Gemstones & Garth

“Garth is a Gem”

Portrait #10 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February challenge. “Gemstones & Garth” is a 7.5″x11″ watercolor on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image to bring up a larger view in a new browser tab.

Garth just popped out on the paper with speed and pleasantry. I had gone to his home earlier in the day for a photoshoot. Garth is of the Corgi breed. My Little (from Big Brothers Big Sisters) had previously indicated this is her favorite dog type. Since my good friend Betty lives with Garth, I asked permission to photograph her pup. Later in the day, I had fun-time scheduled with Little, so I was prepared with oodles of Corgi shots.

To my surprise, Little wanted to watch me do the painting. I set her up with a “Little Table” in front of my studio projection screen, so she could watch the process. I told her I wanted to record the painting process, did she mind? Not only did she not mind, but we also set her up with her own mike so she could be the “studio audience” for my “Puppy Painting, Live!” video adventure.

Her favorite watercolor pigment is Lapis Lazuli (it’s a gemstone character in her Steven Universe series). It is a beautifully soft, Daniel Smith warm blue pigment (very expensive) that is also transparent and granulating with tiny sparkles of light when dry. I thought it would be perfect for the shadow whites of the dog’s fur. I also used New Gamboge, Pyrrol Red (both by Daniel Smith) and Ultramarine Light (Holbein).

I had previously drawn the contour lines of the subject off-camera, with Little as my witness. That is when she informed me she would like to watch me paint him. I had taken the photos with my iPad for the photoshoot (which eliminated the laborious need of transferring the photo reference from another camera to the iPad. whew!). I enjoy using the iPad photo as my reference when painting because I can zoom in and out on the image as needed.

I saturated the paper, then dried some spots back to damp. I started with milky pigment strength because the paper was really wet. I caressed in the first layer of value, while everything was really glossy, except at the damp spots I had created at the top of the nose, back of the head, ear, and under the nose and chin. Drying those spots back to damp kept those edges soft, rather than lost. I called out the overall “dog shape” by painting around. I used all four pigments in the background, letting them blend and mix on the paper.

I did use the blow drier on the nose, eyes, ear, and back of the head; to speed the process. Once dry (ish), I added the darks on the features and behind the head.

I quite like the painting. It flew off the brush in about 30-40 minutes (I’ll have to check the timing on the video clips). I credit my “Little Muse” for providing the perfect environment for creativity <smile>.

Now to edit the audio and video for the collaborative creation, between my Little and me. We were both all smiles in the end.

Oranges

“Oranges” – Final

My class quick painting demo, definitely not part of the Furry Friend challenge. Though, the oranges were starting to grow a little furr. Ha!

My hubby brought home a bag of organic oranges. Yummy! However, we couldn’t eat them fast enough at home. So I took them in as edible “props” for the painting lesson. Of course, I tossed the furry ones first.

I wanted to illustrate about painting the illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface. My overabundance of oranges provided the perfect round shape for a subject.

I used just three primary colors throughout. We chose the yellow and red to make the brightest orange; so a warm yellow, New Gamboge, and a warm red, Pyrrol Red (both by Daniel Smith). Then a bit of Ultramarine Light (Holbein) to neutralize the orange in the shadows, table surface, and backdrop.

I added the dark backdrop with thick paint (same three colors) afterward to frame the subject.

Just a quick, simple demo that solved two previously unrelated problems.

Ferocious

Ferocious

Portrait #9 of my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Ferocious” is an 11″x7.5″ watercolor on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image to view larger in a new browser tab.

I loved the perspective of this fellow. I believe the photo was provided by my great friend, LD. It has been a few years, though, and the image file did not have any identifying information. I could have taken it when visiting?

I started with a 12-minute drawing. The perspective made for a challenge, so I wanted to spend some time on the drawing to make the painting go my freely.

I saturated the paper back and front, then mixed up my paint. I used just three primary pigments, Cobalt Blue by QoR, as well as New Gamboge and Pyrrol Red by Daniel Smith.

I soaked up the extra water from the back of the paper, but left the front really wet, except around the eye, where I lifted off the area to damp. I started with the nose and eyes and worked outward, using the red and blue for the dark tones at first. I started with pigment that was “milky-strength” because of all the water on the paper surface.

For the chest area, I used yellow, red and a tiny bit of blue to create the golden color. I used the same mix a little stronger for the gold around the eyes. After the chest area dried a little, I strengthened the pigment and added more blue and red for a brownish shadow color.

I used a tea-strength mix of blue, red and a little yellow to make a gray tone for the “beard” and scruff. I painted around some of the white tufts of hair.

After the paper had dried back to a damp state, I painted the background to call out the hair edges.

