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The Painting – Serious Golf Buddies

Series Golf Buddies

Serious Golf Buddies portraits 10, 11, 12 & 13 continue for my 30 x 30 Portrait Challenge.

After completing the value study drawing, I traced up the contour edges to 140lb Arches cold press watercolor paper. I like to refer to the drawing study as the “first date” with a painting. This is where I learn about my subject. Knowing my subject well allows me to be freer in the painting process.

Having said that, I did not notice the flaws before going into the painting. The main subject’s shoulders were too narrow, and the shadow cast by the nose was too dark compared to the shadow cast by the hat.

Serious Golf Buddies (Drawing)

In my first draft of the painting, I made the same mistakes, plus a few more. When one is in the middle of a painting, much like writing, one does not see the flaws. I find it is important to put away the painting for a time, place it at least across the room and look at it with fresh eyes. I call it staring time.

Serious Golf Buddies (Draft)

I edited the first draft to make those few adjustments. After wetting the paper front and back, I mixed up piles of Cobalt Blue Violet, Pyrrol Red, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, Quinacridone Red, and Raw Sienna Light (all by Daniel Smith); Keeping to a broad analogous color harmony scheme.

I painted in value layers, starting with the background to carve out the main shapes of the figures. I moved into the distant figures, keeping them in lighter tones, with cool shadows and warm light. I increased the pigment strength for the main figure to intensity the colors and darken the values. Now I’m calling ‘er done. And it makes me chuckle.

Serious Golf Buddies (Final)

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Isn’t She Lovely Too?

Isn’t She Lovely Too

Portrait #7? Day 7 of my 30/30 Portrait Challenge. Yesterday I drew a portrait of my friend. Today I painted over the drawing. In art school, we often had to paint a grisaille tonal painting, then glaze over it with color. I have seen painting done with graphite watercolor pigment before. Why not try painting over my graphite drawing? I would only have to glaze the color with one value becaus the value is already there, right?

Isn’t She Lovely? Graphite

I saturated the paper front and back, then dried it back to damp. I used Cobalt Blue Violet, New Gamboge, and Quinacridone Red (all by Daniel Smith).  I kept the pigment strength on the face mostly to coffee. In the hair, I mixed in creamy strength violet, red and yellow. Some of the graphite dissolved a bit, but what remains creates some fun shadows and texture. I quite like it. “Isn’t She Lovely Too” watercolor on 140 lb cold press, 11″x7.5″.

Compare to graphite drawing. (Click on images for a larger view).

Is it fair to count these as two portraits? I had a discussion with “The Rule Maker” person. We decided we weren’t sure, so we painted another…just to be on the safe side (Stay tuned for next blog post).

Isn’t She Lovely?

Isn’t She Lovely?

Portrait #6 for my 30/30 Portrait Challenge. I meet a friend for coffee on many Sundays. This time I shanghaied her into a photo “headshot” session, so I could have some good source photos for this challenge. I wanted to paint this in watercolor, but my Monday was a more than typical crazy Monday. I guess because this particular Monday is also the first Monday back from the holiday break.

Isn’t She Lovely (first draft)

Right after my next batch of “headshot” sitters came through the studio on Monday afternoon, I started the painting sketch process. But alas a customer came in and gave me the perfect diversion. If you’re going to be diverted, it may as well be by a paying customer, right?

Then I had to rush out and pick up my Little at the bus stop. There is no being late for the bus. They come when they come and if one is not there, Littles could be left feeling abandoned. I didn’t miss her, but it was close! The Little and I had a fun time talking about her latest style change in her drawings (She’s really good! Maybe she’s let me share some of her stuff here someday). After taking the Little home, now I’m well into my evening hours.

I do have a couple of travel watercolor kits at home, but now the kitties want attention (for some reason?). So I drew on my lap… because drawing. Nothing in my rules said the portraits had to all be PAINTED.

However, I did find I had left most of my drawing utensils at the studio. I had two lead holders, one thick, one really thick. The thick lead was HB or 2H or something (too light), so I was mostly relegated to the chunky lead, which made me think of my GREAT college art professor, John Erickson. But I digress.

I drew with the drawing board flat, which skewed my perception somewhat. As a result, in my first draft, I gave her too much chin. I made a few more adjustments to the far eye, the neck and mouth (see “first draft” image with lead holders), but now I’m calling it done. Here is a sketch of my friend, “Isn’t She Lovely?” Click on images for a larger view.

Isn’t She Lovely (Final)

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Feed Me!

Feed Me! watercolor 11″x7.5″

Portrait challenge 5/30 for my 30/30 Portrait Challenge.

