Monday, June 30, 2008

2nd Koi Sketch

This is my second koi sketch using a mechanical pencil. Copyright free reference photos used are from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library (RIL).
In case you are wondering, I separated the posting of the two sketches because I have just learned that only one of the photos will open in a new window. My apologies for the inconveniece of a double posting of the same images but I wanted the image to open in a larger size.

1st Koi Sketch

For this quick sketch I used the Prismacolor watersoluble gaphite HB and 4B pencils and a water brush. I should have lightened the photo a little because it isn't quite this dark. The markings are a bright orange with some rusty marks along its side.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Koi, Finished

I have done as much as I want to with this painting. There are always areas that could be done differently or that could be improved. As I said in the previous post, the first thing I would do differently is sketch koi to learn their structure, then practice painting a single koi. Painting wet in wet, one has to move very quickly so familiarity with the subject is important.
I want to try this technique for painting flowers too.

Koi, 1/2 sheet Fabriano Aristico paper (22" x 15"), painted to the edges

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Koi, Unfinished

Koi, 22" x 15", Fabriano Aristico watercolor paper. I've spent part of the afternoon learning to paint koi, working wet in wet. The lower left (viewer's left is a bit darker than is shown while the lower right has the reds, greens and golds along with the blues, although it looks like blue only.

What I've learned from doing this half sheet is to study one koi while I practice painting it. You have to be quick painting wet into wet and I often hesitate, walk away, come back and wipe out as can be seen by the white fish (or will be a fish eventually) in the lower left corner.

A lot of blogs show mostly completed work. On this blog one will see some good, some bad, but all a learning process. Cheng-Khee Chee has my admiration for painting the most beautiful koi paintings, which are by no means easy, as it takes a lot of knowledge and skill about painting and the subject matter.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

This Morning's Thoughts

I was looking at art work on different blogs and websites, and I wondered whether aging eyes see color differently? As we age, do colors look more muted, or grayed rather than vibrant and intense? The reason I am thinking about this question is because when viewing my own work, I've noticed a tendency to paint with less saturated or grayed color (using complements to gray/mute the intensity.) When I paint with more intense colors, it looks garish to me but when I see others work in more saturated color, I love it. So what do you think, does aging make a difference in the way we see and paint color?

When we look at artwork and its price tag, we often wonder how long it took the artist to paint it. Think of the number of hours/years of learning, practice, accumulated knowledge, skill and, in some cases, talent, that has brought the artist an apparently effortless ability to paint.

The electrical work in the house continues after a week's hiatus. Who would have thought there would be so much involved in rewiring a house. The power will be shut off this morning while the electric company moves a transformer and restrings wire (at least I think they will be doing the restringing this morning.) Who knows, it could be just a visit to see what all is needed. Our electrician will do his magic in transferring old to new loops, breaker boxes, etc, even though there is still more wiring to be strung in the attic for outlets, switch plates and ceiling lights. After the electrical is completed then the work on the new central heat and air system begins. Hopefully, that should only take a couple of days though.

Orange Slices Reworked

I reworked the orange slices which was originally painted in February of this year. First, I oiled the surface, then lightly wiped off the oil. Next, I removed the one little orange slice that sat on the half orange, removed the slice that was behind the front/center orange slice then added the orange peel. I was trying to be more conscious of brush strokes, both in direction of the stroke as well as thickness/texture/or lack of texture of the paint being laid on. Notice that the subjects go off the edges on three sides and that the light is oblique or angled to create more interest. I think this latest update of the painting says much more than the original painting done in February, don't you? This is the painting done February, 2008.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rose Bud, Update and a Sketch

A bit more refining has been done on the Rose Bud painting. I changed the shape and direction of the leave in front of the three stems, the value and hue of the back leaf and in a few of the foreground leaves, as well as the shape and values of some of the stems. Also, the trellis wire direction was corrected. The hue of the rosebud is not as orangy red but more of a bluer red. Hard to get the camera to photograph it correctly since there is so much green. The darks in the foreground are not quite that dark either but if I lighten it, the rose loses its intensity.

This is a quick pencil sketch I did last night after watching John Salminen's video, "A Designed Approach to Abstraction. I was looking for the large white shape and apply the darkest darks near the center of interest which is the light hitting the front of the building. The is an old tire shop in Watts, Ok that also sells soft drinks and sundry other items. You can't tell it by looking at the sketch but there are flags floating in the breeze, above the roof line, connecting to the telephone pole. With all the signs and posters on the front of the building along with the flags, this is quite a colorful place that has been around many, many years.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Odies Tavern, Watercolor Update

The road has been widened, added telephone/electrical poles and wire as well as a dark figure on the porch of the building.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Odies Tavern, Watercolor

Odies Tavern
Fabriano Aristico WC Paper
quarter sheet (15" x 11" with 1" borders)

I did get to work on this today and it doesn't look quite right. One of the reasons is that the telephone poles and high line wires are absent in the painting. Also the buildings are narrower than shown in the painting.