As the paper dried, I mixed all three colors together for a rich dark, now creamy strength, and painted in the darker values in the nose, eyes, and hair. I lifted off the “white” of the dog’s eye with a damp brush. I painted around the highlight in the eye but lifted off the larger secondary highlight that gives the dog that somewhat crazed and ferocious look <smile>.

When the paper was still damp but almost dry,  I painted in some thin calligraphy strokes for the hairs around the muzzle and eyes.

I have no idea how long the painting took to paint, I suspect about 90 minutes (including the drawing). I did record the process, so I’ll have to go back and look at the video clips to know for sure. I think I’m calling this one done. Even after overnight “staring time” I can’t see much to change. I love it.

The painting is for sale. $185 plus tax/shipping where applicable. Deliverable in a custom white mat with a black core, outside dimensions of the mat fit into a standard 11″x14″ frame opening.

$185

Atta Girl

“Atta Girl” – Portrait #8 of my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. Watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140 lb Arches cold press.

This cute “little” gal was painted wet into wet, using some of my “sexy” colors. Sometimes I like to let myself diverge from the basic red, yellow and blue. Ha!

I used Indanthrone Blue, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, Raw Sienna Light, and Pyrrol Red for most of the painting. on the “dark side”

I added some Phthalo blue for the Light side of the face. When I added the cute little pink heart tag with Quinacridone Rose, I had to dot in some pinks around the face and background as well. All tubes of paint by Daniel Smith.

I’ll have to check the video clips, but I think she took about 45 minutes from start to finish. I started with a vertical format when drawing, but couldn’t fit the floppy ears, which was one of the cutest things about this gal. Then I was frustrated with the drawing part, so I almost had no drawing, just a basic outer contour. Scar-ee!

She looks a little younger than she does in the source photo, but that just makes her cuter. After looking at her from across the room overnight, I think I may pull out some white highlights in the eyes. Stay tuned!

Once fixed, the painting is for sale; $185 plus shipping and/or taxes, where applicable. Watercolor painting 7.5″x11″ with a custom white mat with a black core to fit in standard 11″x14″ frame opening.

Snackie?

“Snackie” – First Draft

“Snackie?” – Final

Painting 7 of 14 for my Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Snackie?” is a 7.5″x11″ watercolor on 140lb Arches Cold Press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

This is a little dog who belongs to the granddaughter of one of my watercolor students (I think). Thank you for the source photo, Vikki!

I videotaped the process, so this may be one of my demonstration paintings for my upcoming March workshop. Attendees of the workshop will receive four video tutorials complementarily with the workshop fee. What a deal?!

I am also selling the four video tutorials separately. If you think you might be interested, click here for the details.

I have a few adjustments to make to this painting; to the nose and the top of the head. Right now, the whole video clocks in at 64 minutes. I’m trying to keep each tutorial to 90 minutes or less. 

I painted “Snackie?” using my wet-to-dry method and just four watercolor pigments; Pyrrol Red, Manganese Blue Hue, New Gamboge, and Phthalo Blue (GS), all by Daniel Smith.

Stay tuned for the updates.

Update 2/17/20: I made a few changes. Can you tell? Is it better?

Painting is for sale $185 plus shipping and/or taxes, where applicable. Watercolor painting 7.5″x11″ with a custom white mat with a black core to fit in standard 11″x14″ frame opening.

Peaches!

Peaches!

Another day away from my furry friends of February challenge. I taught two classes in my studio today, back-to-back. “Peaches!” watercolor 7.5″x5.5″ on 140 lb Arches cold press. Click on the image to bring up a larger view in a new browser tab.

This is an impromptu demo painting of some peaches. Photo by Jackie Estes of her very own juicy peach tree from last summer. “How would I approach this painting?” She asked. So I showed her. 

We used New Gamboge, Quinacridone Rose (by Daniel Smith), and Ultramarine Blue (by Holbein). I started wet and swimmy by dropping in areas of color on the really wet surface, letting the colors mix on the paper. After it was dry, I then called out the hard edges on the peaches and around the leaves. Fun. I like the variation of in-focus out-of-focus and the contrast at the focal point.

Sometimes it is good not to have enough time to “finish” a painting <smile>.

The painting is for sale, $95 (plus shipping $7 and taxes where applicable). Price includes a white mat with a black core, backing board, and a cellophane bag covering. The outside edge of the mat is 10″x8″ to fit in a standard-sized frame.

$95

 

 

Smiling Beverly

Painting with model

Smiling Beverly

“Smiling Beverly” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140lb Arches cold press paper. A day departing from my Furry Friends Challenge. I participated in the Portrait Society of Reno’s weekly live model session. The lovely “Smiling Beverly” graced us with herself. She held a slight smile the entire time. Click on the images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I used Phthalo Blue (GS), Cascade Green, Quinacrindone Coral, and Raw Sienna Light. All Daniel Smith pigments.

