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Welcome to

This is your place to learn, share and be inspired. Join Jody as she reveals her secret techniques in watercolor. You can reach your goal of becoming an artist by following Jody in her simple step by step approach to painting.

“How to Paint a Freisian Horse” and A Signing in Seattle on the 11th for MOM’s Day!

Hello Friends and Painters,

Lets look this week into the details of “How to Paint a Horse.”
They are beautiful subjects and I never tire of researching and painting them.
For this composition I studied Arabian and Freisian horses.

I invite you to follow along in the blog by copying the drawing
of these two horses and painting them with me.

Details about the signing are at the end of the blog.


You can copy a drawing onto 140 pound watercolor paper through a window or on a light table.
You are welcome to print this sketch at home for copying. 11 by 17″ would be a good size.


I will start with the lighter horse in the foreground.

TIP; Always paint light to dark with watercolor.


Even if a horse is white, it is more interesting to create the shadows with color, not gray.
The gray can be made with Burnt sienna and Cerulean Blue. The colors also shown are Cadmium Red Light, Payne’s Gray and Cobalt Violet.


Can you see the blue gray created with this mix?


Colors are placed on a clear water wash to keep them light.
I darken the edges to create curve and shape. Note the slight flesh color near the eye.
This makes the painting seem more alive.
SALT WASH; Just before a wash drys  sprinkle salt on the wash to make a dapple look.


SALT WASHES; are something you need to experiment with. Just play with it on a separate piece of paper before you do it on an actual painting.
When the wash dries the salt creates crystal patterns and adds texture to your watercolor.


For contrast in the mane I added a violet tint.


Eye detail; Did you know that a horses eye’s have a long pupil?
That’s so they have better vision for survival.


Note; Before I paint the Freisian, which will be Black I paint the back ground with a dark onto light wash.
Watch my  Jody Bergsma”How to Paint a  Watercolor Wash” video on YouTube for tips for this technique!:)


Like the white horse…I use allot of color to make my blacks. They are simply a darker version of the light horse.
Remember, “Repetition with Variation” keeps harmony in your painting.


The colors are blocked in with simple shapes.


A Freisian Horse often has red sun high-lights in the mane.
I made a new palette with Burnt Sienna and purple. When you mix those colors together you get a wonderful mahogany color.


When you paint the strands of hair alternate the darks and lights to give an illusion of shine.

You can see the same effect in the Arabian.


For the last details I use a liner brush. I use white watercolor paint for the fur and hair on animals.
You do not have to do this step to have a beautiful painting but if you want to try use Titanium White.
I mix that with  the colors I have already used in the darker areas.

I keep the consistency about the weight of heavy cream so the strands will be opaque. Some would call this a “Gouche” layer.


The finished painting was titled…”Kindred Spirits.” and they are “Horses of a different color!


It is my birthday this week and to celebrate I bought a new horse!
They are food for my soul and inspiration for my art.

Best wishes to all of you!

Love, Jody

My signing on the 11th of May will be at “Exclusivley Art at the Factoria Mall in Issaquah Wa from 11-3. I would love to see you there.
I will be taking allot of the new art from this spring. If you want me to bring you something special opr unique please send an email to Thanks!

The Poster  was created by Krasimir Andreev, Graphic Designer from Bulgaria.


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How to Paint the Illusion of Black! New Black Bear Cub Painting.

Dear Friends,

Greetings from a very wet and gray NorthWest!
 This definitely is a place where you need to be happy in spite of the weather.
I hope all of you are finding spring to be inspiring…remembering the Power…of the April Shower!

When I think about why I became an artist, I would have to thank the rain.
The wet days were perfect for painting and exploring the inner world of imagination.


So if you find yourself indoors with a desire to experience nature;
Why not try painting! It is fun and every time you try you will get better..
Come along with me and PRINT OUT today’s drawing, transfer it
 to WC paper ( you can trace it through the window) and lets begin.


ART TIP: I always paint from light washes to dark…
These first shades are for the tans in the bears nose.
Black Bears…are not all black!


Titanium White, Naples Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Sepia, and Cerulean Blue create the tans.
Brown and blue create wonderful grays.


I separate areas into small paint-able shapes for each wash. I let them dry before I paint an adjacent space.


Notice all the blue in the darker areas. this is created with Cobalt, Cerulean , Sepia and Burnt Siena.
REPETITION WITH VARIATION…The birds are the same colors as the bears.


