Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shining Sunflower

I've painted this sunflower multiple times but this time I was influenced by some paintings I saw on Nathan Fowkes' blog, where he used very dark, almost black, backgrounds for some flowers. (If you visit his blog you'll have to search through his posts for the flowers. He doesn't have titles and there are no labels.) I found this deep blue inspiring, and while it's not as dark as his grounds, it pleases me. You have to admit it has visual *pop*.

Back to my usual small size, 2.5" x 3.5", on Bristol Vellum.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sketch Journal 1

I thought you might enjoy a quick peek into my gouache sketch journal. I love seeing other artist's sketches!

I'm working in a Handbook journal that's 5.5"x3.5". With the border the painting sizes are actually about 4.5" x 2.5" in size. I'm using the plain vanilla drawing journal, not watercolor paper. I do a very light pencil sketch, then paint in gouache, as always, and add some Sharpie marker lines to finish. The idea is to stay loose and fresh.

Periodically I plan share a batch for you to see. Here's the first, painted from photos, a lot of them near home:

1. My house.

2. San Francisco.

3. We call this THE tree.

4. Where we walk near the Rio Grande.

5. A two-track in the mountains.

6. Near the escarpment behind our house.

7. My next door neighbor's front door.

8. My front door.

9. A soutwesternized version of a European photo from WetCanvas.

Honestly, they are all the same size, all are relatively squared off in shape, and all on the same color paper! It's just that at different times I shoot in different light, so things come out a bit varied. These aren't for sale, so I don't have to be as careful.

People often assume sketches are made as plans for finished paintings, but I look at these as simply a way to keep my brushes wet in a much more casual and quick way.

I hope to spend a bit of the fall painting outdoors, so I decided to use much more limited colors and experiment with an Alvin Water Color Palette I've had on hand that I think will work outside. I wanted to become familiar with using it inside first, to get some of the bugs out. I want to get a water brush soon, and I need to work out carrying water so I'll be looking for the right cup.

Speaking of bugs, I'm NOT using my beloved M. Graham gouache here, because the honey component draws bees! So the colors you see here are either L&B Linel, or Winsor-Newton gouache. (And yes, the bottom left-hand well has "white" in it. In theory.)

You see a few of my favorite brushes. I mostly use a 1/2" flat, a 3/8" angled shader, and my little #0 round for small details in color. The pens are ultra-fine point Sharpie markers.

I've realized I'm so "left-eyed" that I like having the photo or the view I'm painting off to my left. Oddly, my left eye is weaker. Maybe it's because with this eye I see shapes more than details. I'm not sure, but it works for me.

Let me know if you have any questions!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Jazz Bowl

I've been playing with this little mixing bowl and learning a lot about reflections. One night I set it up on my colorful tablecloth atop a box a little above eye level, turned a spot on it from above and painted what I saw. I tried to keep the reflections loose and painterly, while catching the pattern of the cloth (which was a challenge!) Lots of fun!!!

It's also 5x5" on Arches 300 lb. cold press.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Asian Pear, Tomato Nook

Asian Pear

Tomato Nook

Both of these are 5"x5", which is fairly large for me! I used Arches 300 lb. cold press watercolor paper, giving it that nice texture, and used looser strokes. My husband brought home the Asian Pear to me and I had to paint it before giving it a taste test... 

It was fun experimenting with the reflective bowl. I like the reflection of the pear. It's something I intend to continue painting. The interior of the bowl makes an interesting nook for the tomato, not as highly reflective, with a soft, dull sheen. It made the colors inside the bowl completely different than those outside, a trait I want to experiment with further.