Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Yet Another Autumn Tree -- In Pastel and Watercolor

It might not seem it from this blog recently, but pastels are my favorite medium.  Sometime ago they surpassed even simple pencil or pen and ink as the medium I love most.  The portability of watercolors have allowed me to paint where ever I go, and as such, I have become much more prolific this year.  That said, I am still stumbling my way thru the medium, with as many wrong turns as successes.  And as I stated in last weeks painting, I want to do more pastels and watercolors.  I just need to continue to be bold.

                              Watercolor and Pastels on 140lbs watercolor block 12x16

Here is the same painting with just the watercolor underpainting. As you can see, it is substantially different from the final painting.  It is not a bad effort, but I felt it was missing something. So I added a robust foliage in bright red and orange pastels. It is debatable whether I improved it, but I did enjoy the process.

                                 Watercolor on 140lbs watercolor block 12x16

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


One of my biggest goals regarding my art is to be able to incorporate both watercolor and pastels into a single unified look.  Previous attempts have been equivocal, mostly because I would not completely commit to the process or I would decide, "Hey, that watercolor is fine the way it is" and not add pastels.  But this time, I decided to be bold and, as the corporate jingle goes, just do it.   I like these results much better.

                            Watercolor and Pastels on 140lbs watercolor paper 9x12

Below is the watercolor without pastels laid over the top.  Like many of my watercolors, it lacked any compelling contrast; everything is a mid tone.  The addition of the pastels added more interest; darker clouds and bolder mountains. 

Friday, November 08, 2013

The Never Ending Flight Back from Berlin

Anyone who travels for business knows, if you travel often enough, you will eventually have that flight.  We have all experienced it, the one where everything goes wrong and there is this sort of harmonic divergence.  Well, yesterday, flying back from Berlin, it happened.  What should have been a direct flight of 6-7 hour flight took 14 hrs, with a layover in Gander, Newfoundland.

Fourteen hours is a lot of time to be sitting in one place and there are only so many movies that I can watch at a given time. And since my new travel pack is so compact, I decided to do a painting.  I have seen similar paintings on Urban Sketchers and have always wanted to do one.  This trip provided the perfect opportunity.

                                    watercolor on paper 5.5 x 16.50

And here are close ups of each page (click to embiggin'):


Monday, November 04, 2013

St Patrick's San Francisco

Work travel does not, as a rule, allow for much time for sketching.  So this time I had to improvise and make a quick sketch from my hotel room.  I had a nice view of St Patrick's on Mission St, which is currently undergoing renovations.

                                  Watercolor on paper 5.5x8.25 plus a bit more

Here is the actual view with the painting for comparison.