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leafy tree with moonlight and long roots
"Halo" Acrylic on Canvas 10"x10" by Aura Lesnjak

Do you ever have a feeling or emotion that you just need to throw onto your canvas or paper, but feel restricted by some self-imposed technical painting process you need to follow?

Up until very recently, I was falling into this trap, and painting was just starting to feel like a chore.

As someone who spent my early art career painting mostly animals and portraits, I got into a rhythm of photo reference reliance and exactitude and I lost any sense that I was communicating any feelings.

...continue reading "How Painting a New Subject Can Revive Your Creativity"

Glorious Desert Sunset Watercolor PaintingIf you love bright, colorful landscapes then check out this latest watercolor tutorial I created!

It's a fun project that can be completed in an afternoon, and it's suitable for beginning watercolorists.

You don't need a photo reference either, since you can invent your own sunsets, mountain shapes, and palm tree silhouettes.

...continue reading "Painting a Bold Desert Sunset in Watercolor"

creating luminous grays in watercolorOne of my favorite things about Autumn is seeing the orange-yellow-red leavesĀ  with a cool gray overcast sky in the background.

It's just a stunning combination, and has been my inspiration for this week's tutorial.

When I was little, I was taught that gray was a mixture of black and white. Technically this is true, but as it applies to art? Snooze-fest. Seriously. Boring. ...continue reading "How to Mix Luminous Grays in Watercolor"

Trees negative painting in watercolor

What is negative painting? It doesn't mean painting when you're in a bad mood...(sorry, I know that's lame but couldn't help myself!)

It means to paint around the subject by focusing on the non-subject, or background, to let the subject stand out. Sort of like a stencil, but not really.

OK, this is more difficult for me to explain than I thought it would be so I will just show you! ...continue reading "A Negative Painting Watercolor Project"