Thursday, July 29, 2010
Watercolor, 4-1/2" x 6-1/2"
Was planning to take photos at each stage while painting this, but got so involved that I pretty much forgot about the camera- hence the big jump between the initial drawing and first wash and the last two pics. In the final version I darkened the background at the bottom. I wanted the petunias to stand out more. Not sure if that was a good decision or not.
I'm learning to "step back" while I'm painting. What a painting looks like when it's right in front of my nose, and what it looks like from 8-10 feet away is quite different. Since paintings are usually viewed from several feet away, I'm trying to keep this in mind so that I'm aware of how the painting reads from a distance. Periodically, I set the painting somewhere in the house where I can stand across the room and look at it. Amazing what you see from this viewpoint. This also helps me to fiddle around less, because from several feet away you can't see all those darling details!
The final pic has a violet cast to it... but the colors are truer in the middle pic. It was raining when I took the last pic so the light was poor.
Oh, an update on the blueberry picking... I've now picked 92 quarts and am thinking of having all the blueberry bushes cut down.
Just kidding ;-)
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Cherries, Watercolor. Original size: 9 x 6, now bookmark sized.
If there's one thing I learned from this little piece, it's the importance of shadows.
There I was, merrily painting away, thinking that, hey, things were going fairly well (you know what they say about pride going before a fall) when I got to the shadows. So diligent was I about new techniques I was trying that I really hadn't given much thought to the shadows. Mistake Number One. They weren't neat shadows with clean edges that were easy to draw and paint. They were sort of there, and yet they really weren't there. So I decided I wouldn't worry about the shadows, I'd work on those yummy red cherries and just wing it when I got to the shadows. Mistake Number Two. You're going to cringe when you read this next part. Not sure I should actually admit to this... but, in the spirit of learning, here goes. For the shadows, I loaded up what I thought was a rich dark color, quite suitable for shadows, and then just dropped in this strong color with no particular aim or plan. I know, I know.... Mistake Number Three. I guess I thought the paint knew where it was supposed to go, and, like well behaved paint, would produce wonderful shadows to make those cherries pop! I laugh now - even as I'm typing this - thinking about my blissful ignorance and audacity. As you can see, I got exactly what I deserved for giving those all-important shadows short shrift.... a misshapen lump of some dark thing that's creeping up on the cherries.
As I looked at the mess I'd made (and thought about how much time I had in this one little painting) I remembered something Jo once said (Bless you, Jo!), "Why not cut out the part you like and make a book mark"? A Ha! A bookmark it is! So, the final, much narrower version is now a one-of-a-kind bookmark. Which, appropriately, I shall use while I'm doing some studying on shadows and light. I now have a new found respect for shadows.
Aside from the shadow fiasco, I was okay with the lace and the reflections on the side of the bowl... my first time tackling that kind of subject. I'm usually not big on still lifes, but I really enjoyed doing this one. (BTW: the yellow cast on the highlights in the first 3 photos is masking fluid).
And the blueberry pies in the last photo? This is the time of the year when my blog earns its name. So far, I've picked 72 quarts of blueberries. Made these two pies in between WIP's 3 & 4. At least something came out alright! :-)
Sunday, July 11, 2010
"Reflections" 4x6, watercolor
This is a small painting I started before the impromptu vacation. I was attracted to the scene by the almost calligraphic reflections of the leaves in the water. I'm still experimenting with different ways to apply paint and working on building my "effects library". I'm out of my comfort zone when painting water... but painting it is the only way to become comfortable with it!
Friday, July 9, 2010
We had a kind of impromptu vacation. My son and his wife, spending a week at the beach, asked the hubby and I to come down and spend a few days with them. They rented the top apartment of a beach house and had plenty of room...so... off we went! We had lots of fun, ate way too much food that's on my no-no list (but it was a vacation!) and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with our son and daughter in law. Nice to spend time with your kids when they're grown... it's a different kind of relationship at that stage of life.
I'm posting a few pics. The surfer in the pics is my son, Philip. The last pic is Philip and Rhonda, our DIL, although we claim her as a daughter :-)