Friday, September 26, 2014

More Abstracts

Blocks.  Watercolor.
Approximately 11x18 inches.
Last post, I wrote about scaling up abstracts. This morning, I was trying to scale up to a larger landscape, and it evolved into an abstract.  Huh.  I got to a certain point, and sort of attacked it in frustration, and then when I came back around tried to make a go of it.  The shapes that stretch down?  They all originated from my attack.

I started with hansa yellow medium, ultramarine blue, napthamide maroon, and cadmium orange hue from daniel smith.  On the second go around, I thought areas of the painting needed to be more connected by shape, and I couldn't go lighter in the top quarter unless I started to pull in crayon.  I tried going back with indigo to block out larger shapes, and think that works reasonably well.  (I think it would work better with different colors.  Sometimes I put a palette together, and then wonder what I was thinking.)

There are a couple of take away lessons for's not to give up on a painting too early....I see this when kids draw and paint, where they make two marks and think they've made a mistake.  They want a new piece of paper immediately rather than soldiering on.  The second is to balance shapes with color.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Scaling Abstracts

Wind II.  Watercolor.  13x13 inches.
When I paint abstracts, I usually work fairly small--around 5x5 inches.  And, for some reason, the shape is typically square.

It's hard to scale up to larger paintings, and I'm not sure why.  I made an attempt here, with an idea for a painting on a small scale.  (Wind I Study, below) and then trying the painting again using the same colors and much larger (Wind II, left).  I started with a horizontal abstract with the dark blue and light blue with the gold gray above, and it was so boring, I ended up going back in te next day and adding the swoop into the "sky" space.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Limited Palette Abstratcs: Lemon Yellow, Phthalo Blue RS, and Quinacridone Rose

Red Dot.  Watercolor.  4.5 inches square.
Last week, I painted anenomes with a new(ish) palette. You can see that here. The paint colors I used, included permanent lemon yellow from mameri blu; and, from Daniel Smith, phthalo blue red scale, and quinacridone rose. Embarassing confession--I didn't have the names of the paints quite right last week. Oy.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Last Flower. Anomene

Anemones.  Watercolor and Crayon.
Approximately 12x12 inches.
This morning, the ground is wet, the sky is gray, and it is starting to feel like fall. It must have rained hard last night, and a huge branch is down on our maple tree in back. This tree looks great from our back porch, huge and lush. But, if you walk around to the back of the yard, its like the Wizard of Oz, and the back view exposes how many branches have come down in the last few years. I'm going to be very sad to lose this tree.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cemetery On Ridge

Cemetery On Ridge.  Seen in southern Indiana.  4x4.5 inches.
Last weekend, I took a bike trip through southern Indiana with the Babes--a local cycling group. They're lovely women.  They are strong women. If you ever have a chance to ride with them, do. I brought some new paints with me (Qor by Golden), which were interesting, but I was having trouble hitting the values I wanted while painting plein air.  The paintings I tried were, meh.

I saw lots of scenes I wanted to stop and paint, and if you read this blog, you know I paint a lot from memory and feel.  I tried to remember. Here's a cemetery on a ridge--spotted while climbing a hill on my bike on a grey Sunday morning.  

Colors are carbazole violet, indigo, indian yellow, and undersea green all by Daniel Smith.  The painting is 4 inches wide by 4.5 inches tall on Fabriano 300 lb rough watercolor paper.  

You can see some of the paintings from last year's trip along the Ohio River in KY and OH, here.