Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tulips - WIP woven watercolor

Continuing on day 2 work in progress of watercolor tulips, two painted at the same time on quarter sheets side by side.  Today I did not have much time, maybe 20 minutes, so had to think and work fast to get the greens going.  I used arylide yellow, Prussian blue, ultramarine blue, and green gold.  Stems of the blooms were done first then the leaves.  Keep in mind I am doing "direct painting" meaning ONE application only, as dark or as light as needed.  This approach ensures freshness with no muddy colors resulting.  Now if too light I will add a wash to the desired value.

Note diagonal lines of the leaves and curves.  Even the stems are on a slant.  This is to indicate movement of the leaves and blooms and avoids stasticity of straight line elements.  Tomorrow the small tiny tulip just about to open will be put in, then the background which will be darker value to showcase the lightest lights in the flowers.  Both are similar but not exact as you won't be able to tell once they are cut into vertical and horizontal strips then woven into one piece.
Images COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tulips - WIP woven watercolor


reference photo

It has been awhile since I did a work in progress (WIP ) and even longer since doing a watercolor that is 'woven'.  With this technique, you must do two paintings alike as seen in today's pencil sketch BELOW.  When done, one will be cut into vertical strips and the other horizontal strips, then woven into its own painting.

Two pencil drawings 15x11 on 140 lb cold press Canson watercolor paper, using ref photo to get shapes correct.

With both side by side on DRY paper I started with the uppermost top tulip, making it variegated, applying arylide yellow and transparent pyrrol orange with 1" flat sable brush.  Alternating colors I switched back and forth with each stroke trying to have them identical.

Second tulip with more reds and pinks variations was next, letting colors mingle.  Colors:  Alizarin crimson, permanent rose, Grumbacher red, arylide, quinacridones violet and magenta.  Pale green made with arylide and Prussian blue was painted.  Stay tuned for more.
Images COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pastel Pink Geraniums

6x4 pastels over watercolor, brush only, done today from life.  I used a variegated geranium for the two shades of pink, blocking all shapes in with #10 round brush, then covering with pale washes.  When dry, Caran D'Ache watersoluble wax pastels were applied to this floral on a Pastel Journal magazine card.  No water was put on the final pastel layer.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fun Flamingo

4.25x6 acrylics on paper, another magazine insert card from Acrylic Artist.  This is today's work, a close up view of a lovely pale pinkish orange bird.  Sketched in pencil first, this fellow was a fast study of contrasts with its black tipped beak, beady eye, and soft fluffy feathers.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dandy Donkey

5.5x4 watercolor and ink on a magazine card insert from People.  Drawn with black Tombow brush pen, I added more black ink inside his ears and blended with water.  Watercolors of quin burnt orange and ultramarine blue make up the browns while background is arylide yellow, green gold, and indigo blue.  When dry it was stamped using tiny bubble wrap scrap.  This fellow lives on a farm next to my mother's mailbox.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Chipping Sparrow

6x4 watercolor, ink, Tombow black ink brush pen, gouache of a chipping sparrow painted on the first of the month.  I used another magazine card, those free annoying inserts I like to rip out and throw away, till now when I'm having fun painting watermedia on them.  Other artists are taking up the trend and turning out some superb little pieces.  This one was posted in Sketchbook Skool Facebook page.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Cattail Marsh Birds Landscape

11x15 watercolor, brush only, of a marsh complete with cattails, ducks, and redwinged blackbirds painted recently.  The birds were enjoying their natural habitat in this landscape with water and grasses.
Image COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

White Throated Sparrow

4.25x6 watercolor and ink (Pigma Micron 01 pen) on a magazine insert card done yesterday.  I like the touches of pink in the abstract background and orange/salmon elsewhere.  I used a card in latest issue of The Artist's Magazine.  These small ones are so fun to paint, and the common sparrow varieties seem endless.
Image COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chester Cat Lounging

12x9 watercolor vignette painted yesterday on Canson 140 lb cold press paper over a pencil drawing.  Chester is a very large and tall rescue kitty who has lived with us since 2011.  No masking fluid used for white fur areas.  He is missing his right whisker above right eye and no clue how that happened.  He was lounging when I took this photo and trying to decide if he wanted to reach over and slap me or not.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Seven Cows - mixed media collage

