Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gerbera Daisies

More pastel, with a watercolor underpainting. A friend gave them to us a couple of days ago. She was in Trader Joe's fairly early in the morning when a man working there handed them to her. What a treat!I managed to tip dust down the painting so I ended up with a dirty background. Oh well. These are such bright-colored flowers that I just had to paint them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Woods Path again

I've made some tweaking sort of changes in this as I've looked at it over the last 24 hours or so. Comparing this to the last version I posted reminds me of those games where you're supposed to find six differences between version A and version B. So, can you?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Woods Path

Pastel today. It's fun to switch media every now and then and I've had the urge to do pastels for a while now. The dogs love running in the woods and I sometimes take my camera, especially when it's a beautiful, sunny day as it was on Sunday. This a composite of several photos, or it's out of my head, but it's not an identifiable place.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Creek and Railroad Bridge

Today we're having a low 80's, low humidity day, rare for the Philadelphia area. It's also the day 4 of us paint together. Cheryl, one of the other painters, and I took my dogs and hiked into the woods for about a mile to a Boy Scout-built bridge over a small creek. There we sat, feet dangling over the water, sketchbooks and travel palettes to hand. No need to carry water in when you're over a creek! While the dogs chased around, splashed in the water, shook over us, clumped across the bridge and generally had a ball, Cheryl and I drew and painted. Lovely.

I draw in my sketchbook with a brown, fine Sharpie. Then I use paint to wash in colors. Today I felt like I'd gotten a little too caught up in the textures of rocks, RR bridge, leaves, so after the first go, I did a couple of others, simplifying more drastically each time. On the third one, I didn't even try for realistic colors.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I painted poppies today, composed from a couple of photos I've taken
of a friend's poppies.

I masked the poppies, stems and buds with masking tape and waxed paper, then spritzed the whole paper. Then I splashed drops of liquid watercolors here and there over the background, laid a piece of waxed paper over it all and used my hand to sort of smear/spread the drops around, turning the waxed paper a couple of times to move the texture around. I think I used a couple of colors of green, ultramarine blue and yellow, one at a time but not waiting for anything to dry between colors. The liquids and the waxed paper are a great way to get a textured background without painting it . . . and who could get that texture with a brush, anyway? I deliberately left the light diagonal across the top and left side.

After that mess had dried (hair dryers are great for impatient people like me), I took off the masking and used regular tube paints to paint the masked areas. The back, dark poppy suggested itself in the background so I let it be painted more red.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Tea for Two

The photo for this painting was taken in Scotland at a general store/tea room/post office in the glen of the River Lyon. We stopped here for something to eat on a Sunday after we'd driven the one-lane road over the mountain from the village where we were staying. I loved the open space on the mountain but it was drizzly and hard to get a photo that encompassed the openness of it.

The drawing for this took me half a morning, what with getting the perspective and all the different elements and shapes. Then so as not to get too lost in the drawing, I painted in the shadows first. I worked for a long time from a copy of the photo that had only 4 values. The color was added over the shadows. It's a good way for me to work, since I sometimes get so caught up in the colors that I lose track of the over all painting.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

glazing paint over shapes

Today I tried something very specific, inspired by the work of Donald Holden shown in an article in the magazine "Watercolor" from American Artist which came the other day. I went through my digital photos of Maine and picked some that had big areas of dark and light. I printed several in grayscale and painted from them. The color is built up in glazes using only 2 colors: quinachridone gold in both; ultramarine blue as the second color in one and winsor violet in the other. They're both small, for me: 11" x 7". Comments and critiques invited.

Woods again

I've done a little more on this painting, mostly in the upper left. I could leave it at this point, or I could do some more if more suggests itself to me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

woods abstract work in process

I've been pulled toward doing more abstract work lately, although I'm never sure how to begin (or continue, for that matter). I thought about what I particularly like and woods and trees came to mind. I spent one afternoon at the computer, manipulating the values and colors of some of my photos taken in the woods in Photoshop and ended up printing several of my creations. This painting has been built on one of the photos which is collaged on my paper in the upper left, along with some pieces of another version in a couple of other places. I've gotten this far and now I'm not certain where to go next, so I'm going to live with the painting as it is until it (or someone) suggests the next step.