Saturday, July 7, 2012

Circles, Circles and more circles, everything we paint are just shapes!

Hi Everyone! Desiree here! I was so excited to see our theme for July, Circles! I love all organic shapes and circles are so much fun!! I have so many ideas and I even did class last year on using circles. I decided to share another class technique I am teaching and for today it's all about the three C's, collage, color and circles! If you can tell yourself that everything we draw and paint are just shapes then you can overcome the fear of complex subjects. Break everything down into shapes and its helps you simplify the subject. Everyone can draw circles, and circles can turn into lots of things so lets get started. 
First you will need a few things, a brush for painting, a brush for applying glue, tissue paper, permanent marker, pencil, watercolor paints, watercolor or intense pencils, copic markers and lets have fun. Don't worry if you don't have all the stuff, make due with what you have on hand. I like "Yes" paste but if you don't have it use any white glue watered down. I add water to the yes paste and stir a little watery solution in the middle of the paste that I paint with, don't use it thick, and remember, a little goes a long way.

 So to begin I will be doing a two page spread in my moleskine sketchbook. Plan on making yours a two page spread also, it doesn't matter which sketchbook you have as long as it has watercolor paper or thick paper. Then take your intense pencils and loosely and lightly (try not to tear the tissue) scribble a circle! I used red and a yellow, I have been canning peaches and thought I would make peaches but they turned into oranges instead, just go with the flow. Don't worry about being perfect just get it down and then outline in black permanent marker, I used a sharpie.

 You can see I even tore a bit of the paper but thats ok. Now tear around the image until you get it all ripped out and audition it by moving it around on your open sketchbook pages until you are satisfied. Pick it up and using your glue brush and your watered down paste,wet the area under where your image will be placed. Now set the image onto the glued area and take more glue solution and start by painting over the edges of the tissue, not the orange. Once you have them down start painting the glue solution over the orange, as you do this the color will come to life and be able to be moved around. Don't worry if you go out of the lines, it won't be perfect and we don't want it to be anyway. This look is a loose collage look.
Go ahead and continue doing this, over lapping circles until you have around five placed over your two page spread. 
Hmmm, more circles....ok cherries, circles with stems, make a bunch and begin by tearing them out and placing them as you did the oranges!
As I waited for the glue to dry a bit I then took my marker and started playing with text. I tried to incorporate the circle theme and did curly q's and wrote out the words "cherries" "&" "oranges" and tore them out. Now I want to look at my overall layout and decide wether I need more fruit, etc to help the overall design. 

 I decided I wanted some greenery, not really circles but a modified oval I felt they qualified. So I repeated my scribbling, tearing and glueing.

 So then once the leaves were added I laid out the words and glued them down, now just take some of your bits and pieces and glue them all over the rest of the paper, here and there, you don't have to cover everything and let it all dry. Once its dry I added more color with my watercolors, wetting an area and adding paint. I also added shadows because we need to ground everything so we don't have floating fruit. I used either cobalt blue or ultramarine blue to add the shadows, and notice that when stems are floating about the ground their stems also float. Do you see that? I gives it a great feeling of sunlight casting shadows. I also a did soft circles of color in the background by using water with limited paint, the tissue paper grabs the color differently all over and so you get some wonderful textures just from the paint traveling around. Make sure you leave a bit of lighter area on your fruit to indicate your light source.

 Next I took some of my copic markers, ones that matched the colors of my oranges and cherries and I outlined the pages. I like an outline and as I went around with the markers the ink grabbed the paper differently where there was tissue paper and where there was no tissue paper, making a textured outline. I also went around my lettering with the markers and added a date box. I then took my sharpie and journaled different summer fruits, summer thoughts and summery things.

 Here is my final page, it has lots of layers, textures and CIRCLES!!! Yeah, what will your circles become, I can't wait to see what all you creative people come up with. Have fun, share and make sure you post to the flickr group so you can have a chance to win some artwork from one of us. Also make sure your glue is all dry before closing your sketchbook! Happy painting!


  1. Gorgeous circles!! LOVE learning about that tissue paper technique - your shadowing really brings the fruit to life!

  2. Too cool! I've got to go play with some circles this week!

  3. You know how I love circles! I am going to try this cool technique. Thanks for posting the instructions and leading me to this site.

  4. I love this, Desiree. It looks like a lot of fun. I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing the technique!

  5. Thanks everyone, I am so glad you like the technique. I also appreciate your comments, as all of us do. We love hearing your input,it encourages us to do more. I hope you will post some of the things you do with this technique.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.