Bears Cubs are small in the Spring…so I am using a bright yellow green for the back ground.


I added a bright Green Frog for more repetition of the green.


The grays for the branches and tree trunks are lighter shades of the gray in the bears. More Blue and brown
I once had a teacher that asked us to eliminate black from our art. This seemed to be impossible…but with practice,
Blues, purples and browns are all you need and your dark colors will be allot more interesting!


I use a wet on wet wash technique to add fine lines that put texture in the branches.


For Shadows I will glaze with color! These are all stain paints. Winsor Green- blue shade, Winsor Violet and Winsor Blue mixed in different ways.


Finally I add the texture of the fur using Titanium White Watercolor mixed with the original mineral washes of tans and grays.


Can you see how much Blue is in the Bear?


Most people will just assume it is black and not think about it.

So Next time you decide to paint black remember these little tips and your colors will be more VIBRANT.
My Kitty Luna, almost one year old is learning to be an art lover, She is teaching me how to be a cat lover.


Happy Spring and “May the Forest be with YOU!

IMG_0416 copy

Love Jody


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Dragonflies…How to Paint Them and What They Signify! A New Art Class By Jody Bergsma

Dear Painters and Friends!

This weeks blog on the new dragonfly painting has some fun information about the
“Meaning of the Dragonfly.”
Also we will be exploring new techniques for creating iridescence with watercolor.

Note…The drawing of the dragonfly is included in the lesson and you are welcome to
print it out and transfer it to your watercolor paper so you can follow along.
There is also a Bergsma.TV painting video on YOUTUBE with even more tips on dragonflies!


Having a real model is fantastic. I found this little guy in a wind storm last fall. He was almost perfect.
 I keep him by my desk for inspiration and a little magic!


 The drawing of the lilies was created from photos that I took in Hawaii.
The dragonfly came from my model.


These colors…Alizarin Crimson and Quinacridone Violet for the reddish/purple shades…
Winsor Violet for the purple and Winsor Green and Pthalo Turquoise for the Greens.


Place these opposite colors in alternating patterns on the wing shapes of your dragonfly.
 I use a 00 liner brush with a tiny amount of Cobalt Blue to create the fine lines in the wings.


The Cobalt is added just as the wash is drying to give the lines a soft wet on wet wash look.


After your first washes dry…you can paint the adjacent one.
This keeps the painted areas from running together and the colors clean and crisp.
You can use a hair dryer if you are impatient or move on to another part of the painting and go back and forth between the shapes.
Here I have started the lily while the dragonfly dries.


The soft greens are made with Naples Yellow and Green Gold.
To dull the brightness of this green I add a little “Opposite Color” which is purple. To darken it I add Cobalt Blue.
Above the painting I kept the color research from last month?
I kept it close and in front of my palette to remind me of the favorites! Just scroll down to see this information on color.



Lily Pads are not usually blue…but artist license is a great thing.
You may not even have noticed the blue if I did not point it out!


The rings in the water are patiently painted one by one.
Alternate the colors in the wash in each shape and remember that water reflects the colors above it.


In some areas I added salt to create the crystal shapes in the water. Salt is great for creating “Sparkle.”


At this point I have decided that my lily is not purple enough.
All of the petals received a second coat of “Thalo Purple/Winsor Purple” stain mixed with Ultramarine Blue.
This second coat is called “Glazing” and is a secret trick to creating more vivid colors with this usually “Pastel Colors” medium.


I also glazed the wings of the dragonfly for more color.


I took some time to look up the meaning of Dragonfly as Totem Animal.
Here are a few things I found. First the key words…
good luck
The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization.
The Dragonfly is unique as it starts life in the water, climbs out it’s environment, and grows wings to fly.
These are the kinds of changes that we can aspire to when we meditate on this miraculous animal.
 The dragonfly encourages us to “Remember that you too can rise above it all and make your life more then you ever dreamed…you can make it…a magical masterpiece.”
The dragonfly has a very short life and helps us be mindful of each precious moment…do not miss the opportunities to live, love and grow each day.
And lastly…if dragonflies are always finding you…remember that they are said to have once been dragons from another world and that their magic is right beside you.


May I present…”Amethyst Sunrise.”
We all have magic inside us!


Thank You for joining me in another “Art Class” and as always, Thank You for your support.
Happy Painting!
Your Friendly Art Instructor,

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Mysterious Aqua Blue and a Trip to the Sea.

