Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bluebird Branches

9.75x5 inches colored pencil on 140 lb watercolor paper, watersoluble colored pencils, Inktense pencils to draw, then water added along with watercolor.  When dry, I coated the entire paper except for the birds, with white gouache.  The colors of spring in muted pastels frame the birds as they sing.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pots and Hearts

6x6 watersoluble colored pencils over Pigma Micron 03 ink drawing, done yesterday on the way back from New Mexico. I photographed these clay pots at a friend's garden.  She or someone else had painted blue hearts around one clay pot rim.  Below you can see the initial lay in of the pencils before another layer and water were added.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chick Chat

4.5x7 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper done this weekend while in the mountains.  These are my friend Mollie's chickens having a nice chick chat in their coop.  They live in Flint, close to Noonday and Tyler TX.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Horseback Warrior

5.5x8 ink drawing on Strathmore Visual Journal mixed media, of metal Indian sculpture, with watercolor added.  I tried to post this yesterday after painting it but neither laptop nor Internet would cooperate.  I featured this 1 hour southwest art on the current weekend drawing event on WetCanvas hosted by Valri Ary.  Image is copyright 2013 Kay Smith.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mane Attraction

5.5 x 7 inches watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper.  Drawn first with pencil I laid colors in wetly using limited palette then added watersoluble colored pencil scrapings with sandpaper into wet areas for texture.  This work is SOLD.
Image copyright 2013 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lonely Donkey

6x6 watercolor on Canson Montval 140 lb cold press paper/Daniel Smith paints:  Quinacridones burnt orange & gold, transparent pyrrol orange; American Journey:  Sepia, raw umber, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, prussian blue.  I drew this from my ink sketch done recently as seen below.

6x6 Pitt grey pen ink sketch in Masters Touch sketchbook; copyright 2013 Kay Smith
This work is SOLD.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shaggy Bison

10x7.5 watercolor, done from my ink sketch a few days ago and no color reference.  This is Canson paper which allows lots of surprises with fluid media.  Image copyright 2013 Kay Smith.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sparrow and Hydrangeas

12x9 watercolor on Canson Montval 140 lb cold press paper/Daniel Smith paints.  Ref courtesy Dominika (WetCanvas.com) for this month's Animal & Wildlife forum challenge.  I had him drawn but not any time to paint.  I worked from a black and white print, and made up the lovely hydrangeas below the barbed wire fence he is on.  Background is nothing more than mixing the colors out on my palette into a grey mess, then applying with very wet 1" flat brush.
This painting is copyright 2013 Kay Smith.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fresh Cosmos on Yupo


14x11 watercolor of white and pink cosmos flowers just in time for spring! This was painted yesterday on Yupo synthetic paper from several of my cosmos photos. This image is Copyright 2013 Kay Smith.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chef with Rainbow Trout

22x15 watercolor on Saunders 300 lb paper/Daniel Smith paints, done today as my 2 hour painting exercise.  I drew him with Pigma Micron 01 pen onto the heavy paper.  A large plate with fish was drawn to the left, ignoring perspective.  The initial sketch is below from which I drew this one.  First sketches are always the best and freshest, so unless you trace it, it won't look the same.

Ink sketch with Pitt grey pen, drawing the chef from life using one of my figurines from a cute chef collection.  This looks nothing like the figurine!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Calla Charm

14x10 watercolor on Kilimanjaro block 140 lb cold press paper.  A lone white bloom beckons the spring gardener to get busy planting more lovelies.  Image (c) copyright Kay Smith 2013.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mare and Foal

7.5x9 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper/Daniel Smith paints done this afternoon, from an initial 6x6 ink sketch as seen below.  Today I had to redraw it into a larger format, and I worked from a black and white photo copy.  The photo is featured on the current Weekend Drawing Event in the All Media Art Event forum of WetCanvas website and is courtesy of Lin.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pansy Party

11.25x17.5 watercolor on Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press paper that I painted yesterday afternoon, wet in wet.  As dry as it is here, had to keep wetting the front and back plus keep a towel over areas not yet touched.  I felt sorry for the pansies as hotter days tend to make them droop, wilt, and die, so they can live on in art and have a party doing so!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Little Girl with Red Pail

8x5.5 watercolor over ink sketch, ultrafine tip black Sharpie and Strathmore Visual Journal, of a young girl headed to the beach.  I am trying out the new journal and really do like its paper for watermedia, which is 140 lb cold pressed and acid free.  It will take watercolor, pen and ink, collage and marker.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Crows and Cardinal in Snow WIP

These series of steps taken today outline a work in progress or WIP, beginning with thumbnail sketches in colored pencils.  This scene is a commission and has been SOLD.

