Featured Artist at Winmalee Artfest 2012

Winmalee Artfest 2012

Ashton watercolor painting portrait by Joe Cartwright
Ashton watercolor painting portrait by Joe Cartwright

I have been honoured to be appointed the feature artist at this year’s Winmalee Artfest exhibition. I will be there on opening night and would love to meet with you if you can make it. I will have 11 of my water colour and pen, ink and wash works on display.

Here is a short segment from their website about the show:

 Winmalee High School’s 21st Annual Autumn Artfest in 2012!

A fantastic event not to be missed! 

The 21st Annual Winmalee Autumn Artfest will be held on the 4th May, 5th May & 6th May at Winmalee High School in the Lower Blue Mountains.  Investment pieces are available for the serious collectors, or for those looking for a unique gift or something very special for the home, there are many high quality art and craft pieces available at very reasonable prices.

Artfest has developed a very large following and draws artists not only from the local community, but also from art communities right across Australia.  Artfest is well recognised as one of the biggest and best art exhibitions in the Blue Mountains.

Hundreds of artworks are displayed for sale in various media including oil, water colour, silk and mixed media.  There is also a multitude of craftwork available such as timber products, millinery, pottery, glass, leatherwork, dolls and jewellery.

Purchases can be made by cash or credit cards. It is worthwhile remembering that 25% of all sales is retained by the school to enhance our teaching and learning programs.

Opening night is Friday 4th May at 7.00pm and entry is $15.00, which includes catalogue and catered supper.  The remainder of the weekend is $5.00 per person and also includes a catalogue.  (Primary school aged children attending with their parents are FREE of charge).

Artfest is open Saturday 9am – 8pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm.  The Artfest Café is open all weekend.  With each entry ticket to the exhibition, you have a chance in the lucky door prizes.

Details about Artfest in 2012 are as follows:

Friday 4th May 2012       7.00pm to 10.00pm

Saturday 5th May 2012    9.00am to 8.00pm

Sunday 6th May 2012      10.00am to 4.00pm

You can follow the event on their Facebook page here: Office Winmalee Artfest 2012 Facebook page

The two most important ingredients for watercolor painting

 Watercolor painting ingredients

Obviously the quality of the watercolor paper, brushes and paints you use will be important to your painting success but without a thorough understanding of water and what happens to it over time you will find yourself really working hard to keep up with what is happening on your watercolor painting surface.

Water is the unique difference between watercolors and most other painting mediums. It is the water that allows watercolor pigments to flow and create those beautiful wet on wet passages that can lead to some wonderful works of art. Depending on the consistency of your watercolor mixes, i.e. the water to pigment ratio, you can alter the tone of a passage either moving it forward or backward in the picture plane. You can also control how the mixture leaves your paint brush (more water and it flows easier and quicker but it will also have a lighter tone). It alters your ability to create a dry brush technique effect or a range of soft wet on wet passages.

In additional to water, time is a key factor because as soon as you start painting on your paper surface the clock starts, the water in your watercolor paint washes will begin to evaporate and this will effect what happens on the surface of your paper. If you want clean wet on wet washes then you have to add these while the shine is still on your paper. By this I mean the shine you see on the paper if you hold it at an angle against the light and is caused by light reflecting off the very wet surface of you paper. If you want more controlled wet on wet shapes without pigment flowing too far then you many need to wait a little time till the paper surface is a little dryer, probably at the stage where it is just losing its shine, or you can add more pigment and less water to your paint mixture. If you wait even longer (more time), until the paper is just damp you are in a dangerous or beneficial stage of drying. This stage is dangerous as any unintended water droplets on your paper or very wet brush strokes will disturb the paint already on the surface of your painting and can lead to the creation of “mud”. However it can be a useful stage if you purposefully want to use this effect to create certain surface textures like that on old Venetian buildings or on the surface of dry fields, etc.

Finally if you wait until your watercolor wash is totally dry you can lay another glaze over the top of it to change its color and tone while still retaining watercolor’s beautiful transparent quality. The trick here is to make sure that not only the surface of your painting is dry but that they whole paper is bone dry all the way through. If you do not wait long enough you risk redissolving the underlying watercolor paint and you could again end up creating watercolor mud!

If you master these two ingredients you will find paintings you used to consider complex now will become more simple watercolor paintings. Of course once you become more comfortable at this level you will no doubt want to tackle even more difficult paintings in the future – this is part of the nature of watercolor painting and developing your skill as a watercolorist.

Hopefully the above has given you an additional perspective on watercolor painting and these two very important but often overlooked components of this medium. Because one doesn’t usually have to pay for water and time I think their importance is often overlooked. I hope that thinking about these two ingredients helps you progress as a watercolor artist.

Beach sunset watercolor landscape painting demonstration

Watercolor painting of sunset reflections of people on wet sandy beach with pebbles
Figure 12: Finished watercolor painting of figures walking on wet sand at sunset

Just finished uploading my latest watercolor landscape painting demonstration.

The demonstration is of a moody sunset on a pebbly beach with strong reflections of light and figures.

You can view the demonstration from the above menu or by clicking this link: Atmospheric beach sunset with figures and reflections.

Happy painting,

Joe Cartwright


Winmalee Autumn Artfest 2012

Title: Winmalee Autumn Artfest 2012
Location: Winmalee Hight School, High School Drive, Winmalee, NSW
Link out: Click here
Description: I am the featured artist at Artfest 2012 this year. I will have about 11 paintings exhibited.
There are hundreds of other artworks on display as well so a visit would be quite worth your while.
Opening night is Friday 4th, May, 7PM – 10 PM, $15.00, includes supper.

Artfest wekkend, Sat 9 AM – 8PM, Sun 10AM – 4PM, $5.00 entry fee

Artfest PHone: 0247 54 8888
Start Date: 2012-05-04
End Date: 2012-05-06

Mold on watercolors in your palette

How does mold develop in your watercolor palette

One of my students brought in the photo below of mold or fungus growing over some of the watercolor paints in his palette.

Mold or fungus on growing on watercolor paint in palette
Figure 1: Mold or fungus on growing on watercolor paint in palette

I have heard of this for many years though I have never experienced it myself or met someone personally who has experienced it so I thought I would take this opportunity to record it.

Mold is basically another name for a type of fungus. These mold spores are everywhere; however they need the right environment within which to grow. Firstly they need food (in this case this type seems to like watercolor paint)!  Secondly they require water, specifically high humidity of around 70%, they also like high temperatures around the mid 70’s Fahrenheit – they also like darkness and stagnant air. So you can see that these could very well be the conditions in an enclosed wet watercolor palette!

I think the reason I have not had mold develop on my watercolor palette is because I generally let my palette dry out and prefer to paint with watercolors that are drier rather than straight from the tube. I mainly use Winsor and Newton artist’s quality tube paints and find that they re-liquefy very easily even after they dry out – at least for the palette of watercolors that I use.

How to protect against mold in your palette

If you find mold developing in your palette I suggest you let the surface moisture dry before you put the lid back on it. Then just before you start your next painting you can lightly spray water over each of your paint wells to make them easily workable. With the Windsor and Newton paints I use I find I don’t even need to give them a spray.

If you have mold that has developed then just wash it off with water before you start painting. Keep it off your fingers as some varieties are toxic to humans!

Hopefully you will never have mold on the watercolors in your palette but if you do maybe the above can throw a little light on the subject.