Hello Again Friends!

I hope all of you are excited about the coming spring season on these 1st days of March!
It is just around the corner. It is the time when COLOR RETURNS in a wave over the earth.

Last month I had the pleasure of jump-starting my spring by going to the beautiful Caribbean. It is so different than gray Washington!
Blue has always been my favorite color but in this magic sea there are hundreds of shades of blue. I was delighted.

So in today’s lesson I want to discuss how to paint these striking colors.
Note…At the bottom of the blog is this weeks drawing. You are welcome to print it out and use it to try painting!



Look carefully. The aqua’s in this photo are even more vibrant because the are placed next to soft blue lavender grays and white. Below you will see the colors I use to make the turquoise blues.




Lively turquoise has a few surprising elements like the Pthalo Green and Turquoise shown above.
These are “Staining” paints. The Cobalt Turquoise and Cerulean Blue are “Mineral” paints.
To find out more about how these work you can watch my video…Watercolor washes on YouTube.




I created the grays with Cerulean and Sepia…but notice the stain turquoises under the dolphin.
This color placement is there to suggest a reflection from the sandy sea floor.




Notice the subtle light gray next to the shore. In nature this color is rare. It only exists at the seashore and in the stone Aquamarine.




Create it with turquoise and a tiny bit of sepia. Keep your washes very light in the
foreground and dark at the horizon.




The rich teals in the background are a mix of Pthalo Turquoise, Cobalt Blue and Sepia.
The wave reflection at the sea bottom is made by using a clear water wash over the area and
then placing the color strategically to leave some areas light.
I often refer to “Repetition and Variation” which you can see in the color of the Turtle.
She is repeated in the rocks and the water.




To add interest to the darker water hues I added salt. This creates crystal patterns in the water.
Practice salt washes just for fun. Use coarse and fine salt to see the difference and put it on your wash
before it dries but not when it is still overly wet.




Here you can see the same palette with a little Naples Yellow Added. Don’t use too much!
Now for the darker blues. You need Cobalt Blue and Prussian blue.



Tese items are my preferred standard tools.
Flat and liner brushes are my favorite. The bottle is to help with the initial pre-wetting of the water washes.
I have 8 ceramic palettes for all of my colors.



Every painted surface that I do begins with a clear water wash and then color is added. The lighter areas created by the clear water wash makes the highlights possible.
The Prussian Blue creates the dark under-shade with very thin cobalt towards the top.



Little details are added with my liner brush and white watercolor.



I have now added some cobalt blue to the underside of the Dolphin to create an even stronger reflection of blue from below.
Adding a thin wash over a preexisting one is called glazing.




The final painting has line details added and some bubbles to give motion.
May I present the new dolphin and friends titled…”So Happy Together!”
End of Class.




The trip was so good for me. I came home relaxed and inspired to try some new subjects from the seashore.
I don’t think there is anything more relaxing than the sea.
I hope you can visit it soon and come to know this truth…
“Just take me to the wonderful sea. It is Earth’s most potent remedy.”




Love and Happy Painting,  Jody








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New Bergsma’s and “Art Tips” to Help You Draw!… February 50 % Print Sale.

Dear Friends…

Spring is a great time for all of us to design new projects.
The energy of the ‘Season of Growth” will support you in your efforts.
That is why I use Spring to create new drawings.
But before this lesson an announcement.
The Website is finally back up and we are celebrating with a 50% Bergsma Print Sale, until the End of February…

Today’s lesson includes a few tips on “How to Create Compositions”
But this is not just about art. These principles can be applied to any part of life.

I call it the 3 C’s…Creativity, Craftsmanship and Challenge.


If we just do the same thing over and over life can become dull.
So when you construct your new project ask yourself…
Did this challenge me? Did I go beyond my comfort zone and ask myself for more?
Did I compromise my creativity with sameness?
Did I do my best work…and lastly…did I surprise and delight myself with the results?


Does your drawing tell a story?
Are there elements that draw  the viewer into the picture?
Does the art make you smile or make you think?

Sometimes it takes awhile to get the result you want.
I start with thumb-nail sketches that just allow the idea to emerge without the detail.
I suggest you draw on a small scale quickly to get intuitive and fresh results.


The drawing above is a thumbnail…none of the details are finished.
After I am sure of the basic composition I redraw the subject with more clarity.
All my drawings start with a “rough sketch”.


