Art Adventures

Posts tagged ‘Daniel Smith Watercolors’

Remember the animated movie, “Finding Nemo”? The entire time I painted this bird, I thought of the silly seagulls in the movie, saying over and over again, “Mine,” as they placed dibs on their next meal. Hence the title of this Thursday’s smally (my name for my little 8×8 watercolors). I took a pic of this seagull last year, while vacationing on the Oregon Coast.

Mine, original watercolor on gesso-covered watercolor paper, 12x12 matted, $50

Mine, original watercolor on gesso-covered watercolor paper, 12×12 matted, $50

You’ve gotta love his somewhat spacey expression. The textural blue background and rock he stands on is a great contrast to his smooth feathers and the lemon yellow edge hit by the morning light. Happy Thursday everyone!

To purchase, send me an comment. I accept PayPal and will email a PayPal invoice. Shipping extra. Prints available, sizes starting at 8×8 for $25. 4×5 greeting cards available as well.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and deals!

Keep creating to Feed the Beast! Support each other, people!:)

All images and paintings on this site copyrighted by Sarah B Hansen unless otherwise noted

Leave a comment

Mama duck gestured to the partially submerged log with her bill and nodded slightly to her many ducklings. “Hop up, youngsters, dry off, and practice your yoga stances.”

I was on my kayak at Hosmer and had been trailing her at a distance for a time, clicking off photos with my Canon SX50 Ultrazoom. I hoped there might be a hidden treasure in the photos when I viewed them at home. So I just kept snapping pics. The little ducklings stopped at a bank and fluffed their fluffy down feathers, organizing and preening themselves duckily.

It was by sheer luck, and much to my amazement, when the mother called to them and organized her little balls of fluff on the log, just for my photos. I was very close in the kayak, making slow, measured movements and holding my breath. After she gestured, they all hopped up. I sat, mesmerized, clicking off pics, and marveled  at how perfectly cute they all were.

I had taken about 20 photos before moving off and giving them their peace. When I got home, I combined the pics by selecting poses from each and aligning them just so for the painting. A little guy who had stretched out his leg became my focal point.

Photo reference, one of many, for Ducks in a Row

Photo reference, one of many, for Ducks in a Row

I painted the first wash quickly, deciding to use purple and quinocridone burnt orange as my two main colors, creating a somewhat neutral color palate with a strong horizontal line of dark value behind the ducklings. Since I wanted the small duck with his foot outstretched to be the focal point, I removed a chick to the immediate left to give him a little space. I had used liquid mask on all the areas of their highlighted downy feathers, to keep it sparkling white in the end.


After the first wash of purple and quinocridone burnt orange

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the background yet, other than keeping it loose and letting it fade away. I stepped away from it and allowed it to dry, knowing I would relish adding detail to the little ducklings. While it sat, I ran across an article in a magazine illustrating little dots in the background. I knew it would work for this painting.

In order to finish it for my First Friday showing at Desperado, I quickly began working on it the morning of the show.

After I had painted the background and the general shadows on the ducklings, I removed the mask

After I had painted the background and the general shadows on the ducklings, I removed the mask

Once I had removed the liquid mask, I worked on each little duckling. I paid close attention to detail and softened the edges so that their down appeared fluffy.

duck detail 2

Duckling detail. I kept all the whites as pure background and painted the shadow area only

duck detail 3

I concentrated on keeping the downy feathers very soft.

I saved the last little duckling to the end, using intense color and fine detail in his form. I made sure to keep the background as dark as I could behind him and accent his little stretched out foot with a vivid orange hue.

Focal point

Focal point

The painting has rhythm, which I enhanced by keeping all their legs and feet very bright with an orange and red mixture, their colors about the same, and the top of the log completely white to connect them all together. The mother duck looks over at them, bringing our view right back to the small guy with the outstretched foot.

Detail of dot squares and texture in background

Detail of dot squares and texture in background

After the ducklings and their mother were finished, I addressed the background with the squares of dots I mentioned earlier. You can see in the photo below how textural this painting is, with the collaged squares of paper and the scribbles of gesso. I love the dot effect, which further illustrates the organization of the little ducklings.

Ducks in a Row, $450  original watercolor and collage on Plexiglas

Ducks in a Row,  16×20 $450 original watercolor and collage on Plexiglas

Early in the afternoon, I felt I had work still to do on the painting, but took it to the show anyway. It received much praise and commentary. There was plenty of discussion on the conversation of the ducklings and their mother. So funny! After looking at it all evening, I decided to leave well enough alone and announce it finished.

