The Last Day of Winter

Or, maybe, The First Day of Spring?

I have been breaking out of my safety zone and moving on to using more expensive paper and larger sized sheets for painting.  Also, another is to use a somewhat limited palette, working to create colors by mixing in different strengths and blends.  Ultramarine and cobalt blues, burnt sienna and burnt umber, a dash of sap green.  Other colors include a mix of cadmium yellow and red, and some of Daniel Smith’s Primatek Sodalite (a black) for the road.

As always, there seems to be a lack of depth in my painting, despite my efforts . . . or maybe the road is not properly proportioned for its curve?

There is nothing like knowing Spring is nearly here, and see hints of emerging from the snow.

Coastal Grassland

Another landscape, another limited palette.  For this painting I used ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, burnt umber, sap and cobalt greens, a splash of raw sienna.  9×12 Fabirano Artistico.

I wanted to see if I could convey a good sense of depth, moving from the foreground with warmer colors to the distance with more neutral and greyish colors.  Contrast, too, was considered for eye appeal, leading lines, depth.

If you look at the grasses in the foreground, you can see grass blades.  I used a very dry flat brush to accomplish this, sometimes using a lighter green and brushing upward, or darker green to brush into the lighter green.  Negative painting!

A Dutch Landscape – After Edo Hannema

Today was a day of “firsts.”  I decided to paint a big painting for me – 16×20 inches.  I also chose to use a more professional paper than I have been; here, 140# cold press Arches.

I wanted to test out how Arches handles water – lots of water.  Hannema is the master of the wash and wet paper approach.  His current paper is Saunders Waterford, which is different, of course, from Arches.  I think the Arches handled the water really well.  I, on the other hand, still need to master my washes.  Blooms are visible here and there, and I need to learn how to control those or eliminate them if I find them later on.

The palette of colors I used was initially what Hannema used:  ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, and raw sienna.  Because I did not like greens I was getting, I threw in some sap green.  If I had used yellow ochre, perhaps my greens would have been more satisfactory – something to make a mental note of to try next time around.

I always learn from a video.  As I have mentioned, water is one thing I am working on, along with buildings.  Today, I wanted to just work with a new paper and a lot of water.  The study was successful altogether methinks.

Below is Edo Hannema’s painting tutorial:

Spring Comes to the High Plains

I have to admit, I am on a winter kick.  Cold, chill.  And loneliness.  I don’t tend to paint or photograph people or civilization, but as far as painting goes, I need to get into painting them.  I’m doing okay with moving inland water.  But buildings, people, and oceans leave me baffled for now.

So, the open spaces of the flatlands between mountain ranges.  Harsh weather, blasted heaths, winter and wild weather. The hint of spring.

Mellow Yellows

Today I did what I had hoped to do yesterday, but I painted a temple instead.  So, this afternoon, I sat down with my studio palette and decided to take a good look at the yellows I have, use them individually, as well as mix them.  The colors include aureolin, new gamboge, raw sienna, cadmium yellow, hansa yellow, quinacridone gold, raw sienna, and “mystery yellow,” named thus because I didn’t label it!

Above are my first paintings, mixing colors and not happy with the results.  So, I did pure color studies of the lemons to see what I could get.

Above, pure colors in varying densities to see what they could do.  It was quite interesting!

In the studies using only one yellow, I varied the density of the paint from very watery to rather heavy.  I did the same in the above picture with sap green.

In this one, I used pure hansa yellow, sap green blended into the yellow, and cobalt blue for the shadows, with some bleed from the lemon.  The stem was pure sap green.

Heirloom tomatoes are always interesting – they are rather like aliens in the produce department!  Again, limited palette with varying uses of the colors individually and mixed.

Another alien, but this time I created a swatch of the colors as I did the painting.

If you want to scroll through the paintings, click on an image above.  I like doing that because I see things in a sequence.

Anyway, I really got a better sense of the yellows and how I might use them.  Cadmium yellow, hansa yellow, raw umber and raw sienna are my most-used yellows, but can see where others may be valuable, such as in shadows and so on.  Hansa yellow is a cold yellow, in my opinion, and the warmth of the cadmium yellow cannot be beat.  For rotten bananas, raw sienna isn’t too bad!

 

Misty River

More wet-in-wet work.  This time, I paid a bit more attention to the details along with the wet paper and paint.  I laid down washes, waited for them to dry, and then laid down wash upon wash.  At times I lifted color out while still wet, too.  It’s hard to describe what I did, but overall I was more deliberate in my approach to this painting, taking time rather than letting my impatient personality dominate.  The result is a more successful painting.

Colors include burnt sienna, Hooker’s green, ultramarine blue, quinacridone gold, and perhaps a touch of sap green and cobalt blue.  Limited palettes really help pull a painting together, as well as help you learn what colors, when mixed, produce what new color.

Brushes included a huge round for the main washes, and then a medium / small round, and a rigger brush for the grasses.  I got the rigger as a Christmas present, and this is the first time I used it.  I practiced on scrap paper, and can see why a lot of people like them!  This one is a bit stiff and has a lot of snap to it.