Sunday, October 31, 2010

Painting 'Jean Haines Style'

I recently received my copy of Jean Haines's new book, How to Paint Colour & Light in Watercolour . I've admired Jean's style since I first saw her work on During my early days dabbling in watercolor I followed a class Jean was giving on the w/c learning forum and found her style was beyond me at that point. I had just left realistic drawing and was relatively new to this medium. My intent was to pursue a medium that would allow (ok...FORCE) me to be more free and expressive. I found Jean's 'beyond' loose watercolor paintings fascinating but I just could not let go of that much control at the time. I'm better now (I have been able to loosen up) but this is taking it to the extreme , IMO and it's exciting.

This is my first humble attempt (I'm not counting those horrible paintings I created in her class years ago) at watercolor 'Jean Haines style'. My subject is one of my own cats. I'll leave my visitors to figure out what the cat is doing. Please take time to post your answers or guesses. Thanks!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Daniel Smith's 66 Color Try It Sheet~product review

FYI...Daniel Smith Art Supply offers a product called the 66 Try It Sheet (link), an 8.5" x 11" sheet of watercolor paper with 66 sample dots of their various extra fine watercolors, including many of their specialty colors such as interference shades and duochromes complete with all color information such as ASTM LR rating, degree of transparency, etc. I think it's a brilliant sales tactic on their part because it gives the artist a sampling of each of these colors for very little money. I ordered my sheet and today I wet most of the dots (some colors I have and am already familiar with) to see with my own eyes what they look like IRL and how they perform. I highly recommend this product to any artist if DS products are available in their country.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Berries & Birch~photo

Because of the odd weather last summer there were no ash berries. This year the mountain ash that flanks the birch trees across my drive is loaded with berries and I snapped this shot which I wanted to share. I love the colors of the berries and mountain ash leaves, the white flash of the birch bark and the Fall colors of the birch leaves. The color combination is amazing and looks bright, even on a rainy day. This may be inspiration for a future painting or just give me ideas for color combinations.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beach Babies & Gremlins

The Beach Babies are done! This is one of those paintings that I could sit and tweak until the cows came home but I think it's time to stop. I don't want it to begin looking overworked, overwrought, over-thought, etc. I hope it shows up correctly on screen. I'm still fooling around with my new monitor, trying to calibrate the colors, contrast, etc. Umm...looks like the colors of the water & sand are off on my screen but the babies look pretty accurate. I just wish I could know what my visitors are seeing.

Note: I swear...I have a gremlin visiting. I have had more things go wrong in the last few weeks, all mechanical in nature. The most recent 'happenings' computer mouse died. No big deal, right? Then the new one malfunctioned a day after I bought it and also had to be replaced. Two days later my computer monitor gave up the ghost. Fortunately my oldest son came to my rescue and found a great deal on a 19" flat screen to take the place of my poor little 15". All this made me nervous enough to call a local plumbing & heating contractor to come inspect my furnace as it's getting old and with winter coming that's one thing I can not live without. He'll be here next week and hopefully the news won't be too bad. Last night I took the time to sketch what I imagine my gremlin looks like. Nothing terribly threatening, just up to no good, throwing his wrench into things.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beach Babies~Sketch

I've finally decided on a format for this commission. The current sketch is only 10" x 14". I'm going to go ahead and paint this but may wind up enlarging the sketch and redoing. I'm not sure I can work this small and include enough detail. I'll also be matting and framing this so I don't have to worry about keeping to any particular size. The hands will be the most difficult, especially since I changed a few things. I may have to borrow my neighbor's kids as models to sort things out.

I haven't been painting a lot these past two months but have been taking lots of photos for possible future references. Hopefully they will provide me with plenty of inspiration during the coming winter months. Fall in northern lower Michigan has been unusually pleasant weatherwise this year but I know it won't last much longer.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Peacock Orchids~WIP 2

A quick update on my progress. Poor quality photo but it's the best I could manage today. At least the colors are more accurate than the image in my previous post. There's still hours of work ahead so I may wind up having to set this one aside (it will haunt me)so I can start my Beach Babies commission.

I love Doris Joa's work (link) and hope to capture some of her style for the Beach Babies. I checked to see if she had a book out on painting figures, particularly children but I found nothing available so I'll be winging it. Under these circumstances I'd better get a jump start as it may take more than one try to get it the way I want it.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Peacock Orchids~WIP 1

I've done all my shadows with fluid acrylic, then started glazing over that with watercolor, in this case Daler/Rowney's Vivid Green. The actual blooms are still protected by frisket film. I'll be tackling those last.

It seems like ages since I updated my blog, probably because I was locked into what I call analysis paralysis ie. over thinking. I'm also not the type of artist to have several projects going at once. If I have a piece that's not completed pushed to the side it tends to haunt me to distraction. This is also my first full sheet piece. It may not be a big deal to some but it's huge to me. I'm loathe to waste anything, especially paper so the thought of ruining a full sheet was rather numbing and counterproductive soooo.....I've been 'pecking' away at this for a few weeks. I'm not crazy about Arches #140 HP paper either. I've had problems in the past removing masking fluid and frisket film from the surface which tends to rough up very easily and I'm having the same issues with this recent batch. I should've ordered Fabriano. :(

As my reference for this piece, I used one of the photos I took last month in my Moon garden. I used frisket film to protect the flowers and foliage, masking fluid to protect areas of smaller growth at the bottom. I chose to pour my background using Da Vinci fluid acrylics. I took the whole painting, board and all into the bath tub and did my pouring there. Worked like a muss, no fuss. I washed the excess paint down the drain with my detachable shower head. I may do all my pours in the tub from now on.