I often use the principals of thirds.
Imagine a triangle and how a composition can fit into this basic shape.
Can you see the triangle  and the principle of thirds above?


Story telling in a painting is another way to engage the viewer and make a more captivating drawing.
This creates curiosity and results in greater interest in the image.


And lastly…Does you work embody emotion. How do you feel when you create from your heart and soul.
Not only do you love the end product more…but I believe with “A Job Well Done” you love yourself a little more as well.

This principle is not just for artists.
Put more of the 3 C’s ( Creativity, Craftsmanship and Challenge) into all you do; work, friendships , family and life.
It all adds up to pride in what you have created and all the effort is worth it!

When you love what you do it will show.
As a matter of fact…All the best things begin with love.


This is my new horse…She is a young Polish Arabian mare and I named her Zenya.
Which means, high born, well bred and loved!

Life bleeds into art.
Let what you love be what you do.~Rumi

I wish a creative and full-filling Spring!
Cheers, Jody

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The Meaning of Color… and What Color Says About You.

Dear Friends and Associates,

Have you ever wondered about the significance of color?
Why do you love one and dislike another?
Why some make you happy and others make you uneasy?
And for painters and artists, do you consider this when creating your palette…

Are the colors you choose for your paintings in harmony with the meaning of your drawing?

In this blog I would like to discuss this mysterious subject.

First I wanted to do a little research. I asked my Face Book friends what their favorite colors were from the color wheel below and received more than 500 votes. Which one’s do you think were the winners?

What are your favorites? Below you can see the responses of the Face Book voters.
There were also a few additional colors that people mentioned that were not in the wheel like dark green, indigo, black, brown and pink.

By now you probably have your favorite colors in mind… cobalt blue and orange have always been mine.
Lets see what the colors you love say about you, your world and your character.

Color influences our emotions, our actions and how we respond to people, things and ideas.
Much has been studied and written about color and its impact on our state of mind and our daily lives.
Below are some of the personal characteristics attributed to certain colors.

Will, Energy, Action, Confidence, Courage, Vitality, Beginnings, Leadership, Masculinity, Appetite and Zest for Living.

Universal Love, Joy, Romance, Self Worth, Protection, Caring, Acceptance, Gratitude, Appreciation, Fun, Exciting, Youthful.

Enthusiasm, Happiness, Creativity, Sincerity, Luck, Passion, Survival, Sexuality, Nurturing and Caregiving.

Manifestation, Prosperity, Wisdom, Play, Joy, Happiness, Intellectual Energy, Sense of Self and The Will to Get Things Done.

The Color of New life, Compassion,The Rising Green dragon, Abundance and Spring, Self Respect, Expansion and Increase.

Balance, Master Healer, Heart Wisdom, Enlightenment, Love, Nature , Fertility, Life, Attraction of Money. (Green is the center of the rainbow is very balanced and activates heart energy and wellbeing.)

Aqua Blue;
High Ideals, Calming, Healing, Refreshing, Soothing, Mental Peace, Youth, Fidelity, Hope, Divine Balance, Angels, Comfort and Rest. (Aqua and Turquoise activate the immune system.)

Refreshing, Sophistication, Communication, Health, Protection, Confidence, Strength, Soothing, Dreams, Movement, Water.


Power, Intention, Communication, Creation, Will, Cleanliness, Harmony, Loyalty, Dependability, Wisdom, Royalty. (Cobalt Blues activate inner vision and mental capacity while lighter blues create better communication.)

Wisdom, Self Mastery, Spiritual Realization, Good Judgement, Life Purpose and Connection to the Divine.


Note…Purples and Violets were the most popular colors  this year. The last time I did color research (2010) Blue was the most popular.

Grace, Elegance, Refinement, Wellness, Delicateness, Uniqueness and Romance.

If this year you would like to increase an energy in your world try adding one of the colors that describes what you want more of. Better yet, create some art from the color traits you desire!
And most all…have some fun.
Color is the best antidepressant of all! (Especially Orange;)

Wishing you Happiness and “ALL” the Colors of Life!

Posted in Interviews With Jody, Painting with Jody | 10 Comments

Painting the Purple Rose …and 20% off Special.

Dear Friends,
Welcome to another class but first some…
Bergsma News….Online Sale!
 Just write “Bergsma 20% Sale” in the comments box at check out and we will apply a 20% discount to you order when we ship! (To go to the website click the lime green button on the upper right)
Good until the 24th of Dec. :) (Not to be combined with other coupons)
We had a wonderful Christmas Sale and Show last week!

