Holiday Cards: Winter Stream

I used six of Peter Sheeler’s videos to create cards for my sister-in-law’s Christmas present, along with using them for practice.  Doing all of these has proven to be more thought-provoking than I realized.  Copying by watching a video is really informative.

In many ways, this was perhaps the most deceptively simple in appearance, but in reality the most complex.  The reason for this is the stream.  Water is never easy to express (at least for me).  There are ripples, reflections, shifting colors to reflect the sky and scenery above.  Besides all this, there is the snow.  It also reflects along the banks of the stream, which you can see in Peter’s video, but which never made it into mine – this is on the center left of the stream.

Mine below has some good areas – certainly there is white! – but bits of it are a tad overworked.  The scan is not as subtle as the painting, either, but I am not really sure how to deal with that.  I decrease some areas of saturation in the image using Lightroom . . . and I am not sure if I am going to include this card in the set because of the smudges and such.

 

Holiday Cards: Fence & Flowers

One thing I have always loved is the countryside.  Open spaces.  Wild flowers.  Weeds.  Where I live, you can find them, but they are the dry places of the West.  I have a longing for the plains and grasses, green trees and rain.  Peter Sheeler’s video catches a glimpse of this.

Here is my version below.  Part of me wants to paint the flowers, but thought it best to stop here.  I like the feeling that you have just climbed a hill, and there this scene is at the top, and you look way beyond . . .

 

 

Holiday Cards: Laundry

Another practice study from Peter Sheeler.  Here he uses masking tape – painters tape – to create a frisket.  He tore pieces of tape and pressed them into the paper, as a resist to the dry brush technique he used to create the sense of a very windy laundry day.  As a kid, I remember those days, pegging the clothes and sheets.  It was a lot of fun, a lot of work, but always worth the smell of fresh air on your sheets when you went to bed.

First, here is the picture with the “laundry” masked with randomly torn bits of painter’s tape.

And here is the final picture.  To frame the picture, I used more tape around the edges of the picture.  If you watch the video, you’ll see why!

Holiday Cards: Fallen Leaf

Once again, a demonstration from Peter Sheeler which I used for a card for my sister-in-law.

Peter’s is far more masterful than mine!  Who’d have thought a simple leaf could be so difficult?  I went in afterwards and inked in some extra lines and put a frame around the picture – the leaf looks like it is floating in space.

 

Holiday Cards: Daisies

The second card in a series for my sister-in-law’s Christmas present.  I used Peter Sheeler’s demonstration (below).  I love his lines and color!  Copying his style is teaching me a lot about simple color use, powerful lines, and particularly compositional elements I haven’t considered at all.

What I learned in this video was how to portray dappled lighting.  This gives character and depth to white petals.  What do you think?

 

Holiday Cards: Birch Trees & Snow

As a present, my sister-in-law asked for some hand-painted cards.  Given I have enjoyed Peter Sheeler’s videos, I thought I would use his exercises as a way to practice painting, and fulfill a family member’s request for a Christmas present!  Here is Mr. Sheeler’s video:

Birch trees are some of the easiest and most lovely trees to draw or paint.  The white trunks and white snow made for a good chance to work at keeping white space.  The other thing is that the palette was limited, which I am beginning to find refreshing – a lot of colors can be made from two or three.

Trees, Shadow, Snow

This morning, in a room only lit by the light of my monitors, and a half-drunk cup of coffee at hand, I decided to go ahead and watch Peter Sheeler’s video above, and try to do a painting.  I dragged out a bowl for water, a few brushes, and my travel palette.  I sort of know where my colors are, so what the heck – paint and draw away.

I pretty much followed what Peter did, but obviously his work is better than mine.  Despite that, I did learn a few more things.  One thing I have always liked – and will continue to like – is ink with color.  Using a limited palette is also fun as it really helps you keep yourself under control.  I think – remember, it was dark, and I was only half of cup of coffee into my morning! – I used yellow ochre, quin gold, a bit of viridian, a bit of alizarin, indathrene and ultramarine blues, and burnt sienna.  Some of these were just little dabs because I couldn’t see very well, but the main colors were the sienna and blues.

That said, below is a scan of my painting before putting in the final lines.

Objectively, it’s okay.  There are some nice areas, and there certainly is some white space (yay!  white space!), which is why I am focusing on snow painting practices.  Some good light – dark areas.  A nice bleed or two.  Other areas are dreadful, such as that greenish area on the mid-right side.

Below, the inked in version.

Frankly, I like the final one better as there is more definition.  Now – finish that coffee and jet off to work.

Have a fun day!