Tag: prairie

Along Mystic Creek

I cannot believe it has been over 3 weeks since I last posted here! Suffice it to say I have been busy with learning how to handle oil paints and some drawing, and really not in the mood to look at the computer much.

That said, today a trip down to Pasadena’s Blick store was a fun morning’s journey and got my mojo going again. I didn’t spend too much, but did pick up some colors in oil and watercolor from brands not available locally (and that is not to say we don’t have a fantastic store nearby), and just had fun wandering around a well-stocked art store. The esposo did the driving as I am not a big fan of driving in L.A., even on a Sunday morning.

Anyhoo! I am trying a more subtle approach to my watercolors – perhaps less bright, more delicate? As well, trying to convey depth better along with leading the eye of the viewer where I want to go. Not too sure if it is working, but the process is fun.

9×12, Fabriano 140# CP.

Out in the Midwest

Module 2 – Study 2 – Andy Evansen’s “Watercolor for All Seasons” Class

This is my second foray into the series of photos Andy Evansen has posted for studies in the second module of his watercolor class. Here the focus is on value studies.

One of the things I am attempting to do, from both my classes with Evansen and with Ian Roberts, is to work on value. Evansen is a watercolorist and Roberts is an oil painter. Evansen demonstrates the use of a value study on his YouTube channel by creating the middle value(s) as large shapes. Roberts emphasizes shapes rather than things as well. Unlike Roberts, though, Evansen begins his value study with simply the middle value, leaving lights as white. After he has painted the middle values in his painting, he returns to the value study to put in darks and perhaps details.

I managed to do the middle value study, and then painted in what I considered to be the middle values, working left to right as I am right handed. But, before that, I laid in the sky with paper turned upside down as I wanted to have a darker value at the horizon.

I am not sure if the paper is improperly sized, but the paint and paper did not interact well. This is a 300# CP Kilimanjaro paper, natural white, and the first time I have used it. I also wet both sides of the paper, which is a habit I have for watercoloring with 140# paper. I need to see what happens in the future with other paintings.

I don’t really think this painting has a focal point, but that is not the purpose of this study. This module is to paint left to right, working in midvalues and sky first and leaving areas of white or light colors intact. From there, darks.

Evansen has provided a number of photos as references for the basis of a painting, and for values, I think I will work on that and try to apply what I am learning from Roberts and Evansen to create some things worth the time I spend. The reference photos range from landscaapes to cityscapes – animals and people. I will begin with the landscapes and then try the harder subjects for me. Here, there are cow shapes – blobby things. I have also done geese – more blobby things. All thesse blobs have characteristic shapes for the critters.

So! I am dipping my toe into new territories . . . let’s see where it takes me!

Studies: Roadside

Last summer we drove through a lot of the wild west.  The loneliness of Wyoming always gets me – vistas of open space, few cars, fewer people.  Taking a picture during the summer is much different than what you see in winter, so I looked at some of the photos I took out of the window as we drove from Laramie to the Tetons.  I tried to imagine how barren and cold it could be.  Always the sky, always the distance, always the barbed wire fences.  Again, in Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna.

Besides trying to imagine a scene, I also tried out a new brush.  It is a Cosmotop flat, by DaVinci brushes of Germany; it’s about 3/4″ wide.  I wanted to see how it would do on the Canson XL paper I use for practice, in particular to see if I could get a “sparkly” effect with a dry brush.  The paper is too smooth for that to work successfully, which is why there are fine lines in the foreground.  (Sigh.)  It did a pretty good job for wet-in-wet sky, and along the horizon line.