53. Watercolor Pencil Studies

Even though I am trying to be a good patient and wear my splints all the time, it just isn’t possible.  I am still limping around, too, so I am not doing much hiking as my knee still hurts from the fall.  Rather, I am on the patio in the warm afternoon sun, away from those dangerous dogs!  I had a few pictures, a bit of imagination, and some watercolor pencils.  I decided to try them out in some rather different ways to learn how to better use them.

Above is a Black Phoebe.  They live in the trees around here.  Their feathers are darker om the head, and their faces are not quite so fat.  I tried to get in line detail and then used a fine  brush.  Darkest blacks were from an ink brush.

Next, just a simple Japanese maple leaf, no lines, only pencil and water.  I laid it on pretty thick, but it is still paler than what I would like to see.

Finally, Queen Anne’s Lace.  Here I wanted to draw into negative space, so what better subject than white flowers?  I used ink, and for the paler flowers in the background, I dipped my brush in water and took color off the pencil tips before painting onto the paper.

33.1 Bee & Borage – First Colors

I did this first layer of colors in the gloom of the evening, after work.  I was tired but had played out some of the painting earlier in the day in between whatever I was doing.  I used a small brush and deliberately tried – and will continue to try – a delicate approach.  Both the bee and the borage have a lot of fine hairs which I want to express and preserve.  Looking at the scan shows a need for contrast in the center of the flower, along with on the bee’s back, behind the eyes.  In these areas, I will be working on glazes to create better contrast, and I hope a better sense of depth.  As it stands now, the whole painting is rather flat and nondimensional to my eye.