Acrylic painting techniques and tutorial with Reina Cottier | Colour In Your Life

Acrylic painting techniques and tutorial with Reina Cottier | Colour In Your Life


G’day viewers, my name’s Graeme Stevenson, and I’d like to invite you to come on a journey of creativity and learning and adventure through the series Colour In Your Life. There’s an Artist in every family throughout the world. Lots of times there’s an Artist deep down inside all of us as well. So grab your kids, your brothers, your sisters, your aunties, uncles and mums and dads and come and see how some of the best Artists do what they do. (Music Plays) (Graeme) Well hi folks. Well we’re back in New Zealand in the beautiful area of Tairua, and I am with a fantastic Artist today. She does a lot of very intuitive work, a lot of sacred geometry. A lot to do with the animals, and the plants and basically her society in New Zealand. But I’d like to introduce you to Reina Cottier. Hello darling. How are you? (Reina) I’m good, thank you. (Graeme) Fantastic to be here. As I just said Reina is a very intuitive Artist. She uses a lot of sacred geometry within her work and it’s really beautiful stuff. I mean there’s a lot of feeling, a lot of meaning in what she does. And you really sort of paint from the heart in many senses don’t you? (Reina) Ido. I do. (Graeme) How did this all come about? (Reina) Originally I was a hairdresser, and I did that for may years. I owned my own salon I and decided to sell that and decided to take an Art class. And that sparked something in side of me. And it was actually not an Art class to teach you how to paint, but it was to teach you how to get in touch with what was within. (Graeme) Aha. (Reina) And I started deciding that I would paint at home as well as the Art class, and before long I wasn’t doing the Art class. Set up a studio at home and started painting and that was about eight go now. It’s been amazing and I just love what I do. (Graeme) Yeah, well you live in a fantastic area. She’s about twenty, or two hundred meters (Reina) Two hundred meters from the beach. (Graeme) from the beach. Really, really beautiful area, I mean it’s such a pretty place. And even when we drive through to get around New Zealand, it’s a glorious country. But you’ve also, I think really built a business around what your doing as well. You’re one of those Artists and there’s probably not a lot of them around but there are some, that turn their ability into a business itself. And you’ve learned how to do that with a lot of your licensing, your other products, I mean you sell Limited Editions, cards. When did you realise when you started your career that was going to have to be part and parcel of what your doing? (Reina) Yeah, very early on, when I realised people that were actually interested to own my work, I though oh, here’s an opportunity. And I owned three businesses prior to becoming a professional Artist. So I decided that why not give this a go and set it up as a proper business, and set up the merchandise side of it and see what happened. And it’s gone really well for me; it’s been extremely successful. (Graeme) Yeah, yeah, I mean just got huge fans. I look at Reina’s social networking platforms as well, and there’s a lot of people who are following you which is pretty cool. But the main reason we’re here today, is to obviously see Reina work. And I’m gonna step out of camera – you don’t need to see my horrible head. And then we’re going to watch her produce what she’s doing. She’s actually going to work on this whale today, but she’s going to show you how to do the background first, working in acrylics. But I’m going to get out of the way and let you start to do what you do. (Reina) Thank you, Graeme. (Graeme) Thank you. (Graeme) Okay, well we’ve got a blank canvas, Reina. Where do we go from here? (Reina) Okay, so the first thing I do is I spray a little bit of water on here to get the paint a lot more fluid when it goes on. So I just lightly spray and it doesn’t have to be drenched, and then I just use my fingers and I go like that. And I don’t care that there’s some dry areas on there. I actually like that because it gives me some solid, dense areas, and gives me some watery areas. Get a wet brush, these are house painting brushes, which I absolutely love and I use them all the time. I just make sure these were pre wet and I just get some on my paint brush. (Graeme) So you’re using acrylics aren’t you? (Reina) I’m using acrylics and I just, and it’s all intuitive, so I just do a swirl. (Graeme) Yeah. (Reina) And if it doesn’t feel wet enough, I might just add a little bit of water as I go. (Graeme) And so these, I noticed before