Friday, April 27, 2007

Lidzey Exercise 1
I'm working in John Lidzey's book, "Watercolour Workshop" and this is the first exercise. This was a "tonal" study and the first still life was done with French Ultramarine and Yellow Ochre. Great fun mixing and I was amazed at the variety of color and tone those two pigments gave me. The instruction for the second was to do the same still life, but with color. I decided to stick with the FrUm and YO and just added Cadmium Red. Isn't it amazing what just one more pigment can do? The coffee pot is straight FrUM, the apple is CR with just a teeny bit of YO and the shading has just a bit of FrUM. The background is pretty apparent, it is YO with a bit of CR. I used mask (spatter method) for the white spots on the pot. The first was done on Raffine, my first experience with that sketchbook and I really liked it - thanks Lin!! The second was done on Cotman watercolor - not my fav watercolor paper, but is the one I grabbed and it was the right size for scanning two books side-by-side.
The Lidzey book is going to be great fun! It has exercises AND projects. Rather that having a finished work to try to copy, as in the John Pike book I just finished working through, this book tells what type of subject and I'll pick my own reference. These subjects can be plein air or photo reference.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pike's Exercise #13 - Troubador's Rest Stop

This is the final exercise in "John Pike Paints Watercolors." I like this one and it was fun to work on! I like the simple subjects and the rustic feel of this still life and love the punch of color the bottle gives. Done on Arches Rough (my first experience with the rough) and I really can't tell much difference between it and the regular block. A very limited palette was used.
I'm in the midst of some home remodeling and didn't think I'd get time to work on art at all for a couple of weeks. The contractors seem to be doing just fine without me and so I jumped at the opportunity to paint today. Actually, I think they prefer it when I am out of the way - LOL.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Pike #12 - Colombia, Fisherman's Cove

Done on Arches block (10 x 7). Ever since my first watercolor class, I've loved painting trees. There's just something about the variety of trunks and branches that makes trees appealing to me. I don't particularly like the straight branch that runs off on the right side, but that's how John Pike's exercise was and I'm trying to stick with his exercises as they are shown in the book. The sky is Fr UM and Alizarin Crimson, the tree is a combination of Fr UM and Burnt Sienna and Fr UM and Burnt Umber. The leaves are Fr UM and Cad Yellow Pale and also a teeny bit of Fr UM. The sea is Fr UM and Pthalo Green. Mixing is so fascinating and interesting to me, especially when the ratios are changed just a bit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pike Exercise 11, Mykonos Church

Mykonos Church is in Greece. This one was more fun than I thought it was going to be. I was dreading trying to get an animal in this that looked remotely like a donkey, but it wasn't as difficult as I thought it'd be. Very limited palette was used again, I guess John Pike liked those limited pigments and mixing and mixing and more mixing! I did use mask to protect the upper areas of the building from the sky and was able to try out a "rubber cement pick-up" that I recently purchased from Dick Blick's. What a neat tool!! No more tender fingers from rubbing that stuff off.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pike Exercise 10

John Pike called this "Venice, Mother and Chicks." This is one exercise that I almost gave up on several times. I'd wait a while, look at it and then add a few strokes here and there. It's not my favorite, however I did learn from it. The sketch is much looser than I usually do, which made it difficult for me. The steps and techniques for painting the building were new to me and I did enjoy them. I think I'm getting better at portraying water and the reflections and I'm not as fearful of loose sketches of figures. Several pigment mixes were used, primarily Pike's favorite French UM and Burnt Sienna and French UM and Burnt Umber - both in varying ratios to get the different values. I'm really getting comfortable with mixes! Also, I'm sticking with using flat brushes and am getting more confident with those.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Pike Exercise #9

This is called Dubrovnik, Old City and is of a coastal village in Yugoslavia. This was a bit time consuming, especially the architectural sketching. I DID cheat a little bit by drawing it on a grid, of course, I'm not sure that would technically be considered cheating. The past several Pike exercises have been rather gray and I didn't post #8 here or on my flickr as it was such a disaster. I tried it twice and decided I basically just didn't really like the scene. I love to learn and I love challenges, but when my art becomes too much like "work," I'd just as soon pass it up - ha ha. I have decided that I absolutely LOVE Arches blocks!! I do NOT like the hot press, though. I just got some Arches rough that I am anxious to try.