Tag Archives: color harmony

Curious Finch

“Curious Finch”

I may be back online with this bloggin’ thing?

Where were we? Oh yes, painting birds for the Big Bird March challenge, that went in to April because of the covid-19 worldwide catastrophe.

This is painting #11 (15 was the goal), “Curious Finch” is 11″x7.5″ on Arches 140 lb cold press watercolor paper, painted wet-in-wet. I magically collaged (in my mind) several photos of one little finch who varied his pose for me on a fence for a whole 30 seconds (maybe more)? The early morning light just made his little yellow belly glow. At least I think he is a male? The little birds move so fast. When they are out of the sun, they are somewhat green-ish in tone. Click on images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I really cannot remember what pigments I used for sure. I think three different yellows, Hansa Yellow Light & Medium (cool & warmer), plus New Gamboge (warm). I probably used Ultramarine Light by Holbein mixed with Pyrrol Scarlet and Transparent Pyrrol Orange (Daniel Smith) to make the brown tones? But I may have used Phthalo Blue instead of Ultramarine. I will check the video clip. Maybe I will post a Youtube preview of the video soon too?

In other news, after much time, money, and fussing…it appears my MacBook laptop and blog are operational again. I am still working on getting the upgrade to the failed video capture device working (No audio! Why? Why? Why?). I also still need to sort out which streaming application and virtual meeting platform I will use to deliver my online watercolor classes for June and beyond.

AND so I can GO LIVE on my Facebook business page for the next Virtual Wine Walk, scheduled for Saturday, June 6th, 1-4pm. Save the date/time!

Zentangle Mandalas

With all this computer fiddling, I have had no time to paint. I do have lots of projects waiting in the wings of my mind; more birds (I have become quite the birdwatcher) and farm animals. It is a good thing my friend Dee has been inspiring me to Zentangle. So soothing… and a little bit of painting too. You can see some mandala tiles I have tangled and painted.

“Curious Finch” is for sale, with mat $150 or without $99. Specify which “variant” you prefer during checkout on my Sellfy product site. Click the green Buy now button for a longer description. 

 

Jonesy Boy Too

“Jonesy Boy Too” – Final

Painting #11 for my Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Jonesy Too” is a 5.5″x7.5″ transparent watercolor on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the images for larger views in new browser tabs.

“Jonesy Boy Too” – Stage 1

“Jonesy Too” is a demonstration painting for my community education Silver Watercolor Class with Truckee Meadows Community College. This was the final painting demo of our 4-week class, which met on four Saturdays this month.

I used my wet-to-dry method, which meant saturating the paper, mixing up my three pigments, then drying back the paper to damp where I wanted to hold an edge. See stage 1 for a view of where the demo ended in class.

I used Pyrrol Red, Phthalo Blue (GS) and New Gamboge (all by Daniel Smith) throughout the painting. We first called out the outline of the kitty by painting the background around him, letting the colors blend and mix on the paper.

We then used the same three colors to paint the biggest shadow side of the interior kitty. After the first value layer had dried back some, we worked some mid-level darks, concentrating on the cat’s features. After the class was completely frustrated, I went around and helped students individually with their paintings. I did not remember to take photos of some of their efforts, but they did really well, I thought.

“Jonesy Boy Too” Stage 2

After returning to my studio, I added the final dark tones, working slowly and deliberately which my big pointy brush. I really just concentrated on shadow and light. After Stage 2 (see image), I thought I was done. After seeing the image on my computer, though, I realized the shadows around the mouth were wrong, making the kitty look almost cartoonish. So I fiddled with it some more; lifting off some pigment, and adding more.

I used a sharp snap knife to scratch back the whiskers and highlights on the fur and in the eyes.

I have painted another version from this same source photo. See earlier blog post for “Light Catcher” (Click link)

Which version do you prefer? This painting is half the size of the previous one.

The painting is for sale. $95 plus $7 shipping to destinations in the continental U.S. It will be delivered unframed in a white mat with a black core, outside dimensions to fit a standard size 8″x10″ frame.

 

 

 

Light Catcher

Light Chaser – Final

Painting #1 for my 14/28 February Furry Friends challenge. “Light Catcher” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I painted this “wet-to-dry,” meaning I first saturated the paper completely, then dried it back to damp and painted “alla prima” until the paper was completely dry.

I used three primary pigments; Phthalo Blue (GS), Pyrrol Red, and Hansa Yellow Light throughout.

I first drew an outline of the figure and shadow edges directly on the watercolor paper, using a 2B graphite pencil. While the paper was quite wet, I painted the background with all three colors, letting them mix on the paper and painting around the whites. I moved into the figure with the top right ear, then to the right side shadows, keeping the paint at milk strength. I like to put the paint down, then “S-caress” it out to leave soft edges. I then just painted the gray shadows by mixing the red with the blue to get a rich gray. I started the left ear with a tea-strength red, then added some of the gray mix for shadow areas.

