Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sailing off Sun Set Key

This piece kinda got away from me.  While in the keys, I took several photos of beautiful sunsets, some with deep oranges and yellow, some with soft pinks and reds, all with the intent of using them as the basis for studio pieces.  This is the first such painting.  

I wanted to add a bit more color to the water and may have overdone it a bit.  Not sure, I go back and forth as to whether I like this or not. You all can decide. I am pleased, however, with how the sail boat turned out. 

This is one of my larger watercolors at 12x16 as I am feeling more confident working bigger. 

                    Watercolor on 140lbs watercolor block 12x16 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Simple Sketch -- Backyard Tree

For the first time in a long, long time, yesterday morning I did a simple sketch upon waking.  It is part of plan to get back to basics and remember the simple, yet critically important things.  Things that are easy to forget.  Things that are easy to overlook in the blind rush of the everyday. Things that I have forgotten, but now, am trying to remember.

We had the experience but missed the meaning,
And approach to the meaning restores the experience
TS Eliot
The Dry Salvages

Although it might be hard to discern, I used sepia ink, not black for the sketch.  I covered the sketch in layered washes of quinacridone gold (transparent yellowish-brown) and quinacridone burnt orange (semitransparent red-brown).  I have always enjoyed this somewhat classic style.

                                     Watercolor on 140lbs paper 10x7

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Flora and Fauna of Key West -- Part III

The third and final sketch in this Key West series is of a quiet little alcove on the premises, with big cushioned chairs that sucked you in, tugging on your will to stay awake and pulled you softly, slowly into Morpheus' quiet realm.  After a nice nap under a shady umbrella I decided to do sketch of the view and its pretty red flowers. 

I supplemented the colors of my Daniel Smith paints with my trusty ol' cotman student color set.  I think the riot of pure viridian green in the lower left corner adds an interesting visual element to the sketch that draws the eye through the piece.

                                                  Quiet Alcove                             
                                  Watercolor and ink on paper 5.5x8.25

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Flora and Fauna of Key West -- Part II

Friday I posted the fauna and today is the flora (really they are just landscapes).

Like last year, the first night in the Keys I did a painting from the lanai.  This is the view looking south, where as last year it was looking north.  There were some really cool  and unusual, almost vertical clouds, that hovered in front of the sun.  

I was using a wet-in-wet technique (and I still have some trouble controlling my water). I used a little too much water on the right panel and the you can see how the color granulates (formation of pigment granules; see below).  However,  I liked how the colors ultimately flowed into each other and feel I captured the essence of that moment at sunset.

                                       The First Sunset
                               watercolor on paper 5.5 x 16.50

And here is a more detailed look at each panel:

     (Notice the how the orange and red in the sky begins to granulate as the color bleeds into the water)

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Flora and Fauna of Key West -- Part I

I took the opportunity to paint just about everyday while I was in Key West.  And this time, I did not just do landscapes, but decided to capture some of the available wildlife.

There were several iguana where we were stay and this guy was by far the biggest.  Most iguana avoid tourist, but not him.  I guess he felt he* felt he was the baddest iguana of them all, which was cool with me since it meant he did not mind posing.  I really enjoyed drawing him.

                                             Iguana, chilling
                                   Watercolor on paper 5.5x8.25

Ibis are ubiquitous in Key West, especially anywhere someone is eating a sandwich (say an watercolor enthusiast).  I have often thought about sketching them, but they usually move around too much.  This year, I decided to see if I could capture the Ibis. These three Ibis (is it pronounced "eye-by"?) were dawdling about, making them good candidates for sketching.  At one point they came to investigate but were either unimpressed or realized I had no food, so they moved on. 

                                         3 Ibis
                                   Watercolor on paper 5.5x8.25

*I assumed it was a male.  I did not ask and he did not tell.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Idling Away in a Sail Boat

My first post in 2014 is actually a painting from New Year's Day, sitting on a swing looking out to the Atlantic Ocean.  Amidst the jet skiers and cruise ships plying their way around Key West, there were several sail boats, just idling their way in the winter sun.  This one in particular caught my interest as it seemed to merely be content to just be idling away the day on the water.  I thought this was a nice sentiment on the first day of the year.

Using a "wet on wet" outside on a windy day is a bit tricky as the paper; the water wants to evaporate and dry so it is very easy to over saturate the paper to compensate (I did that in another painting I will post this weekend).  That said, I am happy with the sky and I especially like the layers of color in the water.

                                       Watercolor on paper 9x7