I actually didn’t realise that Dulux produces a range of acrylic paints that there’s a lot of them in varying colors too. (Reina) There is. They’re amazing color range and I use them a lot. I’m very lucky, I have access to them and they’re amazing. (Graeme) And this is really how you prepare a lot of your backgrounds for the work that you do. (Reina) Yes, I do. (Graeme) You just sort of build this and then basically the drawing goes on top. (Reina) That’s right. (Graeme) There’s a lot of that natural wrist action (Reina) Yes. (Graeme) you put in to your work. It’s sort of almost (Reina) Yeah. like the infinity. (Reina) Yes. Yeah, I love that feeling of – it could go on, and on and on – endless. Okay, so that’s it. (Graeme) Beautiful, so you let that dry off and then literaly you create all of your other patterns, say you sort of layer them on there. (Reina) That’s correct. So once this is dry, I’ll often spray a very thin layer of mat varnish over the top of this so when I draw the designs on it, and start to paint on it, it doesn’t actually lift it off. So now I’m going to just draw a pattern on it with chalk, and we’re just gonna draw a koru which is a spiral. (Graeme) That’s the Maori symbol. (Reina) It is, means new life, new beginnings and creations, so it’s really special here in New Zealand. Yeah. So when I do this I just play, I’m very light hearted, I don’t worry about, to me – there are no mistakes. I just go with what I feel like doing and I’m just playing. And if I don’t like something I just get a wet rag or a wet, cotton buds are my best friend. Wet cotton bud and I just get rid of it. This actual shape itself is one of your best sellers. (Reina) It is, absolutely. Yes, so anything I do with a koru, with any kind of ocean or forestry sort of feel to it, is very popular for me. (Graeme) And expat Kiwi’s in Australia. (Reina) Expat Kiwi’s in Australia. Yes, it’s huge. (Graeme) And this is sort of where the – cause we’re moving onto the whale at some stage, (Reina) Yes. (Graeme) but this is, that’s the same process that you used to put that together. There’s a piece that you did called Family Tamariki. (Reina) The Tamariki, yeah that was a commission for a beautiful family. Yes. (Graeme) Fantastic piece, and that’s the Tamariki means child in Maori? (Reina) Yeah, children in Maori, yeah. Yeah, that was a really, (Graeme) That was a commissioned piece. (Reina) that was a very special piece; I really enjoyed that. (Graeme) Well we’ve gone as far as the outline of this one’s concerned. (Reina) Yeah, I think that’s enough for now, yeah. (Graeme) It sort of gives people bit of an idea of (Reina) Yeah. (Graeme) what Reina does, but well lets move on to the whale and then we’ll spend the rest of the day working on the whale, because it’s a really cool piece and it’s gonna be a lot of fun, so lets go and have a look at that. (Reina) Okay, so now I’m going to put some inks and acrylics into my palette. So I’m going to be using the Daler Rowney white ink to do a lot of my outlining. And sometimes I water this right down so I’ll just put a concentrated amount in there first, and then I might add water to that afterwards. I’m also using the Marine Blue Daler Rowney ink. I find with these inks you need to shake them pretty well to get the pigment though them. This is the Prussian Blue, its quite a purply blue and it’s really beautiful for creating depth. Okay, I also use white acrylic Atelier, and that’s just if I need something with a little more solidity to it. I make my own Paynes Grey, so I just dip into that as I need it, but I am just gonna put a little bit there. So just getting a little bit of the Turquoise ink, and I just want to wet my brush and I always have a rag handy. And then I use these awesome rags from my amazing husband, who’s actually a house painter and uses these at work. And they are fantastic for avoiding the good old finger marks. (Graeme) Yeah, Jerry’s been really supportive of you over the years hasn’t he? (Reina) He is amazing. (Graeme) And so wasn’t it Jerry that suggested that you get those bogelinuo brushes from China? (Reina) Ah yes, these. (Graeme) Yeah. (Reina) Amazing. So on a bit of a whim I got these online and thought I’d just try them. And they come in lots of different sizes, I got a whole set. (Graeme) Yeah. (Reina) So they go from that big one, there’s about six of them right down to that, and thought yeah, I’m gonna give it a go. And I got them and I started using them and I thought they’re amazing. (Graeme) Fantastic. (Reina) And I’ve been using them for months now, they’re as good as the day I brought them, and not one bristle has come out. They wash out beautifully, (Graeme) Yeah.