"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind". - Henry James

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Practice Figures in Watercolor

Watercolor Crowd

I've been wanting to put people in my paintings to make them look more like everyone hasn't been evacuated from town or something.  I did this crowd from a reference photo of people in line at MOMA.  I'm kind of pleased that I was able to stay loose and gestural.  
Practice People on the Street
More random people.  I had to invent the light source.  That's what I love about painting - you get to leave out what you don't want, put in what you do, and decide where the light is coming from (from where the light is coming...).  I think the man waiting to cross the street is a little tall.  I have a tendency to make the legs too short and I may have overcompensated.  And the girl with the backpack and red pants was much more slender.  I owe it to her to try again.
Practice People from Vacation Photos
Digging through old vacation photos for figure shots, I came across these.  Some are of me I think!  Those strange Easter Island Moai looking blobs are my failed attempts at a method of painting figures devised by Skip Lawrence.  Of course, he makes it look effortless.  All I got were those blobs.  
Jack and Peat
And if I can put people in my paintings, why not dogs too!  See what I mean about the legs (on Jack, not Peat)?  Although to be honest, my husband's family does tend to have short legs - short legs and large heads.  

Clearly I need more practice!  I'm going to have to do hundreds of these things before I feel confident enough to put them in a painting.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easy Tombow Rabbits Tutorial

Another fun tutorial!  This one by Carla Sonheim, Bunny Power - Easy Tombow Rabbits, took very little time and was such fun!  She has you look at references of rabbits for about 2 minutes.  Then you grab some watercolor paper, hot- or cold-pressed, and a Tombow pen (or any other watersoluable pen) and draw a simple outline.  Then with a watercolor brush moisten the lines and instant tone!  You can go back and add some details or clarify some lines, but I sort of like the unfinished quality.

I want to do more, but I'm working toward doing "a little and often" as advised by Michael Nobbs of Sustainably Creative.  I have a tendency to over do and then get burned out and not do any art for long stretches.  So I'm working in shorter periods which will, I hope, allow me to work on larger projects in small increments with rest periods in between (so I won't exhaust myself and have to recuperate and end up doing very little art at all!)

I finished a larger watercolor painting that I've been wanting to do for a while now.  It's too large for my scanner, so I'll have to photograph it.  Too dark now :-D.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

iPod Case

Watercolor in Strathmore Visual Journal, 5 x 8 inches, approx.

A watercolor sketch for an iPod case following Kelli Nina Perkins' tutorial Small Media Case using an image from your sketchbook.   I have to wait until my daughter comes to visit to help me do some color correction in Photoshop. I printed a test on copy paper and the colors are quite dull.  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More Winter Landscapes

Winter Woodland, watercolor on cold-pressed paper.  Approx.  7 1/4" x 5 1/2" .
I found some more winter landscapes!  I think my original intention was to use these for Christmas cards and then Christmas time came and I was too busy to have them made, and well, you know how that goes...

Winter Birch Hills, watercolor on cold-pressed paper.  Approx. 6" x 7".
Winter Farm, watercolor on cold-pressed paper.  Approx. 8 3/4" x 4".
This last one reminds me of my friend's farm.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Found Landscapes

Watercolor on rough wc paper.  Approx 7" x 5"
I've been sorting through the enormous pile of finish, unfinished, and never-to-be finished paintings.  I've accumulated an amazing number of works on paper, mostly watercolors.  I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with all these paintings.  I have some ideas for a few of them.  Some I'd like to frame and display.  Some I think will make wonderful images for printing on fabric and then sewn into mp3 and cell phone cases and such.

Winter Birches, Watercolor on cold-pressed paper.  Approx.  6" x 4"

I wish this had scanned better.  It's such a lovely rosy wintry piece.  I salvaged it from a large painting that never really worked.  There were, however, some sections that I really liked.  I cut out the sections I felt were worth saving and reused the backs of the other pieces.  

Winter Landscape, Watercolor on cold-pressed paper.  Approx.   8" x  4"
Here is another section from that same salvaged painting.  I did frame this one and it hangs in my living room.  It is one of my favorite paintings because it occupies that place between abstract and realistic that I like.  I think it is more of a suggestion of a thing rather than every leaf and twig.  I like to let my eye and brain fill in some of the details.  Perhaps that is why I have so many unfinished paintings - I don't want to overwork them and put in too much.  And once a painting goes beyond a certain point, I can't really get it back to where I like it.  So I proceed with caution and have lots of unfinished paintings.