Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nocturnes! A new challenge!

"December Nights" 12 x 9 pastel on black sanded paper

When we visited Florida in early December, a popular area to wander shops and dine in outdoor cafes was so lovely in the evening with all the holiday lights.  I tried to take photos, but it is very hard with a point-and-shoot camera.  But I got something to work from, and my memory.

The top painting was my second attempt.  My first attempt was the entire scene, as seen below:
"Holiday Nights" 9 x 12 pastel on black sanded paper
I've always wanted to try cityscapes, even though buildings and perspective are my weakest talent!  Oh my goodness, and cars are even harder!  Especially when the photographs shows no detail and everything is very dark.

This was a fun challenge and I think I learned something.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Silently Waiting" watercolor painting

12 x 9 watercolor "Silently Waiting"
I'm happy to say this painting is done!  It has been fun taking a break from my other mediums and going back to watercolor.  This project in particular was meditative to do.  All the interesting shapes were painted separately.  Very detailed, very controlled, but done in one small shape at a time....I haven't tried Zentangle yet, but from what I have read about it - it sounds a little like what I did here with the reflections.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A New Swamp Painting in Progress

Here is another complicated one.
First, I did a black, grey and white pattern study.  Then I began the watercolor.  This is so complicated, I started to pencil in the shapes and then soon realized that if I pencil in the entire picture, I would be lost in a maze and I would no longer know what shape was what - what shape was green - what shape was brown, etc.

So I began painting the colors in the shapes after just drawing a few at a time.  I can darken them later with glazing.  At least I know what is what from the get go.
Now, I have most of the shapes blocked in on the upper half of the painting.  My hubby can't wait for me to do the alligator!  Patience....patience....

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Two small, quick watercolors

The second one needs more contrast (some darker richer colors) which I will do later.

Friday, January 10, 2014

"Swamp Tree Garden" watercolor painting

9 x 12 watercolor "Swamp Tree Garden"
I'm done!  I will be doing the pastel painting later.  In the meantime, I will be working on a new swamp picture in watercolor.  See ya soon....

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Continuing on with the watercolor painting of the swamp...

Today I added some light blue to the water.  Now, my hubby says it looks like water instead of snow.  "All in good time, I say, it is a process."

I also added a little more color to the green floating plant leaves and the smaller greenish stuff that floats on the water (is that pond scum????).  I also added a little more dark at the base of the branches in the shadow on the water.  The water is very shallow, and I don't quite know how to portray the bottom of the swamp where you can see it instead of the least, I don't know how to do this in watercolor.  But I do know how to do that in pastel.  So, I'm hesitant to try to do it in watercolor.  There are no rocks on the bottom of the swamp - just mud.  So, I might just leave that out in this picture.

Next stage will probably be a little more dark accents and finish out the spider plants growing in the crooks of the branches.  When all done and dry, I might try a razor blade and scratch some highlights in where necessary.....later....

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Preparations for a pastel painting...painting a swamp scene from Florida Everglades

I am going to paint a pastel painting....but first I need to work out some issues with my subject.

Here is my photo of a swamp in Florida we visited.  It is very, very complicated.  I did a sketch with pen and ink and watercolor, trying to simplify it into a composition of a few of the elements in 4 values and a few shapes.
Next, I put my sketch out as my reference and started a watercolor on Arches coldpress block, using the sketch and making a few refinements of the shapes and began putting in the lightest colors.  As you probably know, when working with watercolor, you work from light to dark.
More color, more values, shadows of the branches more refined than in the sketch.
Doing refined darks of many colors of the branches.

If this painting comes out well as a watercolor, I might have to enter it in a show!  But my intention is to paint a pastel painting after I am done with this and work out all the composition, color, reflections, and issues that might arise - in watercolor first!   But, so far, this is looking pretty nice!

As an aside, I want to mention that I always wanted to visit the Everglades in Florida.  Last month we went to Florida for a week - our first visit ever.  I took many photographs and enjoyed my hikes along the trails and boardwalks of the various parks and nature preserves.  Swamps are very complicated scenes to paint though.  Every picture I took is of thickets and plants choking every available space.  So, it will take some thought on my part to eliminate a lot of extraneous information that is just too much for a painting.

Also, I must note that I am not familiar with this plant life.  I feel better doing drawing and sketching first to see if I can portray these subjects well - before I paint them.

The next post will be a continuation of this one.....stay tuned....

Watercolor Plein Air Painting

about 3 x 5 watercolor "Maui Palms"
A small watercolor kit is so easy to take anywhere, anytime.  I can paint a little scene in 30 min. or so from a chair or sitting on towel.  It helps to keep my "eye" trained to seeing the landscape as an artist.  I can always use these little watercolors as a springboard from which to do an oil or pastel painting in the studio.

Monday, January 6, 2014

I am in a 2-Artist Show in Virginia City, NV!

My plein air oil paintings on the old rock wall

Thanks to my friend and painting buddy, Monika Johnson, I was invited to do a two-person art show with her at a charming new restaurant in Virginia City for the months of January, February and March of this year!
Monika and her beautiful plein air landscapes done with palette knife

The name of the restaurant is "Core at the Cider Factory".  It is located in an historic old building where the apple cider factory was.  It is one block up the hill from Main Street at the north end of town - at 420 South B Street, Virginia City, NV.  Here is a link to reviews of their restaurant.  They are open every evening from 5pm to 9pm except (Tuesdays and Wednesdays).  This restaurant was ranked #1 out of 22 in Virginia City.  I was so impressed with the ambiance and the menu that I will be heading up there for dinner with my husband real soon.  

The restaurant will be hosting an Artists' Reception for us on February 22, 2014 at 5:00pm to 7:00pm.  My husband and I plan on staying for dinner afterwards.  For folks driving up from Carson City, Reno, or Incline, you might want to consider booking a night at the Country Inn B&B next door.  It looks very charming in Victorian decor on their website.  

Hope to see you there!
Entrance to Core Restaurant
Core Restaurant
The Country Inn next door to the right

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

"Aspens in Snow" 10 x 8 oil
Happy New Year everyone!  We have been enjoying sunny, calm and relatively warmer weather!  But the snow still lingers!  This was painted a few weeks ago up at a small ski training area when closed for business.  Three artist friends and I went up there to paint and then had a friendly little critique afterwards over a warm lunch at a painter's home.  What a great day!

New Years is a time when I sit down and start making plans and goals for the new year in my art business.  I just finished 3 pastel paintings that I plan to enter in a pastel show.  I'll be showing them to you later.

Next I will be painting 3 more new paintings in the studio for another pastel show. Meanwhile, I will be painting every week on location somewhere in oil paints with the Reno Tahoe Plein Air Painters.  It is a lot of fun to paint with others and to paint outside.  When I'm not painting with them, I'll be painting in the studio - and that is nice too - painting to my favorite music....