Pen, ink, watercolor. I used Bee 8×10 cotton watercolor paper. It’s not expensive, but price does not always indicate “good” or “bad” paper. It is a nice paper to work on whether wet, damp, or dry. Because it is small, color is easier to control than on a large sheet. I like it a lot.
In a number of circles, there is an “urban sketch” style done with ink and watercolor. Drawing and painting are combined. Some people are masters of it, in my opinion, having a good balance of ink and clear watercolor, with one or the other predominating, and the other not overwhelming its partner. (I hope that made sense!)
I am trying to find that balance. I’d say I am okay with ink, but heavy-handed with color.
Today I decided to try two things. The first is above – a simple “country” scene with trees (and green! remember yesterday?), a fence, and a building. The idea was for the sun – the light source – to be coming from the left, behind the barn. I’m not so sure what that big blue thing is to the right of the (obvious) three shadows of the trees, but it’s too late to do anything about that!
This one is an urban scene, one obviously not in downtown Los Angeles, but in some older part of the world. Here, the light is coming from the right, perhaps, but the alleys and buildings create their own logic. Shadows are broken up with bright spots. One can only imagine that to find the light, looking up will reveal a world much different than the one on the ground. I think this one was fairly successful; there are parts which seem to work, and others that make no sense at all – like, what is that thing? Scribble more ink on it and let the viewer guess!
After playing with yellows yesterday, I decided to try to mix greens. A very green landscape seemed appropriate. Most of the greens were mixed using hansa yellow, quin gold, and cadmium yellow along with cerulean blue, ultramarine, and cobalt. At times, I pulled in Hooker’s green, which I really like, along with some sap green. Others at times, too, mixed with yellow or blue, or even orange!
Looking at the painting, the sky seems to not really match much of the linear quality of the rest of the picture – technique, I expect. I had wanted the trees, foliage, and foreground to be softer, more blurred perhaps, but still full of greens. One thing I should have done is to have not painted the sky across the entire upper portion of the picture – this kept the green foliage from being more discernible or distinct.
Overall, I am rather pleased with the final result. The goal was green, which I certainly got, but the composition and style, while not what I envisioned, are not too bad.
More working with wet-in-wet, as well as white and shades of white. Not sure if the idea that the part of the lower trees facing the viewer convey a sense of shadow – being darker – before moving into the shadows in the foreground.
With wet-in-wet, it is really important to understand how a paper responds to water. This is Canson XL, a student grade paper, but one that I like to use when experimenting. I’ve never really worked at using it really wet, but the results of focusing on it – having it sopping, having it damp – is beginning to yield some decent results, such as few blooms and hard edges.
I painted this using multiple layers of frisket on the paper. On the first round, I blocked off the right side of the aspens. Once I was fairly content with the overall image, I added frisket over various areas, such as the greens and browns of the foliage. I made lines to represent trees, and dots to suggest a glint of sunshine on a leaf. I did this three or four times on dried paint. In the end, I removed the frisket, left some areas white, and painted over other white areas with transparent glazes, hoping to pull together different areas of the painting. Finally, I made small dots of colored paint in the foliage, to suggest leaves.
This study was to utilize what I have been learning from the experience of following Rick Surowicz’s YouTube videos, as well as what I learned just painting. This is the first time I conscientiously laid out a plan or method on how to approach the painting. First, drawing. Then frisket. Next, washes of green, gold, brown, and oranges broad across the paper and blurred using a spray bottle and blotting. From there, details, contrast, and so on. Overall, I think my painting has taken a turn for the better.
Inktober continues apace, but I have been going 100 mph for the past week. No time to focus on a theme. This morning, though, I thought about cold mountains and winter – where I live, it’s in the mid-80s to low-90s, and I could use a bit of blustery weather.
Here is a mountain – inky for Inktober
And here is the same scene, in cold and wintry colors.
I used to do a lot of Chinese painting, and I tried to incorporate the clouds in a rather Chinese-painting fashion, in ink and watercolor. Hints, not direct; subtlety rather than blatant. I’m not sure if it worked for the clouds between the mountains, but I definitely like the chilliness and fogginess of the scene overall.