(Reina) and they they give a beautiful smooth, when I’m painting and I want a really smooth, consistent look that’s what I find with them; they’re fantastic. (Graeme) That’s amazing. Bogelinuo, I’ve actually never heard of them before. (Reina) No, neither have I, in fact I thought what on earth is that name, but (Graeme) Yeah, it sounds Italian but (Reina) there you go, yes. (Graeme) it’s not. (Reina) So I’m just using my rag to pull the ink around (Graeme) Aha. and again, just going with it. I actually like that its dried a little bit. When it’s too wet, I can’t manipulate it and do what I with it. (Graeme) What is that rag again? (Reina) It’s like a muslin and it’s stretchy. (Graeme) Yeah. And it’s just for painting? (Reina) Yes. He’s a house painter so he uses it for wiping areas and that. And one day said to me, would you like to try some of this? I said yeah, bring it on. (Graeme) Muslin rag. (Reina) And I found it the best rags I’ve ever used. So when I’m using the rag I’m going with the design. (Graeme) Yep. You’ve also been asked by Staedtler, in conjunction with New Zealand Artists to design a picture as well, using their products. Tell me a bit more about that? (Reina) I was approached by Staedtler and New Zealand Artist Magazine, to do a demonstration, a coloring demo which was really, really cool and it was something completely new for me. And it was published in the magazine along with a coloring competition for Staedtler, and I used the Staedtler products and they were absolutely beautiful. And I so enjoyed the process that I actually started coloring in from that point; I’d never done it before and found it really amazing, so that was really, really enjoyable. (Graeme) And it’s amazing but you’ve actually made the font cover of New Zealand Artist Magazine as well, which is pretty cool. (Reina) Yeah, that was – thank you, yes, that was a wonderful surprise and it was just a real honour. Really, really thrilled and honoured to be featured and a big four page spread inside too, which was awesome. (Graeme) Yeah, Megan and the girls are great. We’ve been working with them now for a while and they really are cool people. (Reina) They are, they’re awesome. (Graeme) And one of the things that makes you stand out Reina, is your social media and marketing. You’ve done a really good job with that. (Reina) Thank you. (Graeme) A lot of Artists struggle with that, but I think that’s part and parcel of your success as well. You’ve got some pretty impressive numbers as well. (Reina) Thank you. Yeah, I think I’ve got about, I don’t know, eleven thousand on Facebook, and maybe thirty thousand on Twitter, so really well supported by amazing people that I connect with every day. And I truly love because I’m a people person first and foremost and that’s what I enjoy. (Graeme) I think Artists are very unaware that it’s becoming a huge part of our industry. (Reina) Social media, without it I would not be where I am today. I, because I was a mum of two really little girls, I decided I wasn’t going to do galleries and I wasn’t going to to do exhibitions. I decided to just use social media and I went really hard with it. I built up all my sites. I worked nights doing it, it wasn’t like I had time; I didn’t have time. I had to do it when the kids where in bed. And it was amazing the reaction I got and I just kept plugging away at it. Making sure that when people talk to me I responded, making sure that everybody got the attention they required. Again, building those relationships, the connections – so important and people deserve that. One thing that will often do with these dolphins, whales, tuis and birds, is I put the eye in very early cause I find that gives it a personality, and it brings a certain energy into the painting. So the eye kind of brings that personality into it. (Graeme) Yes, the eye talks to you doesn’t it? (Reina) It does, yeah. (Reina) Okay, so now I’m gonna use some acrylic markers which are one of my favourite things to use at the moment. Acrylic Star, Acrylic Painters – they’re awesome. And I often use them for my fine detailing, as long as I don’t want that dine detailing to be extra, extra fine, because these markers have a little bit of width on them but it’s not too fat. So I’ve got a light blue and a mid blue here, and I’m just going to come through this middle panel and I’m going to, where I’ve already done some detailing, I’m just gonna highlight some pieces and define some others. So I’m just gonna come down and highlight the tip of these and I’m gonna use my finger to go like that, and to just blend it in. I’m just also gonna grab a cotton bud, and that just stops that really