I painted on dry paper, set at a 60-75 degree angle (on my plein air easel). For the first 20-minute sitting, I drew the contours of the major shapes.

I began painting on the second 20-minute pose. I began with the background, moving from the outside in. The background is a mix of Cascade Green and Phthalo blue. I then framed the face with the hair. I mixed phthalo, quin coral to make the first layer of light gray hair. I then moved on to the skin tones. I used quin coral and Raw Sienna Light. Around the eye sockets I put down a think layer of just phthalo blue. I exaggerated the light shapes at first, leaving them completely white.

For the second 20-minute pose, I concentrated on the features with a stronger mix of all three pigments. Painting the shadow shapes.

For the third 20-minute pose, I worked on the clothing and darker shadows in the hair. This time I added some RSL to the blue and coral for a richer more neutral gray tone. I put in some blue reflected light on the bottom of the chin and added some blue to the lights to give her a sense of being in outside light.

For the final 20-minute pose, I added some more darks around the features, added the glasses, and darkened the background green.

I have a few corrections to make (around the eyes and mouth) but I am quite pleased with the likeness achieved from the live setting. Stay tuned!

 

Fluffy Butt & Finding Nino

Fluffy Butt

Finding Nino

Numbers 5 and 6 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Fluffy Butt” and “Finding Nino” are both transparent watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140 lb Arches cold press. Click on the images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I painted both by first saturating the paper completely.

For “Fluffy Butt” I sketched in a basic contour edge really lightly.

I mixed up three different strengths (tea, milk, and cream) of a gray mixture with Phthalo Blue (GS), Indanthrone Blue, and Transparent Pyrrol Orange; all by Daniel Smith.

For “Finding Nino” I mixed up the same gray tones but added some New Gamboge with a touch of Raw Sienna Light for the eyes and ground.

For both paintings, I painted with the tea strength pigment first while the paper still had a sheen of wetness. The edges diffuse most on wet paper with wet pigment. I added first the milky tones,  then the creamy pigment, still in the really wet surface, to build up value and keep the edges really soft and lost. Going in with a thick pigment even on the wet surface allowed me to hold a soft edge around the head. I sprayed the whole painting with a soft mist to create some water burst effects, then let it dry at an angle.

While “Fluffy Butt” was drying, I began painting “Finding Nino” using the same process, but this time I did not do a pre-drawing but painted directly on the paper. I lifted out pigment around the eyes and nose. After drying the paper, I painted the eyes with yellow over the top of the gray tone. I added some yellow to the supporting background, so the eye color would not be isolated in the painting.

I went back to “Fluffy…” after he was all dry, and painted in some darks on the back, head, and under the tail. I added a hint of background to give him some context.

I quite like my fluffy kitties.

Nino was (is?) a fluffy black kitty who left me long ago and broke my heart. I have always hoped he wandered off and someone adopted him. He was only a year old when he disappeared. I surely loved that boy. Sigh. Here is me “Finding Nino” again.

 

 

Cosmos

Cosmos Too

For my class at the Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in Reno, we painted a simple flower painting, using my “Dot & Pull” method. I adapted my little painting style from creationsceecee on Youtube. I’ve adapted it a bit to include a soft background and based my creations on flowers in my garden, rather than imaginary ones. In this case, I used the cosmos flower as my inspiration.

Sunflowers Three

Last year, I also adapted the same method to paint sunflowers.

All the paintings are on 140 lb Arches cold press watercolor paper, sized down to 5.5″x7.5″. In a 5″x7″ black core mat that fits into an 8″x10″ frame opening quite nicely. I am hoping to have a number of them to offer for sale during future Carson City Wine Walks. My Carson City studio, Exploring Watercolor, will be on the walk map, beginning in April.

Anyway, it was a day away from February Furry Friends challenge. I will need to get back to them soon.

I did have to take another day away to prepare for another college class. You will be able to read all about that in my next post (I still need to take photos).

Black Cats in the Wet

Golden Eye

Portraits #3 & #4 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. Watercolor 7.5″x11″ (and vice versa) on 140 lb Arches cold press. Click on images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I have admired the ink paintings by Andre Penovac for years. I have attempted to accomplish the same sort of effect in watercolor one other time. I am determined to attain the effect I want, whether bleeding edge, soft edge or hard. I do not feel as if I have accomplished it yet, but standby.

Clean Up

For “Golden Eye”; I used Indanthrone Blue, Phthalo blue, Transparent Pyrrol Orange by Daniel Smith. I the eyes I used Raw Sienna light for the base, but added some Phthalo, Indanthrone, and TPO in teeny tiny doses.

For “Clean Up”; I used only Indanthrone Blue and Transparent Pyrrol Orange.

Next time, I am going to use a natural hair brush or a mop, and pre-mix big piles of the paint.

Stay tuned.