I almost did not do this portrait. I had worked on a two-kitty portrait for two days and thought perhaps that was enough. Just as I prepared to leave the studio for home, I thought, “Okay, just do a quick sketch in preparation for tomorrow’s portrait. So, I put my things down, found a fuzzy source photo of me from a few years ago. My husband does most (actually virtually all) of the cooking for our household. We have a standing joke based on a Simon’s Cat video (Click link for a good laugh). When I’m anticipating dinner, I do the punch line of the video. Ha!

After doing a quick 10-minute sketch, I decided to put down some paint too. I saturated the paper front and back, and then mixed up some paint puddles in my mixing areas. This time I thought I’d try some secondary pigments (Daniel Smith’s Cobalt Blue Violet and Cascade Green), as well as Phthalo Blue, and try to stay to an analogous color scheme.

After drying the paper back to damp, I began with the violet and green, negatively painting around the head and hand. As I moved into the portrait, I decided I wanted skins tones after all, so I switched to Daniel Smith Pyrrol Red, Raw Sienna Light, and Manganese Blue Hue, using a bit of the violet for the darks in the eyes and hair.

I only painted the shadow shapes with coffee strength pigment for the first layer. I thickened the paint a bit for the second layer of value.

I had been videotaping the process. My camera beeped at me, informing me the SD card was full. I figured that was the painting gods telling me to STOP! Keep it a sketch. So I did. “Feed Me!” watercolor sketch on Arches 140 lb cold press paper, 11″x7.5″

She’s Mine

She’s Mine

Portrait challenge days 3 & 4. Two more critters. “She’s Mine” watercolor 7.5″x11″. (Click on the images for a larger view).

These are two of our kitties. Kelly is the calico, Portia is the black kitten. We had just adopted Portia, who was a feral kitten. She was so relieved when we let Kelly into her “adaptation” room. In the source photo, she was still quite leery of “those big animals with no hair who feed me.” We adopted Kelly from a no-kill shelter organization. We only know her background from after she was found on the street, already spayed, about a year old. She really took to nurturing little Portia. Maybe she had already had a batch of kittens herself?

As to the painting process, I sketched a quick outline drawing on Arches 140lb cold press paper and then saturated the paper front and back. While the paper soaked, I prepared pools of Pyrrol Red, Phthalo Blue (gs), New Gamboge, and a little Quinacridone Rose.

She’s Mine (Stage 1)

I painted in value layers by wetting the shadow/color areas and dropped the pigments together, letting them mix on the paper. I liked letting the paint bleed out beyond the edges of the shapes. After about an hour of painting, I was pretty happy with it and stopped (see image stage 1).

After staring at the painting overnight, I decided to work on it some more a second day. I lifted off the colored areas of Portia’s eyes using masking tape, a snap knife, and a magic eraser. I thought the top of the far eye was at the wrong angle. I also decided the kitty bed needed to be hinted at behind her, even though that was not in the photo. I also added a hint of shadows behind the bed and Portia.

Since this painting has two faces, I’m counting this a numbers 3 and 4 of my 30/30 portrait challenge <smile>.

Teaching Day – Secondary Colors and Wet-into-Wet

Purple Beach

This is a wet-in-wet demonstration for my college watercolor class today.

We were also learning how to mix pretty secondary colors. For this painting, I used a cool red (Quinacridone Rose) and a warm blue (Ultramarine Blue).

The background just started as a purple study, but when I turned it vertical it looked like a sunset sky over the water. After it was dry, I added the deep water horizon, the hint of a faraway island, and the palm tree. “Purple Beach” 

If interested in purchasing this painting, click the add to cart button below. $50 without mat or frame. $4.50 shipping if paying through PayPal with a PayPal account or debit/credit card. Additional shipping charges for check payments or those who live outside the Continental U.S.

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“Purple Beach” $50 (no mat or frame)


Fire Lilies (maybe?) Paintings 22 & 23 for Direct Watercolor Challenge

Day 2 of “patio plein air.” Paintings 22 and 23 of the 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge. This time I had to paint the blooming orange lilies. I have had several discussions on social about the name of these beautiful lilies. Our best conclusion is that they are the “Asiatic Lily, Orange Matrix” version of lilies. Nice!

Stage 1

I had no video camera to record the painting process, but I did remember to take a few process photos.

Stage 2

I began on wet paper with no pre-drawing. Though, because of the dry Nevada open air, the paper dried quite quickly. I painted the centers of the flowers first with the two warmest yellows on my palette, Hansa Yellow Medium / Deep, plus Permanent Orange (Daniel Smith). I painted the ends of the lily petals with Quinacridone Coral and let the coral swim into the yellow. I then added Quinacridone Rose (cool red) to turn the petals around the bend.

