Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Under the Tree - a card a day project

Yesterday I began the start of this new one then finished up today in a Christmas card a day endeavor am not sure I can do for 25 more days! It measures 5.75 x 7.25 inches on Strathmore paper.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Little Bluebird

7x5 watercolor, another in my Christmas card a day project that has started to become an obsession. Look what you started, Stephie! Now I can't stop.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Red Light District-another Christmas card a day

7.25 x 5.75 inches watercolor of 3 Christmas lights in primary colors to lighten up your day! These are the old style electric lights we had growing up. Now where's the popcorn so I can string it to put on the tree I don't have up yet? Hope these bring back fond memories for you, too!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Christmas Card Today: Snowbird

7.25 x 5.25 inches of this cute fella bundled up waiting for cold weather and the chill factor to drop. He is my card for today so don't have a clue what tomorrow's subject will be. Birds and cats lately, though, have been it.

Finished Work: The Deep (brush only)

I added kosher salt, let dry, removed that, reapplied paint in some areas that were too light, then laid plastic wrap into wet paint. After that dried, lifted it off and did the spiky fish top right, bottom right one, the upper middle red small koi. Then far left fish with his mouth open and lastly the big guy in foreground. All developed using a brush, NO PENCIL, negative painting. I tried to lose edges, put darks next to lights, etc. No photo refs either. I re-wet top left and added salt again for texture. Lastly I splattered paint for bubbles as if underwater. Look closely you can see coral reef sticking up in the foreground. I'm sure it is full of mistakes but it sure was fun being creative and not copying photos for a change; this is real art folks!

The Deep - poured negative painting project

On 15x22 Italia 140 lb cold press paper, these puddles of wet watercolor were the beginning of what we call a poured painting. Next I took a wet 1" sable flat and blended all together.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Christmas Card a Day

9 3/4 x 7 inches watercolor, drawn with watersoluble pencil, using a tiny artificial red feathered cardinal I found in the craft section as a model. Christmas Cardinal is happily skipping along on this Black Friday anticipating the good sales and bargains. A card a day is a project challenge Stephie has set for us from now till 25 December, and I've only done two so far of the kitten and bird. They can be any size but must be watercolor of any subject suitable for holiday cards.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

15 Year Anniversary of Brushworks

It was on Thanksgiving Day in 1995 that I began opening my studio to the public here in Big Spring. An old converted boxcar downtown was its first home and today is Brushworks' 15th year of operation! Bean's World coffee house now sits where I started at age 42 with lots of hope for opening up the art world in town. It sure has been fun! Now at 2106 Scurry since 1998, my doors remain open for sharing ideas and exploring new horizons in art. If you have not been to see me and Jezebel, resident Siamese, please do stop by and I'll make you a cup of hazelnut coffee.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Kitty

Painted today, this little striped bundle of joy is dreaming of a visit by Santa. He even has his red and green collar on. It is 5x7 inches watercolor.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Photo ref backlit aspens

Reference photo courtesy Deb, WetCanvas Southwestern/Western forum November challenge.

Step 10 - Finishing up

More rusts, reds, and purple hues were added to foreground. Shadows were glazed as cast from trees using ultramarine blue and quin gold, from right to left across the bottom. A final splattering of pale orange done up in the foliage and a bit at the bottom for balance. Softening edges with a damp brush will complete the backlit aspens.

Step 9 - Foreground established

As this detail of the trunks shows, I have added darks made by mixing warm brown of orange and carbazole violet as well as Copper Kettle and ultramarine blue. Foreground area is now in for its initial color mingling of wet paint. I will let this dry and add other layers to correct values.
I've splattered color at random amongst the trunks, leaves, and twigs.

Step 8 - Middle ground plus a few greens

Adding warm colors to base of trees, still on dry paper, I went across this area to set the trees down. A few warm greens mixed with Arylide, ultramarine, Midnight, and Vitruvius blues were set side by side. Light yellow green areas show just a touch of summer we've left behind. More glazing on backlit trees, each tree being different from its neighbor, was done. This is a design principle called variation that I use a lot with each piece and keeps them from being boring.

Step 7 - More golden foliage

Layering yellows and golds over pale yellow poured wash allowed this much foliage to appear, plus beginning hot colors of alizarin crimson and Poppy, an orange-red.

Step 6 - Full view and distant background

As you can see in this image (minus the golden foliage detail) I'd placed dark green distant tree line, upper middle right, using quin gold and ultramarine blue.

Step 5 - Begin aspen foliage

Using #10 round brush, I began laying in golden autumn colors, still wet paint on dry paper. You can now see more branches and twigs in this detail. Paint used is Arylide, quinacridone gold, raw sienna, gamboge, and Halloween Orange.

Step 4 - Continuing aspen trunks/branches

As I kept working I would lightly glaze over the light trunks as they are backlit.

Step 3 - begin tree darks


To get the darkest color for the aspen markings, I mixed Midnight blue with Copper Kettle by American Journey. Continue on with each area to establish tree trunks.




