Jen’s Picks: Paint Watercolors That Shine

Achieve Exciting Contrasts for Light-Filled Paintings!
Painting Vibrant Watercolors
Discover the Magic of Light, Color and Contrast

By Soon Y. Warren

Soon Y. Warren is just the artist to show you how to make the most of watercolor’s fresh, vibrant nature. In working with her on this book I was struck by her knowledge and love of this medium…and by her intense love of painting itself, watching ordinary things become extraordinary when captured with watercolor.

In the first few chapters of Painting Vibrant Watercolors, Soon helps you lay the groundwork for your own extraordinary paintings—everything from choosing and lighting subjects to color theory and perspective. Then, follow along with a thrilling series of step-by-step demonstrations to put your ideas into action for paintings that shine!

Special Features
•    Take advantage of the versatility of watercolor to create deep and vibrant colors, layer by layer
•    Select the most effective lighting to evoke various moods
•    Use contrast to create depth, drama and sparkle
•    Incorporate abstract elements into your realistic paintings for visual interest
•    Follow 16 demonstrations to create brilliant paintings of your favorite subjects including still life, landscapes, water scenes, flowers, architecture and animals
•    Enhance your transparent watercolors with gouache, India ink, metallic powder and other mediums to add some spice

Add Your Personal Touch
Soon shares how and where she finds inspiration—a magnificent old oak tree, shadows cast across the sidewalk, a riotous sunset—and how she uses each concept to bring her unique vision to life on paper. Best of all, she shows you how you can do the same. Full of proven techniques and fresh inspiration, Painting Vibrant Watercolors will make your creative rendezvous joyful and rewarding.

Demonstration from Painting Vibrant Watercolors:
Follow Along with Soon to Capture Texture on this Backlit Subject

Study for Painting a Yellow Dog

Establish the Background
Mask out the areas where the lightest parts of the dog’s fur meet the background. Apply Aureolin and Burnt Sienna with a hake brush to separate the dog from the background.

Apply Cooling Washes to Background
Apply Prussian Blue with a hake brush over the entire background to cool it down. When this is dry, apply a mixture of Indigo, Sepia and Winsor Green as the sky area at the top of the painting with a no. 16 round brush. Then add a diluted mix of Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Sepia and Indigo with a larger hake brush to push the foreground so the main subject will stand out against its surroundings.

Apply Initial Glazes on the Dog
Use small amounts of Aureolin, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Sienna to make various combinations for glazing the dog using nos. 8 and 10 rounds.


Strengthen the Values

Continue to apply glazes on the subject–use Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Sepia with a no. 6 round to darken the shaded areas. Then apply a diluted mix of Indigo, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Sepia to add another layer of value and create texture in the background areas.

Final Details
Remove the mask. Define the fur with short, choppy drybrush strokes using your nos. 6 and 8 rounds with a mix of Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna and Sepia for the lighter areas, adding Indigo to this mix as you paint darker areas. Use a Prussian Blue / Indigo mix for the darkest areas on the face (nose, eye, mouth).

Noorung-ee
Watercolor, 21” x 29” (53cm x 74cm)
From Painting Vibrant Watercolors

About Soon
Soon Y. Warren was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States in 1987. Since she began painting full time in 1998, she has had many exhibitions and earned numerous awards. She is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society (NWS), the Southern Watercolor Society (SW), the Society of Watercolor Artists (SWA) and the Texas Watercolor Society (TWS)–Purple Sage Brush Society. She is one of the featured artists in Splash 8: Watercolor Discoveries and Splash 10: Passionate Brushstrokes. Soon Y. is also the author of Vibrant Flowers in Watercolor.

Click here to visit Soon Y. Warren’s website. Soon has an inspirational gallery of her work in watercolor and other mediums, as well as workshop listings for summer 2009.

"When people ask me what my job is, I answer that I don’t have a job… I paint!"
Click here to read an interview with Soon Y. Warren on her life as an artist.

Other North Light Books by Soon
Soon’s first book on watercolor, Vibrant Flowers in Watercolor, gave us our first glimpse into the textural wonderland that is Soon Y. Warren’s painting style. In this book she shows you how to bring flowers and glass to sparkling life.

Related Links
Browse real pages from Painting Vibrant Watercolors here.
Order Painting Vibrant Watercolors here.

Yellow Daisy
Watercolor, 30" x 22" (76cm x 56cm)
From Painting Vibrant Watercolors

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