Yesterday’s tulips were accompanied by red and yellow flowers, some negative painting, and color combining. I used reds and yellows (which ones, I forget) and some Pyrrol Orange to make the flowers. Thinking of black-eyed Susans, I used black for the flowers’ centers on the daisy-like ones. What are the red ones? Good question!
What I did here was try to work from large masses of color to details, top to bottom, and having things dry to a certain point before adding more color unless I wanted them to bleed. White space, too, was thought about. Near and far, even with a rather shallow depth of field, was pondered, and the idea was to use cold colors – such a cold yellow or green – to make something recede – and warm colors to bring things forward. Light and dark were also used in an attempt to achieve this effect.
Having photography as a hobby sometimes yields pictures that can be used to create more pictures. I decided to give up the no-lines approach for now (though it is a great exercise to learn how to make shapes – I was just really frustrated by what I was doing), do some pencil roughing, and then work one color area at a time. First the tulips in shades of red, orange, and yellow, mixing some oranges as I went. Next, the greens of leaves and stems, consciously determining the areas to negative paint later on, as for the flower petals. Finally, the bowl. Before the whole was done, I went back to each area and tried to create a sense of depth by deepening other areas and being careful not to touch the areas I had left deliberately white.
We went to visit the La Purisima Mission nearby in Lompoc, California. It’s a state park which is a rebuild of the mission itself, which was destroyed in the 1812 earthquake. The mission rebuild was part of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s during the Depression. This is from a photo of the roof. The perspective is off, and it’s a bit muddy, but it was a lot of fun trying to figure out how to make the color for the curved tiles.
I had to take a day off from painting as my head was swirling. This seems to happen whenever I do a lot of any one thing. My brain feels overloaded and I need to do something to break out of it. Then it settles down with sometimes clarity or a nagging little sense of something different, good but not completed, if that makes any sense.
Today’s focus – this morning in poor light – I decided to look at white space and dark space. Neither results are spectacular but what I do see is shapes in this pictures. Corners outlines, curves, straight edges. I also like the merging and blending and granulations I see. Other than that?
The “Bay Area” is the area around San Francisco Bay, and includes picturesque places such as San Francisco itself, to across the bay north and east. It’s a mixture of urban sprawl and older neighborhoods, rich and poor. I’ve spent time there off and on, and it is always a pleasure. It’s very different than SoCal, let me tell you!
Direct watercolor is being done here – and proportions are a bear! It takes time and practice to be able to render things in the correct relationship to each other. I never learned the “pencil comparison” method – the one where you see the artist hold up his pencil toward the subject matter and then draw on the paper, and then repeat the process. Given how disproportionate many of my direct watercolors are, I think it will be something to master this summer in my spare time.
Friday was a busy, busy painting day! Quick sketch in the morning, class in the afternoon. More last night. And this morning I did this using only a flat brush, learning about its characteristics and such. I even got into using it really, really dry, which I had forgotten about. And the side – the edge of the flat – to make little dabs, such as in the pink flowers. It was great for wood texture, and fun for the sky. This was done without a preliminary sketch nor lines drawn on the paper.
Another “direct watercolor” from a photo I took sometime ago when up along the bluffs in Carpinteria, CA. This one might be worth repeating just because there are some areas I really like about it, but the rocks to the left of the cliff are rather dismal. The topmost rock was really a boat on the horizon! I painted the boat first, and then it just got bigger and bigger, to the point I morphed it into a dreary rock. Those rocks need work, as does the color gradation of the sand on the beach. I like a lot of the colors, but overall the sparkle is missing from the photo. If at first you don’t succeed . . . ya know.
I saw some climbing roses against a bright white wall, dancing with the wind. The play of light and dark, flickering shadows, and the swaying of the roses in the wind – tried to catch it in this morning’s sketch. No lines, direct watercolor.
This morning I thought I would do another “one morning wonder” (like, I wonder why I did it, why! it looks wonderful!), but as I laid down the first washes I realized that I needed to paint the foliage with negative painting. Bingo! The lesson of the other day came to the forefront of my brain. Let’s see how it progresses. Here is the first scan.
This morning I found a photo I took a couple of years ago of an orchid in a southwestern facing window. I focused on the orchid; this blew out the details behind. I rather liked the effect. This is my morning painting.