Step 2 - blending colors

Using a wet 1" flat sable brush, I blended all wet paint together, then took a damp cotton rag and lifted vertical lines for the tree trunks. Let dry thoroughly.

Demo Aspens step 1 - poured paint

On dry paper, I poured 3 diluted primary colors: Arylide yellow, Poppy red, and Vitruvius blue by American Journey.

Backlit Aspens Demo

15x11 watercolor on Italia Acquerello 140 lb cold press paper finished yesterday. I will post each step here as a demo for this poured painting that was created with a brush only. NO PENCIL was used to draw any portion.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cumbrian Sheep

9.5 x 12.5 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper of two sheep who went astray and wandered into a neon field turning them shades of blues and turquoise.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reworked Cat and Fish

14x11 watercolor collage on gessoed matboard. Awhile back I painted this (December 2009) and posted here in the blog.

Realizing it was too dark, I took it back to the drafting table and removed the background then repainted using American Journey Mint Julep. Some fish were redone and cat's tabby stripes also. Hopefully it reads better now. I did leave the red paper collage ear. Its title is Cat Tales and Fish Stories.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Early Floral: Fence Row Hollies

22x15 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper, drawn from my backyard hollyhocks not long after beginning painting in the medium. As you can see it has a million things wrong with it but some had contacted me asking to see early floral or garden works. It was painted wet in wet, Daniel Smith paints.

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Flamingo

Now no one loves to paint these colorful tropical birds more than I do. It is a thrill when visiting Las Vegas to go by the Flamingo Hilton to the back of the hotel and watch them for hours around their koi pond, preening themselves as if performing in one of the stage shows. This painting is mixed media (colored pencil, watercolor, acrylics) on 8x11 gessoed matboard. It was a timed exercise on WetCanvas and took 5 minutes to draw and 55 to paint this weekend. Blades of grass were scratched out in semi-dry paint using bevel end of my 1" sable flat.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dusty Trails

20x16 watercolor on 140 lb cold pressed paper, American Journey paints. Although from age 5 it seems I spent most years growing up in a western saddle, I don't believe I had ever painted one. Horses, yes, but not all the accoutrements that go along on dusty trails. (Photo courtesy Deb/WetCanvas)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another Fractured Images Still Life

Dressy Callas, 22x15 watercolor
Here's another one in the same trend as the previous image ignoring perspective. Each of us in the Caboose Watercolor Society were tasked to create a composition using only 4 objects we'd selected prior and we had 6 months to 1 year to get our works done. (We had done a 4 Objects Still Life show several times). In this endeavor we had one fake calla lily, an Indian southwest blanket, a fake pear, and a coral colored miniature dress form jewelry holder. Good grief! I said when the items were delivered to me, how can anyone make an interesting design out of these incongruous, mundane, and uninteresting things? Well, here is my interpretation anyway, drawn, fractured, and painted in a broken shape relationship where all parts should make a whole.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Next Class: 8 Jan. 2011 Ignoring Perspective

22x10 watercolor still life painted in April '09 after reading Shirley Trevena's books/video. I drew this from life and imagination ignoring perspective and fracturing shapes, colors, lines and values in a unique tablescape.
For my next Big Spring workshop we will be studying this method of painting to create new and unusual designs. Email me to sign up for this January 2011 class. This painting was SOLD at its first show.

Little Red Hen demo

22x15 watercolor wet in wet demo for one of my classes. This painting is SOLD.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Today's Demo - Apples in Watercolor

22x13 watercolor on Saunders 140 lb cold press paper, titled Applecations for my class demonstration.

Using a fresh apple I drew it 3 different ways in a vertical format, then drew a rectangle letting the top and bottom fruit overlap edges. With primaries Permanent Rose, Arylide Yellow, and Prussian Blue I painted a wet-in-wet wash over the design. After drying, I began to color and tint apples and inside rectangle from light to dark keeping a high key image. In wet areas I sanded watersoluble colored pencils for texture. Lastly I brushed in negative shapes for leaves, apples, and stems throughout.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bird Hunting

22x15 watercolor on Arches 140 lb hot press paper of our old cat Bootsie who lived to be 17. Last year we had to say goodbye to him as his bird hunting days were coming to a close.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Aspen Gold

22x15 watercolor close up view of New Mexico aspens in full autumn color. This painting was purchased and hangs in Texas Senator Kel Seliger's office in Austin.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hollyhock Dreams and a Few of My Own

15x15 watercolor collage on Arches 140 cold press paper and sold last week. Speaking of dreams, I want to get 100 followers by Christmas. Already the number is 88 and climbing. Tell your friends to check out this blog and sign up if they want to learn more about art.

Today I've been busy taking digital photos of several paintings to send on a CD to Chris Unwin as they're publishing number 5 in the series The Artistic Touch. A worldwide bestseller, I hope to be juried in it again along with many top names in the business. Wish me luck!