Saturday, April 17, 2010


I finished this wave painting today. Now that it's up, I see some small things I can change and tweak. Not too unhappy with it...but have to admit I used a bit of Chinese White in areas where I lost some things and wanted to blend a bit more and tone down things. Not cheating...just using the tools you have :) This was from a photo that looked more gray but I'm going to give my sister a choice of these two and she liked the greens so I stayed with that.

This is a view of Matanzas Inlet coming on high tide from the deck of our rental. That bit of beach is now protected but last year people drove all over there. Now you can walk it but no vehicles. Apparently, they want to protect it for the birds and possible turtles - and I was told that someone was run over and that really put a stop to it (guess the driver didn't see the person laying in the sand??)

With the next try, I'm going to go more blues and violets and see how that goes. This is on a long scrap of Arches.

I watched more of the Charles Reid DVDs yesterday evening while Jerry was having a photography club meeting here. So now I have a "real" painting of 2 pieces of fruit and a bottle (all in varying shades of green because he says green is the color most artists dread/avoid). I've already done plenty of color studies so won't do that assignment, but will try the painting using a lime, an apple and a dark green bottle. He worked on sharing how he does contour drawing, too. Putting your pencil to the paper, you begin working inside the object (not creating a silhouette of the thing), cutting in and out, trying to keep the pencil connected to the paper at all times.

He talks a lot about having areas of connection = shadows connecting to shadows and to objects, overlapping objects, etc. And he talks about having areas of isolation = objects standing alone with a hard edge against a white background. Drawing the way he does gives you more practice in keeping the connection of paper and pencil (and later, paper and brush). If you've seen him draw, you know he isn't concerned about complete accuracy in form but more in lights and shadows and "connections" and "isolations" of objects in the painting.

Some words of wisdom from Charles Reid:

Watercolor is a work in progress. What you see when you put it down is not what you're going to get.

Work wet-in-wet immediately. Don't wait or you'll get "balloons." (Balloons = blossoms or backruns)

Sometimes you just have to Stay Your Hand. (I know. But how do you do this?? I put that in caps - why? Because if I could just learn this, I'd become a better painter.)

The more you mix on the palette, the worse it gets.

Watercolor is filled with happy and unhappy accidents.

Did you know that he uses two of the dreaded no-no pigments? Yep. He touches up whites with what he called opaque white (I assume he means gouache). And he uses Ivory Black!! Horror of horrors!!!

His favorite mix for grey = Yellow Ochre, Carmine, Cerulean Blue. He doesn't pay any attention to whether a pigment is transparent or opaque.

I'm enjoying watching this, bit by bit, and trying some of the assignments. I would recommend it so far. Still on the 2nd DVD and have more to go. I'll share my lime, apple and bottle painting when I do it.


Christiane Kingsley said...

Thank you so much for sharing all this with us!
Your wave paintings are looking good. I am really looking forward to seeing your latest one develop - I love blues and purples:-)- I am going to order Susie's video this weekend.

Gemma Parker said...

Fascinating stuff. I totally understand the 'stay your hand' thing. I've made that mistake too and often and thought, 'bugger!'
Lovely wave paintings, I'm so impressed!

Ginny Stiles said...

I can't believe he is having you paint 3 objects that do not overlap in anyway. That seems so un-Reid like!

Ann Buckner said...

I am enjoying your seascapes and your narrative about them as well as what you are learning from the Charles Reid dvd.

RHCarpenter said...

Christiane, I much prefer blues and violets, too, so will go for those colors more - they look more like warm sun and water to me, too.
You won't be sorry about ordering Susie's DVD - there are several bonus photos to try in there, plus a large photo of this painting (her's) to use.
Thanks, Gemma. Stay your hand!! Three words that can make a painting :) Glad you like the waves.
Ginny, no overlap yet but I have a feeling that is yet to come.
Thanks, Ann. May get to work on the little one today.

Teresa said...

You're in the zone with these seascapes Rhonda, your trip is paying with loads of inspiration!

BTW have I mentioned how much I love the photo you're using as your id right now? stunning!

Hey, I didn't know about those dvds but have checked the page and looks more than worthy, thanks for the link! Also, Black and White in watercolors FOR THE WIN! XD

debwardart said...

As always, thanks for your review, info, etc. about a DVD or book you have read - and I'm liking the wave pix.

Laura Trevey said...

I love the ocean ones!!! I have never been able to capture the white surf like you did :)


RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Teresa and Deb :)
Laura, glad you are liking the waves. I think with the whitecaps it's about cutting into them with the color and then making the shadows (softening at the bottom edges).

Peggi Habets said...

Nice paintings! The seascapes are really beautiful. How did your fruit turn out?

RHCarpenter said...

Peggi, thanks for stopping by and commenting :) I am now working on the fruit and bottle - again! I intend to get this "right" before I give up.

Nick said...

very nice, Rhonda! I recommend checking out the wave paintings of Alex Kanevsky, who I think is the best painter in the world right now. (no, that is not a critique, just thought it might give you a few ideas!) :)

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Nick. You bet I'll check out the best painter in the world!!! I appreciate your comment and leading me to another good artist.