Each of these is about 3x4 inches to just get a feel for the subject.  My client saw a similar scene of black crows with one red male cardinal years ago, and wanted the vivid imagery translated by an artist to keep the memory alive.  So I hope I can do it justice.  I will be using watercolors on Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press paper.  Paints are:  Quinacridone burnt orange, shadow violet, ultramarine blue, midnight blue, quin magenta, gamboge, Grumbacher true red, permanent red, and alizarin crimson.  All black is mixed with these colors.

First step was to draw an odd number of crows and place them in the middle ground, as the cardinal will be in foreground, lower right, and he'll be the automatic center of interest due to his bright plumage.  Crows are a mix of first 5 pigments listed above; small areas of the birds were wet then color applied one hue next to the other and let blend.  You can see an old white fence in the back as a high horizon line.

Next step is a pale wash of UB and QBO, I painted the areas between white pickets and splashed more in foreground; cardinal will be almost last.  Fence texture will be done with drybrush.

Step 3 is the addition of the cardinal and in this detail you can see weathered back fence and inbetween.  I've added small dark seeds as they are foraging in winter and are quite hungry.  The cardinal doesn't have any seeds to eat and is venturing towards the big guys hoping to peck out a few morsels.

Final step! Quite tricky making sure the crows were larger than the cardinal and a different stance on each one.  Slight snow shadows added to ground the birds, and when dry, I splattered a dark mix of paint for tiny seeds.  I hope this reads right and that the customer is pleased, as this one was a joy to plan and paint.  Crows and Cardinal in Snow 11x15 watercolor, copyright Kay Smith 2013.

Friday, April 12, 2013

How the Cow Ate the Cabbage

12x9 India inks on Strathmore watercolor paper, painted yesterday, with NO pencil drawing first.  She is happily chewing, hay probably and not cabbage, but the title just fit.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


12x9 watercolor and black India ink done yesterday, based on an ink sketch and the sweater colors I was wearing, hence the title.
The ink sketch 8.5x11 is below of one of our old horses.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Oilfield Icon - Pumpjack

22x30 watercolor on Arches 140 lb cold press paper with Daniel Smith/American Journey paints.  My photo reference is between Big Spring and Snyder, Texas in what is now known as the new and largest ever oil discovery, the Cline Shale.  I took 3 days to carefully and painstakingly draw this directly onto the support, then all week to finish it.  The original pumpjack was painted a pale yellow so I've used artistic license to darken the metal frame and its supporting structures.  A farmer was plowing in the cotton field to the right but he's left out of the composition of this very large pumpjack, the icon of the oilfield.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dress Code

22x30 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper, a design composition I made up awhile back using parts of a dress catalog advertisement, one of my red amaryllis and my cockatoo paintings.  Along with the cut up dress images, I squeezed in iconic evergreen trees here and there.  I moved parts around on a large 5x9 index card until I got a pleasing arrangement, then drew it from there. Each abstract segment is its own little painting.  The large black pendant necklace on a grey and red suit gave the painting its title of  Dress Code.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Wine Bottles

8.5x11 watermedia (Inktense and watersoluble colored pencils) on 22 lb paper.  A contour line drawing was done with Photoshop then dry media applied, then water to blend colors.  The initial version is shown below sans water.

So the look is a little more sparse with this image detail.

Original photo reference, courtesy Maureen with WetCanvas! Weekend Drawing Event challenge, 5-7 April 2013.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Horseback Rider

10x14 watercolor, SOLD, of one of my nephews riding horseback.  This is painted on Saunders 140 lb cold press paper using Daniel Smith and DaVinci paints.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Jackrabbit sketch

6x8 ink sketch of the humble jackrabbit, always searching for green grass to eat, and watching out for coyotes!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sandstorm with Pumpjacks

22x30 watercolor on 140 lb cold press Saunders Waterford paper. An imaginary west Texas scene, it is complete with distant buildings and oilfield pumpjacks silhouetted against a hot stormy sky.  A lone pumpjack is busy in the near foreground, a cotton field.  With the recent discovery of the huge Cline Shale in our own Howard County, I'm sure to paint many more scenes, so stay tuned.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tuxedo Tulips

15x12 watercolor of three variegated tulips painted on cold press paper.  This one had a red background which did nothing for the color scheme, so I mixed black (alizarin + thalo green) and painted over it.  This painting is SOLD.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No Stone Unturned

12.25 x 18.5 watercolor painted today using a small slanted palette knife.  Except for a brief light value manganese blue sky laid in with 1.5" flat brush, there are no pencil lines nor brushmarks in this rocky landscape.  I did spritz with water mister to make colors run and emphasized texure on Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press paper.  Total time was about 2 hours.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wild Sunflower

5x3.5 watercolor on Saunders 140 cold press paper, painted wet in wet quickly.  I decided to put the sky at the bottom for a change!