Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: February 2010

I have tried a new paper, once again. I ordered it through my friend, Dissengallery Blog’s  art store located in her blogroll.  The paper is another Cartiera Magnani and is described as “Toscana acquerello”. It is 140 lb. rough paper. I have tried the 140 lb coldpressed here , here and here. Once again, I am impressed with it’s brightness and how the color is magnified.  I like these papers, very much, for quick watercolor sketches where many layers are not applied. The surface is a little harder and the pigment lays more on top allowing for scumbling and shaping the image. I approach these paintings much like I do a drawing only with a brush. I like the wet look it offers when washes meet washes evidenced here by the dark area that the cat is peering into. The foliage was rendered by my applying a flat wash of green and yellow, allowing it to dry and then painting in a camouflage-like pattern using darker green and burnt sienna.  After that pattern dried, I went back in with a wet brush and scumbled those colors around and into one another taking care not to disturb the pattern completely. I painted the cat much like a drawing and toned her, first, with a staining wash of blue and then added the color.  This is not to say that the paper can not be pushed furthur. I have pushed the cold pressed furthur here. I found that I had to plan the colors well as I knew I would pick up the previous layer with subsequent ones.

The pad is small, 9 x 12, and I usually don’t work smaller than 12 x 16, so I will reserve this paper for small compositions and portraits of this nature. It is a nice activity from my larger paintings.

It is important to note that I receive no compensation for sharing my experiences with this paper. It is purely my views and what I experience using the skills I have acquired.

I set out designing a cow and calf picture of those fun hairy West Highland cows. I had to design the mother from other photos on wet canvas.  I also had decided that I wanted to paint this as a value study and experiment with lost edges.  I couldn’t stand this, so, unwilling to give up, I tried something I’d read about and that was to wash it under the faucet and see what I came up with.

This is what resulted from the wash down.I did not scrub into this but rinsed it 3 minutes, TOPS, under the faucet. I then stood at the sink and fed a little burnt sienna and diox violet into lower right and left corners. I liked the less flat and drab look of this better than before I had washed it. I also liked the granular or textured look that appeared from the wash. After letting it dry overnight, I painted back into the composition trying to bring a little life back to the shapes and enhance the tones.

This is what I am going to be satisfied with. I learned that I really have to push the values if the intent is a value study and that using just earthtones aren’t going to be enough for what I like to do. I also learned a little something about lost edges and where they may work and where they are not needed. It was important to me for this painting to work on some level.  I am more satisfied with the texture and value in the third image than the first. I can also say I was glad to have the opportunity to wash down a painting. This poor piece of Arches 140lb coldpress paper took a beating and came through it with no tears or holes. The whiskers were scratched in with a scratch tool and then went through the beating with the rest of the paper.

Sometimes I work in ink and wash. This is a griffin I  drew from a Schleich collector toy that I set on a stack of  books across the table from me.  I wanted to see if I could capture the leg and wing on the left side coming toward me and make this creature look believable. I used india ink and a dip pen for the line work and a brush for the washes and thick texture around forelegs, neck and head.

I don’t know if it is something in the air in Indiana, today, or just coincidence, but Ryan has just posted a phenomenal and complete ink and wash of a woodland scene and has written a great story to go with it. Take time to check it out. It is worth the trip.

Recently,  Joshua posted a haiku by Basho that I liked.  Several months ago Joshua invited anyone to submit photos or artwork they felt might illustrate some of what he posted on his blog. He spoke about how to submit on his ABOUT PAGE.

I liked the recent Basho haiku so much that I went in search of some reference material to create a watercolor to illustrate it.  The above is what I came up with.  I was impressed with the wide expanse, the drifts and the nakedness of the trees, with that one tree standing off by itself.  I hoped that the simplicity of the painting accentuated the simple beauty of the haiku.

Thank-you Joshua.

This was a project I began because I was interested in the stark contrast between the dark tunnel and the scene beyond. Like the previous post, “A Secret Place”,  I found this image on the wet canvas site.  This took much longer to create than I had anticipated.  I didn’t realise how much I had to move between organic and geometric shapes.  I figured I would just render an impressionistic landscape and surround it with darks. NOT! I had to study warmth of the shadow on the water, fading out the building in the scene, making the posts and rails of the guard rail believable, and drawing the oblique shape of the opening of the tunnel accurately. The tunnel and the sidewalk were both cooler and darker than the shadow reflected on the surface of the water and it was a challenge to balance the two so that it read right.  I worked on this, on and off, for the last two weeks and practiced many of the washes on a separate piece of watercolor paper.

Last night I saw a really beautiful painting done with a strong contrast between light and dark on David Tripp’s Blog here.

I was thinking, recently, of some of the wonderful things I have seen or read on some of the blogs that I visit. These are truly posts that I have remembered and are food for thought or inspirations for me to continue to learn and create and enjoy sharing what I do. Don’t think for one minute that I come to your blog to aimlessly spend time. I visit with an interest in what you are doing or sharing that enriches my life and knowledge or gives me pause to stop and chuckle a little. So here goes:

I have remembered a beautiful painting of architecture here. I was intrigued with the rendering of light here. I was impressed by a creative rendition of tree trunks in a sister’s yard here. I enjoyed a trip with Joshua here. I learned more about composition here. I am witnessing the journey of a student artist here and learning to look at art through a more abstract vision.  I am meeting new artist bloggers here and here and here. I have read a poem that touched me here and creative writing that moved me here. I found stunning realism here and carefree abstract painting here. I’ve learned about a storytelling visit here. I’ve viewed an incredible still life here and landscape here both rendered in oil which frightens me to no end. Good work guys and thank-you. I have seen the face of a zebra up close here. I found a collage that I looked at forever here and a post about a woman artist I had never heard of before here. I saw a basket of helping hands here and a jump for joy here. I witnessed a visit from Jonathan Livingston Seagull here and learned that things aren’t always what they seem here. I enjoyed an interview and demo with an artist here. I am learning about yoga for special needs children here.  Oh, oh, I almost forgot! The singing chef!

Thank-you, all of you, for your contribution to this world of blogging. Don’t think that I don’t learn from all of you and appreciate what I am seeing.  Thank-you for visiting me and assisting me with your encouragement, laughter and special visions.

To the above I offer this award titled “The Sunshine Award”. Feel free to post it on your site and pass it on to other bloggers who you have found helpful in your journey. I was supposed to limit my list to twelve and I can’t do that. Thank-you Yousei for sending this my way.

  The sunshine award

  Blind Continuous Line

  Continuous Line Contour

In beginning drawing, we, once again, began by learning how to feel the edges of the subject by drawing in continuous line. The artist directs his attention to the object and imagines the point of his pencil traveling in, around and over the form he wishes to draw. Rarely are these drawings in proportion. Always, this kind of attention spent on studying an object offers some knowledge that the artist can use in a finished piece. Next, we concentrated on drawing the object (objects) in continuous line while alternating looking at the object to looking at our paper while still pretending to move our pencil over and around the subject material. The above are my two drawings of my grand daughter’s potato heads. When I completed the second drawing, I couldn’t get the fun forms and personalities out of my head. Soooooooo below is what they grew into. I had a blast! 🙂

    The Painting

Just found out there was a Mr.Potato Head Blog.

Check out Kokot’s continuous line drawing and watercolor here. Thanks for giving it a try, Kokot!