Where-oh-where does time go? I have been busy – so busy – that I have not sat down with a brush or piece of paper in ages it seems. Sewing socializing, health, family, photography, hiking, knitting – just some of the things taking up my time. I can’t use cold weather as an excuse. I’ve been more busy than I am used to – and enjoying all of it.
And yesterday? The weather was lovely, so out into the dog free zone I went, travel palette, cup of water, a paper towel, water brushes. The 6×8 Bee paper is perfect for just playing – it’s a decent paper, 100% cotton, and heavy enough to mush a lot of water around on both sides. I just played, using the daffodils in a vase inside – brought outside – plants on the patio, fruit and vegetables from the kitchen. I could tell I was rusty – but had fun anyway!
I need to remember my promise to myself when I retired: paint or draw every day! Like a vitamin or a prayer – good for the soul.
More work with wet-in-wet, this time accompanied by using frisket to keep the areas of the birch trees white, and to keep a few other bits white, too. First step was to paint the sky across the trees, then the orange bracken and other foliage. From there – just a few details, some negative painting, and so on. I think there could be more contrast on the birch trees, but stopped to keep myself from overworking it.
I’ve been really into doing wet-in-wet watercolors this month, and think it may become a theme for the month of January. So many areas of watercolor benefit from it. Skies seem to lend themselves to it, but so do fog and reflections.
Here, a winter landscape, partly from memories of those lovely, cold afternoons in upstate New York or rural Illinois, when the clouds were low and dark, snow was on the ground, but somehow, the sun made it through, casting shadows and a bit of color on the vast swaths of white.
As I am planning on running out to meet up with a friend in a short bit, I decided to do some quick studies in watercolor.
The one below was done in 15 minutes, some pencil lines to give it some direction.
The colors were really fun and I made them really strong compared to what I was inclined to do. The results were pleasing (colors) and interesting. Even when you do a quick study, you have to think about what is wet when you paint over it.
The next one, below, I allotted 30 minutes for with the lessons of painting onto too-wet paper too soon.
I think the second one was more successful. I also did not use any pencil lines but used the white of the snow as a shape to paint around. That was a challenge in itself!
Quick studies are quite satisfying – no masterpieces expected!
The miracle of green always happens in the last of the year and the first of the next when the rains come and new growth begins to emerge in the hills of California. After months of dry weather and fading landscapes. color erupts almost overnight. Soon, wildflowers will begin to tinge the hills from green to orange and purple and yellow. Here, a view from the hills toward the Pacific, with the Channel Islands in view, lost in the coastal fog.
This one I struggled with a bit along the shoreline. Only when I added more dark coloration along the shore, at the edge of the water, did it get a bit of the pop I think it needed. Of late, I am working on skies and depth. That’s all for now. It just feels good to have a brush in hand again!
Early morning colors in the middle of winter – magical!