124. Apple

Scanning a painting is a bit of trick – here, you can see that the scan had some dark shades in the corners, not reflective of the smooth, bright white of the paper.  Fixing that issue changes the actual colors, which in this scan are much closer to the actual painting.  So, here is the imperfect scan with perfecter colors.

This was probably the most challenging of the 3 botanical paintings I have done so far.  The highlight in the apple was a challenge, as were all the spots and stripes.  The colors I used were all labeled as transparent on various websites, and they included yellow ochre, lemon yellow, Payne’s grey, permanent alizarin crimson, quinacridone burnt orange, lemon yellow, and nickel azo yellow.  Manufacturers varied to include W&N, Daniel Smith, and M. Graham.

What I have found that seems to pull the final painting together is to place a large, light glaze over various areas of the painting.  For instance, on the left I used a pale yellow-orange glaze to pull the warm tones of the painting together; on the right, I used a combination of alizarin and orange and grey to create a cooler contrast.  In the high light, I used a very light yellowish-alizarin mix.

123. Inktober #3: Roasted

Well, there are political roasts, and roast chicken, and roasted peppers.  And coffee!  I do love my coffee – thus, my tribute to “roasted” for Inktober #3!

I must say, I have not expected to see where this Inktober challenge led me.  I thought something really simple, like some roasted bell peppers, but instead, I started thinking of integrating one sketch (coffee beans) with another (coffee plant) and then a coffee cup, and finally, a tribute to Columbian coffee, which is really misspelled and should be “Colombian.”  Oh, well.

This is done with pen-and-ink along with water-soluble graphite.

122. Inktober #2: Tranquil

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.

How often do we get to slow down?  To be tranquil is to relax, to be in the moment, to be calm, to be-here-now.

My contributions for the day!  First, a rock “duck” – that intriguingly simple pile of rocks, small or large, by the beach, a stream, or on a mountain top.  To me, the epitome of zen.

And then, the peace and comfort of a good friend or loved one.

I used a water brush and water-soluble graphite, specifically as illustrated below.

 

121. Inktober #1: The Beginning is POISONOUS!

Inktober is here!  Time to get out the ink and pen and brush and paper and work in black and white and shades of grey.  You can find more about it here!  And here is the official list to work from.

Now let’s think about this – it’s October, Halloween is creeping up on us, evil is in our thoughts (maybe).  So – poisonous and apples.  Here are first contributions – a day late – but we shall persevere!

120. Gourd

Keeping along the lines of the pear I painted the other day, using a workshop / sample class from Anna Mason, I decided to take a prime point from her lesson and apply it to a gourd.  For me, the most important takeaway point was to settle the lightest and then move to the darkest, filling in the midtones once these two painting extremes are settled.  And then settle these again as the painting progresses.

Traditional watercolor dictates paint from light to dark.  For me, this is elusive.  It may be difficult for me as I have no depth perception (yeah, really!  I still function!).  So, this one little step helps me here – will it help doing plein air or other subject matter?

Finally, I am slowing down.  The pear I did earlier this week, and today’s gourd above – and even the pumpkin from the other day – took a couple to several hours.  It meant looking carefully, seeing light and dark, texture, gradations, and so many other things.  It will be interesting to see how these lessons affect future painting endeavors.