Stat Counter

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Watercolor's bad rap

I have to admit that I love painting both in oils and in watercolors.  Luckily when I started painting I had no idea of the reputation that watercolor had for being hard to work with.  If I had, I probably would have steered clear of it but I didn't hear that it was supposedly the hardest medium to work in until much later.  By then, I realized the reputation was not earned.  Sure, you can't scrape everything off at the end of the day if you don't like your painting but you can take it to the nearest sink and wash almost everything off.

You don't have to paint from light to dark as most people think.  You can lift the darks and add light paint at another time.  You can erase only it is called lifting.  You can also get muddy colors but as one who enjoyed mud, I don't mind when colors get muted.  Mother Nature doesn't mind either.  Just look out any window on a cloudy day.

This painting was lots of fun to paint and I intentionally tried to use a muted palette.  I especially loved the way the sky came together.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Self Portrait

All the figure doodling got me inspired to try a watercolor self portrait sketch.  I sure was tempted to make myself younger and thinner but I resisted!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Practice, practice, practice

Many of my art friends are talking of the need to sketch each day and I couldn't agree more.  I'm trying to feel more comfortable with quick sketches done in watercolor rather than use graphite and my trusty eraser.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quick Sketch

Thursday night I had an opportunity to do some quick sketches from a live, undraped model here at our local art center.  We started out with a few 5 minute poses and then moved on to the "long" poses of 20 minutes each.  It is always a little intimidating for me to sketch people quickly especially if I'm with a group of really good artists.  They always seem to get into the flow right away while I often feel like a sputter a bit before I find my groove.  Most of the artists I was with had art degrees and years of experience and I, as you probably know, am mainly self taught with a few classes or workshops along the way.   I ended up having a fun evening and today decided that rather than doing a full painting in oil,  I'd practice with some quick watercolor sketches.

Disclaimer - Unlike many artists, I post my successful paintings as well as my not-so-successful ones.  These sketches are by no means masterpieces, but they were fun.

I usually begin by getting the shape of the head in then move on to placing features.  I wondered what it would be like to begin by painting eyes, the build out from there.  What a strange feeling it is to have a face staring out at me while I'm trying to paint.  I think you'll see what I mean.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Be willing to change

If you've followed any of my posts you have discovered that I will often go back into a painting later and change it.  Some times the change is for the better and some times it is not.  I think the important thing is to be willing to risk change even if something doesn't work out.

This painting below was done intuitively, meaning I did not have any reference photo or scene to work from - just my memory.  Memories are influenced by past and present situations and state of mind.  I have a feeling that I added the fall colors as my way of turning back the clock.  Rather than being in the dead of winter as I am now, I brought the fall colors into my studio and into my life.

Here's the before and the after.  What do you think?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A few years ago a friend and I traveled through some of our great national parks.  This was a stop by a falls in the Grand Teton National Park.  I am enjoying combining brush and palette knife to give an abstract feeling to the scene.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Portrait or Landscape

Most artists have a favorite subject to paint.  For some it is still life, others love landscapes and others do mainly figures.  I don't think I've painted very many still life paintings but usually go back and forth between figures and landscapes.  I love both and never know when I enter my studio what is going to grab me that day.  Today it's a landscape.  Tomorrow remains to be seen.