I saw many old Friends…(This is Sophie Kuzeja with her purchased vintage 1977 Bergsma Original) and met some new ones.
My staff…ROCKS!. A Huge thanks to these girls for keeping my ship sailing smoothly.

Jamie, Lanette Tara and Jeannie. (From Upper left  to lower right.) A heartfelt Thank YOU!

Art Class…”The Purple Rose.”
We received over 100 great title entries for this piece and the winner goes to,
Krista Kellen Delort for “Change Can Be a Beautiful Thing”. It won with 19  “Like” Votes.
She will receive a free print. Thank you Krista!

 Purple is a tricky color so setting up a good pallet is important.
When mixing strong purples I use a combination of purple stain, sepia and cobalt mineral paints.
I started with some lavender rose petals (Compliments of James W.) and set up a series of purples and greens.


Wet the area with clear water to start and then add your colors.
Leave high lights and strengthen the pigments at the shadowed edges.
The Greens are placed in the base of the petals to create contrast and shadow.


As the purple stains dry into the structure of the paper
the cobalt blues remain on the surface and add interest.
Compare the last frame of wet purple to this dry violet. See the difference in intensity?
Watercolor paints dry back 20-40 % which must be planned for.


Now for the Butterflies…I chose to add brown to the purple for the wings.
Burnt Sienna and Sepia with the colors of the rose make the pallet.

 The undercoat is made with neutrals.

 The butterflies received a thin layer of transparent violet stain to bind the colors together.

Winsor Green, Winsor Violet and Thalo Violet stains will create the shadows and the overlays.

I use violet and green in the shadows.
Finally I add a few fine line line to make the details and the painting is finished!
I hope you learned some new tips on HOW TO PAINT PURPLE!
End of Class.

“Change is a Beautiful Thing”… and”Love gives us Wings.”
Congrats to Kim and Frank Bond on your new original!


I send all of you the bright colors of the season.
Wishing you Happiness, Hope and Peace,
Jody and Team Bergsma!

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“How to Paint a Happy Snowman”-A Bergsma Christmas Special and Upcoming Events.

Hello Friends!

Welcome to another painting class but first a little Bergsma News.
I want to CONGRATULATE Svetlana Metodieva on the Opening of her New Gallery “EXCLUSIVELY ART” in Factoria Mall, Bellevue.
I attended and signed, and of course had a great day with customers. John Ebner another well known Seattle Artist was there. She has a great display of BERGSMA Christmas items!

My next two Holiday Signings are at the Monroe Ben Franklin Nov. 17th 12 to 4pm. They are giving away a free print of mine with purchase!
And lastly; The Christmas Sale and New Art show at the Bergsma Warehouse in Bellingham Nov. 29-Dec 1st. 10 to 5pm. each day.

The Holiday is coming and I have a few specials for you…All the links are set up on the home page
 which you may access by clicking

Walgreens of Ferndale, and Anacortes also have cards and ornaments!

Now onto ART CLASS; The Fun of Painting Snow-People.
The first thing you need is to get in the mood.
How to paint Christmas before Halloween requires a moon shift.
For me, I play carols!
Then I begin to draw.

I believe in “QUICK THUMBNAIL” sketches. This style of fast sketching can put energy and emotion into your drawing!
I use tracing paper to work out object placement and an opportunity for sketch improvement. (See the growth of the design from the rough blue paper “Thumbnail.)
Did you notice the addition of detail in the clothing and the rabbit in the final drawing?

After the sketch is transferred to the Watercolor Paper I mix a series of colors.
(I don’t work out drawings on watercolor paper because erasing ruins the delicate fibers and I usually ERASE!:)
Here I have Cobalt, Green, Violet, Blue and Cerulean Blue. They are light mineral paints.

To create white you need very clean water.
I apply my water with a squirt bottle and get just the area I want to paint wet!


Add very small amounts of paint to the pre-wet area. Notice the pink cheeks on the snowman.

After the snow people are painted white I create the dark background. Can you spot the salt washes?
Always remember to paint light colors first.

Your next step will be to mix allot of interesting greens. I mix the reds last because they “RUN” the most.

COLOR is is the fun part…Colorful details are a must.

Did you know that red and green are opposite colors?
Artists know that when you place them next to each other they create a feeling of BRILLIANT contrast.