I painted the eyes last. I started with the yellow and blue, then added some of the red to create a more neutral green for the far eye. I used the same colors for the near eye (in shadow), painting around a sidewise T-shaped highlight. While the eye was still wet, I dropped in some of the gray mix for the pupil and the darker ring around the middle. I let it dry, then carved around the edges with a thick almost black mix of red and blue. After drying off the eye again, I decided the near eye had to be more in shadow, so I glazed over everything except the highlight with a darker green. I let that dry, then glazed over that with an orange, mixed with the red and yellow. I let it dry again, then painted over the highlight with a tea-strength phthalo blue (except for a tiny spot of pure white).

I did not use any masking or white paint. I did, however, use Magic Eraser to lift out a critical highlight in the far eye, just at the bottom edge of the eye.

I painted the edge of the gray shadow shapes with a toned-down orange (mixed with the red and yellow and a bit of blue) to give the fur a glow. I called out a few hints of hair and fur with some calligraphy strokes. Done. I think it took about an hour and a half. I will have to check the video clips for sure.

I quite like it… Personality abounds.

Available for purchase. $185 (plus tax or shipping). Includes a custom mat without outside edge dimensions to fit a standard 11″X14″ frame. Please include the title of the painting in the comments during purchase.

Update 2/7/20! I made a change. Can you tell where?

 

Spiked – Painting

Spiked

Portrait #21 of my 30×30 portrait challenge. Over 2/3rds of the way there. Woot! “Spiked” watercolor on 140 lb Arches cold press, 7.5″x11″. Click on images to see a larger view in a new browser tab.

I began wet-into-wet and intended to do an ethereal and unrealized portrait. Once again, I took it to the “too much” level. Sigh. I used 5 colors this time. Rose of Ultramarine, Raw Sienna Light, Pyrrol Red by Daniel Smith, as well as Ultramarine Blue and Translucent Orange by Schminke. Oh, and some Titanium White.

I started out wet-into-wet and left the paper wetter than I normally do. I painted in value layers from the graphite value study I had done previously. I “pushed” the colors a bit more than they appear in the reference photo, wanting to have a vibrant contrast between the violets and yellows.

Spiked – Graphite 11″x7.5″

I “finished” before completing the painting. I felt dissatisfied with it until I propped it up for display at home. Now I quite like it. This experience usually has the opposite effect. ha!  Though, I still want to bring some of the yellow to the left side of the background and soften a few edges here and there… Oh, and sign it. I usually only sign a painting once I consider it done.

Stay tuned to this blog post for any updates.

Buy Now with PayPal

All these small portraits (7.5″x11) are for sale. $185 (plus taxes and or shipping, where applicable). The price also includes a white black core mat with outside dimensions of 11″x14″ (standard frame opening size), foam core backing and clear cellophane packaging.

Liz

Portrait #16 of my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. And today is the 16th! Right on track.

Liz

Live Model! I really enjoy painting from a live model. I am a member of the Portrait Society of Reno. Each Wednesday morning from 9 am to noon, they organize for a live model at Nevada Fine Art, 1301 S. Virginia Street in mid-town Reno. All the painters (all media) pay a $10 model fee. The amazing Kay Genasci brings refreshments and sets up the model. If you’re anywhere near, come on along and join in the fun! Live sessions really do challenge our drawing skills, as there is no way to trace… Authentic!

Contour Drawing

I wanted to have a monumental view of the model, so I decided to sit down for this one, which is rare for me, as I usually paint standing. I started with the contour drawing for the first 20-minute pose.

I had been looking at the portraits of Pam Wenger (I think out of PA) the day before. She paints lovely portraits, full of personality and random shadows color. I love her skin tones. Some day I may have to take one of her workshops. Check out her website, http://www.pamwenger.com/

I started with the hair and background. I used Cobalt Blue Violet and Transparent Pyrrol Orange (Daniel Smith) as well as some Ultramarine Blue (Holbein) for a good colorful brown tone for her dark hair. I was intrigued with the red tones in the light, so I let the orange be more prevalent in the light areas. To turn the form, I shifted to the violet and blue tones for the shadows at the crown. I used the cobalt blue-violet and Quinacridone Red for the background.

Painting (Stage 1) Draft

Once moving on to the skin tones, I went in first with a layer of Pyrrol Transparent Orange and Raw Sienna Light, my brownish yellow and orange. I then added some greenish shade using a combination of Sap and Cascade Green (Daniel Smith). To give the painting an overall harmony, I brought in some of the violet to the shadow areas around the eyes and under the jaw, and touched in some of the green to the sweater and turtleneck, as well. I did bring in some Pyrrol Red in the eye sockets, nose, and mouth. I find I use Pyrrol Red on nearly every portrait, whether I intend to or not. It is a nice warm (but not too warm) semi-transparent pigment. I added some of the quin rose and cobalt blue-violet mix to the ends of the hair under her chin.

I was pleased with the painting, especially the likeness. I think I will adjust the shadows on the far shoulder, to let that recede rather than come forward. Then I will call ‘er done.

Thank you, Liz, for being a fantastic model, sitting like a statue. I think I saw you blink twice, though.

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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This painting has SOLD.

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).

This original painting is not available. Prints available upon request at size and surface of customer’s choice.

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