Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Trickle Down - Do Over
First, I lightly sketched what I wanted on the paper, looking at 2 photos of the pitcher plants. Then I misketed the shoots coming up from the bottom and some of the thin "stems" of the plants coming from the top.
Next, I put a bit of pale yellow (also a new pigment I received from Sandy) on the flowers and then mixed up several colors (a bit of Prussian Blue, the yellow - Bismuth Yellow, and some Carbazole Violet), and painted where the background will be. (I had a mix of a raw sienna/goethite and a nameless blue - it has a name but I don't recall what color I put in the mix - and I used it here and there, too, which is where you see the warmer color.)
The Twinrocker has a deckle edge all around that is beautiful so I painted right to the edges. The paper (coldpress 140#, I think) really slurps up the paint so I got some blossoms here and there that worked well for the background.
So that's it for today. More to come tomorrow...
Purples + Other Colors
Monday, December 29, 2008
Purples and Other Colors
and see some great combos and mixes.
And check out the Daniel Smith catalog online at
to see all DS colors.
I tried to photograph and also scan the 4 violets I use but they came out too blue each time no matter what I set my white balance on. I couldn't match the color I get when I put the paint to paper.
I use Carbazole Violet (Semi-transparent and medium staining),
Cobalt Violet Deep and Ultramine Violet (both Transparent but granulating and low staining),
and I have Quinacridone Violet (which is more a reddish violet) and is transparent and very staining.
What's your favorite purple out of the tube - or what is your favorite mix of red and blue to get a good, clean purple?
Trickle Down - Out of Control
Sunday, December 28, 2008
If You're in the Mood to Visit
Go to http://www.harrisongalleries.com and check out Kiff Holland's light-filled paintings.
Go to http://www.bobrudd.com/default.asp and enjoy Bob Rudd's colors which are luscious, and unusual and, well, just purely delightful to see his paintings.
Do you know the difference between Visual Complements and Mixing Complements? Mixing Complements are those complements we all learn to mix to get a good grey or black:
red + green
yellow + violet
blue + orange.
But to work with Visual Complements, you create side-by-side pure colors that zing off the page (Carol Carter uses visual complements in her palette and so does Bob Rudd). Those colors are:
red + turquoise
blue + yellow
cyan + orange.
Now don't ask me exactly what color cyan is - I know my printer ink has one called cyan and it's a blue but maybe a bit on the green side??
Perhaps Bruce McEvoy's internet link, handprint.com has the answer? Or Hilary Page's book, Guide to Watercolor Paints? Or Nita Leland's newest book, Confident Color?
For a downloadable pdf about painting with pure colors, go to
http://www.artistsnetwork.com/article/wc-pure-colors and see what David Daniels does using a pure color palette.
Okay, now I either need to get some exercise or paint...
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Trickle Down - a bit more
I wasn't happy with the edges on this one so have cropped them - literally - off the edges. I like it better now but still have a bit to do to get it to look finished (and, hopefully, not overworked). For some reason right now my painting seems like work, so I think I'll stop for a while and read or watch a movie or something...
The temperature outside today is - wait for it - 70F!!! Unbelievable.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas, and may your days truly be "merry and bright."
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
More Tangled + Trickle Down Begun
So to give myself a break, I began the pitcher plants painting = Trickle Down. Misketed the whole area of the Great White Shape and then when that dried, I poured very diluted Hansa Yellow Light and water over it. When that dries, I'll decide if I want to pour another layer or just paint...have to create that salmon color with some yellows and pinks and...?
A Christmas Party with an Owl
Monday, December 22, 2008
Tangled - More Painting
My Frog Prince
Click on Aquarium at the top of the article if the article shifts.
It's in today's paper and, of course, we're going out to get one today as we do the last of our shopping. Like most of you, not much time for settling into painting lately with shopping, end-of-the-year appointments, and attending parties, etc. Maybe today I'll have something to add...(at least I'm not in the groups who are stranded in airports all over the US).
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Watercolor Artist Magazine
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Integrating the Great White Shape
Friday, December 19, 2008
Warms Around the Great White Shape
I did what I could and then put a pale wash of warms around the Great White Shape (which is what I should have done the first time). So, if your dominant temperature for the painting is going to be cool, why paint around the GWS with warms? Because, later you are going to overlay those colors with cools and that will really grey them back and make them not important at the edges so your COI and area of interest will really be shown off.
When the area around the GWS dries, you locate where the darkest darks are going to be (outside of the GWS) and paint some of those in using your dominant color temperture and making sure some of the paint runs up against the GWS and even overlaps it in places. You are painting your darkest darks here. In a mix of colors in your dominant temperature.
When that dries, you "integrate" your shapes and grey your colors outside the GWS by layering a wash of colors on it in the dominant color temperature. So, I start painting around the GWS in opposite temps - where I see a warm green, I put down a cool red, where I see a warm yellow-brown, I put down a cool purple, and so on, leaving the whites where I want them but covering any areas I don't want white (like at the outside edges). I'll do that tomorrow.
