The SECRETS Of Painting Water…So Simple Once You Know. HAPPY 4TH!

•June 29, 2011 • 1 Comment
Hello Blog FRIENDS!

This week’s ART CLASS will focus on a challenging subject…WATER.

But First…HAPPY 4th of July this weekend! Be safe, and HAVE FUN!

Bergsma Gallery – Bellingham WA
I will be here all 3 days.
Jody Bergsma with Pam Koons and Cindy Posey at the Gallery Warehouse in Bellingham.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of a SEA GULL stealing my LUNCH!
Gulls …just wanna have FUN!  HAHA

Now onto class…
The mystery of water…EXPOSED!
Blues mixed with Browns makes great Grays…
Experiment with this versatile and useful combination.

The lighter parts of the foreground need to be painted before the water.

Do you see the use of brown to blue in the feather washes?
This will appear gray to the viewer because the eye mixes the colors.
Once the lighter parts of the subjects are complete…
I mix the blues (again with some brown to create harmony) for the Sky and Water.
ART TIP: The water is always a refection of the sky…so these shades MUST BLEND.
WET ON WET WASHES: Placing the clear water first allows me the ability to create the ILLUSION of white clouds by leaving parts of the paper surface untouched by paint.
ART TIP: Draw horizontal wavy lines for the water.
Alternate the washes in the wavy lines to reflect the subjects color and the sky color.

Can you see how the gray of the pilings and the pelicans is appearing on the water’s surface?
This subtle hint of REFLECTION reads as water in the viewers mind…
This is simply the POWER OF SUGGESTION.

Now, the opposing alternating lines are painted with washes that reflect the sky.
ADVANCED TIP: If you look closely, you will see I created perspective in the picture 
with the lines in the water creating a vanishing point indicating distance.
This is so simple…WATER…mystery solved.:)
Once the light and mid tones are complete you can add your dark and intense colors.
Placing the final details is like a reward; making the painting come to life!
Did you notice the little Gull on the piling?

and THANK YOU for joining me! 
End of Art Class.

I  am now beginning my road trip from Washington to Big Sur with my Daughter and Friend.
I hope all of you have plans for a HAPPY and SAFE 4th of July.
I am so thankful for life in this wonderful country.
Freedom and our basic human right… the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!
Blessings to all of you,

The Art of Seagulls and Title Contest.

•June 22, 2011 • 5 Comments
Dear Blog Friends and Fellow Artists!
We had so much fun at the free art class last Friday night.  About 50 people came and painted with me (1/2 of them kids)!
Now onto our weekly Class on Painting SEAGULLS… 
The beach is a fun palette of blues and tans and SURPRISE… dark purple. ART TIP: I always mix up my palette first (Pre-mixing a lot of colors ensures that you will get a fluid looking painting!). 
I am using Windsor Yellow, Naples Yellow, Burnt Umber (great for the look of the sand), Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Thalo Blue, Prussian Blue and Windsor Violet.

I went online to get ideas for the seagull and picked “The Laughing Gull”. The computer is a great source for research! WOW, I did not have this facility before Google.


Burnt Sienna and Cerulean Blue make a fantastic Gray for Gulls.

Shadows on white reflect the colors bouncing off the beach.


Everyone of the feathers is painted separately… ART TIP: I use a hair dryer to help me dry the washes so I can keep painting and not always be waiting for drying! 
ART TIP: The shadows in the sand reflect the color of the sky.
NOW…the most difficult part of every painting… ART TIP: premix your colors for the large wash… and USE LOTS OF WATER IN YOUR SQUIRT BOTTLE to really wet your paper. IF YOU GET TOO MUCH WATER on the painting…NO WORRIES, just tip the watercolor paper a little and dab it off with a paper towel. 
WET ON WET washes are the best part of watercolor… like an abstract painting… let the paint do its own MAGIC!
Shadows are placed under the gulls for depth. 
Shadows on the birds, sand and shells… 
The Final details are added…and all we need now is… A TITLE!
This is a Laughing Gull… what good title ideas do you have for this “Bird on the Beach”?
Please post on the blog, FB or send your emails to me
For all of you that participate, I will send you a coupon for something “wonderful” in your email inbox!
Thanks to all my FB and Blog Friends…

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”
Love, Jody
Sky Bergsma Rockenbach enjoying the NW beaches with her buddy Lucky! BURRRR!

P.S. I start a road trip along the California coast this next week with my daughter Sky and friend Francesca… Malibu, Big Sur, the Lost Coast…Redwoods…OH MY I AM EXCITED and will share some Pics soon!

How to use THE COLOR WHEEL for perfect colors; and Girl Scout visit

•June 15, 2011 • 1 Comment
Hello Painters…
This last Saturday I was visited by GIRL SCOUT TROUP #42553 from Auburn, Wa. to learn more about painting.  I always start my students with a lesson on the COLOR WHEEL. Here’s Why…
Alycia did a great Job!
Learning the color Wheel is essential for mastering painting because opposite colors always create a perfect palette. Opposite colors are needed to create the correct hue for shadows. Opposite colors give a “FEELING” of satisfaction because in them all the colors are present. Knowing your color wheel gives you a reference for these IMPORTANT opposites! For Example: If you travel across the wheel from red orange you find its opposite warm blue or aqua.


