80. The Inn at Brandywine – Another Study

This has been a busy weekend!  A lot of painting – certainly beats housework, I tell ya.

Here is another study from Rick Surowicz’s YouTube channel.  This is the “Inn at Brandywine” study.  Again, use of masking fluid, glazes, warm and cool greens.  If you like to paint and want to get better, you cannot go wrong with his videos.  They are detailed and informative – info on brushes, colors, techniques, thoughts on what he is doing.  All very helpful and insightful.

Using the masking fluid is becoming easier, as is thinking ahead.  Like painting in negative space, planning ahead is a different way of looking at a painting for me.  It’s hard to explain.  The thing is, while kind of frustrating to do, it is becoming more of a part of painting, if that makes any sense.

Below, Rick’s excellent video.

40. Lilies

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  I am an impatient person, particularly when it comes to painting watercolor.  The look of spontaneous painting requires forethought and planning, even for the simplest of pictures.  I keep falling for that lie!  Therefore, in an effort to tame my monkey mind, I decided to work on negative painting, which is not an easy thing to do.  Looking through YouTube, I found a lovely example of negative painting by Krzysztof Kowalski, which you can view below.

This painting study requires the usage of masking fluid in addition to working up layers of colors.  My sketch came out fairly good, as you can see below, but the first layer of water over the masking fluid turned rather comical.

I didn’t dilute my dishwashing soap before dipping my brush in it, then the mask.  The result, when I began to wet the paper, was soap suds!  Okay, dilute it next time.  I think the density of the dish soap also may not allow the masking fluid to adhere properly – I’ll find this out when I begin to remove it.  I spent a few hours painting the layers; this is my afternoon’s work.

14. White = Snow

If you have been reading along, you know:  I make mud, I need lines, and I cannot get white space at all.  Well, in a moment of mad inspiration, I realized snow is white.  Let’s paint snow!  In my part of the world (California), we are in the midst of a hideous wildfire, which fortunately bypassed our neighborhood, but which could be visited by a fire any time.  Crazy winds and no rain make for dry and dangerous conditions, and certainly the last place where  you will expect to find snow.

Thus, snow.  I went to my favorite place (YouTube) and searched for “watercolor snow” and there we were!  Lot of them.  In particular, I found Peter Sheeler, whose videos are simple to follow, and quite lovely.  He uses a minimal palette, and just paints.  Subtitles let you know the colors and the technique.  Pleasant music moves you along.  Here is my version of his painting.

Peter Sheeler has another video that I used as well.  It was a bit more complex, but not only was it great for shadows on snow, he has very strong light – dark colors, another problem I struggle with.

And here is my version of it.  I was really intimidated by the dark trees and the rocks.  Besides using only Ultramarine, Yellow Ochre, and Burnt Sienna (even though Sap Green is in his video’s palette), Peter uses a 1/2 inch flat brush.  I have some flat brushes, and they scare the hell out of me.  I think people who love flat brushes are nuts.  No more:  I bit the bullet and pulled out my flats and did the entire painting in a flat brush, varying sizes as necessary.  And I used micron pens, too, as did Peter.

I am feeling a lot more confident now about colors, white space, limited palettes, and flat paint brushes.  I think I will continue to follow along with Peter Sheeler’s videos – he is a really good painter, I like his style, and am confident I will get a lot out of his videos.  And Peter, if you should come across this, let me tell you, “Thanks!”