This is one of my favorite paintings. I love these little ducklings and feel it is a strong conversational piece. I’m happy with the suggestion of a background and the neutral color of the overall painting. Hope it puts a smile on your face as it did to the many people who saw it at the First Friday show.

To purchase, send me an comment. I accept PayPal and will email a PayPal invoice. Shipping extra. Prints available, sizes starting at 8×8 for $25.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and deals! Contact me to receive my newsletter so that you see me at showings and receive notifications about painting classes.

Keep creating to Feed the Beast! Support each other, people!:)

All images and paintings on this site copyrighted by Sarah B Hansen unless otherwise noted.





1 Comment

I didn’t expect to be flung back into my teenage self when I went to Portland Saturday Market last year. Yet that’s exactly what happened as I rounded a corner and witnessed a small band of three guys, dressed in depression-era clothing, playing music.

I immediately felt the wheeze of air and the rounded chord buttons beneath my fingers from my old accordion. I heard my brother plunking out a rousting rhythm on the banjo and we were both singing our hearts out. I could smell smoke from the wood fireplace and Mom’s homemade bread in the oven. “Mr. Bo Jangles” was our song of choice when we jammed, played over and over again with what seemed like amazing finesse. As a gangly, freckled 14-year-old girl playing the accordion, I was under no illusion that I could be considered cool. Or interesting. Uhmmm…this was the 80’s, people. No one “cool” even TOUCHED an accordion. But when my then-24-year-old brother played his banjo and I sang along and played the accordion? I actually felt cool. Really.

The three twenty-something guys at Portland Saturday Market WERE cool. They had a Portland retro-urban-folksy thing going on in a big way. When I snapped a photo of them, I wanted to paint my memories, infuse them with the vibe of these guys, and capture the surrounding organized chaos of Saturday Market.

I began by layering in collaged strips, along with randomly placed squares of sheet music, symbolizing their songs permeating through the market. Shiny areas shown below are dried liquid mask, protecting the whites of the gessoed plexiglass. I also used 3-D fabric paint to scribble on the surface, further illustrating the rhythm of the music and chaos of colors, smells, and sounds.

musicians detail 1

Detail of the drawing with strips of sheet music and liquid mask

Now I could fling paint without worrying about saving whites. I used a neutral green color scheme with areas of Daniel Smith’s Quinocridone Burnt Scarlet as my red accents. When I paint a large wash like this, I change colors on my brush often and let them mingle on the palette. Following my value plan, I washed in mid- to light-neutrals in a “T” shape composition, with the most intense green and red on the central figure. I tilted the plexi at a sharp angle to induce drips and splatters into the white foreground.

musicians detail 2

First wash using a “T” composition

After the first wash dried (I usually help it along with a blow dryer), I went into the figures and deepened value, intensified color, and added detail.

musicians detail 3

Second wash, enhancing values, saturation, and detail

I struggled to get the value deep enough, so went with a darker paint, Daniel Smith’s Sodalite Genuine, adding it to all the dark areas.

musicians detail 5

Darker values added using Sodalite Genuine

I didn’t like how the Sodalite muddied up most of the colors. It is better used with cool tones. Since this painting is mostly warm, the paints didn’t play nicely with one another. I removed most of the Sodalite with a wet brush and went back into the painting using Ultramarine Blue as my dark receding values.


After wiping out all the Sodalite Genuine, I painted Ultramarine Blue in its place

Below, I replaced the Sodalite with Ultramarine Blue in the background trees. Plastic wrap protects the musicians from getting water drops on them.

musicians detail 7

Using Ultramarine Blue for the background trees.

Much better! Brighter, and not so dreary:

musicians detail 8

Detail of musicians with Ultramarine blue in background

Especially the difference in the guitar case:

Musicians copyright

Final painting, Musicians at the Market, 16×12, watercolor and collage on recycled plexiglass

Musicians at the Market reminds me of both the Saturday Market and the times I had playing music with my brother. The music I heard at the market, though, triggered the memory. What music triggers an immediate response from you? Is there a song that transports you to a different time or place? It’s weird how music does that. Maybe more than any other trigger.  What do you think? Comment and let me know. 🙂


To purchase, send me an comment. I accept PayPal and will email a PayPal invoice.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and deals!

Keep creating to Feed the Beast! Support each other, people!:)

All images and paintings on this site copyrighted by Sarah B Hansen.


Leave a comment

Whoop, Whoop! It’s Thursday again! Continuing on with the Sunflower theme (we are all down with that, right?), here we go! First, though, I have to share a photo of my helper:


Big helper

My cat had to get in on the action. Right when I began to take photos. Thanks. Big help. Real. Big. Help.

