Sunday, July 27, 2014

Neighbor's Backyard Tree

I love this tree.

I see it everyday outside my window.  It is so stately.  And since it just about due north of me, I love how the sun and light and shade play across it during the day, especially its signature right angle branch that throws interesting shadows.  I had been wanting to paint it for a while.  I do not think this will be the only time I paint this cool tree.

                                               Watercolor on 120 lbs paper

Sunday, July 20, 2014

From the Gecko

Because we all knew that eventually. . .I had to. . .

"From the Gecko" is another colorful bastardization of the English language.  Roughly translated, it means "from the get go" or to do something at the start or beginning of a project.  Yet somehow, it never sounds that way.

                                           Watercolor, pen and ink

And here is the little doodle, starting out as a mess of squiggly lines to test a new pen out that eventually became a lil gecko.  You can see the squiggles at the top.  When I did an oval, it made me think of a gecko's head.  From there is became a more focused doodle.

                                         Watercolor, pen and ink

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Great Waterfalls -- Duke Farms

There are actually several waterfalls at Duke Farms that form an interconnected waterway system of lakes and waterfalls.  It all starts with the "Great Waterfall" which was constructed to carry water from the reservoir to Vista Lake.  Unfortunately, the Great Waterfall is not always "on" (I think it is on only for an hour a day now) and such was the case last weekend when I took the chance to sketch it.  You can see the irregular man-placed stones peaking out between the foliage.  It is supposed to be a spectacular view when the water cascades down.  I plan to trek out and paint this again when the water is flowing.

                            Watercolor and ink on paper 5.5x8.25

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Saber Toothed Tiger

I was reading a National Geographic article on reviving extint species (de-extinction).  The article dealt with the science and of course the morality of the decision (would these reintroduced species become invasive and kill off other extant species?).  The article described the work of a team of Spanish and French scientists who reversed time to rivive a wild goat known as a bucardo, or Phyrenean ibex.  Unfortately, the one hybrid clone out of 57 that was born alive died within minutes of birth.  The science of "how" is far from being completely elucidated.

One of the cooler parts of the article (as if de-extiction is not cool enough itself), was the various artist renditions and models of animals like the wooly mammoth, thylacine and of course, the saber-toothed tiger.  Of all the species described, this one fires my imagination the most.  And like the drawing of the rhinos, I again choose to make my own toned paper and drew with a dip nib and brown ink.  Parts of the drawing does look faded as I tried out an newer brown ink (which I did not like) before finishing with the nut brown ink.

                         Nut brown ink on toned 140 lbs watercolor paper 9x12

Friday, July 04, 2014

Little Bits of Practice

These are really small, 3.5x5.5 inches, even smaller than postcards (4x6) but make for good practice.  .  With these, I was trying a few things out.  I wanted to mix colors directly on the paper (wet on wet), glaze transparent washes over dried washes (wet on dry) and try out my new Lamy fountain pen.

This is my favorite one of the series below.  It is the only one using ink.  Unfortunately, the Lamy ink is not water proof, so the ink bled (which did create nice dark washes).  I mixed the sky and clouds directly on the paper and you can see more color transition and gradation than I am normally able to achieve.
                              Mosquito Creek, Olympic National Park, WA
                                 watercolor and ink on paper 3.5x5.5

I was a little impatient with this one and the color from the baby moose bled into the background, making it rather blurry.  I mixed the trees in the foreground on the paper and when I did let the water dry, did several glazes of greens and browns on top to try and create the illusion of more distance.  I think this one was semi-successful.
                             2 Moose, 1 Blurry, Isle Royale National Park, MI
                                 watercolor on paper 3.5x5.5 

The above two pictures used photo references while this one did not.  I was very heavy handed with the water and flooded the paper.  However, I really like the flows of color and the pigmentation that occurred organically as a result.  The sky, clouds and foreground colors were all mixed on the wet, wet paper.
                                     Golden Sunset (or Sunrise?)
                                 watercolor on paper 3.5x5.5