hard line from forming where you’ve put the highlight. (Graeme) You’ve actually done some really great pieces as far as the citations are concerned. (Reina) Thank you, Graeme. (Graeme) Yeah, they’re quiet beautiful. (Reina) My dolphin and my whale have been two of my most popular prints, merchandising wise actually. I think a lot of people relate to them on quiet a deep level. (Graeme) Well in a number of your paintings, I think probably the best known flax plant in New Zealand, that the Maori’s used a great deal was the Harakeke and you’ve got a picture called the Tribal Moon. So there’s a representation of what the Harakeke (Reina) Yes. (Graeme) means to these people? (Reina) Yeah. Yeah, I just, often when you’re outdoors in New Zealand, you are near bush, or you’re at the beach or, and the flax plays a massive part – it’s everywhere. And I’ve, whenever I’ve looked at the full moon, I’ve always noticed that there’s giant flax around and I find it really beautiful. I love the way folds, and moves, and twists and I find it quite inspiring to paint. (Graeme) That’s fantastic. And another thing, that I think that most people wouldn’t know across the world is that you’ve had two animals that were introduced here many years ago. One was the Australian possum, (Reina) Yes, thank you very much. (Graeme) which is in plague proportions; it’s like the cane toad in Australia. (Reina) Yeah. (Graeme) And the other one is the peacock, (Reina) Yes. (Graeme) and you’ve got a picture called Carnival – (Reina) Yeah. (Graeme) which is exactly what it is. (Reina) Yeah. (Graeme) But it’s probably the most colorfull peacock painting I’ve ever seen in my life. (Reina) That interestingly enough, was commissioned by a really lovely friend of mine and she asked for those colors. I think they’re a stunning combination of colors. I love it. (Graeme) Yeah, it’s amazing. (Reina) I’ve never painted anything with quite that vibrancy before. (Graeme) But you’ve done another painting as well which is similar. It’s got a lot of the symbolism on the back. It’s just called Whale, but it’s a whale’s tail (Reina) Oh, yes. (Graeme) going down in the water. Its pretty cool. (Reina) I’ve done a whole series of whale tails, and I just really enjoy them. They’re actually quiet, I love the simplicity of it. It’s just a beautiful shape and it’s not the whole creature. And it’s very conducive to all my spirals, and korus, swirls, and twirls and everything that I love to do with my design work. Okay, so my tail’s looking really good but I now need some depth in here, so I’m going to go down a notch. I’m not gonna use Paynes Grey now, I’m gonna go to Prussian Blue, and I’m just going to go come in here and define this out a little bit more. Seems fiddly, but when you get on a role and normally I have music blasting which I love. It’s like a meditation. You just get on a role of doing these lines and the shapes, it’s something extremely meditational about it. (Graeme) Very true, it’s very true. That’s one thing I’ve heard a great deal from people that come in to see Colour In Your Life, that they’ve started to paint and it’s really changed you know, if they’ve got stress or some hardships in their life. (Reina) It’s changed that for them. (Graeme) Yeah, it really helps them out a great deal. (Reina) That’s fantastic. (Graeme) I mean that’s why I’d like the show to do across the world. (Reina) Yes. (Graeme) You know everybody can sit down, you don’t have to be selling your work, but if you just sit down and doddle and get things out of your head. (Reina) Oh, totally. Even colouring, the latest you know, well it’s not the latest craze now, it’s been going for well over a year. But coloring is such a, so therapeutic. Take you out of your right brain and just get you into that no man’s land – so good for you. (Graeme) There’s another piece that you’ve done I think it’s a little more abstract in comparison to some of the pieces that we’ve seen today, but there’s one called Inner Goddess. (Reina) So I did a whole series of mixed media pieces, and the Inner Goddess was one of the first mixed media pieces I did. And I so enjoyed it – got it. Because there’s so much concentration and discipline required with this fine detailing and just being really close, that when I do the mixed media, I literally just completely let go and it’s really freeing. (Graeme) And it looks like you may have used templets? (Reina) I have, (Graeme) Yeah. (Reina) yep. And I use enamel spray paints, I use inks, acrylics, powders – I just use anything I want really; I’m not really interested in rules. You can’t use this and you can’t use that. Okay, I’m just gonna give it a go. (Graeme) And