I think I need to widen the street and remove the green grasses in the foreground. I've played around with crops as you can see in the bottom image.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Odies, Watercolor in Progress

Odies Tavern is a landmark in our small town. It has been there for at least 60 years. At one time, the little building next to it was an ice house if I'm not mistaken. Not much progress made on the painting today but hope to finish it tomorrow.
This is a quarter sheet (15" x 11" with 1" borders) but since I've noticed how centered the buildings are, I may crop it from the bottom.
Tonight is the Artists of Northwest Arkansas meeting in Springdale, AR. I haven't attended very often but will make it to the Board meeting. If you are in the Fayetteville/Springdale area, join us at the Jones Health & Wellness Center.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cherries, Watercolor Postcard

Watercolor Postcard
6"x4" card size
1/2" border

The reference photo is from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library, with my thanks for its use.

I darkened the shadow a little on the bowl and lightened the tops of the two cherries on the left, as can be seen in the photo on the right.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Claming, Watercolor Postcard

Watercolor Postcard
4" x 6" Card Size
1/2" borders
shipping within the United States

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cedars, Watercolor Postcard

Watercolor Postcard
6" x 4" Card Size

We have some beautiful and elegant looking cedar trees along the edge of the pasture. This simplified little painting was to show the shapes and play with color, using New Gamboge, Quin. Violet, Ultramarine Blue (Maimeri), Indanthrone Blue, Quin. Burnt Orange.

On days like today when I'm not feeling energetic, or those days when there are too many other obligations, these little postcards are the perfect size for at least putting a little paint to paper. They are also perfect for learning to simplify subjects or do color studies.

Watercolor, Postcard Size

Watercolor Postcard
6" x 4" Card
5" x 3" Image size

Not much time to paint yesterday so played around with post card size paper. It was fun just placing colors. The area around the foreground trees is a bit muddy because I lifted/blotted out a figure I had placed there. The good news is, no beading or rolling of the paper. Good paper, quality paints are essential.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sketch of a friend

This is a graphite sketch on 18 x 24" newsprint of an on-line artist friend. In the photograph, she wore glasses, but I didn't add them to the sketch. I surprised her with it via e-mail this morning. Doesn't she have a great smile!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Land and Water

Land and Water
Watercolor study
14" x 10" image size

I began this painting early this morning to study light effects on land and water. I wanted to create a visual distance from the mid-ground to the back land mass. The plan is to darken parts of the sky then to add some detail into the foreground. This is on the old watercolor paper (notice the rippling in the paper even though the paper wasn't soaked) and so far no small beads or rolls of paper but there hasn't been any scrubbing or lifting either.

I darkened the sky, foreground and added a bit of quinacridone burnt sienna to the midground land mass. Dribbled in some alcohol in the foreground to displace some of the paint to create a bit of pattern.

The Fabriano and Twinrocker paper arrived at the post office, brought home and has now been opened. I'm excited to try the Twinrocker paper which is hand made. I first heard of it in a video by Jim Kosvanec, who does gorgeous watercolors. Hopefully the paint and masking fluid will be delivered today!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tim, Watercolor Study

7 x 10 1/2"
watercolor study on paper.

This looks like a very young Tim (my grandson). I lost the squareness of his jaw so lifted paint in an attempt to reshape his jawline. Painting lips looks so simple but apparently I make it difficult. Tim's hair is actually blondish brown and not reddish blonde. Colors used were Cobalt Blue hue, New Gamboge, Raw Sienna, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Quinacridone Burnt Orange. The next time I will switch to Burnt Sienna for mixing better browns and not so reddish-orange.

I am patiently waiting on an order of watercolor paper, artist quality cobalt blue, and misket (well maybe not so patiently but . . .). So I am using this paper that gets little beads or rolls of paper so easily and using a cobalt blue hue. The paper doesn't take lifting or blotting at all well. To preserve the highlights, I used blue painter's tape and it worked pretty well but I prefer using misket. I think I am going to switch to acrylics or oils to paint these portraits but will keep practicing in watercolor as well. Can't learn if I don't practice!

Windy Friday

It is a windy morning with thunderstorms expected so to brighten the morning here are a couple of photos of roses on the trellis outside my door. These photos were taken early last month but the roses are still blooming.

Not much chance to paint this week but I had a lovely afternoon yesterday, visiting with a 14 year old boy and his mom. Wesley does Fantasy/SciFi drawings and is wanting to learn to paint. He has never had an art lesson but has a wonderful eye for shapes and values. No doubt about it, I will be learning from him instead of the reverse.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Iris Study, Watercolor

Iris Study
6" x 8 1/2"
WatercolorThis is another practice study of an iris from a reference photo taken a couple of years ago. I couldn't remove all of the frisket as it stuck to the paper and tore the paper as well when trying to remove it. On the bright side, it created some interesting textures!