5.5x8.5 mixed media collage on paper using palette knife and brush done a few weeks ago.  Over a novel page I drew cows in ink then applied watercolor, some gouache, then splatters for texture.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Geraniums for 1.99

11x14 watercolor on 140 lb cold press Saunders Waterford paper painted from a greenhouse nursery photo I took in Midland, TX. This was done in 1995 so I'd only been into watercolor for 2 years and not daily painting for sure.  Geraniums were cheap back then at Alldredge Gardens unlike today's prices.  This work is SOLD.
Image is COPYRIGHT Kay Smith.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Odessa Sunflower - demo today

15x22 watercolor on Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press paper done today for the Odessa Texas Art Association live demo program.  I photographed the sunflower in 2003 in that town as Leada Wood and I were traveling for an art meeting; many other photos from that day have been painted but not this one.  About 1.5 hours was the time limit.  This is wet on dry using 1" flat sable brush and these pigments:  Quinacridones burnt orange and gold, Prussian, ultramarine and Bice blues, arylide and cadmium yellows, and new gamboge.  A very wet Blue Bice (American Journey) hue was the main background color.  As an opaque, it had to be thinner.  Note the two small lavender and brown shaded moths.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ink Blot Flowers

9x10.25 inks on paper done this afternoon as part of Sketchbook Skool lesson.  Instructions were to drop any color of ink onto paper, cover with paper towel, close sketchbook and apply pressure, then open and remove towel...then using black ink, design something around the splotches.  Fun thing to do requiring only a few supplies and your imagination.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Captain Bligh's Boat

5.5x8.5 watercolor and ink line on Masters sketchbook paper done today. Combining two ref photos into one in hopes it tells a story during WetCanvas weekend drawing event online.  I used a landscape with a boat scene then sketched a man dressed as Captain Bligh in foreground, taking a big drink as he realizes his crew is gone.  (The legendary mutiny never happened; only in the movies as he was a decorated naval officer).  This was a fun exercise and thanks to Christine in Australia for providing references.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


8.5x5.5 watercolor and ink (Pigma Micron 01 pen) line on Masters sketchbook which is today's artwork.  I have not ever painted a carton of eggs and this was a fun journal exercise.  Note the word 'egg' spelled out lower right for a touch of whimsy.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring Trees - watercolor palette knife

12x9 watercolor of a stand of trees just leafing out for Spring.  With no predrawing with pencil, this was entirely done with a small metal palette knife onto semi-moist Canson paper this afternoon.  To those artists who have contacted me curious about using a palette knife, just think of the tool as a spoon.  You can slide it on its edge for straight lines or literally scoop a load of watery paint up and deposit onto your paper as seen in the blue areas.  Let partially dry then charge another analogous color in there and watch the mixing and blending happen.  Keep tilted at 30-40 degree angle to allow paint to run and occasionally spritz with a fine sprayer.  When dry add shadows and load up a brush for splatter marks.  Flying birds were put in on dry paper with palette knife, too.  Try it! No reference used as you don't need one.
Image COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Siamese Spring

6x6 watercolor and ink line on Masters sketchbook painted today.  Previously I'd sketched Jezebel with Micron 01 pen but didn't have time to add paint.  Since she was staring out the windows at sunshine I've added yellow orange, red orange with splatters of cool blues and mint green.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Common Chipping Sparrow

8x5.5 watercolor on Strathmore Visual Journal done today.  A pencil drawing was done lightly to mark outlines then watercolor put in over areas wet with #8, #10 round brushes.  A fairly limited palette used of ultramarine and Prussian blues, quinacridones burnt orange and gold, Bice and Periwinkle blues (American Journey).  When dry I used small amounts of white and Coastal Fog (AJ) on the sparrow's breast.  Background is loose and abstract with diagonal lines indicative of branches or twigs; splattering with Blue Bice applied when dry.  This work is part of WetCanvas weekend drawing event timed exercise; photo courtesy AvengingManatee.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Soaring Seagull

22x15 watercolor on 140 lb cold press Kilimanjaro paper with limited palette of ultramarine and Prussian blues, quinacridone burnt orange and gold, and raw umber.  This gull was done today from one of many shore bird photos taken thru the years.  I see them soaring overheard from my office window every day on their way to Comanche Trail lake nearby.  The sky is today's mix of clouds, sun, storms brewing, etc.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Indian Fisherman - WIP

15.25x 11.75 mixed media on matboard.  Probably finished but will study again tomorrow or during the coming days.  Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith/courtesy WetCanvas Weekend Drawing Event in All Media Art Events forum.  (Two hour timed exercise).

