More work with water and light. Here I thought about some of the exercises I have followed from Rick Surowicz’s YouTube channel – lines, curves, and dots to capture branches, light, and leaves. I think this painting worked out quite nicely.
Besides considering what I wanted in advance (a way of thinking that has taken a very long time to get to) by applying frisket, I also was determined to paint from light to dark and use glazing and blending. Areas of color were also considered, and rather than trying to paint each leaf, I painted blobs of color to represent the foliage. As a result, I built up layers of color throughout the painting as I moved along, and can say this is possibly the first painting in which I have done this.
I also had to be very patient! Frisket is not happy when you blow dry it – it gets all sticky and you have let it set up again. As a result, this 6×9 painting probably took a couple of hours to do. However, the results, for me, were definitely worth the time it took. Perhaps my impatience is lessening . . .
I really liked the reference photo I had for this painting. It was hard to really see at first – kind of busy with vertical and horizontal / diagonal lines. And then it came into focus. In retrospect, I think using frisket for the plants would have made them stand out a bit more, but in the photo they were a very pale wheat color without a lot of contrast. I made them more contrasty and added darker browns and some greens for a better (I think) effect.
Water is a tricky subject – until you look at it a bit. Flowing water is a series of colored shapes. Reflections have some rules, but I have to re-read about those. I am not too sure how I would express ocean waves crashing on the shore at this point, but flat water with a few ripples seems easier each time I attempt it.
Carlsbad is a lovely beach town in Southern California. The beach is wide and flat; at low tide it stretches forever. Water is all you see to your left, to your right, and westward . . . The flat blue sky often blends into the ocean, making where one ends merge with where one begins.
Yesterday was another run-around-and-get-things-done day. Whew! Taxes, appointments, scheduling, ya-da-ya-da. It’s boring stuff, believe me.
Anyway, today was drawing day. Eating lunch between all the craziness, I clicked on Alphonso Dunn (my hero!) on YouTube, and his tutorial of a rose popped up. Very simple way to look at a rather complicated subject. Essentially, a rose is a cylinder with layers peeling back. Voila, there it is.
I did use a pencil to create the shape, and erased it multiple times. If you enlarge the picture, you will see the paper is pretty dirty after 3 and 4 erasures. However, the paper held up (Bee), the ink went down (Micron 0.3), and so did the paint. I’ve never really done a rose well before, so Dunn’s tutorial has, yet again, explained things I never thought about. Go watch him!
Yesterday was one of those days filled with things to do, with more things to do added last minute. Toward the end of the day, I really was not in the mood to do much more than veg out, be a blob, and sink into a stupor. Nonetheless, I girded up my proverbial loins, and sat down with an imaginary bouquet in my head and a reference picture for light and shadow to use with the imaginary bouquet.
I didn’t set out to do too much – but in the end, it worked out pretty good. I kept in mind light to dark. I also kept in mind working over the whole painting, shifting back and forth from one area to another, and applying a hairdryer when things needed to dry out a bit more than my patience was willing to wait for. All of a sudden, I swear, my mind said, “Hey, let’s paint around these flowers!” There were not any flowers in that area, but I did negative painting without too much thought. Wow! That was a big shift for me – I’m still quite the newby in this area.
So, here we are. Colors include sap and Hooker’s greens; Payne’s grey; ultramarine and cobalt blues; hansa yellow; quinacridone rose. There may be a few others. I used one brush, too. The paper is Fabriano’s 100% cotton Artistico, and that alone helped a great deal – evident as the other side of the paper was already used for a wash-heavy exercise!
Pen, ink, watercolor. I used Bee 8×10 cotton watercolor paper. It’s not expensive, but price does not always indicate “good” or “bad” paper. It is a nice paper to work on whether wet, damp, or dry. Because it is small, color is easier to control than on a large sheet. I like it a lot.
I haven’t had time to do any artwork for the past four or five days, and I can feel it. Colors, ink, brushes all feel like aliens. To counter this, I watched a Peter Sheeler video – his pen work is phenomenal – delicate, spare, assured. The same may be said with his usage of color. With this in mind, I went ahead and did this. The inking is okay; I didn’t do any drawing in pencil, but went straight ahead with a Micron pen. From there, I applied color and tried to keep it simple, but my usual messy style took over.
After a lot of watercoloring, picking up a pen and using ink to draw feels really relaxing. Adding watercolor to a pen drawing doesn’t need a lot of color, but it does require a bit of thought about light and shadow.
I thought about a daisy study of Peter Sheeler’s on YouTube – I remembered how very little color he added to his ink drawing of the daisy. With this in mind, I put in some greys and grey-blues. I tried to apply the same concept to the blue flowers (which I want to call cornflowers, but don’t think they are), and to the grasses and leaves. Below is my ink drawing, done freehand without a pencil sketch beforehand. I am rather pleased with both – my inking skills are improving, as, perhaps, are my watercoloring skills. Less is more has become more of motto than before!
Up front, I use Pixabay frequently for their fine, royalty-free photos, whether as inspiration, or as an image to be painted. Here, I used an image of a loch (found under the search term “loch” – how clever!). I loved the vantage point and tried to catch it.
Here, the sense of being up above the rest of the world, in a field of flowers, on a beautiful day, is so well done in this photo, I just had to be there myself. Scotland is one of those countries that is mystical and magical, and views like this only touch the tip of its beauty.
The daisies were especially challenging – so bright and white! Negative painting and thin washes hopefully express them fairly well. The DOF was another challenge, and it is a natural tendency to not leave well enough alone . . .
Today I am entertaining myself by watching watercolor videos on YouTube, along with ones on ink drawing, sewing, and whatever. As I watch – looking up here and there from my practice – I decided after a couple of pages it was time to draw. Why not an artist’s palette with watercolors waiting to be used?