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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two Trees - a pastel painting

Finished!  This watercolor underpainting technique is really thought-provoking.  What I mean is, you don't have as much control of the watercolor as you do when doing the dark notan (map of darks) technique.  With watercolor, I stared and stared and made adjustments based on the watercolor underpainting - which is more abstract in a way.  For instance, I made rocks where there were none because the watercolor looked like rocks.  This painting took me longer because of this.  I can't imagine doing this technique in a few hours on location!  Right now it is taking me 3 days to complete a painting in the studio!!!  Must practise more and more before mid-Sept!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dealing with the problem - my own solution - and a glass of wine!

OK, so I'm still practising the method we will be using in Richard McKinley's workshop - a watercolor underpainting on white Kitty Wallis.  I have been having this problem with the paint being pale, dry and not drippy like I've seen pictures of him do.  Maybe it is because the brushes I'm using don't hold a lot of water/paint.  But you have to use old beat-up synthetic brushes because the sanded surface will eat your delicate and expensive watercolor brushes.  So - why not do something different than him????? 

Instead of having the paper upright on the easle, I laid it down on the table.  Now the paint stayed put in a nice juicy wet area.  When I wanted it to drip, I tilted the paper.  Then I laid it back down.  When the sky was just about dry, I painted the tree trunks nice and juicy wet.  Then I blew the paint outward to make the branches.  No matter that there are too many - I can pastel over the ones I don't want.

So here is the beginning of pastel overlay.  I think I've had a little too much wine with dinner tonight!  So I'm going to stop right now!  It's OK that it makes me loose - it is just the "sleepiness" might make me sloppy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Creek Walk" a pastel painting AND "painting with thread" project

My first painting on white Kitty Wallis.  This was a little bit of a struggle.  I found the techniques I used on the PastelBord (for water) did not work on Kitty Wallis.  So I spent more time experimenting, finding a way to work. 

I have a little bonus show-n-tell.  First - a thank you to for listing me as one of the interesting blogs to visit!  Since Pintangle is a fiber and stitching-related blog, I will show a little stitching project I am working on.  It is of two macaws and I am showing a detail of it.  I am "painting with thread" to fill in the design.  It will take a long, long time ... so don't hold your breath to see this done anytime soon!  I must tell everyone that I did not design this.  It was from an iron-on transfer book I got in 1982!!!!  But I always loved the design and wanted to do a stitching project with it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Underpainting on Kitty Wallis

Today I did a watercolor underpainting on white Kitty Wallis sanded paper.  Next, pastel.  This shall be interesting....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Willow Creek" a pastel painting

I finished this painting today. 

On technique:  I heard from another pastelist who took Richard McKinley's class, that she found Kitty Wallis paper in white took watercolor beautifully compared to other surfaces.  So, I hopped on the internet and ordered more so I could have enough for the workshop and practising before I go.  So the next piece will be on Kitty Wallis.  I'm curious to try this out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Working outside my comfort zone - work in progress

OK, now we are practising Richard McKinley's technique before I attend his workshop.  We have a choice of Kitty Wallis paper in white, Uart, and PastelBord in white.  I'm saving my Kitty Wallis for the workshop.  So I'm practising on something similar - PastelBord.  I am using a photographic reference and working inside the "cool" airconditioned house - it is sweltering outside.  I did the watercolor underpainting while the board was upright and let it drip.  And now I am beginning to put pastel on it - working up the darkest areas since the watercolor dried much lighter - that clay in the PastelBord really sucks it up.

This feels uncomfortable and foreign after working on (and feeling at home with) LaCarte paper.  So, I don't know how this will turn out.  More on this tomorrow ...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Ripples in the Sky" pastel painting

Well, I didn't do any of my shopping, errands or chores today ... but I did finish this painting.  So that's an accomplishment.  Someday I may do more of my koi paintings, but for  now, I must start practising the techniques, surfaces and subject matter that we will be doing at Richard McKinley's workshop next month.  He uses white Kitty Wallis sanded paper and does a watercolor underpainting.  So, that is what I will be doing for a while.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another fishy work in progress!

Yup, I'm just not done with fish yet.  (Sorry Liz!)  I hope I can pull this one off.  It is more complicated than the last one.  But it is fun and I'm learning a lot about water, movement and reflections.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Field Studies in Watercolor

After I got home I did some final touches on these two field studies done on my horseback ride in the sierras in the last post.  These are 5 x 7 on an Arches block.  The block I bought from the shop was too big for the saddlebag and they offered to cut it in half for me.  They suggested I put miskit (rubber mask) on the cut side so the watercolor doesn't seep to the next page.  It was a great idea and it worked very well!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Plein Air Painting via Horseback in the Back Country

An artist friend and I went for a trailride above Hope Valley, California.  We went on the Pacific Crest Trail.  We packed small watercolor kits and had lunch and painted by a beautiful lake.  Here are some pictures of this fun trip.
How do you like my stylish flymask?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More work on the Koi Fish

This is a really fun piece.  I can use colors that sit unused in my pastel box, and it is perfectly suitable for Koi Fish.  Also, the ripples distort the fish and make interesting abstract shapes. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Koi Fish in progress

I have been out and about doing other things, so when I'm home I started a studio painting.  I have had the photo for years and have been wanting to do this so long!  I am using pastel on La Carte (Salmon colored).  I am not a professional photographer, but there was enough detail in the ripples and bubbles for me to study and try to reproduce here.  This will be a fun learning painting!  I bet my friend Liz would like to turn this into a needlepoint!