense of being me and who I am, an artist and a very hip and cool 52 week illustration challenge member :) I feel like I am where I am supposed to be.
I think this should be my testimonial! - have you done yours yet? :)

A big heart-felt thank you to all of you amazing 52 week illo extraordinaires, thank you for sharing your talent and for making my life richer.

I hope you enjoy these picks as much I as do. They astonish me.
Odette x

Jess Racklyeft
Dianne Kelly
Mitch Vane
Anne L-y So

Dany Germain-Gill

Diane McWhirter

Hannah Grace

Heidi Cooper

Ian McLean

Jack via Lynn Tait

Jessica Guthrie

Josh McCrimmon

Judy Watson

Judy Watson

Kate Bouman

Kelsi Silva

Kerry Daley

Kristen O'keeffe

Leila Nabih

Lisa-Marie Kerr

Liz Duthie

Meredith Burke

Natalie Daniel

Nicky Johnston

Paul Heppell

Penny Fisher

Sally Fawcett

Skye Robertson

Sophie Pittaway

Steve Spargo

Tania McCartney

Tony Flowers

Vanessa Pritchard

Anita Howard


Friday, 24 October 2014

learn: Stretching Watercolour Paper with Michele Kempees

I have been teaching watercolor for many years and the first two classes are all about how to shrink paper, what supplies are best and why.

I learnt the hard way by trail and error at first but then I did a lot of research about the science about paints and the pigments that are in them.

It sure made the difference in my art.

This is the paper that I use - Winsor & Newton 140 pound/300gsm cold press paper.
Paper Used

Hint: There are usually two watermarks on watercolour paper. I have found that for some paper it DOES matter which side you paint on because of the way the paper is pressed. The side that is easy to read straight on is the face of the paper to paint on.
Watermark - the side of paper to use

These are the supplies you will need.

  • a sturdy wood board.
    The one shown is made for watercolour painting. (gator board, foam board and masonite does NOT work). You can cut plywood to the size you need and seal with polyurethane.
  • Winsor & Newton watercolour paper (cut or torn to size)
  • White school glue
  • Gummed paper tape (white or kraft brown)
  • Natural sponge (it holds more water)
Materials used

Cut or tear paper tape to lengths needed (about 3-4 inches longer than paper side, to extend beyond edge)

Put paper in a large sink or bath tub of water. Let soak about one minute or longer if using 300 pound paper. It should be limp and flexible.

Carefully pick up a corner of paper to allow the access of water to run off.

Lay paper onto board. (it will be a little wavy, don't worry)

Put a small bead of glue just 1/2 inch (1.5cm) on edge of wet paper

Wet paper tape (to activate the adhesive) and place on the wet paper all the way around. Half on the paper, half on the board. Take the wet sponge and wet the top of the tape to evenly press down tape and wet it. This allows the wet tape and wet paper to dry evenly.

The paper might be wavy. Set aside and let dry, don't worry it WILL dry flat every time.

HINT: Seeing the wet wavy paper drying flat with no wrinkle will reassure you a very wet watercolour wash (causing wavy paper) will dry flat. Sometimes I have my paper get very wavy during a painting but because of that small bead of glue the paper tape will not come off, drying your paper flat every time.

When you are finished with your painting you can use a utility knife to cut free. You can use a ruler and knife but I don't want to damage my board.

I do not take the time to wet and take off the paper tape after each painting. I will do several paintings until I feel it is time to clean off the extra tape. I want to spend my time painting not cleaning up boards.

I hope this helps you!

You can see more of Michele's work at

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

natalie's picks - week 42: UNDER THE SEA

I was so excited for this weeks theme under the sea, I grew up near the ocean and miss it dearly- I think a trip to the beach is long over due.

Thank you all for the beautiful colours, techniques and characters which filled my wall this week they made my picks a challenge and a joy.


Alison Smallwood
Alexandra Lee
Ann Abraham
Christen Screeche-Powell
Claudia Matz
Grace Byrant
Diane McWhirter
Damien Thomasz
Diana Haigh
Ian McLean
Jack (4)
Jane Barndon
Janet Murphy
Jemma Philips
Jessica Guthrie
Leonie Cheetham
Lisa-Marie Kerr
Marla Lesage
Mel Gannon
Nicky Johnston
Rachel Hardman
Rowan Ferguson
Sally Fawcett
Sheree Kennington
Skye Roberston
Stuart Ingram
Suzy Houghton
Tania Andrade
Vanessa Pritchard
Sally Fawcett
Diane McWhirther
Richelle Sanders
Kylie Box
Dee White
Nicky Johnston
Aura Parker
Tania McCartney