Finally you can add the details of white for the highlights, stars, snowflakes and bunny fur
with thick white titanium watercolor and a fine liner brush.
 Now you have a few tips on how to create a happy Snow-people painting of your own. Try this with kids over the Holiday and they will love it.
While painting snow try some salt washes.

(See the last two blogs for more details on Salt and watercolor paint.)

“Everything Comes Alive With the Joy of Christmas” is the title, written by FB Friend Kevin Gregory of Cave Creek Arizona. THANK YOU Kevin!

Fall is my favorite time of year. It passes by so fast and reminds me to make time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life
like walking my two whippets Leo and Divo in the leaves!

I hope you take some moments to make some lasting memories.

Wishing you the joys of EVERY season…:)

Posted in Painting with Jody, What's new with Jody | 5 Comments

The Joy of Painting Birds and Upcoming Signing Events!

Hello Bergsma Friends!

Welcome to another blog…this week we will paint a Hummingbird, which is one of my favorite subjects!
I hope you enjoy the simple art secrets that I will share.

But first some Bergsma dates for you.
I will be available for signing at these upcoming events.
October 6th, Grand Opening of a new Gallery in Bellevue
Exclusively Art, FACTORIA MALL…(Next to Panera Bread)
October 6, 2012, 1:00 – 4.30 pm
November 17th, Ben Franklins Fall/Christmas event.
Ben Franklin – Monroe, 19505 Highway 2, Monroe, WA 98272
November 17, 2012, 1:00 – 4:00pm

 Winter Christmas Sale and NEW ART by Jody Bergsma at the Bergsma Warehouse in Bellingham.
Nov. 29th,30th and Dec.1st. 10:00 am-6:00pm.

Now For our lesson.
Getting your pallet ready with ALLOT of paint is essential.
“GET THE PAINT OUT.” is one of the phrases my teacher loved to say.
ART TIP; I use a sheet of glass on top of a white surface so I can premix a good selection of color.

ART TIP; Use opposite colors to really make your colors pop. Green and red are opposites…(Peach and light green are too.)
The browns in the hummingbird are made with the green and red in the flowers. this insures that the colors are harmonies.

ART TIP; Paint all of your washes in their individual spaces so that your colors have crisp defined edges.
Allow them to dry completely before you paint adjacent spaces.

You can paint several feathers all at once so long as they do not touch. This gives you consistency of color throughout your feathers.
This also applies to the petals on your flowers. Notice the use of opposite colors in the feathers  and flowers to increase the luminosity.

ART TIP. Start every area with clear water and then place small amounts of color and build up the intensity.
“Push” the washes on the outer edges with more pigment when the shape is ALMOST DRY.

Once the bird and flowers are complete it is time to mix a new pallet for the leaves.
ART TIP; To create good greens use a little red and purple in your greens.
Mix your new pallet with allot of options.

“Get the paint out!”

Can you see how I use purple in the leaves? This helps blend the flower with the stalks.

Can you see the “Color Harmony” building?

In this painting I have completed the fore-ground first as I want to experiment with darker colors behind the flowers and bird.
To create the dark colors use full strength stain colors.

ART TIP; Create the great burgundy red color shown at the top of the pallet above by mixing Alizarin Crimson with Phthalo Green.
The forest green is made with Phthalo Green with a little Alizarin Crimson and Sepia Brown. For the lighter greens I use Naples Yellow and Yellow Green.

To give the background texture a add SALT just as it is nearly dry.

To make the background you need patience and ALLOT OF PREMIXED COLOR.
Painting around all of the little parts of the bird is tricky; have small brushes handy.

ART TIP; Use Repetition with Variation in your shapes and colors.
THIS ART SECRET will help you create dynamic color combinations.

The Great part of painting these little birds is the colorful pallet! It is just happy.

I hope you enjoyed following along in this weeks art lesson and I look forward to seeing you soon at one of the winter signings.
Blessings for Happiness and a little buzzing around!


Posted in Painting with Jody | 4 Comments

How to Paint a Wolf in the Snow…Great fall Sale 50% prints!

 Dear Bergsma Friends,

I hope all of you had a fantastic summer. I certainly did!
My dream of going to France with my daughter Sky materialized and we drove 2000 KM through back roads
from Barcelona to Carcasson and onto the Castles of the Loire River and finally Versailles near Paris. What a fantastic moment in life.

