Ink, Yarn & Beer

my life a bit at a time

Sunday Morning

June 24, 2018

This morning I had one goal in mind:  paint.  With a gloomy sky here on the California coast, the damp and cold penetrate you to the bone.  Once it leaves, it’s a great big sunny day ahead!  So, while waiting for the fog to dissipate, I took a few pictures of a bouquet I put together of chamomile flowers and small, red carnations in a rectangular glass base.  I didn’t do a value study because I wanted to look at the colors – light, dark, and so on – to see what I could produce.

I penciled in the basic drawing, took some notes of the colors and mixed this and that, testing them on a scrap of paper.  Looking at the vase, I saw the different shades of color through the glass with water and without water, as well as the water line and edges of the vase.  Chamomile leaves are multi-lobed and floppy; carnation leaves are rather spiky.  Chamomile flowers are happy, daisy-like flowers, and quite small.  Carnations are upright.  Both are really lovely!

Process was like my last two flower paintings – start with the large areas of color and move into details.  Overall, it worked here, until I started getting into the hodge-podge of leaves.  I think I should have simplified their masses of color, but I didn’t.  I like the negative painting I accomplished for the chamomile flowers, as well as the edges along the bouquet where the white flowers have to merge into something.  The carnations were far more difficult than I thought, and once more, I made something more complicated and tight than I would like to see as “my” style.

Nonetheless, I feel that this painting is a moderate success.  I was patient and let the washes dry, working from lighter to more dark, thinking about white space and negative painting.  And I still have a bouquet of flowers to enjoy!

Sky, Interrupted

December 24, 2017

This morning I sat down to practice skies.  If I were to do the ones in my neighborhood, they would be blue.  That’s all.  Just blue.  Clouds are not a common sight where I live!

Anyway, so I scooted around YouTube and found some videos that had some good ideas.  One showed how to do lifting with tissue, advising not to scrub too hard on lightweight paper.  Important to know – I scrubbed a bit of the paper off.  Others used some rather wild color combinations, or certainly ones I haven’t thought about using.  Add to that, I wasn’t trying to accomplish anything more than playing, so it was altogether a fun way to start the morning.

This first one is a combination of Sodalite Genuine, by Daniel Smith, Ultramarine Blue, and Quinacridone Gold.  The Sodalite is a color I picked up on a whim, put in my palette, but had never used until this morning.  It granulates wonderfully, and is a good charcoal grey.  I think I will be using it again.

Then I started another one, wetting the paper once, letting it soak in a second time, and then wetting it again.  I am using Canson XL watercolor paper, which has a nice texture, is about 90#, and is a student grade paper.  I like it because it is working out really well for my needs.

After wetting the paper, I decided to start with a gradated wash, using the reverse side of another painting (to save paper, eh?).  The brush I used was a flat with rather stiff bristles, and the result was lines throughout the wash.  Oh, well.  Then I simply lifted the color off.  Then I began adding Carbazole Violet and Quinacridone Gold.

And then the phone rang!  My brother and his wife in Wisconsin calling, to wish us well for the holidays . . . . the painting was forgotten for the next several minutes, and this is the result.

Regardless as to whether or not this last looks like clouds, the colors have a lot of potential for a dramatic sky some day.  I really like the colors!  I like both, actually.

White space.  No mud.  I must be doing something right!

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