The Mountain

Yesterday was a watercolor day!  I warmed up with a copy of Wesson’s painting, and then moved on to more water.  I am not intimidated by water in the form of lakes or streams, but do need to learn how to do oceans and waves and white caps.  I am trying to get a grip on reflections and how water and reflections interact.  I think reflections appear longer when the sun is behind you rather than in front of you, like shadows.

Here, a mountain and a lake, with some very deep shadows.  The distant mountain is quite bland to my eyes and would like to liven it up with deeper greens and richer browns.  I didn’t.  I tried to keep it more simple than the actual photo.  I did to a point.

I think most painters will always find faults as they know, as they paint, what challenged them while they painted and what their vision was, versus what they put down.  My life.

Reflections on a Still Day

Today is a calm, slightly muggy day.  Where I live, no open water running through a flat land, few clouds.  Instead, there are mountains and the little bit of green we get with spring rains is giving way to brown.  Much as I love where I live, and find its austerity beautiful, I also crave wet, hot days.  This will have to do.

 

WWM #28: Metallic

A bit out of proportion – obviously put together by a madman or seriously abused in its lifetime – this green, enamel-over-metal teapot was my first flirtation with “metallic” for #WorldWatercolorMonth2019.  I think it is okay, but really more of a warm up study.  The ones that follow are a bit better.  As I was doing them, I became more confident in the brushwork.

This is rather obviously a teaspoon – but the handle is really too short!  Thus, it is now a sugar bowl spoon.

I need to practice drawing more, and working on relationships of size and such.  While my painting is improving, I can’t say my drawing is.

Nonetheless, I am pleased with this.  I used only Payne’s Grey and used it in varying strengths to create a (gasp!) monochromatic watercolor study.

Nest is an old brass skeleton key.  I used Burnt Umber, Quin Gold, Organic Vermilion, and Payne’s Grey.  I figured since I had done something with underlying metal and silver, a gold color was necessary.

Working my way through these paintings did not take a lot of time, but they did focus my attention.  The elements of contrast I am learning in gouache is really becoming apparent in my watercolors.

Bolder brushwork, too.  In gouache, I have been doing a lot of scumbling; here, I am working by holding the brush at its end, away from the ferrule, and holding it more loosely.  It works as far as freeing me from a sense of “I have to do this perfectly” – don’t know why, but it is interesting to see how a physical stance changes the mental, and perhaps the final artistic result.

WWM #1: Primary Palette

The very first entry of #WorldWatercolorMonth!  The prompt is “primary palette” and so I chose a painting that predominates with the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue.  From there, secondary colors were mixed, such as oranges and greens.  With gouache, water may be used to thin the paints, but white and black are often used to lighten or darken colors as needed.  Given the fact I haven’t done much painting over the past 2 or 3 weeks, this one worked out rather well.  Let’s see what happens tomorrow!

Dappled Light

More work with water and light.  Here I thought about some of the exercises I have followed from Rick Surowicz’s YouTube channel – lines, curves, and dots to capture branches, light, and leaves.  I think this painting worked out quite nicely.

Besides considering what I wanted in advance (a way of thinking that has taken a very long time to get to) by applying frisket, I also was determined to paint from light to dark and use glazing and blending.  Areas of color were also considered, and rather than trying to paint each leaf, I painted blobs of color to represent the foliage.  As a result, I built up layers of color throughout the painting as I moved along, and can say this is possibly the first painting in which I have done this.

I also had to be very patient!  Frisket is not happy when you blow dry it – it gets all sticky and you have let it set up again. As a result, this 6×9 painting probably took a couple of hours to do.  However, the results, for me, were definitely worth the time it took.  Perhaps my impatience is lessening . . .

Grasses in Water

I really liked the reference photo I had for this painting.  It was hard to really see at first – kind of busy with vertical and horizontal / diagonal lines.  And then it came into focus.  In retrospect, I think using frisket for the plants would have made them stand out a bit more, but in the photo they were a very pale wheat color without a lot of contrast.  I made them more contrasty and added darker browns and some greens for a better (I think) effect.

Water is a tricky subject – until you look at it a bit.  Flowing water is a series of colored shapes.  Reflections have some rules, but I have to re-read about those.  I am not too sure how I would express ocean waves crashing on the shore at this point, but flat water with a few ripples seems easier each time I attempt it.