Tag Archives: direct watercolor

Baby Robin – Sold!

“Baby Robin”

Just in time for Spring. Painting #3 of my 15×30 Big Bird March challenge. Click on the image to see a larger view in a new browser tab.

This little robin had just left the nest. I had been watching the robin family grow in our front honey locust tree over the previous month or so. Momma and poppa Robin were raising three babies. This baby Robin was the first to spread his (her?) wings. Baby Robin still had trouble with flight. He/she took a respite in our Impatiens pot right in front of me. I felt badly for scaring the poor little soul, but I am not sorry I was able to capture the scene.

I used the wet-in-wet method again. This time, though, I went in DIRECT – without a preliminary drawing. Doing a painting directly surely does make one pay attention to shapes not things.

I used New Gamboge, Transparent Pyrrol Orange and Quinacridone Rose by Daniel Smith, and Ultramarine Light by Holbein throughout the painting.  For the darks, I combined the Orange and Blue. I had a dilemma on which yellow to choose. Should I have used a cooler yellow to achieve some brighter greens?  Or do you like the warmer yellows that are more analogous to the orange in the bird’s breast? I went with the warmer yellow. Maybe I’ll paint this scene again and go the other way, just to do the test?

I quite like the little painting. I wonder whatever happened to Baby Robin? Robin families continued to build nests from year to year. Some years, the nests were built on precarious limbs, and the robin babies did not survive the winds. Or the neighborhood cats. This year, though, I witnessed all three babies fly away, once they found their wings. It made me extraordinarily happy.

This painting is for sale. $95 (Original Watercolor Painting 5.5″x7.5″ in a custom white mat with a black core to fit a standard 8″x10″ frame opening). Shipping $7 if applicable (Shipping payment will be refunded if not required).

 

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

 

 

Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman – Update

Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman – Final

This was the 30th painting for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge for January 2020. “Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140 lb Arches cold press. Click on images to see a larger view in new browser tabs.

I painted it on January 30th. I have been staring at it since. The neck was originally too wide. This is the fix. I also made some minor adjustments to the shoulder, hand, and arm. It’s WAY better now, me thinks. 

Stage 1

Compare to the earlier version.

Available for purchase. $185 (plus tax or shipping). Includes a custom mat without outside edge dimensions to fit a standard 11″X14″ frame.

Buy Now $185

 

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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4th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor – Carson River

“River of My Mind”

Today I painted a “double duty” painting. I have a class on texture starting tomorrow and I wanted to continue with the #30x30DirectWatercolorchallenge. So.. How about a painting that satisfies both? On my morning walk, I meandered along the Carson River, looking for waterfowl. Mysteriously, the plethora of geese gaggles usually resident along the river and in the adjacent golf course are all but absent? I hope there has not been an effort to cull their numbers? Alas, on the far side of the course, I did see several families of geese with teenagers in tow. They seemed very leery of me and my camera.

Leery Geese

It was, however, a beautiful morning with much to see and admire. This scene I did without pre-drawing, wet-into-wet, and sans reference. ‘Tis all from my mind, which may explain why the water seems to be slanting sidewise? Ha!  But it does feel very “textury”, so I did get some good practice for my class tomorrow. This is an 8″x10″ study on 140lb Arches Rough.

In my mind’s eye, perhaps I was combining the two scenes below? Next time, maybe I will use the reference while painting?

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Click on images for a larger view. I appreciate comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.