Friday, June 17, 2011

Landscape #2 ~ Complete

Here I attempted to highlight the shapes I saw when looking at the reference photo. The obvious focal point in this painting is the area of paper left white in the small rectangle, center of image.

I just finished this one. It's loosey, juicy and kinda messy but I wasn't planning on offering it for sale so it doesn't matter. I think this has potential as a do-over. I like the composition and the colors. I switched to the quill of a feather for some of the fine branches, did the rest with the squirrel quill brush. Bit of a sloppy job but I'm not concerned in this case. Colors and color placement are so important to a landscape but composition even more so. Where the various values are placed is critical, too. At completion it's all got to make some sort of sense no matter how creative I wish to be. I operate primarily on instinct being self taught so if it looks 'right' I just go with it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Landscape #2 ~ WIP 1

Marilyn Campbell posted this photo of a beautiful wooded scene with a stream flowing through on Paint My Photo and I thought it looked like a perfect reference for my next landscape. I liked the composition, the range of values and the colors grabbed my eye. I'm posting my first update so I have a record of my progress. I'm working on a quarter sheet of Arches #140 CP paper with various brands of transparent watercolor and only a #2 squirrel quill. The purpose of using just the quill is to prevent me from adding unnecessary details. I want to keep this as loose and spontaneous as possible.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Learning to Paint a Landscape (skyscape?)

Original image

Tweak #1 (I ramped up the contrast)

Tweak #2 (Looks like a dust storm)

Tweak# 3 (Tornado skies. I can almost hear the warning sirens when I look at this)

I have never produced a landscape painting to my satisfaction...ever. Why this subject seems so difficult for me is a mystery but I've made it my goal this summer to tackle the beast. My interest in the genre was recently rekindled when I received the latest issue of Watercolor Artist and was pleased to see one of Z. L. Feng's landscapes featured on the cover. I absolutely love his landscape paintings, especially how he handles foliage and his use of color. I have a link to his website on my link list if anyone is interested. I suggest you take the time to check out his work. You won't be sorry.

I also received an email notice for the June challenge on Paint My Photo website. This month the subject is skies. The rules...any medium may be used but the sky must take up 3/4 of the total painting. Landscapes that are mostly sky can be very dramatic and exciting so I threw together a little sketch and gave it a whirl. I did spend time online looking at cloud formations prior to starting which helped but I couldn't find a reference photo I liked so this attempt is from imagination. I worked wet into wet with a leftover mixture of indigo, Quin. violet and Payne's grey, then floated in some white gouache and a little raw umber to create a stormy sky. I'm fairly happy with my cloud work. It's the stuff on the ground where I seem to stumble. Overall though, not bad for a start. I did play in my photo editor with the original image to see what other effects I could produce.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Dragonflies on Canvas~Complete

I've sure had fun with this one. I finished up the dragonflies yesterday but today thought it needed a little something else. I've had a 'thing' for metallics lately so I got out my gold Zig Painty and went to town.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Dragonflies on Canvas~WIP

This project seems to defy photographing. Everywhere light strikes an area of high texture it shows up as a white spot and the colors are nowhere near as garish as they appear but I did my best.

Jerry's Artarama ran a sale not long ago on pre-stretched, pre-primed canvases so I bought six 9" x 12" canvases with the intention of mounting and varnishing some of my watercolor paintings on them. There they sat, in the box they came in because I have no supplies to complete the job. A few days ago I decided to try my hand at coating one of these canvases with gesso and painting something with fluid acrylics. I protected my main subjects (the dragonflies) with masking fluid and just started painting...mostly amorphous, vaguely leaf and grass-like shapes and applying color with no thought of realism or 'sense' to placement of color. I'm ready now to remove the masking and complete the 'flies.