Thursday, October 30, 2014

Washington Valley Reservoir

One more from Washington Valley Park, but this time from the western half of the park (the park is split by a very busy county road).  This is the Washington Valley Reservoir.  We hiked the western half a few weeks ago and had lunch on the banks of the reservoir. 

                                Watercolor on 180 lbs paper 9x12

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Backyard Tree -- Drawing with a Watercolor Pencil

Several urban sketchers that I like have been using watercolor pencils to do their under drawings and I wanted to try it.  And because I could not think about what to paint, I went back to an old favorite, my neighbor's backyard tree.  I used a sepia colored pencil (of course).  I like the results and may try it again.  The orange leaves were done with a sponge (which is becoming one of my favorite tools).

                                              Watercolor on paper

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Return to Washington Valley Park

The leaves are just beginning to turn color in Washington Valley Park and I decided to return to a spot I have painted before last April.  The colors were not as spectacular as  I hoped, but it was a nice hike and I am happy with the results. 

                                   Watercolor on 140 lbs block 9x12

Below is the view from the spot I painted, along with my portable easel set up.  This beautiful view shows the East Branch Reservoir and the Middle Brook.  It is a simple hike to reach.  Directly behind me is the Buttermilk Falls.

I used this short hike as an opportunity to try out my new updated travel palette with some of the new colors I have been accumulating.  Below is the mix of Daniel Smith and M Graham colors in my new Schmincke watercolor box.  It holds both whole and half pans, so I can have lots of the colors I use most and try out other colors.  I have extra empty pans and will be rotating other colors in and out of this box.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Trees Around the Neighborhood

I did not get to do a sketch crawl like I initially planned but I did take time on Sunday to do some sketches around my neighborhood.  There are several little parks where the Bound Brook meanders and I have been wanting to paint them before the color changes.  This is the first sketch where I used both M Graham and Daniel Smith watercolors.  No reason why I have not done this sooner other than I keep them in two separate kits.

                             Watercolor on paper 11.0x5.5

This started as me testing hematite genuine in the upper left hand corner of the paper and finished as a loose, warm up sketch.  I have been wanting a darker brown and was not sure how much I would like its granulating properties.  Turns out, it is quite wonderful.  This is also the first watercolor I have done without any kind of under drawing of any kind.
                              Watercolor on 140 lbs paper 9x12

This is the second time I have painted this tree and enjoyed working on this abstract, loose rendition of it. The tree is the favorite haunt of some beautiful Red-bellied Woodpeckers who have thus far eluded my attempts to photograph them.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Abstracting in Hacklebarney

I am not flexible; it is known.  So trying to sit and balance on river rocks in order to paint the Black River in Hacklebarney State Park and not fall in was quite the challenge (my foot did fall asleep though).  This picture is a bit more abstract than my last few pieces (no pen and ink).  Sometimes being more loose and trying to capture the energy of the moment is fun in and of itself.  

                                    Watercolor on paper 5.5x8.25