Monday, May 24, 2010


If you've seen Nick's DVD "Innovative Watercolor" (from Creative Catalyst), you'll know how to do his koi paintings.

But it is so much fun to watch that first pouring of colors, tilting of the paper, watching the paper buckle (a big part of the technique) on 140# hot press paper, that I will just share here his steps we got to see. (Don't you just LOVE that blue and green and yellow mingling like that in puddles of color???)

(The three koi photos are Nick's painting in stages.)

This was painted late the last day and people were missing out who were packing up their vehicles and getting ready to leave while he was working. I began one of my own but had to let it dry in order to pack it away after 5 pm that day so no real batik look to the first pour (but I'll go back to it and do more later).

He was rushing to get this done so the first spray off of colors took it down more than he intended, I think. And he had to use the hair dryer a lot (he does use the hairdryer to push very wet paint around inside the "cells" he keeps separated). See how he pushed the fish down into the water by using a cobalt blue stroke of pure color around its body and then letting that blue bleed up into the body and over the tail? That's what I missed from the DVD (remember, I was watching, running downstairs, painting, running back upstairs, watching, etc...and missed a step, I think BUT I did this by instinct on mine because it just didn't look like it was in the water so...I got it without seeing him do it but was glad when I saw this done because it reinforced the idea that, yes, this is the way to get that fish down in there and not pasted on top).

So...happy painting, everyone! While all these ideas are fresh, I'm going to be going back to the geisha, the canyon and the koi and one other (a total abstract made from dropping a clean sheet of 140# hot press on top of all the runoff from the pouring techniques everyone was doing against the wall!) that I will try to bring out a bit.

Here's the start of my little curvaceous koi that had to be allowed to dry and packed away in the car to take the hour drive home. I'll have to try for the batik look on the second layer in the water.


laura said...

I love koi--such beautiful shapes and colors. I'll have to try Nick's method.
Your start looks really good--the mix of colors in the background is lovely.

jgr said...

Oh the koi painting is awesome. You are really inspiring me!

debwardart said...

Rhonda Carpenter, Female Reporter, has done it again as only you can do! I'll probably work on the canyon and fish a bit as I get time and might even re-do the geisha just to give those techniques another go!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks so much, Laura, Jane and Deb :) Darn, Deb, thought you'd call me a Cub Reporter, but you know how old I am! ha ha Looking forward to seeing what you do with your starts in the workshop and how you incorporate that into your own. I'm spending way too much time on the computer and need to get back to painting...I even cleaned out my art room today to get ready for something big (not sure what, but it's gonna be big!!)

Christiane Kingsley said...

Rhonda, I can just feel through your posts the excitement and the inspiration as a result of this workshop with Nick. Can't wait to see what you do with all these new ideas.
I love the textures in your koi painting.
Thanks again for these posts.

Jeanette said...

I'm glad you were so inspired by your recent workshops. Its contagious being at these and trying out new techniques.

Your fish is looking as it should right now. You'll bring it all together when you have a chance.

Michelle | Print Posters said...

Really nice watermark effect. I really love it. I love the colors of the background and also the fishy. Nice work :O)

RHCarpenter said...

You're right, Christiane - I'm ready to roll but will also need time and practice to incorporate this into my stuff/style so it's not just a Nick Simmons copy :)
Jeanette, there is something so energizing about attending a workshop for days and being away from home so you can focus on nothing but the art and learning!
Thanks, Michelle, for stopping by and commenting! Glad you like the post.

Nick said...

Aha, just figured out some of those shots are from the mirror! Wish I had cut a piece of paper from the roll the other way so it would have buckled in a more pleasing direction.I like your start much better, hope to see it finished. Thanks again for the nice reviews and excellent posts! I should add that when I go to a place I've been before, it's a different set of demos!!

RHCarpenter said...

Nick, some I got from the mirror so they are flipped, some are straight on :) Are you saying I'll have to come to another of your workshops to get more demos?? I may have to get it word-of-mouth since I don't want to become the Nicholas Simmons stalker chick! ha ha

Jane said...

Rhonda, I love the touches of cerulean blue in the geisha. Jane

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Jane. In this technique, you paint in some of the whites you don't want to keep with what Nick calls "jewel tones" = pure, beautiful colors.