It is really important that if you study art that you make studies! I’ve been following along in my haphazard manner a number of teachers I like, online, and am trying to implement what I am learning. Or what is being taught – and then working conscientiously to absorb some of it. Being a magpie doesn’t help as I am so easily distracted by this and that. Focusing on one thing really helps bring mastery, but I get bored with doing only one thing. I know a lot of single-minded people, and I rather envy them. However, we all have to follow our own drummer.
The focus here is to lead the eye to the orangish, autumny trees in the distance. The water does it primarily, but I hope the curves of the field do, too, as well as the lines along the horizon. I am not too thrilled with the trees on the right, but c’est la vie.
So many artists say a value sketch is important. I like to think I can create the values in my head as I become more sophisticated in my abilities. I have decided to create some kind of preliminary sketch before painting as a habit and that is not an easy task for me – even if it only takes a few minutes. Well, the one below is not really a value study, but it did help me work on some compositional elements. Hmmm.
More of the splish-splash effect this morning, and I will say it is fun. This time around I added some zinc and titanium white gouache to some of the colors – something I have never done with watercolors at all. It feels rather sacrireligious.
Fraggy, this painting title is dedicated to you! I loved your comment yesterday, and it really says it all about some days in autumn. 😉
Well . . . I got tired of pen, ink, watercolor. Watercolor just wasn’t in my head, so I dug out my gouache paints. They were rather fuzzy from mold – typical of gouache if you don’t use them often enough – so, I rinsed them off, and went to work. I really like the photo I took of these trees but did not like my earlier efforts.
I started out so klutzy – like, how do I use my colors? order or painting? All the usual stuff that goes with not doing something for awhile. The result is far better than I thought it would be!
We are pushing 100F today, with east winds adding to the heat and potential fires. Thus, an autumnal desert scene seemed appropriate for today’s painting. As I haven’t worked in gouache for quite some time, I thought it time to dig them out. Variety is the spice of life, for sure.
Before painting, I did a value study before I even sat down to paint.
I used pencil, as you can see below. I like pencil a bit more as I have a good range of pencils of varying hardness and softness, and that helped out in the light and dark department.
I won’t say that the value study did not help. It really did. What it aided in was setting up light and dark areas, of course, but also helped me see shapes, such as the trees against the dark mountain, as well as shapes in the creek in the mid to foreground areas.
I left the sandy bank of the creek and the reflections deliberately vague – hard for me when I want to put in a lot of detail! The focus of the painting is the cottonwoods, so too much detail in the foreground would compete with the more detailed painting of the trees.
Altogether, this was a pleasant diversion, and the value study was worthwhile (not that they take a lot of time – I am just lazy). The creaminess of gouache is fun and a completely different experience than watercolor or pastels. I used Holbein gouache for the most part, CP 140# paper. The painting is about 6×8 inches – the nature of gouache often means smaller paintings than watercolor or pastels.
A fen is not a bog, and a bog is not a fen! Fens are marshlands with free-flowing water, such as a creek, which creates the marshland in shallow areas. A bog is created by still standing water, left behind after the rain. Bogs can dry out more readily than a fen, I guess.
autumn is here. This week we will enjoy 90+F – oh, aren’t we lucky?!
I have ongoing frustrations with depth of field . . . a camera makes it for you when you choose the aperture, but you have to make it yourself when you paint.
I wanted to give this a romantic name, like Last Light Before the Storm, but the fact is, this is just a disaster! The only thing I like are the bright trees and the sky’s gloom, but altogether, it is overworked and definitely not very good.
More work with wet-in-wet, this time accompanied by using frisket to keep the areas of the birch trees white, and to keep a few other bits white, too. First step was to paint the sky across the trees, then the orange bracken and other foliage. From there – just a few details, some negative painting, and so on. I think there could be more contrast on the birch trees, but stopped to keep myself from overworking it.
I haven’t really done much painting over the last several weeks, and it shows. There really is a disconnect when you don’t paint and practice. This is just a messy sketch (mess-a-sketch?) to warm up. Frustrating to do, but it feels good, too.