I will get this right - I've got too much time and effort invested in it now to just toss it aside or start over.
Hey, if you love Boston Terriers (and who doesn't?), go on over to this blog by Julie Zickefoose and check out the posts on Chet Baker's birthday - scroll down a few days from the current posts. He is sooooo handsome! And was so adorable when he was just a puppeh!! Makes me want one...someday.
Come back later to see the progress on the painting - after I change the wash to warms.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
And the Planning Continues...
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
My Sister's Portrait - Now It's Mine :)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I also fell in love with Mary Barr Rhodes' mixed media pieces titled Coppered Wetlands I and Copper Wetlands II. They were both sooo beautiful and serene and I got one of those "I wish I had painted that" feelings when I stood in front of them.
The photography of Bill Paul was Jerry's favorites and he had a lot of praise for his work. I liked everything he had in the show, too.
So, if you get a chance during this holiday rush, drive on over and see the show. It's worth your time and the space is big and open and wonderful to walk around and take your time viewing each piece.
Today = class to finish some pieces and our class party :) So do you think we'll really paint today? Maybe - also Sandy is going to do a demo for us while we eat and talk and eat and share presents and cards and eat and...well, you get the idea. Stay away, old snow and ice, until our party's over and we're all back safe and sound at home....
Sunday, December 14, 2008
More Stages of Planning...
Grandma Got Run Over By a...
Now off to my art room with a cup of coffee to energize me - and work on that painting to be - if I get more work done that looks interesting, I'll post it later...
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Traced the chair and rakes and traced the woman in the sitting position separately and then just overlaid them and traced again, choosing what would go in front of what when edges overlapped.
And came up with this so far.
I also had to find some photos in the public domain that were of kudzu growing up things (which I'm going to use on the legs of the chair and over the woman in places).
Now, I can't promise I'll plan this much on every painting from now on but I'm going to try to plan more, paint less - especially in the intial stages. Afterall, I've gotten to the point in my painting where I don't want to just paint something - but I want to create something beautiful or interesting = step up to make art, not just paint for painting's sake.
Friday, December 12, 2008
More Quotes on Planning Your Work
"I'm very flattered when people tell me that my work looks as though it is done quickly. Actually, it is all very carefully planned out."
--- Nicholas Simmons (http://www.nicholassimmons.com)
They say you can't correct in watercolor, but you can. The first rule is not to make mistakes, so you need to spend some time visualizing the process before you put brush to paper."
--- Domenic DiStefano (84 and still painting and teaching and showing his work)
"Watercolor requires a great deal of planning..."
"Painting is 75 percent thinking and 25 percent putting brush to paper."
--- Nancy Gaucher-Thomas (http://www.gaucher-thomas.com)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Playing with Sketches
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Finished and Started in Class
Monday, December 8, 2008
Today, December 8th is the start of Rohatsu (called Bodhi Day on my Tibetan Calendar), the day Siddhartha, after much study and meditation, became the Buddha, the Enlightened One. Here is an article from Beliefnet.com about Rohatsu and what it means.
This "keeping both eyes on the prize" type of living also applies to our art. If you are looking for that first-second-third prize in any competition/juried show, then are you painting for you, or for the juror(s)? This is something I will have to ponder and decide for myself, since I'd like to enter more juried shows in my area in 2009. That's just for me and I don't think it's ego that's leading me that way - but doesn't ego lead us into lots of things we think are okay until we get there? ha ha
So...time to meditate and appreciate the here and now - it's a Zen thing...
I hope you are all safe (it's sleeting here and the roads will be like a skating rink), and warm (the temperatures have turned frigid and I'm glad there is no wind today), and most of all, content with who you are and where you are in this world today, right now.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Watercolor Magazine + Nicholas Simmons
My Winter 2009 issue of Watercolor magazine was delivered this afternoon. I poured over each painting, and then read one article through and through - the one about Nicolas Simmons and his watermedia techniques and paintings (talk about Eye Candy - and I mean the paintings! ha ha).
If you don't have a subscription, get a copy at your local newsagent/bookstore because it's full of wonderful artists that are bending if not downright breaking the rules of traditional, typical watercolor. Check it out! And go on over to Nick's blog (http://nicholassimmons.blogspot.com/) and see more work and read more words about art, music, life, etc.
What made this current issue so interesting and timely to me: I also got my latest issue of The Artist's Magazine. Inside, a watercolor painting instructor at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL bemoaned the lack of any images being painted in watercolor that were more than "interchangeable collections of beautifully crafted images" and that many talented watercolor artists are "only interested in creating images for decoration."
Well, maybe he should open the current Watercolor magazine and view works inside by:
John Salminen, Paul Rickert, Dominic DiStefano, and Nicholas Simmons.
I don't think any of these artists are just creating pretty, decorative pieces of art to hang above your sofa. They are some truly kick-ass painters, whether they pick up a brush filled with watercolor paint, acrylic, fluid acrylics, or mud from their back yard!