Once he had some nibbles, I actually took a photo of the intended object, the painting for this week’s Thursday FB post! Here she goes:

Singing Sunflower copyright

Singing Sunflower 8×8 watercolor on textured gesso watercolor paper

That’s right. “Singing Sunflower” is the perfect name for this flower, because when I snapped the photo for reference, this one was facing the sun and singing her heart out. Well, I heard her anyway.

If you saw this painting in person, you would see how incredibly interesting the textured surface is. Seriously. You should have it in your house. People will be jealous. 😉

Make sure to follow me on Facebook, where this pretty little painting is offered as a bid starting out at $30 today only. Happy Thursday, all!!


You’ve Got Mail. I know, I know. Sleepless in Seattle, right? I’m dating myself here, but if the title fits…And anyway, this is the snail-mail, old-fashioned way of mail-getting!

This little painting is the first of my Mailbox Series, inspired during my trip to Colorado this year. I took SCADS of photos and ended up with some crazy inspiration for paintings that should last through the winter!


First wash: Red flowers in the background


Second Wash: Adding all the colors and beginning to find the mailbox form

Youve Got Mail smallcopyright

You’ve Got Mail!! 8×8 watercolor on 140# gessoed watercolor paper. $30 today.

Finished! I love this painting. Hard to give it up, but in order to Feed the Beast, I must sell these little guys. Let me know if you want it! Remember to follow my blog so you continue to get updates and follow me on Facebook for sales and events. Have a great Thursday, everyone!

Leave a comment

My niece, fabulous swimmer that she is, gets to travel around the state for swim meets. Frequently, she finds herself and her friends competing in Newport, Oregon, on the Pacific Coast. So when I saw her recently, she had been there, in Newport, and had spent some time on the beach, in the sandy-sand. All the girls had flip flops on, which they apparently flung off in the sand to run down to the water. Someone had an artistic eye and snapped a photo of the flip flops. And I’m the lucky person to get to paint these. It was so much fun that I had to share for Thirty-Dollar Thursday this week!

Newport Beach FlipFlops smallcopyright

Newport Beach Flip Flops 8×8 Original Watercolor on Gessoed Watercolor Paper

Make sure you get this one for $30 today. If we need to ship, it’s extra. First come, first serve. Remember to follow me on Facebook and follow this blog by scrolling down and clicking follow! Why? Because you can be “In the Know”, which will make all your friends jealous. 😉  Happy Thursday, everyone!

Leave a comment

Think unplugged. Quiet. Peace. Unscheduled days. Time to paint. Colorado.


View from Art Studio

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? I spent the first week in July this year in Colorado, near where I grew up. It was a place of rejuvenation and feeding my beast. No Wi-Fi! Being unplugged, I spent a good amount of time walking, painting, and reading. The views were open and unhindered by other homes. I could see the San Juan Range to the South, and Grand Mesa to the North. In between lay the area in which I grew up. These were my stomping grounds! My parent’s place is amazingly quiet. At night, all I could hear was the occasional cricket. Maybe a coyote or two. Seriously! Nothing. The silence whooshes in the ears like a pulse. I LOVE it. I crave it every year.


Painting in the Colorado Studio

I usually take some painting projects when I go, and this year was no exception. I had prepared many drawings on plexiglass and paper, which, along with photos, provided hours of work in the lazy, hot afternoons.


My painting desk inside the Art Studio in Colorado

This was no luxury retreat. We are talking bare-bones, back-to-the-basics stuff here. In fact, as hot as it was in the studio in the afternoon, I perched the door open to establish a (hot) cross breeze every day. I did not, however, invite the lizard in to run across my feet. Eeek! I love lizards, but COME ON! No running across the flip-flop feet!! I guess he wanted to take a peek at the paintings and offer up a critique? How ’bout a glass of iced tea, Mr. Lizard?

Anyway, as you can see in the studio photo, I worked hard at a few small paintings and a couple of 11×14 paintings on plexiglass. When I took a break, driving around the country inspired me to take photos of…mailboxes! Future painting alert! Do you realize how utterly beautiful rural mailboxes are? Seriously, they are amazing and poetic in all their rural-ness. When I lived here, I didn’t appreciate the simple beauty that surrounded me.



Artistic Retreat Studio

My mom and I also took a drive down to a friend/neighbor who owns Mattics Orchards. They were generous enough to allow me to walk their orchards (a guided tour by their two young sons, who ended up shoving each other into the sprinklers) and take photos of pears, apples, crab apples, and apricots, as well as some zucchini, cabbage, and peppers. I am SO EXCITED to begin some amazing paintings from all the photos taken during my retreat. Such inspiring, nostalgic photos. Check my blog again soon (or better yet, follow me!) to see my Colorado work.


%d bloggers like this: