Friday, January 23, 2009

Colour Swatches

I've joined a new group that explores colour in watercolour and our first 'assignment' was to make a set of six colour swatches for the split primary palette. (A warm and a cool yellow, a warm and a cool red, a warm and a cool blue.) It was mentioned, by Rhonda, that you could punch a little hole in each and thread them onto a rope to keep all that info handy. I loved the idea.

I decided to add some extra info on each swatch and make them the size of a credit card, which is a nice handy size to show the info I wanted included.

Here's a group shot of my six for the assignment:

If you click on that pic, you can see it big enough to read all the writing so I won't list the pigments I chose here.

Some of the info I wanted each card to show me at a quick glance is:

1. The overall colour
2. A lighter area of the colour
3. Granulation
4. Transparency
5. How the pigment reacts to water splattered or dropped in
6. Liftability, or staining qualities
7. Name
8. Pigment number
9. Company name, since the same pigment can vary greatly from one company to the next.

Last night, instead of painting on the rocks, I did a few more. I love these as warmup exercises! If I do a few each night, I should have all my paint on a rope in no time!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ....

I did some painting last night and had lots of fun doing it. I learned a lot and decided to post it all here - the good, the bad and the ugly.

First thing I learned right away is that cold pressed illustration board is NOT the same as high plate illustration board. It would be kind of like expecting the same results from hot pressed paper as from cold pressed paper. So, I"m going to order some high plate illustration board from Curry's. (And a few other things with it of course - I mean, WHO can order just one thing from an art store???)

Second, I need to gray down the rocks. They won't stay that blue, so .......

I'm not sure I like the fence in the background, but it's an important part of this area. And it goes different angles a lot because of the rock and very hilly countryside. (I had to say that so you didn't think I was drawing them in crooked! LOL!)

I should have left more whites on the background rocks. But, all in all, for the first time trying out this technique, I'm happy with the results.

Most of the sky area now seen as blue will be filled with trees - I'll just leave blue sky over the water area in the background. Those two large rolls of masking tape are what the upper edge of the painting are propped up on for gravity when I spray the rocks right after applying the paint.

Here's a closeup of some of the rocks. Once the rushing water is formed around them, I think they'll look better. Something I don't like about this board is how it is curving from the water. (The water I'm applying with a brush, not the water in the painting! LOL)

The above shot shows a closeup of some of the rushing water. I'm liking how this part is looking.

Here's my colour swatches. I have this pad of 100 sheets of Sennelier watercolour paper (student grade) that I received in a package deal of brushes and paint through an ebay seller. I love Sennelier paint but I do not like this paper at all. So, I use it for colour swatches for each painting. I learned the hard way that it pays off (bigtime) to make a colour swatch page like this at the beginning of each painting and show the names and brands of paint being used. Later, if I put that painting aside for a while, I will forget which paint I've used and then match it up with the wrong one.

So anyways, the colours used so far are WN Antwerp, DS French Ultramarine, WN Cobalt, WN Raw Umber, WN Burnt Umber. I think I will use Pelikan Graphic White for rushing water white highlights but that won't be until the painting is done. (If you click on those shots above, you should see them larger.)

Years ago, I went to a workshop in Kitchener with Joe Vloothuis. I had started this painting on my own and took it with me because of the problems I had with rocks. Joe turned it into a demo and showed me how to do the rocks and the water. (He is the artist of this one because he did so much of it.) So, I propped this up in front of me to remind me while I painted.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A new painting, finally!

Well, not the painting yet but the planning is almost done and the drawing is finished. Now I"m ready to start painting but that'll have to wait until tomorrow night because I"m too tired out now. lol.

In Quebec (western Quebec), there are some beautiful waterfalls called Les Chutes de Plaisance. I love this place! (I love Quebec with all it's incredible beauty and joie de vivre!) 'Les chutes' is a big and complicated falls. I've been wanting to paint the entire area but after a lot of thought and planning, decided to paint one area. (Later, I'll paint other areas and then, later after that, I'll put them all together and paint one massive painting of the entire falls!)

There is a video on youtube that shows some kayakers taking the falls. In this video, you get an idea of the enormity and complexity of the area to paint. Click here. (This looks like fun but I don't think my old bones could take it. lol)

I've tried to shoot the drawing but you can't see anything on the board so I"m attaching a shot of my very messy painting table. (Messy, messy, messy. Always is. It's more 'comfortable' that way!) (I even included my pot of Chinese Flowering Tea.) Actually, this angle makes it look even more messy than it is.

Here's a google earth shot in which I've circled the area I'm painting:

I'm using 16" x 20" illustration board, cold pressed.

On another note, I started a baking blog because I love baking so much and because I strongly feel that baking is another form of art - creation. Here's the address if you'd like to take a peek: just click here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas Balls

The book, Art and Fear, has been making a mark on me! Normally, I wouldn't post this tiny painting I did today. But reading Art and Fear makes one realize that each painting doesn't have to be perfect, nor a masterpiece. Some paintings can just be fun, practice and relaxing. That's what this one is.

I've been slowly taking down my Christmas tree. (This is a banner year - I usually take it down way on into January!) I sat there, with a brush, a travel palette of Schminke paints and a number 12 brush. Didn't draw this out first, just painted with that large brush and then spattered Pelican Graphic White on top for snow. (That awesome stuff hides a multitude of sins!) I realized, while uploading it from my camera to the computer that I totally obliterated the cords that hang the ornaments while painting the greenery.

But, IT WAS FUN TO DO! And that's what counts! Also, it was a great warmup exercise.

I would certainly recommend Art and Fear!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Speaking of Teresa.....

My good painting pal, Teresa, sent me a beautiful Christmas card that I thought I'd share. Thanks again, Teresa! I love it and it made my day!

Maybe this will be the year that she starts a blog and shows some of her beautiful work!!! (hint, hint.) Teresa lives in Madrid and is one very awesome watercolourist. If you'd like to see some of her work at her Deviant Art page, click here. Her work is amazing!!!

Now, I'm going back to drawing out some waterfalls that I really want to paint. It's a huge waterfall that can't even be photographed in one shot so I'm needing to combine several.

Friday, January 2, 2009

For Teresa

In a previous post, Teresa asked this about a new tube of paint: Hey, question, I need to know your thoughts on the DV Iridescent Burnt Sienna compared to the WN Burnt Sienna, I love it in your swatch so I hope when you use you'll tell me if it's as rich in color or not, how about the texture of the paint? does it flow like WN and Holbein or is it more gummy like DS?

I did another swatch for you Teresa! I've left it much bigger so you can see detail. (Just click on it.)

Compared to WN Burnt Sienna? It's much lighter and much more opaque. But I do like it. It's very sparkle-y! It'd look fantastic as a skin tone for some of the awesome figures you paint. I can see it as a skin tone with pointy little ears, kind of like fairies dancing on flowers. But I digress! lol. Back to thoughts on it.....

Personally, I like DS Quin Burnt Orange much better than the WN Burnt Sienna. In the near future, I'm going to order some M. Graham Burnt Sienna and try that out also.

Regarding richness, I'd have to say that the DS Quin Burnt Orange is richest in colour. The DaVinci, while beautiful, takes a lot more paint out of the tube than the others. I wouldn't say it's gummy but it's rather 'thin' compared to others. (You'd use it a lot faster so order the large 37 ml tube.) (But then, I don't think that DS paint is gummy - I think of it as very creamy and I love that in paint. I wish WN was more creamy like that instead of being so thick.)

I do like it a lot and would definitely order it again!

Also on the swatch is one from DS called Duochrome Saguaro Green that, if you like the iridescent types of paint, you'd probably like this one. (The bottom of the three swatches is plain water.)

So here ya go, Chick!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Art and Fear

Wow, the more I read, the more I love this book! Every artist should read it! It makes such great sense out of the (artistic) doubts that swirl around in the head and plague us into blocks. I really am enjoying it. It's one of those books that will be read often.

Today is New Year's Day. I hope every artist is happily creating. I'm about to create some macaroon cookies then paint. (Alton Brown's Paradise Macaroons!) He's an awesome chef!

Happy New Year! May 2009 be your best yet!