Black Fur and Fabric

Though possibly difficult to see here, this contour drawing also has, for a bit of whimsy, little X’s applied with frisket in the background. The sketch roughly delineates highlighted areas within this black subject, such as the side of the nose and under the chin. Whiskers will eventually be barely suggested. I usually use blueContinue reading “Black Fur and Fabric”

Peony Series

As promised, here’s another in my series of 22×30″ peony paintings; I started this about a week ago. Peonies are among my favorite flowers to paint. Their spectacular colors, curved petals and showy anthers in the garden also truly enhance any painting that features them. As usual, I begin with bright washes of color onContinue reading “Peony Series”

Some Watercolor (and Photo) Challenges

Watercolor presents its challenges at times – or maybe it’s this artist. Today the hurdles are conveying a sense of depth in a simple landscape, emphasizing a white subject against bright sunlight, maintaining warm and cool colors, and just trying to stay warm while painting outdoors… As green wetlands turn gold in autumn, they seemContinue reading “Some Watercolor (and Photo) Challenges”

Portraying Three-Dimensionality

After creating a carefully rendered contour drawing, I begin almost all my watercolor paintings with loose, drippy washes, letting colors bleed. This image shows some defined edges where I want a colorful shape to contrast a white one. Also, since green will dominate background shapes, I did not let pink bleed out too far. (PinkContinue reading “Portraying Three-Dimensionality”

Shapes, Lines & Color

Here’s a graded wash for a clear blue sky, painted by quickly adding blue in a cream consistency to dry paper at top and letting it bleed into wet paper at the bottom of its shape; sky takes up about two thirds of this composition. The bottom third is dominated by long horizontal lines ofContinue reading “Shapes, Lines & Color”

Using Painting Elements (Again)

In representational painting, a subject often dictates the elements an artist might use, like its shape, color, lines, etc. Here, I could’ve altered the space, shape, and size elements of the daisies’ centers to make them less uniform but they’re usually naturally that way anyway. This piece was done as a demo outdoors for myContinue reading “Using Painting Elements (Again)”

Painting Peonies

Peonies, especially tree peonies, are exquisite flowers in the garden, in a vase, and as painting subjects. Their large cup-shaped petals surrounding long anthers and filaments create interesting three-dimensional forms that, with color, value, and line elements, frequently inspire new paintings. It’s no wonder many artists have depicted these flowers for ages. Above is simplyContinue reading “Painting Peonies”

Watercolor on Scraperboard

Scraperboard, or “scratchboard,” is probably an unexpected substrate for watercolor, but I find it a fun combination. I’ve been creating pieces in this medium since my elementary school days. Whereas in watercolor one works from light to dark, in scraperboard it is the opposite: the black layer is scraped away with various tools, from sharp-edgedContinue reading “Watercolor on Scraperboard”

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