Hi there! My name is Sandy Allnock, and I live with two rambunctious puppies just south of Seattle, Washington. I have an art degree from Frostburg State University; in the last few years I’ve been teaching crafters the love of coloring, painting, and drawing in a variety of mediums, in hopes of inspiring their inner artist to come out and play too!
Though I’ve been an artist my whole life, I’ve only dabbled in watercolor since the fall of 2014; I was going to sketch my way across Europe, and wanted some color, and thought, “How hard could watercolor be?” (You can stop laughing.)
I had fun filling sketchbooks during that trip, but not with much worth writing home about – though I did prop my little 5×8 sketchbook in a corner of the Louvre’s marble walls and snapped a photo, so I can say I had a limited one-woman exhibition there!
Fortunately, I’m not one daunted by a challenge, because after painting since then, I still feel like a newbie – and I get a thrill out of learning something new. I’m constantly taking watercolor workshops at my local art store, Daniel Smith (I know, I know, how lucky for me!), and trying to discover what is “my” style. For now I’ve decided that it’s ok to have a completely different style every day, without consistency, while I make that attempt.
While I use a variety of paints, my love for the last year or so has been Daniel Smith watercolors. I put my tube paints into half-pans in a metal palette, and create a swatch card for myself to remember what’s in it – since I have an embarrassing 7 palettes full! (Anyone else need all the colors?? #fullsetsyndrome is my nemesis!)
My desert island paints would be Daniel Smith’s 6 Essentials, if I could only have 6 colors…they have a warm and cool red/yellow/blue that mix to become anything. And if I had to pare it down further – New Gamboge, Phthalo Blue Green Shade, and Quin Rose. But…I am fortunate NOT to be relegated to a desert island!
That means I get to pick a few other favorite colors, and the palette shown here is my top 18; Daniel Smith makes dot cards with samples of the actual paints (you can get one of mine HERE) – I chose colors that are some of my favorites, but also with a leeeaaaan toward my crafting students and their needs to paint simply and not mix a ton of colors. (For example: lately I don’t use Lunar Black for black, only for granulation; otherwise I mix Indanthrone, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, and Quinacridone Burnt Orange.)
My favorite brushes by a landslide are the Silver Brush Co’s Black Velvet line of round brushes, and have been working mostly with a #8 and #12 in recent months – the larger the better, as I’m trying to loosen up! These brushes point beautifully – and hold the point for a long long time – and hold a lot of water and pigment in the belly, if you like that!
I’m also an Arches artist – favorite paper for the most part! Some others stay wet longer, but, I find wet paper can be really hard for this impatient artist to work with!
Bible Journaling is another area of deep interest for me, especially since I’ve worked through some techniques to paint on that thin, lightweight paper; limiting water by sometimes even painting with baby wipes!
And other times, I paint my faith outside of my Bible, as well.
My online following is mostly my beloved crafters; I produce three videos a week on YouTube – at least one a week is usually watercolor – and I host classes at art-classes.com. Here are two examples of some of the regular card videos on my blog:
I’m an avid student of watercolor – as I said, I’m attempting to discover my style! You may have noticed a wide variety here, and much of that is due to taking so many watercolor classes from great instructors. I find I’m a little jealous that they know what “their” thing is – they have a signature style and a way to teach it. I, however, just “try on everyone’s sweaters,” as one teacher told me. I see what it’s like to paint in that style, and whether I find it’s “my thing” or not, I learn from the attempts.
As a discipline, I try to paint at least a little every day – as a full-time artist, that’s doable, but I encourage everyone to even take a few minutes to draw or paint in a sketchbook at least!
Creating every day is my mantra…the more you make, the more you learn, the more you improve!
I have one final painting to share….it’s Rome, and inspired by that European trip, though it was the 14th try at capturing it!
The B&B I stayed at was amazing, overlooking St Peters’s….and the owner, Rosa Maria, was the best hostess ever, sharing exactly which church in which of its naves displayed each of the Caravaggio paintings I had gone there to see. Each night she waited up for me to get home so she could look through my sketches and see where I was that day.
I painted this scene again and again, and wasn’t happy with it until I took a class from Björn Bernström – and applying his amazing techniques, I was finally happy enough with it to send it to Rosa Maria. So now…I have a one-woman show at Al Colonnato di San Pietro in Rome. Which fortunately sounds like it could be a gallery. *wink*
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!