Tuesday’s colored pencil class was especially fun! The title says it all. One of my favorite exercises to date.
This painting was done on a larger sheet of paper than my earlier ones as my sketch book was filled and finished with the painting of the other day. I began with a thin wash of gouache, putting in the basic colors of the sky, fields, house and trees. From there, I began the dots. And more dots. And even more dots. Paint went from thin to thick, and thin again. Dots were bigger and smaller. The closer I came to the completion of the painting, the more I began to use the paint to shape the different areas of the subject. I tried to use some complementary colors in shadows, such as red in the shadows of the trees, and bright yellow to enliven the lavender. Altogether, this painting took about 3-4 hours to complete (I lost track of time), but in the end, the dots were worth the effort.
I think I could live here.
Let’s start with the flowers I did that I like. Spontaneous background, flat brush, working on edge of brush for dots and lines of stems and flowers. No pencil drawing. I liked painting this one a lot. Not so icky.
This one absolutely sucks. Pencil drawing. Overworked. I was ready to snap the brushes and burn down the house. I really hated doing this painting as it so uptight. Icky. Icky. Icky.
Pastels are getting to be addictive. Unfortunately, this scan for some reason came out a bit too yellow-green, but I wasn’t interesting in putzing with it!
I tried a few different things here – in particular how I made marks. Vertical and horizontal to contrast. Obviously the lavender is vertical and tilty, but in between, horizontal helps create some interest. The trees I used a torchon to scumble and blend the colors, as well as push shapes into the sky.
I know I am getting addicted to this – I just ordered a roll of Uart 600 grit sanded paper – 56 x 10 yards. That should last awhile! This was done on a 9 x 12 inch bit of Canson Mi Teintes, which is a very nice paper, but unsanded. I like them both.
I decided to attempt a more high key painting today – one with a lot of white! I always look for contrast, but here I tried to lessen the usual contrast. Maybe it’s because I rather like contrasty photos as opposed to subtle one with a long scale of color or black and white. Even here, I kept adding contrast! It’s a fixation . . . but contrast is how we differentiate shapes and depth, so it’s necessary, but I am trying to minimalize it. Not sure if it worked or not!
We headed out to San Diego for the last several days, to see the zoo, to walk around, to explore a bit of the city, and to just get out of town. It was really nice, but no painting or drawing got done! Lots of photography and fine dining and hiking all over. It was a very welcome break from the daily routines.
Now, back in town, everything is caught up and time to play! I moved out to the side patio where we have peppers, flowers, herbs, and sundry plants for our pleasure. We have a few resident lizards, too; they dart around and sometimes we find them in the house. When we do, they are gently moved outside. They are a lot of fun to watch as they do push-ups in the sun. And that is what we begin with below – a 5 minute ink and watercolor sketch of milkweed and a lizard that flitted in and out of the picture. Rather a stiff picture – amazing what you lose when you don’t paint or draw every day.
From here, I looked toward the fence facing the front of the house. Here we have a jasmine, bulbs, and mint. Behind them are the blue tomato cages, sometimes used to support tomatoes, and sometimes peppers or vines. Another ink and watercolor sketch; this time, 10 minutes allotted.
Finally, just watercolor. Lavender is a lovely plant, and this one is making me so happy. I believe it is English lavender, as opposed to French, as it is shorter and more compact. I could be wrong. I could look it up on the internet. But I don’t feel like it! Okay, I did. I have no idea what kind of lavender it is! There are so many kinds . . .
As an aside, I bought some Holbein water-based gouache when we were in San Diego. There was a Real Art Store a few blocks from the B&B we stayed at. And a bookstore. And a lot of good restaurants. So, expect some adventures into gouache in the future. Meanwhile, it felt good to pick up a pen and colors to just diddle around on a sunny afternoon, enjoying retirement.
I guess I’m a hippie – you know, “flower power” and all that stuff.
The fact is, I love flowers and want to have a flower garden again. And a vegetable garden. As retirement approaches, it look more of a reality than before. And as our backyard gets cleared out, too, that will help.
So, today’s sketch is really last night’s sketch. I went out with my tablet of tan paper and took a look. Almost all green except for the lavender plant. I used ink for the initial drawing and then Derwent’s InkTense colors. Then, for the ones on the left, I just painted to see which looked better – pen and color, or just plain color.