Hurricane Weather

Another beach scene, and a building! Am I on a roll or what? Here, something very simple, but when you think about how the painting was made, perhaps not so simple.

The lone, cylindrical shape heeds shadow and sun, and standing against the sky, It needs to be obviously separate. I could have used masking fluid to create the hard edges, but I didn’t. Instead, I painted around the lighthouse, starting at an edge and then puling the colors out. I did okay on the left side, but the right side was more problematic. Oh, well. Still, I rather like the end result given the challenge of the multi-colored sky.

Fires, hurricanes, and now snow in the middle of the country. What’s going on!?

About Dionysos’ Pond

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.

Incoming Storm

Another watercolor, mostly wet-in-wet, but I ended up doing a lot more details in dry brush as the painting progressed. Finally, I applied some glazes in an attempt to unify different sections as I had overworked the painting quite a bit. The even spacing of the brush / trees in the lower middle ground are rather amusing, too – didn’t I look? I didn’t really notice them until I scanned the painting!

Foggy Lakeside Morning

California is not all joyful sunshine and playing on the beaches.  Fog is a large part of the coastal environment.  It is known as “May grey” and “June gloom.”  This morning I woke up to it . . . . inspiration for a foggy lake in the frozen (or not so frozen) north.

I’m still focused on water.  Today I wanted fog and water and hoped to use very wet paint thinned to mostly water.  I also wanted to work with wet-in-wet in the attempt to catch the softening of edges, increasingly more blurred and colorless, to denote distance.  A dull, muted foreground with intense color to add to depth of field.  I think it all worked out pretty good.

Fabirano 25% cotton paper, 9×12, neutral tint, sap green, Hooker’s green, phthalo green, Payne’s grey, quinacridone gold, yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna.

Malibu Creek State Park, II

I tried to simplify things more in this painting by using washes and bleeding colors into them.  The foreground was tricky as there was a lot of texture from the brush on the lower left.  The same brush is on the opposite shore, but, as you can see, with a lot less detail.  Also, I decided to try to use a bit of white gouache mixed with watercolor to represent the white brush – baby sycamores? – as well as the branches of the sycamore trees.  Sadly, I didn’t really think about the leaves of the sycamores until after I had painted in the mountain in the distance, so I tried to retrieve a bit of lighter leaves in the foreground.  Not super successful, but am pleased with the effort of simplifying.

Ormond Beach

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.

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.

Storm Over the Wetlands

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.