Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lone Tree in the Valley -- Natirar County Park

I do not normally use the back of paper (I am just weird that way) but I have seen so many sketch crawlers do these amazing double page spreads. It has been something I have been considering for awhile.  Plus, what drew me to the tree was the fact that it was the only tree in the well manicured valley in the park.  As I started to draw it on the single page, it just looked too crowded on the page (defeating the purpose for painting it in the first place), so I kept drawing on the other page.  I am quite pleased with the final result.

                                       watercolor on paper 5.5 x 16.50

The Daniel Smith paints continue to be enjoyable.  The colors seem brighter than the cotman and the washes are easier to manage.

                    My kit: Pocket Pallette, niji water brush, 1/2 inch brush, spray bottle

The entrance to the walking path at Natirar County Park, you can see the tree I painted off to the right.  It was just a perfect day for sitting outside and painting.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Sun Also Sets

The end of an era. . .the times they are a changin'. . .and sun also sets. . .

                                        Watercolor on 140lbs paper 10x7

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Purple Mountain Majesty

Holy Shnikes!! I finally broke down and bought "artist grade" watercolor paints. . .and what a difference they make.  I had been unable to create the type of washes I have seen in other paintings since my cotman paints always seemed to dry up too fast (they are not pure pigment and have too many binders).  These new paints were amazing.

Sunday I went outside and did a quick painting based on a photo references and I was really impressed with the results.  Sorry cotman, I think you have just been retired.

                                           Watercolor on 140lbs paper 9x12

After much research (hey, it is what I do), I decided to buy Daniel Smith paints (M Graham was my second choice).  I also bought another travel kit for the new paints.  It is called the Pocket Palette and it is about the same size as a business card holder. 

Here are the colors once they dried in the pans (pretty cool looking).  The Pocket Palette holds 14 colors but I bought 15 (8 came in a set).  It is a good set of warms and cools, plus a few mixes like sap green and moonglow because. . .well. . .because I like them.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Shade in the Valley

I probably should have used a bigger brush.  However, I wanted to be outside painting rather than in my studio, so I had my cotman travel set and the niji waterbrushes, not the larger flat brushes.  The cool shadows below the tree did not turn out the way I intended, but I think the final effect was quite pleasing.

                                      Watercolor on 120lbs paper 9x12

This is the first painting with my modified cotman set.  I finally, after much internal debating, swapped out some of the pan colors that came with set (that I do not use) for other student grade paints.  I say student grade because I have made the leap (finally) to more expensive artist grade watercolor paints.  They should arrive in a week.  I will use them both in the studio and as my new, customizable travel Pocket Palette.  I can hardly wait.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Sleepy Farm in the Waning Days of Summer

There is a special kind of light in the waning days of the summer that tantalizes us with whispers of longer days now past.  It can make us pause as the light captures our attention and freezes a sleepy image in our mind.  And there is something about farms and rolling hills that I associate with this summer light.  

                                          Watercolor on 140lbs paper 9x12 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Amsterdam -- Sitting on Eerste Constantijn Huygensstraat

The trip was busy, as work trips often are, so I was only able to get one sketch done during my trip to Amsterdam.  Sitting just out front the little boutique-y hotel on Eerste Constantijn Hugyensstraat (say that five times fast to your favorite Dutch cab driver and just wait for the blank look. . .then show him the address on your phone), I was able to capture the shops across the street.  My intent was to also draw the little park just to the left of these buildings.  Alas, there was not time.

Architectural drawings are not my strong suit and I did some touch ups later that night after dinner to provide more contrast.  Not bad over all, and it was just fun to sit and draw in the same city as Van Gogh.

                                        Watercolor and ink on paper 5.5x8.25