Friday, 8 October 2010
Meanwhile, I'm thinking this pony would make a lovely subject for a linocut.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
From a photo of a mountain stream in late winter. This is very much a sketch focusing on how to render contrasting textures of vegetation, rock that is both wet and dry, and water from smooth and dark to white and foamy.
I was very conscious of NOT overworking and stopped the moment I found myself getting fiddly with this. I'm pleased for not ruining the white water with too much fussing---it was very frothy indeed, and the only thing I would add now would be a few touches of very light yellow to describe the direction of flow. However, the water under the bank and rocks should be darker and warmer, to reflect the rock and bank colours respectively---I obviously reached for the instinctive "blue" even though this was an overcast, albeit bright, day with not a scrap of blue sky in sight.
It's clear in the photo that the background is quite a bit warmer than the middle- or foreground, and the foreground rocks are looking rather amorphous and less than solid to me now. They would need more careful description and significant warming up if I were to go back into this sketch. Which I am not going to do!
Palette: ultramarine, burnt sienna, burnt umber, cad yellow, a bit of sap green. Although I love this palette for its soft natural mixes, for my next project I'm getting out of my comfort zone with colour.
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Friday, 30 July 2010
Experiments in progress, reports to come:
Much excitement today: my sketchbook for Sketchbook Project 2011 from Art House Co-op arrived---yay! My theme is (your name here). Now I just have to figure out how I want to interpret that, and how to work with, or not with, that flimsy and rather shiny moleskine paper.
Monday, 26 July 2010
Now, if there's one thing I've learned from my exile in the creative wilderness, it's that I have to pay attention to Miss Muse when she starts spouting off because if I ignore her she'll stomp off in a huff and God knows when she'll be back.
So this is today's spread of experiments and notes in my big catch-all sketchbook. The collages are a bit dark because of the papers I happened to tear out. Next time I would balance the monochromes with more brights. I enjoyed using the cheap and pretty papers as fabrics, which I trimmed, cut into neat squares and triangles, and stacked across the top of my desk for arranging into patterns.
Inspirations: quilt blocks, primitive art, geometry, jewellery, mandalas.
1. Work one block very large to give more scope for layering colour, pattern, and texture.
Friday, 23 July 2010
A starting point: yesterday's pencil sketch repeated in watercolour.
Double page spread in 4.5" by 6" Daler Rowney hardback sketchbook with very cockly 150gm/sqm paper. Light pencil sketch to place main shapes, then right in with watercolour. Right foreground should have been an evergreen shrub or flower bed, but I ran out of time and didn't touch it up in any way when I got home.
Palette: ultramarine, sap green, burnt umber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre. Cerulean and touch of cobalt in sky only.
What I like about this painting:
1. The colours are fresh and clear, pretty much straight off the pan with minimum mixing on the palette. I use these hues a lot and am comfortable working with them.
2. The modelling of the bench is a good start, although the perspective is a bit off.
3. Trees: I deliberately painted the foliage in clumps and tried to model each clump for volume. I like the spaces in the foliage because they suggest space through and behind the tree.
4. I like the splashes of paint for leaves because they suggest movement and liveliness, but more are needed in a greater variety of tones and colours.
5. I tried to paint a receding succession of planes from foreground to background to convey depth. Forgot to add the paler hill behind the far shore!
What I need to work on:
1. Deeper shadow colours and more clearly defined shadow shapes to make the white paper really zing.
2. How to interpret the different foliage of various plants and clumps without getting fussy or same-y?
3. Skies! There were lovely little fair-weather clouds that I left out.
4. Drawing is a bit amorphous. I need to get the underlying shapes the right size, shape, and proportion so that I know where to put the paint to show volume, where the boundaries are between light and dark and the shapes of light and dark areas.
Next step: Check out some other watercolourists to see their approaches to these elements. Also try to figure out how to format this blog...