Tag: Painting

The Quiet River

This is a week for meeting up with old friends! After working in acrylic for several weeks, having eye surgery, and not doing much artwork of any kind, it felt great to do gouache yesterday, and this morning, watercolor.

It is interesting how some days just push me to the limit in frustration and dissatisfaction with what I do, and other days just move along in a calm and serene way. Why is this? My mood was patient and willing to wait today, whereas on other days, freneticism is the dominant emotion. I think watercolor especially requires a serene approach, more meditative than other media, simply because once the mark is made, it is there. With gouache and acrylic you can hide your messes a bit more easily!

Too Much Lavender Land

Well . . . I haven’t painted in gouache for months, much less painted in weeks, all because I had my first cataract surgery several weeks ago, and my last two days ago. I think my scanner is way off as far as colors go as well as my monitors. This scanned image is not the picture I painted.

I pulled out a camera to take an image, but cannot find my card reader to fetch it. My whole computer needed to be reinstalled because of some bad software.

I suppose the good thing is to get some painting done, but it really feels dreary to look at this abomination. I shall be Scarlett O’Hara now and say, “After all, tomorrow is another day!”

Terrasse de Meudon – Gouache Study After Paul Signac

I must say, Signac does make a lot of cheery, colorful paintings! Not only are his colors great, but his compositions are often so interesting. Here, another study, mine perhaps more colorful than the original.  It is always hard to tell when you look at something on a monitor.  Even my scans are often off, needing some color adjustments before a final jpg is created.  Age can often cause colors to deteriorate in oils, too, as the varnish yellows and dims the original.

What really attracted me in Signac’s work below were the lavenders, greens, and blues.  So many shades!  Additionally, I really tried to look into how he juxtaposed colors, such as the oranges mixed in the blues and lavenders of the paved surfaces of the foreground.  The warmth of the scene in the middle ground plays a pleasant contrast to the cool, shady canopy of the trees at the top of the painting.

I am learning a bit each time I copy a painting in the Pointillistic school.  Colors are distinct from one another.  Even when a work is not a “dot” painting, I am beginning to get a better sense of color and shapes, contrast, and so on.  Much of this is just sitting around in my subconcious, and sometimes, with an original painting, it manages to escape.

24 Minute Painting

Following along with a pastels instructor, the by-word of the month is “fast and furious”. Well, for me, this means in less than 30 minutes. The instructor suggests 15 minutes. I decided to give myself “under 30” for a “fast and furious.” Here is the result.

The point of the fast-and-furious approach is to keep the artist from over thinking and overworking a painting. This exercise is invaluable as decisions have to made quickly and decisively. Pondering doesn’t happen! Instead it is like, hmm, let’s see; I think this could work. Grab, paint, run on to the next section. Top to bottom with swaths of color here and there to carry out a sense of continuity.

It worked out.

I won’t show you the first attempt.

Jachelt

This is one of the most stunning images I have seen on Pixabay, which has a lot of wonderful royalty-free photos; here is the direct link to it:  https://pixabay.com/photos/fog-moor-moorland-birch-tree-mood-1717410/ 

This photo is moody and mysterious, and you can certainly imagine how spooky it could be to come upon suddenly, lost in a whirl of fog on a lonely moorland. I tried to capture it in my own watercolor.

This painting is significantly different than some of my other paintings.  I used the wet-in-wet technique throughout the painting, creating several layers of glazes before adding the details of grasses.  These I did using negative painting over the washes.  Then, more solid brushwork for the tree, branches, and scrub in the lower corners.

16 x 20 Arches 140# cold press paper.

 

Icky and Not Too Icky

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.

Curbside Daisies

I haven’t picked up a brush in weeks.  I did an ink and watercolor sketch a few days ago, but no painting of any sort.  Life got in the way, as well as other interests needing a lot of time – photography in this case.  Now I hope to get back to daily painting because I miss it!

The other day, I was out and about.  Looking down, I saw some bright pink daisies in the sun, falling over the cobbled pavement of the street.  Hmmm, let’s paint ’em!

And so I did.

