Sunday, July 4, 2010

Desert Triad


In progress my attempt to paint the window in the book using the "desert triad" combo of cerulean blue, indian red, and yellow ochre. I used my little pans of cerulean hue, light red, and yellow ochre. It was instructive to see how many colors one can make from these three.

I soon became frustrated with the lack of intensit y and overworked areas.

Learning to use "cool" highlights and background to compliment warmer bodies and shadows. Using just raw sienna (warm) and cerulean blue (cool).

For the life of me that shadow would not cooperate! Watercolor is hard :D There is supposed to be a blend of the blue at the base to darken and 'cool' the shadow and then it warms as it extends and becomes lighter. I loved learning this, just annoyed I couldn't 'work it'. Maybe a wash tomorrow? The black line is india ink with my paints overlayed to see how opaque/transparent they are. Only the yellow was even remotely close to being semi-opaque.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Warm and Cool

I decided to start with the basics: colors. I like to jump right into things, so I never took the time to make up a chart of the colors from my Winsor & Newton Studio Set (24 pans). Now I'm learning that I really do need to start at square one: color mixing.

I've always been irritated with how bright and diluted these watercolors are--I tend to like more subdued and intense colors. These are inexpensive paints (Cotman) so I can't expect too much!

I learned I have problems consistently controlling the paint/water ratio to get nice squares. Watercolor is challenging!

There we are--all 24 paint colors for your pleasure, labeled "warm" "medium" and "cool". Learning about combining warm and cool colors was quite a revelation to me. I'd always gone about my business, mixing as I pleased making a nice big mess. In fact, look at how messy my squares are--I admire people who have a natural knack for the neat, not my strong suit, but there is something so beautiful about constraint and order.

It took a long ass time to do all of these little dots. But I'm green with pleasure because, well, look at all the greens I can make! On the left are my two "warm" blues, mixed with my yellows, and on the right are my "cool" and "medium" blues. Using cool blues you can get away with more green as you get deeper into the reds, but with the warm blues you can only get down to about cadium yellow before they start going olive/brown. I discovered I prefer the cool yellow + warm blues best, followed by warm yellows + cool blues. Cool + cool is too bright, while warm + warm is too muddied. Again, mind blowing!!
So messy.....but don't these remind you of those edible dot candies stuck on paper?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Art as healing therapy, one day a time

My health is finally stable enough, more or less, to give this daily art project another go. In fact, I consider it part of my healing process. At times over the past year I've felt absolutely no creativity at all, and fatigue aside it was the most frustrating thing. Now it's starting to nip at my heels and that's a clear sign I'm feeling better! Each idea deserves to be explored, or at least written I need to learn techniques to realize their potential!

I think my first goal (aside from simply building the habit of daily art) will be to get through, cover to cover, three instruction books in watercolor. At the same time I'd like to start working on character sketches for some stories I've been working on, since I often get different ideas by drawing than by writing. For example, I started learning how to draw a hippo last year (see "older posts" at bottom of page) in preparing for a story about Gertrude, the hippo my parents owned in the 1970's.

This was done in October while trying to copy a sunset in a Claudia Nice book. Difficult, and needs a second go!

I'm working on a story that starts on a farm, and I've always been partial to chickens....
Let's see if I actually do something more than a doodle tomorrow....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cat experiments

Just throwing up some old sketch plans to get myself going again--the first one was the bottom which somehow morphed a lot when refining it--old cartoon default kicked in for some reason. Hope to get to this project again this week to get a nice version of it. Just from having done a few book led exercises I feel like I'm learning a lot and can't wait to start implementing and improving!
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Ray Hendershot

I found a wonderful book by Ray Hendershot called...hmmm...something about Watercolor Textures. Anyway, I love his classic painterly approach to watercolor--in fact he used to paint only with oils. I tried out a few of his techniques in one of his is the result...I've got a lot of work to do on learning how to do trees...and snow...and skies...!
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IKEA Alex "hack"

While not exactly a true "hack" this definitely spiced up IKEA's answer to affordable flat files. Where you see color was once an open space used in lieu of drawer pulls. I filled up the holes with watercolor scrap work in order to partially seal off the strong pressboard odor eminating from the interior materials. Since it's in my bedroom, a small room, the smell has been bothering me for months. Up until now I've kept this covered by a blanket and hopefully this will resolve the issue; otherwise I'll have to find a replacement.

It will be fun to change up the colors over time! I can still open the drawers since there is still a small ledge, although it's not as convenient. I rather wish IKEA designed this so images could be inserted into a clear plastic holder (I had to tape the paper to the inside of each drawer).
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

First attempt at the technique Gennine uses in her artwork--it's actually kind of difficult to
get the white acrylic ink to cooperate and I think it's
partially because of how rough my paper is, and finding the correct
ink nib...I have a great admiration for her skill!

Also, I am just not as neat and tidy...somehow I can't stick to
the plan...I guess I've just got to roll with that! But I'd like to
copy her use of postcard/illustration to make some stuff
tailored to my locale.

What matters most to me is that something seems animated,
believable, and has a life of its own, and as long as I can
convey that spirit that is what matters most.
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