Saturday, June 7, 2008

Daniel Smith Store in Seattle's FREE Weekend Demo with Kay Barnes

Last Saturday's FREE weekend demo at the
was with watercolor artist Kay Barnes .

Kay began the demo with a very lively chat about her background, and some of her painting philosophy. Kay is not only an expressive artist, she is also a very expressive teacher, and here are a few of the things she said to us during the demonstration:

"'s just a piece of paper, not canvas you have to stretch and prime!....Watercolor is the easiest medium to get started in, it's less expensive and you get results sooner." "Most people who don't do watercolor don't realize how flexible it really is." "God doesn't like a stingy painter!...How many of you have thirsty paintings?" "Water is the vehicle to get the paint to move...put the water where you want the paint to go...pulling the wet to the dry to evenly distribute the color." "...don't try to control everything - allow things to happen." "Take time to stand back in AWE to allow watercolor to happen!"

Kay's demo painting was already sketched in and ready for watercolor. Kay told us she often uses an Artograph Prism Projector to sketch out her image from one of her photos, it saves a lot of time especially when teaching! The sketch was a close up of flamboyant yellow and red parrot tulip. Kay began her watercolor painting showing us how she wets the areas she is working on, applies her watercolor, talking while she paints..."all your brushstrokes count, make them curved and directional." "if I don't mix the colors on the paper (because they will turn gray) and allow time to mix on their own - they keep their own identity."

One of the brushes Kay told the group she was enjoying painting with, was a Daniel Smith Platinum Series 24 Squirrel/Synthetic Watercolor Brush because it has the water holding power (the squirrel) and springiness, flexibility and strength (the synthetic). After the demo, several people were interested in checking out the brush, and Kay gave a bonus impromptu talk about the brush by the brush counter...a natural teacher!

I always enjoy seeing artists' palettes and how they actually set them up to paint, and Kay's was no different. She told me she squeezes about 1/2 a tube on to the paint well for every color, then allows them to dry out until there is just a little "give" when touched with a finger. Kay prefers not to paint from freshly squeezed paint...too easy to get too much paint on the brush. Then, when she is ready to paint she sprays water over the paint on her palette a few minuets before painting to soften the watercolor paint. Kay does it this way because she has found it preserves the "tips" of her brushes to not try and "jam" paint onto the brush when the paint it too dry.

The demo was as entertaining as it was informative, Kay is a natural teacher. Kay has watercolor workshops and classes scheduled through her Eden Gallery at

If you missed this FREE demo on Floral watercolor painting,
Kay will be doing another at the:
Bellevue Daniel Smith Store .
Sunday, June 22nd at 12 & 2 pm
Kay Barnes

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