When you mix the opposites together in a progression you get ideas for a wonderful blend of colors for your painting!


In this weeks crab painting I knew I was going to tackle RED-ORANGE. Not an easy color in watercolor!

I PREMIXED the colors I would need and tested them against the color wheel. Aqua Blue was the perfect opposite.
Red-orange often needs two coats because the white of the paper shines through creating a salmon pink.
To paint a large wet on wet wash I use a  SQUIRT BOTTLE with clear water in it to get the surface really wet and then I brush the clear water over the paper to be painted. The wetter the surface the longer you have to paint it. PRE MIX all your colors…refer to the painted progression line of opposites… The science of pigment and color gives you a perfect hint for your pallet. THIS ELIMINATES THE GUESS WORK that drives most beginners to quit.

Large Wet on Wet washes are the technique that gives watercolor its uniqueness.  Take advantage of it!
The wet on wet green look like sea weed! Did you remember that this color was in the color progression?

These fun beach paintings… “Dont be a Crab!” and “Don’t be Shellfish!” …dont you think they’re puny? 🙂 …HAHA


The Troop all earned there Art Badges Saturday! They did a fantastic job in class.
Thanks Daughter Sky for helping with the girls.
Girl Scout Troop #42553
Katapa, Alycia, Danielle, Kayla, Gabriella, Bethany, and Esmerelda. Thank you girls for visiting, you are all adorable!
We ended with a trip to the Warehouse gallery where the troop was shown some of my paintings! The Vintage Bergsma that I am holding was painted when I was just about their age!
Remember…every artist was at one time a beginner. Passion and Practice is what will make the difference.

For all of you… Just take the first step if painting is one of your dreams. I will help along the way!
xoxo Jod

A Trip to the beach…”Don’t be Shellfish!” Thanks for all of the ideas!

•June 2, 2011 • 4 Comments
Dear Blog Friends! 
Summer has begun and it is a perfect time to GO TO THE BEACH! 
I asked my FB friends to help last week with research and received many ideas and photos for this series.
Here are some of the requests…and MANY THANKS to all that sent photos and ideas. 
If you were one who participated in the research… Please let me know which print you would like! I will send you a free 5 by 7.
Email with your image request and how you would like it signed.
FYI… It will take 1 to 2 months to get them to you… I still need to paint them! 
Cathy Bjornsgaard asked me to consider the Mary Cassatt painting of “Beach”, she also sent kids and shells… Delores Nicholson Carlson sent me shells…
Both inspired this image! 
Listen… to the still small voice… 

This darling child came from a collage of pics I found on the web. The turtles and sand piper… books.

Maria Jansen sent allot of beach scenes! TY!
Thank you Adele Freeland for the girl in pink… I wonder who she is!?
Paula Bowden sent the flying birds.
Elizabeth Wesley sent kites.
Shawn Bergsma Stoll, my sister, sent her family photos from a trip to Cannon Beach… kite flying along with some great bird photo’s. 

Life can be complicated… Happiness is simple!

Did you notice the extra bird I added by her feet?


THE FIRST THING… Research, Research, Research!!!

Get lots of input before you begin… Then work on pages of  4″ by 5″ thumbnails. I completed about 8 for each finished drawing.

I drew lots of sea lions.

My Rep in Oregon…MARY ZOGG asked me to do sea lions. 
I knew about the Sea Lion Caves and decided to find out where that was.

I found a tiny photo of Heceta Head light house which is near the cave… and then KIM MUCK came to my rescue with a series of GREAT photos of the light house I needed.

I erased my original background and referred to Kims… 

She used a high powered lens to get the image big enough to see the detail.
Now I was happy with the final drawing. Thanks Kim M. and Elizabeth W. for the sea lion photos and Mary Z. for the request!

Stephanie Bowden sent me a fine pic of a light house… I knew it was perfect.
Thanks also to Michelle Lachman for the darling boy photos.
Other light house references came from Raquel Welch, Jennifer Issacs, and Janet Dean!

I received allot of fantastic sea birds…and added them to almost all the drawings.
Paula Bowden, Shawn B., and others…Thanks!

I think all the time and research REALLY HELPED me! These drawings are fresh and alive with all of your good wishes. 
I still have 3 to design in a circle format…Lobster, Sea Birds alone, and Pelicans.
So till next week. 
Happy Drawing and Painting! 
There is a WONDERFUL SUMMER AHEAD so there is no reason…TO BE CRABBY!
XO, Jod

Season of Green…Color of Life!

•May 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Dear Blog Friends,

Greens! Tis the SEASON!
The N.W. is bursting with hundreds of shades… but when it comes to painting many find it difficult to capture.
Here are some TIPS! class… Deer in the forest.
ART TIP: Use watercolor glazing to create greens with depth.
First lay down a base of browns and tans as an underpainting to your green.


