Saturday, April 13, 2019

Jo MacKenzie Video Exercise

I love this little video exercise from my online acquaintance, Jo MacKenzie, who calls herself "Your Watercolor Coach."

Any time you limit your palette, strokes or time, you begin to understand the value of distillation, "the extraction of the essential meaning or most important aspects of something."

I don't think you'll hate the exercise as much as she says, but it will push you around and give you a new way of looking at effective strokes. Let me know how it works for you.

And definitely go look at Jo's YouTube page for more instruction in watercolor. Good basics here, simple, helpful and clearly presented. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Distilled from a Photo

This composition was inspired by a photo, but quite distilled. The orange against the blue and those chunky green strokes with the yellow just seemed like enough, so I stopped sooner than later.

I'm pleased with the blocky mesa, typical of New Mexico, where I live. There's a sense of sunlight through the broken sky that was incidental, but like any artist I built upon it as it happened.

Watercolor, 2.5" x 3.5" on Strathmore 140 lb hot press paper. I painted it using Daniel Smith color dots (sample colors).

Daniel Smith Color Dots

I have a full set of Daniel Smith color dots (sample colors) that have turned out to be an incredibly fun way to paint using colors I might never have chosen for my regular palette. I always seem to paint small, so the little dots of paint on the cards are ample for my needs.

In this one I explored using layers of transparent color washes, which is purely from imagination. I like the way the color washes layered and mingled in the cloud, particularly.

I wanted to retain the distilled, simplified shapes of the landscape, without over-detailing anything. That seems to give the paint strokes authority, respecting the paint itself, while expressing a beautiful landscape.

Watercolor, 2.5" x 3.5" on Arches 140 lb cold press paper.

West Texas

A west Texas sunset interpreted in gouache.

I took a snapshot from the window of our motel room one evening when we were on the road. It was so flat, with just those smashing colors to draw the eye, and the highway heading out into the distance pointing the way. Fun to paint this one!

Gouache, 2.5" x 3.5" on Strathmore 140 lb hot press paper.

A touch of Iridescence

This one was looking pretty boring to me, so I went back into it with some iridescent colors. I have a full set of Daniel Smith (watercolor) color dots, which are a sampler of their entire line. They've turned out to be an incredibly fun way to paint, using colors I'd never have chosen for my regular palette.

I think you can see the iridescence, since I shot it in the sunlight. That coppery sheen is a little more subtle and fascinating in person, and the gold and lavender have iridescent colors over them, as well as some in the dark foreground.

I find myself mixing gouache and watercolor more and more, since I've never been a watercolor purist anyway!

Gouache and watercolor, 2.5" x 3.5" on Arches 140 lb cold press paper.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Experience and Imagination

These two paintings were done from my experience/ imagination. Drawing on experience helps, of course, but sometimes you just want to let go and see where a painting will go! I hope you can see the fun in these, with very different results. I painted using Daniel Smith color dots, playing with some fresh, fun colors.

Both are watercolor, 2.5" x 3.5", and painted on Arches 140 lb cold press paper.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Catching Up After a Year...

Hi there... I know, the work here is pretty stale, isn't it?

I've been posting most of my work on a blog I began when I wasn't painting as often in gouache (Depicting Things). Over there you can see a few more of my gouache paintings, as well as some watercolors and drawings.

Not long ago it became clear that a lot of people are here looking at the work, and I'm back to gouache painting for the most part, so I think it's time to do a little catching up and begin posting here more often than I have.

Let's see... in March 2018 we took a wonderful trip from our home in Albuquerque to a family wedding in Mobile, Alabama. We drove--I should say my husband drove, while I painted much of the way there and back.  I took this little kit, using an Altoids tin palette that I could easily place on a pillow on my lap, painting in a Moleskine watercolor sketchpad. 

 Here are some of the paintings.

And here are a selection of gouache paintings done in the last year.

All of these are 2.5" x 3.5" in size, my standard ATC size (Artist Trading Cards), on a variety of papers. 

Thanks for staying with me here. If you have questions, please ask them. I'm happy to answer here. 


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Morning Prowl

Morning Prowl- 2.5" x 3.5"
She tolerates the dew on the grass because the hunting is so good.

Lazy Blue

Lazy Blue- 2.5" x 3.5"
Thanks to Nancy Jay for the use of her photo of this lovely, lazy cat.

The Paw

The Paw- 2.5" x 3.5"
Julie Rolston let me use her photo. The paw became the whole topic of this little painting.