Another painting done primarily with a hake brush.
This painting was done on the reverse of a previously painted piece of Arches 16×20 CP 140#. I wet the paper initially, taping it only in the corners, and was rather pleased to see how the paper relaxed once wet. I moved the tape as needed to keep the paper flat.
Anyway, the work here was themed on wet-in-wet, use of an excessively large brush (for me!), and standing up, rather than seated. The results were interesting – standing up allowed for more freedom of brush stroke. Getting the paper wet and letting it set a bit before starting the washes also helped.
Compositionally, I think it is a bit bland – really very little to lead the eye. However, this was not my focus here; rather, I wanted to use the hake brush to create sky and foliage as well as broader swaths of color. The nature of the soft brush allows for thin lines, rough splotches of color with white or underlying colors to show through, as well as washes of subtle beauty. From there I used a rigger to create branches, trunks, and some more calligraphic and suggestive lines.
This is reminiscent of the foothills in California as they give way to the Sierras. Here, I used a hake brush about 2 inches wide to render everything – land, sky, trees. Most was wet-in-wet, but the blobs of bushes and some of the trees were done on a dryer surface.
Summer is not yet officially here, but the warmth, sun, birds, and wind all make me long for a quiet spot to sit and relax. No nothing except the sounds of the natural world. Here, all the things I love.
More water and reflections!
Ormond Beach is located on the coastal side of the county in a flat, rural area near two navy bases. The sky is often dank and cloudy and it can seem like another world compared to my hot, dry corner. Here, I wanted to catch the dreary grey sky along with the rows of palm trees on the horizon. I think this one is one of my better ones of late.
Water and sky are the major themes these days. I really like them anyway, but have to work on reflections in particular. For instance, along the banks, the reflection of reeds is very important, as in the distant water / tree line. I try to be simple in my approach and perhaps a bit less dramatic or intense in my colors, but that seems to be really hard for me to achieve! I had a lot of fun with this painting, though, and am rather pleased with its outcome despite the fact it is not quite what I envisioned. But, it does catch that peculiar storm light, I think.
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.
I did a painting in pastels yesterday. Out of practice! Plus, I had to contend with curling paper, new pastels that are softer than what I am used to, a new fixative, and the fact that one of my boxes of 90 colors fell to the floor. You can imagine that mess. A day later, and the pastels are out, still jumbled, along with the curling paper, etc.
Flowers are always cheerful subjects, particularly those in a field. Walking through the field, hearing the birds and hum of insects, feeling the itch of the grasses, is something I love and wanted to capture. I think I did. Such happiness!
Spring is moving toward summer, and the beaches are heaven in 90F plus weather. Of course, social distancing is necessary. The seagulls may behaving, but I can’t tell about the people.
This is the second scan from the final one below. I changed a bit of the elements after doing a preview scan – don’t know why the one on the bottom of this post is so, er, intense!
Now, let us continue . . .
More perspective studies! Today I did a single point study.
This time I created a single vanishing point. This one is below the building, and above the road. The idea for this is that the road ends up going over a hill or slope before the horizon, at eye level, is met. I did a pencil sketch and erased it a billion times. Finally, when I liked what I did, I erased most of the lines after inking it in.
Sort of a value study combined with a color study to see what I might like for color mixes in watercolor. This paper is mixed media paper, so it is not the heavy Arches 140# cold press I like for most work. I think the perspective works pretty well.
Well! Aren’t these colors intense! The scan for some reason just came out like this – the original is a bit more subtle – but I rather like it as I think it expresses the intensity of color that sometimes comes with lowering clouds and a storm. Makes me think of my time as a kid on the plains of the midwest.
So, the final study does have decent architectural perspective, and perhaps even some atmospheric (lots of atmosphere, but more like pressure type!) insofar as I tried to simplify things.
I will continue my focus on perspective, and using it in different media. Watching videos, referring to books, and just doing it is helping.
A cloud study, light from the right. This makes me think of a sunset more than a sunrise . . . It was really a challenge to get them to look balanced in color and shape. Unless you paint, it’s not easy to explain. The nice thing about gouache is that you can paint over what you don’t like.