Stage 3

I added some foliage indications with Sap Green (Daniel Smith) and Ultramarine Light (Holbein). I added the Lily buds first with sap green and then the added Permenent Orange in the middles. While the paint was still quite wet, I put in the lily bud centers with one calligraphy line stroke and let the line diffuse.

Trying to paint so many lilies on such a small surface (7.5″x5.5″) left me confused as to where one flower ended and another began. Whew!

I added some light wet yellows and oranges to the top left to hint at more lilies beyond and added hints of new lily underbellies with the Red Rose and Red Coral in the bottom right.

“Fire Lilies” – Final Painting

After the painting dried back a bit, I added the stamen ends with the cool red and a new color Rose of Ultramarine (warm violet), stems with the coral. I couldn’t see the pistils, so I did not paint them. I added some of the Rose of Ultramarine to the foliage and ends of the petals.

I did not care for the painting while painting it, so I set it aside and painted another, focusing on larger flowers, painting one complete flower before moving on to the next.

Fire Lilies Too – Stage 1

Fire Lilies Too – Final Painting

I used the same colors and sequence as the previous painting.

For this one, I left the foreground indistinct instead of the background, painting the colors wet into wet in the foreground.

I let this one be more of a vignette and left the background white and untouched.

After a few days of “staring time,” I quite liked both paintings.

I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

Summer Solstice

Pots and Blooms

I do not know how it dawned in your neck of the woods, but in Carson City, Nevada, Mother Nature gave us a beautiful midsummer day on June 21st

Note, this blog post is a bit delayed. Those of you who watch the calendar will note that this posted on June 24th? Though, I did paint the 21st painting of the 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge on June 21st. I just have to catch up on the blog-0-sphere.

We experienced a perfect day with a temperature of about 78 degrees (F), a slight breeze, and blue, blue skies. If you have not experienced a clear blue sky in the mountain west of the U.S. (Nevada, Utah, Idaho), you have not experienced a blue sky.

Anyway, on this midsummer day, I could not bring myself to paint indoors. I took myself and my art supplies out to set up on the back patio table instead. Our backyard flowers happened also to bloom in midsummer glory; mini petunias in pots, coreopses, fire lilies, geraniums, snapdragons, roses, daily lilies.. all in splendiferous bloomage.

Stage 1

I attempted to capture it all but failed. So I flipped the paper over and just painted the coreopses, which were definitely the garden prima donna on this day. I just tried to capture the feel of them swaying in the wind. As a little girl, my favorite crayon color in the 64-pack was yellow-orange. Coreopsis!

I first just splattered Hansa Yellow Deep, Medium, Permanent Orange, and Sap Green (all Daniel Smith) in big splats on a slightly wet surface. I held my paper vertical, sprayed with my misting spray bottle underneath the splats to create drippy stems. (I only remembered to take a few process photos, since I did not want to drag a video camera out to the patio also).

Stage 2

I added more orange and green at the bottom of the yellow splatters and painted some foliage indications using pull-push calligraphy marks. I added some Ultramarine Light (Holbein) to blue down some of the leaves. I added more stem and leaf details and indicated some buds and “old” blossoms (darker orange and smaller).

Stage 3

I gave some of the flowers a little more shape and petal detail, but decided to leave most of the details out. I wanted to capture the overwhelming joy of the yellow-orange crayon colored flowers that greeted my eyes as I slid open the patio doors.

Summer Solstice – Final Painting

In the end, the painting made me happy.

If you’re interested in purchasing this painting for a mere $150 (with a gold frame and white black core mat), just click the Add to Cart button below. Pay with a PayPal account or a credit/debit card for $15 shipping charge). Those who wish to buy with a check payment or living far, far away from “CONUS” will incur additional shipping charges. Save the shipping charges and buy it off the gallery walls? Taxes additional.

This painting will part of the featured artist show with Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery in July 2018. I hope you can stop by.

 

 

“Summer Solstice” $150 (Framed)


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19th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge – Dangling Rose

“Jedi Rose”

For my 19th painting in the challenge, I had to combine two interests competing for my time. I am teaching “value” in my college watercolor class today. The students are required to do a monochromatic painting that combines washes (a flat wash as well as either a graded or variegated wash), calligraphy strokes, and general “light touch” brush strokes, that I call the “S-caress.” The final painting also has to show at least 4 levels of value; light, medium light, medium dark, and dark. I have the students decide on a theme for the semester as well. I usually choose one of the students’ themes whenever I do a demonstration painting. One student has roses as a theme. Which, if you know me, and have followed my painting progress on social media at all, you know I paint a LOT of roses. Easy choice. Ha!

I took this photo of a drooping rose the other day on my morning walk.

The small painting is on Arches 140 lb cold press and I used only my #14 Lowe-Cornell round brush.

