Bright. Happy. Colorful. These words all describe the artwork created by Gina Lee Kim, but as I discovered during a recent video shoot, they also describe her. Here are some observations from my time behind the scenes with Gina Lee Kim.
Gina came to the Artist’s Network video studio in Cincinnati last July to film four instructional videos related to mixed-media watercolor painting. I was thrilled when she agreed to come because the brilliant, vibrant colors of her paintings are addictive, and I had to know how she achieves this look with watercolor.
Her secret is multi-faceted, and because of her willingness to share her tips in these videos, it’s not so secret anymore. She uses high-quality artist’s watercolor paint, and she applies many layers of the paint. She also knows when to supplement her watercolors with gouache and dye-based water media products. While she understands that the bold, dye-based colors won’t last as long as true watercolor pigment, there are times when she’s okay with taking a high-quality photo of the art that will last even as the original work fades. Here’s a snapshot of Gina’s juicy watercolor palette.
One thing I discovered about Gina–she loves her morning coffee just as much as I do.
And after she’s had her cup of joe, she’s hilarious.
And that was just the stuff we are able to show you. Seriously.
All kidding aside, Gina is quite the maven when it comes to incorporating mixed media into her artwork. While I still have a tendency to only work with acrylic mediums, or only work with watercolor and a spot of penwork, Gina has been bold and experimental in her artwork and doesn’t hesitate to combine watercolor and acrylic in interesting ways. She’s truly found a style that works for her. One of her great discoveries is how to make watercolor paint work for monoprinting. And not just in one way–in multiple ways! We may have used the hairdryer a few times to help some processes along, but the results were worth it.
While Gina’s painting style has evolved over the years to include more mixed-media elements, one theme remains constant: her focus on animals and sea life.
Another constant? Gina’s positive outlook. Even when the studio sewing machine started smoking and then died during filming (we cut that part out of the video, but you’ll notice some creative editing in Fun with Watercolor: Texture Effects), Gina kept a smile on her face and worked through it. And while we didn’t focus too much on the writing part of art journaling in the videos we filmed (I got so distracted by all the fun painting techniques!), as you can see in the artwork here, Gina populates her pages with inspirational quotes. I think we could all use a little more positivity in our lives.
Because Gina and her art (and the video shoot) are so much fun, we named the videos in the series “Fun with Watercolor”. Be sure to check them out and share what you make with us! Check in to see what Gina’s up to at her website, GinaLeeKim.com.
Fun with Watercolor: Printing Effects