Chrysanthemums

Years ago I did Japanese ink painting, along with Chinese painting.  Chrysanthemums are a traditional study.  Here, I tried to work with the gouache in the same fashion – following the same formula – as in Oriental painting.  Because the paper and pigment are different, it doesn’t work out the same, although the brushwork is applied similarly.

Using what I learned from the first painting, while I held to the constructs I had learned in Asian painting, I applied the principles of gouache here.  I built on layers and worked over areas I wasn’t too thrilled with.

Being familiar with how different painting techniques are applied is very handy.  This knowledge can be applied to another area (here, painting) and modified to fit the needs of the medium.  Painting is like opening up a brand new world!  It is quite an adventure.

First Attempts with Gouache

Goo – osh!  Isn’t that a great word?

Anyway, when we were in San Diego awhile back, we found a genuine art store in the neighborhood.  Of course, I had to wander in there, and I finally was able to find water-based gouache paints.  All the ones I ever seem to find are acrylic, which is not what I want.  Today I got them out for the first time and put them onto a palette, leaving space for other colors, which I am sure I will want to add.

I think I need to add a red along the lines of alizarin and a couple of greens, such as Hookers and sap.  I use them a lot in watercolors.

My first picture was quite tentative, but eventually I got a bit more brave.  Sadly, the scanner did not differentiate very well between the yellows in the flowers.  Rather than just one color, I used both to suggest petals.  The greens are straight out of the tube as well as mixed with blue and black.

This next painting is what made me realize I needed an alizarin or something close to it.  The actual flowers are more pink; cad red does not turn pink with the addition of white, nor is very pretty with purple mixed in.  So, I settled on the violet with the addition of white.  The leaves were painted light to dark, and I tried to let the paint dry thoroughly so I could paint around things, such as the flowers, or on top of other colors.  This is how watercolor is done – light to dark.  The pot was done while the paint was still wet and I mixed other colors in as I went along.  That was really a lot of fun just to see the result.  Finally, the shadow was painting on fairly transparently and loosely, only to be covered with more opaque paint.  I rather like the result.

Finally, I remembered that gouache suggests painting dark to light.  Here I placed a black/blue mixture and let it dry.  From there, I applied moss green, but I should have mixed it and the yellows and reds with white so they would dry brighter.  Still, that is a good lesson for the future:.  Darks in gouache dry lighter, and lights dry darker.  Here I applied paint directly and let it dry, as well as mixing it on the paper.

Because paper is so important in painting, I used some 6×8″ 100% cotton paper.  I’m glad I did as there were times when the paper was wet, as when laying down the black background on the painting above.  I really love the fact that I can put lighter colors on dark.  As a kid in elementary school, poster paints were some of my favorite ones for this same reason.

Old dog, new tricks!  Hooked on gouache, indeed!

On the Forest Floor

Yesterday’s painting is now revisited, this time without lines, as well as with a few stages of the painting shown before the final rendition.

Working with white space is my biggest challenge, so I decided to lay in colors as a first step, as you can see above.  The idea here was to work around the white flowers and do what I could to keep them white.

At this point, colors and values are generally in place, but the white flowers have yet to be touched.  This is where the painting caused some questions.  Should this be more “painterly” – that is, splashy colors – or should it become more “formal” – meaning a more graphic rendition.  Because I am more inclined toward the “painterly” I went ahead and worked wet in wet, and in my mind’s eye, more messily.  Splash!  Splash!

Here is the final version.  I used pale colors to give the white flowers some dimension, but am not sure how successful they are.  I have a few ideas of maybe a third rendition, but that is for tomorrow if I do it.  At this point, I tried to introduce better contrast and detail in various areas, as well as working in some oranges, reds, yellows, and light greens throughout the painting to unite parts of it throughout.

In general, I am fairly pleased with this painting.  As with (I swear) every watercolor, it has its own ideas, so of course what I wanted to produce and what I did produce are rather different!  I didn’t create mud, and though I wanted to reach for the pen to make outlines and sharpen areas, I didn’t.  I did consider watercolor pencil, but in the end decided to leave it as it was.

The biggest problem is that the white flowers themselves need more contrast, but today, I am not too sure how to get them to look more 3-dimensional.

Below, you can view a slide show of yesterday’s ink and watercolor version, as well as the evolution of today’s exercise.