Yosemite: Reflections at Mirror Lake

This is a view of Mirror Lake in Yosemite National Park and some artistic license with color thrown in.  Here, I used a sumi-e brush and watercolors.  Yes, lines.  No mud.  This is the first picture, other than my pencil cup, that I really like since I started this project.

I began with a photo, then drew in some lines, used the ink brush to create the bones.  Then it sat overnight and in my sleep I imagined how I would paint it.  Parts worked out, parts didn’t.  After the colors were applied, I went back with my sumi-e brush and redid some original strokes and then added others to create contrast and so on.  Colors include phthalo blue, indanthrene blue, organic vermillion, hansa yellow, quinacridone gold, Hooker’s green, carbazole violet, cerulean blue, and ultramarine blue.

Logitech Mouse in Red

This is perhaps one of the first paintings – sketches? – that I have done since re-visiting watercolors a few weeks ago that does not depend on ink lines to make sense of what it is.  It’s still floating in space, as the shadows are not especially strong.  There are a few things I like here.  One is how there is a highlight in the read of the mouse.  Another is the central brownish panel on the side of the mouse, which is a mixture of carbazole violet and Naples yellow.  The black outline of the mouse is in Daniel Smith’s Genuine Sodalite, which I picked up some time ago.  It’s a rather nice blackish color.  The blues in the background / foreground are from Daniel Smith’s Lapis Lazuli Genuine, which, like the sodalite, I picked up on a whim.  It will be interesting to see how these two paints work.

I also set up my studio palette the other day, choosing a variety of colors to fill my Quiller palette.  I did a color study and labeled all my colors, except one, which I think might be yellow ochre – or not!

Apple Apocalypse

Up front, not too thrilled with these apples.  I was working on trying to get an apple to look like an apple in a painterly manner, hoping against feeble hope that I could make them look like apples without the lines.  Didn’t work.  On the other hand, mud is not present, and there are some nice bleeds of color.  I worked too wet, which is also why a lot of the problems exist.  I wonder what apples will look like in a year . . .

Frozen Creek, Dawn

This is an interpretive / impressionist sketch.  I may have adjusted the colors a bit much in Lightroom.  I did this at 6:30 a.m., barely awake, and without any light except what broke through yonder window.  Same with the scan.  I’ll check it out later today, when I am at work or something.  Interesting to see the white spots in the scan I cannot see in my gloomy room . . . .

Nikon V3 at Midnight

Last night I was getting ready for bed and decided to just do a quick drawing of something – anything! – before hitting the hay.  My camera caught my eye.  Instead of being blue, it is really black, and the strap is black, and it was on a copy of something in black and white.  Strong shadows, too, from a lamp on the desk.  What the hell . . . just do it and then paint it.  As I like the effects of lines – Sailor’s Carbon Ink in a fountain pen – I decided to just use primaries, and blue was the choice for the strap, red and blue (i.e. violet) for the strap, a green for the rest of it.  I wanted to catch the shadows – the light and the dark – more than anything.  And here we are, half asleep while doing it.

Coffee Cup and Iron Gall Ink

I have been playing with iron gall ink, in this case McCaffery’s.  Iron gall ink is easy to make and is the traditional ink over the centuries.  It is waterproof, but with age turns the sepia so often affiliated with old manuscripts and drawings.  I was playing with my goose quill pen, and a steel nib pen as well, working on calligraphy, when I decided to try it in a sketchbook.  Given how busy I was this weekend, this is all I could accomplish, but I will say that the ink held up beautifully as the watercolors were added after the drawing.

California Oak Trees

Today, my little Meetup group went to a local place, the trail by the Chumash Museum nearby my house.  (The Chumash are a California tribe.)  We were there for about an hour.  I began with a pencil sketch, and then, color.  We were settled in a small oak grove, with dark and light contrast about as contrasty as you can get.  At the end of the hour, this is what I had painted, knowing full well I would look at it and work it a bit once home.

Once home, I looked at the painting.  Still a need for contrast, and a bit more detail.  More pen, more ink brush, more colors, and some warmth.

Overall, the one above came out okay, but if you look on the mid-right, to the left of the furthest trunk, there is a bit of an odd space, so I went in and worked it a bit with ink to try to mitigate it.  I found it very distracting.  Here is the final image below.

The area has a few more lines in it, a bit busier, but somehow more in keeping with similar areas of the painting.

I used Koi watercolor brushes and the following paints:  Quinacridone Gold, Naples Yellow, Hansa Yellow Medium, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Teal, Ultramarine Blue, Indanthrene Blue, Phthalo Green, and Burnt Sienna.  I used a Stillman & Birn Beta Series 8×10 inch softcover notebook, and scanned the images using my trusty, not rusty, Epson V600.  Ink is Carbon Ink, and an ink brush.