154. Dreaming of Tulips

It’s the dead of winter in sunny old California, but tulips are not to be found even here until the spring.  The beauty of tulips, especially the pale ones, is the vast and subtle array of colors found within a single blossom.  As a kid in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, I loved the arrival of the tulips through the snow.

 

153. More of the Same Tomatoes

The same tomatoes from yesterday.  This morning, I decided to go with the “direct watercolor” approach – paint directly and do not do any preliminary drawings or use lines.  I think these are more successful than yesterday’s tomatoes – a bit looser and more to my liking.  They do seem to float in space a bit, especially the small one on the right.

140. Between Seasons

As we move into winter, I think of the places I lived when I was a kid, where 6 feet of snow was a “mild” winter.  Today, the low was about 56 F, and the high about 78 F.  Very different – and as an adult, I admit to preferring a lack of snow to an abundance!  Nonetheless, the seasonal changes are apparent here, just more subtle – the shift in light, the change in the blue.  Even the air smells different.

Working with Inktober, I can feel a shift in how I am approaching drawing, and painting.  I am simplifying but being more specific about the brush or pen size I choose and how to deploy a line or a brush stroke.  While there is a lot to be desired here – such as a sense of architectural reality and non-topsy-turvey houses – I had a lot of fun looking at areas of color as a suggestion, not a reality, as a plane rather than the detail I normally hone in on.

Maybe there is some hope after all!

88. Roses in the Wind

I saw some climbing roses against a bright white wall, dancing with the wind.  The play of light and dark, flickering shadows, and the swaying of the roses in the wind – tried to catch it in this morning’s sketch.  No lines, direct watercolor.

82. Buildings from Somewhere

Another focus on direct watercolor – no lines, no pencil.  Here, my main focus was to draw straight lines with a brush, as well as consider how not to get everything bleeding into each section.  I tried to do one area at a time – say, one building part – and then move on to one adjacent to it, working carefully to make each area separate but connected.  Sounds like a lot of hooey when I read it, but that’s best description I can give right now!  I’m running late to work.

77. Cell Phone Reflections

Direct watercolor, paint what’s in front of me, no lines.  Those were my morning thoughts.  What is always in front of me in the morning is my messy desk, full of different debris, depending on the day and whether or not I’ve done any tidying.  As I pondered, oh so profoundly, I looked at the cell phone on my desk and really liked the reflections from my monitors . . . and here is today’s subject.

I worked to think more consciously and conscientiously about what I was doing.  First, the outline of the phone, on my rather ochre-colored desk, then the darks of the phone itself, followed by reflections and shadows.  I tried to be selective of where to touch different colors for bleeds.  Finally, I went back in and did some shadows and contrasts to make a bit stronger image.  In between, I worked carefully to avoid blooms and hard edges from backwash.

76. Coffee Cup

Instead of just sketching in the morning, like a flower or something, I thought about just painting things.  The most prominent and important thing on my desk at 6 a.m. is my coffee cup!  This is one of my favorites, too, even though it is quite chipped and so on.  I’ll keep it until it dies.  Now it is immortalized in a “direct watercolor” – no lines – and in a rather disproportionate manner, but here you go.