Mix a palette of transparent greens using two powerful stains: Green Gold and Thalo Green.
If you only have Thalo Green you can mix it with Lemon Yellow to create your own Green Gold.
I have added Naples Yellow, Raw Sienna and Raw Umber to make an Olive Green tint.

If you look closely at nature you can see that greens have many shades.
ART TIP: You can use Burnt Sienna to add dimension to greens.
ART TIP: Layer your green stains on top of your brown and blue tones with a flat brush to create leaf like shapes.


Use a lighter green gold to create the feeling of sun on the top branches. 
These stains allow all the complexity of the under-colors to shine through.


Now the browns of the deer are contrasting nicely from the back ground.


ART TIP: Use a little green in the shadows of the animals to tie them into the composition.
Using some of these techniques will allow you to create living GREENS!
End of Class!

The rain has finally let up in the N.W. and nature is exploding with new growth.
It is a perfect time to practice painting… GREEN!
Get outside and get inspired, plant a garden and plant some new DREAMS.
Blessings to all of you and,
Happy Painting!

Creating The ART BOOK. The Making Of New Product.

•May 19, 2011 • 10 Comments
Dear Blog Friends…
This week I want to show you a behind the scene look at what we do at BERGSMA to make new and fun products.
I am creating a product that will correspond with these videos.
Step ONE: Make a 40 page Book with drawings for my students.

Find a company to make the ART BOOK (Add Colored pencils).
In this mock up you can see the concept.
Step TWO: Find a good but affordable painting kit for my students.
This art set will contain everything you need to get started!

Step THREE: Now…to make the drawings I need help from my art assistant

We found some of my most popular paintings and printed them out to format for the book.
Step FOUR: LET THE DRAWING BEGIN… Each drawing takes apx 1-2 hours. As Phyllis said… Production Drawing!:) I laid vellum over the top of the art and created a line drawing with a black 03 micro pen.
I learned this valuable technique in engineering classes. Keep redrawing with vellum or tracing paper till you achieve your desired result!
Step FIVE: I contacted my RESEARCH group on FaceBook (Thanks again everyone who gave me tips!). “What images do you want to paint”, I asked? While many images I had prepared were on the list, there were still surprises in store…
I worked in categories: Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Otters, Whales.


I made a new whale totemic for the book.

Wolves, Horses, Eagles!
Bears with Bees, Raccoons, Deer. 
I would not have done these without your request. XOXO (I really like the tiger)
Frogs and Dragonflies are SOOO popular.
Birds, Herons, Hummingbirds, and Butterflies.


Owls and Ravens were another Facebook inspired request.

Dogs and Cats!


Fantasy, Celtic, Fairies and Dragons!


Don’t forget the images for Kids… young and old 🙂 ! I really enjoyed this weeks work (Phew… 40 drawings, DONE!). There is allot of magic in drawing. I became so aware of the MAGNIFICENCE of Nature… all the diversity.

Step SIX: Finally, for those of you who asked… The pricing for the art book will be approximately $9.99 – $14.99.
The student painting kit will be approximately $19.99 – $24.99.
Best part, the online video lessons will be FREE!
Loving all of you… thanks again for your help with my project.
XOXO – Jod

Magic Dragonflies, Their Secrets And How To Paint Their Wings

•May 10, 2011 • 1 Comment

Dear Blog Friends and Fellow PAINTERS!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother’s Day.

I sure did, except I ATE TOO MUCH. Thanks Jessi Bergsma for a beautiful dinner!

The Tulips and Tulip Trees are blooming…

And the Dragonflies have returned!

This week”s art class will focus on this very popular image.

First, do your research and get a great subject to work from!

Second, figure out your palette. Today we are using Pthalo green, Alizarine Crimson, Cobalt Blue, and Cerulean Blue. (and a few others)

These Colors create the turquoise iridescence that we love about Dragonflies.

Art Tip: Mix your teal green and pinkish purple first from the colors above. Use them in a wet wash.

Put the teal on one end and the purple on the other and alternate these hues.

Use a liner brush with a Cobalt blue and Titanium white mixture to create tiny veins in the wings WHILE THE WING IS DAMP.

Art Tip: Use the same colors in the back ground for repetition with variation.

WET WASH. This is the major technique that sets watercolor apart form other paints. Premix your desired colors before you begin and really wet the background area so you have plenty of time to place your colors!

The WET ON WET WASH is the best part of using watercolor.
Did you notice how just a few brush strokes create a feeling of foliage?

Art Tip: To create a little magic use SALT in your WET WASH just before it dries to make this interesting texture.

Art Tip: For the final details use a TITANIUM WHITE with the hues from your painting to make the fine wing details.

Creating a Dragonfly is EASY once you break down the steps and have the right colors…YOU CAN DO THIS!

Title: “Journey To Paradise”

End of Class.

This Dragonfly is hovering over “Garden of the Gods” which sits within the front range with Pikes Peak in the background.

Have a fantastic Week and from Bellingham, HAPPY PAINTING.