one of your probably your best selling or one of them, is the picture of the tui. (Reina) Yes, that tui is very, very popular on where the site here called Trade Me, which is equivalent to eBay, and I sell heaps of those. (Graeme) So if anybody wants to get in touch with you (Reina) Yes. (Graeme) personally, (Reina) Yes. what’s your website address? (Reina) Reina cottier dot com. So, r e i n a c o t t i e r dot com. (Graeme) You also design your art work onto surfboards, wood products, furniture, you’ve even put it onto plastic mannequins and glass. It’s sort of like you’re insatiable aren’t you? (Reina) I brought twenty plastic mannequins at an auction and I grab them every now and then, and I just so enjoy (Graeme) Yeah. (Reina) painting on them. But difficult on curves, but challenging and interesting. (Graeme) And your mum was a great influence with you as you went along as well. (Reina) My mother was a huge influence. She was what I call uba creative. She was into porcelain dolls, miniatures. She was wardrobe mistress for a theatre, and our house was just constantly filled with her craft. And I mean filled – it was like an obstacle course from the front door to the back door. But that’s just how life was for us. It was fun. (Graeme) Yeah, you’ve obviously been involved in the creative side of life since you were a little girl. (Reina) Yes. (Graeme) And you’ve also got a childhood friend called Dhyana Muir, and you (Reina) That’s right. (Graeme) young girls made a pack with each other when you were young to actually write a book. (Reina) To write a book. (Graeme) You were actually able to put that book together with her last year called The Dreamcatcher. (Reina) That’s right, we did. It was a collaboration; the concept was a collaboration and she wrote it and provided the photography, and I provided the illustration, the paintings. (Graeme) That’s fantastic. And you’ve actually got a lot of your own Art books out as well. You’ve got coloring in books for (Reina) Oh, coloring books, yes. that’s for adults and for kids also. (Reina) That’s right. (Graeme) They’re really popular aren’t they? (Reina) They are really popular. I did book one and book two and then I combined them, and that became book three. So book one and book two are now obsolete. (Graeme) Okay Reina, you’ve done an absolutely magnificent job today. And because of the beauty of the incredible skills of Sophia Stacey, you can see the finished piece which looks quite amazing. But I just wanted to thank you for letting myself and all of the other Colour In Your Life fans come into your studio to see what you do. (Reina) Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. Thanks Soph. (Graeme) Okay, another great day in the beautiful area of Tairua. (Reina) Well done. (Graeme) Did I get that right? (Reina) Well done. (Graeme) Thanks for having us Reina, it’s been a fantastic day. Before we go, also, we wanted to talk about the fact you have an unbelievably successful social networking system as well. And you’re also doing – which I think is amazing, it’s really the trend these days, doing workshops online, on YouTube and using your other social network platforms to do that. So that’s a pretty amazing thing these days, is that instead of maybe three or four people coming along to do a workshop, you can literally do workshops with people all over the world. So Reina is actually doing that in her YouTube site also. And if you want your Facebook details are? (Reina) Facebook search is Reina Cottier Art, www dot f a c e b o o k dot com forward slash Reina Cottier Art. (Graeme) She knows that one, absolutely. And apart from that you also has a great website where people can come and see you. And your website address is? (Reina) Www dot reina cottier dot com. (Graeme) And also, I wanted to thank New Zealand Artist Magazine. And funnily enough, there happens to be a young lady actually on the front of the New Zealand Artist Magazine while we’re here, which is very, very, very cool. I just wanted to thank those guys they do a fantastic job, and obviously working with really talented people like Reina. I think that’s quite amazing. We’re going to head off, we’re heading south. Beautiful country – people are amazing over here. We have such a fun time when we’re here. Come and see us at colour in your life dot com dot au. We also have a little bit to do with social networking as you know, so come and see us at YouTube and also, on Facebook. But until we meet you guys again – remember – as we always say: make sure put some Colour In Your Life, and we’ll see again guys. Bye now. (Reina) Bye. (Graeme) Bye.

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