I used a warm (quinacridone coral) and cool red (quinacridone red), which are both medium to high-value reds. I first painted a light variegated wash on a wet surface (dried back to damp), without any pre-drawing. As you can see in the first photo below, I did not quite let the paper get to damp, as my bead was running on the left. I had to work fast to catch it with each pass. Starting with a wet surface helps to alleviate stripes between bead passes.

I dried the painting off completely, then drew in my first value layer with 2B graphite, or pencil (Sorry, this is where I had to diverge from the challenge conditions of direct and wet-into-wet). I then painted the shapes inside the lines for the first layer of value.

After the painting was completely dry again, I repeated the drawing process for the second layer of value. One more layer of drying, pencil planning and I now had the required four distinct layers of value. I did add a few pull calligraphy strokes to indicate the edge of the branch and the side of the rose, but I purposefully left untouched areas for lost and found edges, which I find to be much more interesting than outlining with a solid line all around.

I had to have some pull/push calligraphy strokes to satisfy the requirements of the assignment, so I added some extra leaves with the same strength of pigment as the final wash.

I then found a #8B (really dark) graphite pencil and drew some contour lines, just because… I may erase the pencil layer. I’m not sure… still pondering. Your thoughts?

Photos are screenshots of video clips. I cannot make them behave and align with the text. I’m not sure why?

Stage 1a

Stage 1b

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

I do have narrated and edited video of the painting process. Shoot me a comment or send me a message if you’re interested in the $6 video link.

I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.

Jedi Rose – Final

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18th Painting 30×30 Watercolor Challenge – My Neighbor’s Roses

“My Neighbor’s Roses”

Continuing with my Facebook group’s 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge, I painted this little study of the roses creeping over our back fence from the neighbor’s bushes. Now some might think this an intrusion, but each June we welcome the beautiful color. For this painting, I enjoyed the purple cast shadows resulting from the early morning light. My brother actually called my attention to the scene before he headed off for work. I have two amazing artistic resources in my household. My brother, who also paints, and my husband, who points a camera lens around to great effect. Both have taught me much.

I began painting without any drawing, with a wet surface, using my trusty #14 Lowe Cornell round brush on Arches 140lb cold press paper. I used a photo reference.

This time, I began painting positively with the figure, rather than the ground. I used four reds, Pyrrol Red (warm), Quinacridone Red (cool), Pyrrol Crimson (cool and dark), and Quinacridone Coral (warm). This time I used Sap Green (warm) and Ultramarine Light (warm) for the foliage. All pigments are Daniel Smith brand except the Ultramarine Light (Holbein). I used the Pyrrol red for the light side of the roses, and Quin Red in the shadows. This for the bunch at the left that was in the light. I wanted to indicate the right bunch was in shadow, so I used Quin red and Pyrrol Crimson for that grouping.

Stage 1

Stage 2

I mixed up a neutral brown with the Sap Green and Quin Red for the background fence. I skewed the green to blue for the shadow areas of foliage. I left a white edge on the left to indicate light direction, and let the shadow side bleed into the fence. I added straight Sap Green into some areas of the red for foliage indications. Adding the green on to of the red had the effect of neutralizing the leaves to olive green, but some areas showed bright and warm. I tried hard not to lose all the white sparkles.

Stage 3

For the cast shadows (my favorite part of the painting!), I waited until the paper had dried back some. I mixed the Pyrrol Crimson with the Ultramarine to achieve a nice violet mix. When I touched the shadows on top of the brown fence, the intensity was knocked back a bit. I loved the resulting violet tones. I added some boards and planks on the fencing using the same violet tone. For the light side of the angular support plank, I dry-brushed some Ultramarine Light.

Stage 4

I let the paper dry back even more, and indicated some petals on the rose bunch in the light with Pyrrol Red and Quin Coral. In the shady bunch, I used Pyrrol Crimson to indicate shadows. For these strokes, I almost just “scribbled” with the tip of my brush.

A note on the process images. I usually videotape when I paint. It helps me remember my sequence. It is a great learning tool, both for me and my watercolor students. But I really don’t have time (or the storage capacity) to edit every video of every painting, so this is a nice compromise, right? These process images are screenshots taken from the video clip, hence the blurry quality. The photo of the final painting was taken with my SLR camera, though, and shows the details a bit better.

My Neighbor’s Roses – Final Painting

If you’re interested in purchasing this painting, it can be had for the low, low price of $150 (she is all dressed up with her mat and ready for a show). Shipping is $15.00 if you live in the Continental U.S. and pay through PayPal with a PayPal account or a credit/debit card. Check payments and shipping to those in distant lands will incur additional shipping charges. Nevada residents have to pay sales tax (sorry).

My Neighbor’s Roses $150 (w/frame & mat).

I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.