I have not posted for awhile but today’s lesson on how to paint a wolf will be sure to inspire you.
I also have some Information about wolves  as Totems that is very interesting that was submitted by Tanya Fan.
So if you like…follow along as I take you on a journey to spirits at twilight!

Jody and Sky at Carcasson, 8, 20, 2012

Today Lesson…How to Paint a wolf. ( If you are interested in this image the Gallery

at 360 733 1101. If you would like to vote on a title…Visit Jody Bergsma like page FB by Sept, 14)

Hint #1, Mix allot of paint in various shades of Gray.
Use Blue and brown to mix your grays to keep them interesting.

Break all your shapes up into interesting patterns.
The first layer of washes will be painted over with more transparent layers of thin watercolor which will add detail and depth.

When you paint your washes always begin with a clear water wash.
Place pigment on the edges of the wash with clear water in the middle.
This will leave your watercolors glowing.
Even on this dark nose can you see the highlight?

Patiently fill in all of your colors.

Tanya Fan, one of my FB friends sent this information on Wolves in Native History.
I found it fascinating.

Wolves figure prominently in the mythology of nearly every Native American tribe. In most Native cultures,
Wolf is considered a medicine being associated with courage, strength, loyalty, and success at hunting.
 Like bears, wolves are considered closely related to humans by many North American tribes,
 and the origin stories of some Northwest Coast tribes, such as the Quileute and the Kwakiutl,
 tell of their first ancestors being transformed from wolves into men. In Shoshone mythology,
Wolf plays the role of the noble Creator god, while in Anishinabe mythology a wolf character
 is the (brother and true best friend) of the culture hero. Among the Pueblo tribes,
wolves are considered one of the six directional guardians, associated with the east and the color white.
 The Zunis carve stone wolf fetishes for protection, ascribing to them both healing and hunting powers.

Wolves are also one of the most common clan animals in Native American cultures.
Tribes with Wolf Clans include the Creek (whose Wolf Clan is named Yahalgi or Yvhvlke),
 the Cherokee (whose Wolf Clan name is Aniwahya or Aniwaya,) the Chippewa
(whose Wolf Clan and its totem are called Ma’iingan,) Algonquian tribes like the Lenape,
 Shawnee and Menominee, the Huron and Iroquois tribes, Plains tribes like the Caddo and Osage,
Southern tribes like the Chickasaw, the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico,
and Northwest Coast tribes like the Tlingit, Tsimshian, and Kwakiutl.
 Wolf was an important clan crest on the Northwest Coast and can often be found carved on totem poles.
 The wolf is also the special tribal symbol of several tribes and bands,
 such as the Munsee Delaware, the Mohegans, and the Skidi Pawnee.
Some eastern tribes, like the Lenape and Shawnee, have a Wolf Dance among their tribal dance traditions.

 Now back to class..”.How to paint a snowy background.”
 Mix up ALLOT of paint before you start and pre-plan your moves.
Large background washes are challenging…
but easier if you premix the paint.

In this photo of my desk you can see how much paint I have pre-blended.
(If you look very closely at the front wolf’s head can you see the kitty paw prints?
 Guess who walked through the pallet while I was out of the room!
I always keep my reference photo close by. Can you see them taped over the desk?

Painting around the wolves with a vey pale wash is time sensitive.
I use a large flat brush.
You only get a few minutes before parts of the painting start to dry.
The kitty prints will be covered with color.

I have planned for salt washes to create the snowflakes…Have a bowl of salt handy at your desk.

Salt is added while the wash is still wet, but not too wet.

You can still add more wet on wet washes and more salt as long as the area you want to work on is damp.
Once the background is finished you can complete the wolves fur and snowflakes.
For a couple of videos that will describe the process…Go to You tube and type in Bergsma.TV.
I have “How to Paint a Wolf” and “How to Paint Wet on Wet Washes” that will give you more details!

I love the feeling of this image. It tells a story to every viewer.
The wolves are looking through your soul and are speaking to you…can you hear them?

The memory of Wolves resides in a deep place within all humanity.
The future of Wolves…resides in our compassion and in our hearts.
My wish is that there will always be a place in this world
… for our friend and brother the wolf.

 I loved my re-visit to France.
It was while I lived in Avignon as a french student in my 20′s that I was inspired to become an artist.
Dreams can become reality.

Blessing to all of you,

Posted in Painting with Jody | 6 Comments
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