Tuesday, April 4, 2017

No. 3--Redbud Branch

No. 3--Redbud Branch.  Watercolor.
Approximately 15 inches square.
The eastern redbuds are blooming in Cincinnati.  It seems early, which very well may be since it's been an extraordinarily warm winter.  I love this tree.  We've planted two here, and had planted two when we lived in Oklahoma.  I wish I knew if the trees were still going in OK, or if the subsequent owners took them out.  They were still very small when we left, so I wouldn't be surprised if they're gone--I'm sure they resembled scrub brush, and they'd never gotten big enough to bloom.

One of the things I like most is how the trees provide such a burst of color, but when you get up close, the blooms are tiny clusters.  Barely there.  When there are a lot of trees they look like a ribbon of color.

A note about brushes.  My very favorite brush at the moment in an Isabey 1 inch flat pure kolinsky sable.  I use it 99% of the time, and for some reason, they appear to not be available anywhere....hmmm.  I took my brush on a field trip last week (see here) and hadn't put it back yet--so instead, I did this painting with a squirrel mop brush.  I'm a loose painter to begin with, and going to a mop brush forces me even looser.  It's fun.

Quin Burnt Orange, Quin red, and Indanthrone blue on Fabriano 300 lb rough watercolor paper.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

No. 2--Daffodils Abstracted

No. 2--Daffodils Abstracted.  Watercolor.
Approximately 12 x 10 inches.
Fearlessly marching ahead with #100bouquets.  Rather than making things up, I'm continuing working from set still life.  You can see my set up HERE.  (I tried embedding the instagram post, but that did not work, and I had to start from scratch twice.  Enough of that.)

You'll notice that I'm not super tied to the set up, which is my preference.  My style is definitely free-for-all, with lots of bleeds and mixing on the page.  I was also stymied by the fact that I took my model photo with my nose to the counter, which is not how I want to paint.  The point of view of the painting and the photo are different.

I don't own that many vases, so you'll be seeing them repeat.  This vase is from Neusole Glassworks, which is located in Forest Park.  The daffodils are from my front yard.

I'm not just painting flowers.  (That would be boring!) It just happens to be what I've been blogging about.

Paint:  Carbazole Violet, isoindoline yellow, lemon yellow, cobalt, undersea green, all Daniel Smith.
Paper:  Fabriano 300 lb Rough

Thursday, March 16, 2017

No. 200 and No. 1--Orange Flowers From Kroger

No. 1 Orange Flowers From Kroger.  Watercolor.
Approximately 30 x 22 inches.
This is my 200th blog post.  I'm metaphorically patting myself on the back!  I never imagined where I'd be when I started this blog about watercolor in October of 2012 .

I've met some fabulous people electronically (Rhonda Carpenter and Laura Starrett, I'm thinking of you), and painted and painted, and painted.  I think I'm getting better.  I'll check back in another 5 years.

My paintings are getting more and more abstract, so logically, I'm starting a project that's literal.  #100bouquets. I'm taking this up after following Lauren Everett Finn's similar efforts.  This is my first, and it's on a full sheet.  I figure to take about a year to get this done, although I reserve the right to take more time.  I like to paint flowers, but they all just froze, which doesn't bode well, and I tend to get distracted.

Fabriano 300 lb rough watercolor paper.  Daniel Smith, quin burnt orange, quin red, isoindoline yellow, nickel azo yellow, and phthalo blue rs.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Blue/Orange/Gray: Developing Some Abstracts

Blue/Orange/Gray.  Watercolor and Crayon.
Approximately 3.5 x 3 inches.

Last weekend I sat down and started painting (or doodling) with a limited palette on hot press paper. Hot press, of course, is super smooth.  It handles the paint very differently than cold press or rough--it almost seems as if it's a race to get the paint to stay fluid on the paper.  And, if you ask me, the colors look different when they are dry--different in a way that's more chalky than if I was painting on one of the other types of watercolor paper.  This is just my opinion--I honestly don't paint on this type of paper frequently, and am not doing any kind of systematic study.

Today, I took one of the paintings and finished it with a crayon overlay.  Finished piece above.  Can  you tell which one it was?  Yeah, too stripey with a weird growth.  It's the second abstract I've finished with that blue.  You can see the first HERE.  I should probably finish all five so that they're interconnected by color, yes?

Cobalt blue, quin burnt orange, quin red, and undersea green (all daniel smith) and overlaid with light blue and light gray caran d'ache crayon.

Four Abstracts.  Watercolor.
Each approximately 3 inches square.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Found Some Claybord!

Golden Field at Sunset.  Watercolor & Crayon.
5 x 7 inches.
I went to collect some watercolor paper yesterday and ran across a piece of Ampersand's Aquabord. I bought it ages ago, and I suspect it may be claybord, but a few minutes of research tells me that it's one and the same--just renamed.

This is a piece that's 5 x 7 inches, and one of the big advantages is in the framing.  No glass.  Can plop it right in the frame.  I tried mounting watercolor paper at the end of last year, and I'm not particular enough.  To mount paper requires patience and attention to detail.  You can look at my painting style and know that's not me!

I liked the way it handled the water and paint.  I did the first cut yesterday and went back today to add some darks and a tiny bit of gray crayon just at the horizon line.  I'm pretty pleased.

Indian yellow, phthalo blue gs, and quin violet with a touch of gray caran d'ache.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Welcome Back Cobalt

Welcome Back Cobalt.  Watercolor and Crayon.
Approximately 4 inches square.
I haven't used cobalt in a long time, and I'd forgotten how much I like the way it granulates in washes (see the sky), or can be used as an almost opaque color (see the foreground),  Nice.

Indian yellow, prussian blue, cobalt blue, and quin violet.  Plus some crayon.  On a scrap of paper, which is probably 300 lb Kilimanjaro.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Day 12 of 30. Tea and Lemons

Tea and Lemons.  Watercolor with a smidge of crayon.
Approximately 9.5 x 8.5 inches.
Almost half way through the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, and I'm 12 for 12.  Whoop, whoop! I'm proud of myself. You'll notice that I don't blog in detail about most of them.  You can see the entire set so far on instagram.

The one drawback to instagram is my phone's camera, which is not fantastic.  In low light or miserably cloudy days, the colors on instagram are off despite my best efforts at correcting them through limited brightness adjustments.

Anyhow, like the colors and messiness of this.  Quin pink, hansa yellow medium, and manganese blue hue on Kilamanjaro 300 lb cold press paper.  There's a touch of crayon for line in the mug and along the edge of the cutting board.

I have not been doing a ton of still lifes--out of 12, this is my second.  Bonus, I sold my apples. (Another whoop!)

Enjoy the day!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Day 2 of 30: Three Apples

Three Apples.  Watercolor.
Approximately 7 x 10 inches.

For the third January running, I'm participating in 30 paintings in 30 days.  It's hosted by Leslie Saeta, and you can check out the artist participating here.  I highly recommend it if you need some kind of push to get going.  It's an excellent exercise.

The painting above is from Day 2, and is the 5th painting I've done using the palette of quin gold, phthalo blue rs, and quin red.  You can see an example of one on my blog here.  Others are on Instagram.

This is also the 2nd still life I've done of late.  I usually paint without any reference, but every once in a while I need to loop back through a reality based painting framework to revisit shapes and composition.  I'm not sure it helps, but I struggle with getting almost too loose otherwise.

Here's to a great start of a New Year, cheers!