156. Poinsettia

Another morning with sewing ahead of me – but not too much!  Just a touch here and then, thread trimming, ironing, and finally wrapping.

To start my day – after coffee, breakfast, a review, and the news – I decided to use my watercolor pencils, InkTense blocks, and Neocolor II by Caran d’Arche to draw the classical Christmas / holiday poinsettia, and some permanent black ink.

Did you know the red is really the leaf and the little yellow dots in the center are the flowers?  Poinsettias are not only crimson, but come in pale pinks and whites.  And, they are easy to grow – just take a cutting, let it dry out until hollow, and stick in some dirt, and you may be ready for next year!  I think they may also be poisonous . . .

Happy Holidays, everyone!

97. Tulips

Having photography as a hobby sometimes yields pictures that can be used to create more pictures.  I decided to give up the no-lines approach for now (though it is a great exercise to learn how to make shapes – I was just really frustrated by what I was doing), do some pencil roughing, and then work one color area at a time.  First the tulips in shades of red, orange, and yellow, mixing some oranges as I went.  Next, the greens of leaves and stems, consciously determining the areas to negative paint later on, as for the flower petals.  Finally, the bowl.  Before the whole was done, I went back to each area and tried to create a sense of depth by deepening other areas and being careful not to touch the areas I had left deliberately white.

28. Neighborhood Tree

By nature, I am quite impatient.  Maybe just not patient enough?  What I mean is that sometimes I work too fast, rather than thinking ahead.  In watercolor, timing is important, as is speed, but with patience thrown in.  If I look at what I am doing, some are tight-ass line drawings, and others are just messy and rather free form, without lines.  Here, I used a basic tree shape with cutouts to remind me where to not have leaves, so as to have room for sky and branches.  I also worked for shadows.

Altogether, I worked too fast.  I wanted to make some nice washes of the leaves, to show the color shifts from green to the glows of autumn.  I also need to test out colors on a piece of paper.  This is painted in a notebook, so the back of the previous page is a good place to do this (I keep trying to remind myself).   Accomplishment, though, is no mud.

Colors were fun to use, too.  I mixed together an especially interesting mix of Payne’s Grey, Carbazole Violet, and Burnt Sienna.  That is part of the pleasure of a sketch book – playtime and exploring.

I will be doing a lot of trees as I move along, but will need to do some stilllifes as well.

27. Christmas Berries

This morning I wanted to work on the tree ferns, but for now, the jury is out on what to do.  I ordered some watercolor marker / brushes from Amazon, as I don’t have any and the design element seems to warrant more control than a brush.  So, I decided to use this photo I took over the weekend of a Toyon – also called Christmas Berry as it shows up  Decemberish – for a quick morning paint.  Below are the results using my palette with 5 greens (yay!  green!) and a 1/2 inch flat brush.  I painted directly, no lines.