Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Simple Coastal Painting

Okay, I might need help.  Daniel Smith ran a sale on some of its really cool triads and I just had to try them. This simple painting was done with the "Low Tide" triad" (hematite genuine, natural sleeping beauty turquoise and yellow iron oxide). It is based on the sample picture that comes with the set, but I simplified it quite a bit.  

It is amazing the degree of colors and shades that can be made from only three colors.

                                          Watercolor on 140lbs paper

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The First Day of Spring Deserves Flowers

I have been marveling at other artists' still life paintings of late and realized that I have not done one myself in probably 20 years.  And with today being the first day of Spring (although you would never know it from the weather), I figured that meant flowers.

Not that I did them justice, but they are colorful and pretty.  Happy first day of Spring!!

                                 Watercolor on 140lbs paper 9x12

The 9x12 paper is just a bit too big for my scanner and that causes some shadowing on the paper.  I might have to re-scan this or take a photo of it instead.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bunny in the Side Yard

When I went to run some errands this afternoon, there was a wee bunny just chillin' in my side yard.  Imagine my surprise when he was still there when I returned, undeterred by my car pulling into the driveway in front of him.  I decided to snap a few photos with my phone and paint the brave little guy's portrait.

                                   Watercolor on 140 lbs paper 10x7

I am pleased with how the bunny turned out and the amount of detail I achieved.  But I am even more pleased that I was able to layer a light wash of burnt umber and pthalo over the top of the bamboo on the side.  Normally, I would not want to ruin the under drawing and left it as is.  The drawing would have been all mid-tones and very boring as a result. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Almost Spring

This winter has been tough, even for those of us who enjoy the cold. I figured since Mother Nature was teasing us with an almost Spring day (it hit over 60 degrees here) before sending us more cold, I would paint something colorful. . .and warm.

                          Watercolor on 140lbs watercolor block 9x12

I used M Graham watercolors for this (I bought his Shades of Summer limited edition at a year end close out sale; highland green, bismuth yellow, cobalt teal, permanent green pale and scarlet pyrrol) instead of my normal Daniel Smith.  I did supplement with DS verditer blue to create a purple for the sky (I thought I would get a purple from the orange-red scarlet pyrrol and cobalt teal, but that made a nice brown I used on the beach).  Funny thing is, apparently MG and DS watercolors do not mix so well.  You can see the granulation in the clouds (this also happened on my palette as the mix dried).  That is too bad as I like these colors, perhaps I will make a MG only travel palette.

I like the layering of colors in the beach and the dunes, probably because I allowed the paints to fully dry before laying on additional paint. . .Ah patience, it is a virue.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

2 Rhinos - ink

Okay, this one is pretty cool. I have always loved the ye olde style medical illustrations on tanned parchment paper.  But it is hard to find toned paper that can handle watercolor.

So for this drawing, I made my own toned paper.  First I taped a border with masking tape.  Next, I toned the paper using a light wash of raw sienna and quin orange (I cannot tell the difference).  I did not distribute the wash evenly, giving the paper an older, weathered look. The drawing is in free hand (using a photo reference) directly in ink (winsor & newton nut brown) using a kuretake comic book nib in a tachikawa nib holder.  I love the different line weights that this nib can create.

I love the white border that is created by removing the tape, it frames the drawing nicely.

                          Nut brown ink on toned 140 lbs watercolor paper 10x7

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Color Study - Tree

Ultimately, the goal is turn the reference photo this was based on into a pastel painting.  However, I needed something to paint and decided to try a color study.  The orange leaves of the tree are a mix of alizarin crimson and quin gold (which I am finding is a versatile color). I muddy up the tree a bit, I am too impatient and need to let the color dry and use a wet-on-dry technique.  

                                           Watercolor on paper 10x7