The image above is at the 2 hour mark. The water was not painted in and plaid shirt plus details were omitted; I like the unfinished look to it being rough just like the fisherman who leads a hard life.  You can see the yellow nylon nautical ropes behind him and distant shoreline trees.

 Next is ink line with Staedtler LumoColor black in pen as above.

I chose a hardworking Indian fisherman and decided to use 15.25x 11.75 matboard onto which I put down a stencil of odd shaped holes and painted both acrylic and watercolor (no gesso first). See it here above.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Greenjay Gaze

5x3.5 watercolor and ink on magazine insert card paper done today from one of my greenjay images.  This fellow is gazing at something we cannot see or maybe just because it is Spring! Pigma Micron 01 pen used to draw the bird and branch then background is multiple dropping in of various pinks, mixed purples, and greens.  Splattering with opaque pink done when dry (Taylor's Flamingo Pink by Cheap Joe's American Journey).
COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ride a Red Bike

22x30 watercolor on Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press finished yesterday, a bicycle illustration with a basket of dahlias added for this vignette.  I used a 3" flat brush for the background of thalo yellow green to set off the reds.  I needed to paint dahlias for a WetCanvas contest so using a bike and basket for them was perfect..
Image COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Parking Lot Birds

7.5x5 watercolor with Moleskine sketchbook done in February while out of town.  It was part of a week assignment during Sketchbook Skool so I selected the ordinary black birds so prevalent in all areas, especially parking lots.
Image COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Magnificent Magnolia

11x15 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper; painted wet in wet with darks put in first, then midtones and lights.  White petals are actually the white of the paper as white paint is not used in transparent watercolor.  This is from a bloom on my neighbor's tree.  I love its waxy leaves and petals.  This painting is SOLD.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Cheerful Chickadee

5.5x4 watercolor and ink line (Uniball pen) that is today's work on a magazine insert card, those annoying things which fall out or are too stuck to come out.  But the bird is happy walking along his branch amidst fresh blues and greens of Spring.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bunny and White Pansies

11x15 watercolor done before of a ceramic bunny rabbit's head (broke off from body) I stuck in a window box.  Pansies were just planted and it was an ideal still life.  Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Granada townscape

5.5x8 watercolor on Strathmore Visual Journal for mixed media, a townscape painted in December but not yet posted on my blog. This scene was another online exercise and is in Spain, courtesy another participating artist.  In the view here one can look down at rooftop patios and gardens while enjoying the multicolored buildings in amongst the neutral toned ones.
Image is COPYRIGHT Kay Smith 2014.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Joe's Pink Hibiscus

15x22 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper, a commission of this delicate pink hibiscus, one of my favorite types of flowering plants.  From their graceful long stamens to paper thin petals the hibiscus charms anyone who sees it or paints it.  This work is SOLD.
Image COPYRIGHT Kay Smith 2015.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Modern Day Dragon - iguana

5x7.5 watercolor, colored pencils, and ink line on Moleskine sketchbook done last week.  Featured on WetCanvas this was a timed exercise with the Weekend Drawing Event.  Participants have 2 hours to select one of 16 images the person hosting has posted and paint or draw.  Although I have my own iguana photos from one of our Central America trips, this fancy green lizard was too neon to pass up and I admired the reptile's patterned tail.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


12x9 watercolor (brush only) painted yesterday as a still life complete with limes and kosher salt on Canson 140 lb cold press paper.
This imaginary scene could be any table top or bar anywhere.  I'm having to limit sodium intake so the first thing I wanted to paint was salt.  I love salt.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.