Sunday, September 18, 2011

MaimeriBlu Watercolors

Using my moleskine watercolor book, I've started making a few charts using the MaimeriBlu pigments recently purchased. 

In setting up my palette, I've filled each of the wells allowing to dry 48 hours.  The pigment is "set" but still pliable. 

So far playing with charts and the simple ice cream cone illustration, I'm not real impressed with the handling of this brand.  The colors are vivid and beautiful but I'm not liking the "feel" of the pigment itself when re-wetting and working with the brush.  The binder or vehicle seems thick making the paints feel almost like working with oil paints or working with honey even though according to the stats, these pigments do not use honey as the binder like M. Graham pigments do.

Maybe once the paints have totally dried, I might find they "re-activate" differently when water is applied to them. I'm hoping in the next few days or so my feelings change more towards the positive; but, as of this posting, I'm ready to return to my Daniel Smith watercolors.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Sterling Edwards Practice Piece - Watercolor Barn

The last couple of days I have been studying Sterling Edwards watercolor methods hoping to inspire me to do some painting.  I had so hoped to take a workshop with him this year at the Art of the Carolinas but looks like I may miss out again this year.  So the next best thing was going through his book and viewing the video lessons he's created to include the freebie lessons through Jerry's Artarama website.

Sterling Edwards is a contemporary watercolorist who works on portraying his subjects through loose suggestive brush strokes creating an illusion of his subject rather than realism (if I'm explaining that correctly).  He believes in paintings have mood, telling a story, and leaving something to the imagination for the viewer to fill in rather than spelling it all out.  He also likes using a variation of deep rich color and values which he feels gives many scenes that extra punch.

He also works in abstract which I find I really like.  But it's the looseness and suggestive attributes that has grabbed my attention that I really love about his work.

Because of this method..........I find it more relaxing and actually fun to do.    Don't have to worry if everything is perfect or just so so. 

With this painting exercise, I did not have the proper tools so I had to improvise.  Instead of a flat, all I had on hand was an angular flat.  For the bristle brush to blend edges with, I had to use a slanted foliage brush.

This is a 5 x 7 painting on The Langton 140lb Cold press.  Didn't have masking tape to tape down onto a board as he suggests so I did the best I could with the paper just laying flat on my table.  Considering there was not a great deal of wetting of the paper, I managed OK without buckling.

Should I try this again, I hope to achieve more variation in the greens than what I ended up with in this painting.  There's a variation of brown and green but the brown is so subtle you can hardly see it.....particularly with the scan.  The actual painting is more noticeable but still not to the extent I would have liked.  Also plan to introduce some blue or even another color to help offset the primarily green foliage back drop.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sandpiper Pencil Sketches

My work days were long this week and I found myself super restless up and down out of my chair - walking outside often just to get up and about.  On Thursday I stepped outside the office door into the parking area and to the right I saw this bird.  It looked familiar from birds I'd seen somewhere but couldn't place it at the time. 

Quietly and quickly going back inside I grabbed my camera hoping he was still out there when I returned.  Sure enough he was.

I stood still taking pictures as he came closer and hopped all around me.

This morning I searched the internet to find out what kind of bird and it was a sandpiper.  A bird I've seen only at the beach.  Was really strange for this loner to be here in the middle of West Virginia in an Industrial Park no less.

These are quick gesture like sketches from three of the photos I took.  Using an HB on its side for most of the sketching in my Handbook sketchbook.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Old Rusty Tools

What a perfect subject to paint using the granulating Lunar pigments!

These were truly relaxing and fun to do! 

The Handbook

#4 and #2 Rounds

You know what the most difficult was for me in rendering these hammers????  Splattering.  I've yet to get that down.  Either it splatters ALL over the place with teeny tiny specks or big blobs I have to quickly mop up.  And control with direction??  Forget  There MUST be a trick to it.  Maybe the type brush I'm using?  Consistency of the paint not right?

Another Loose Mini Landscape - House on Pond

The description on the illustration is pretty straight forward.  Still trying to keep my watercolor sketches loose and care free.  I truly don't want to get into fidgeting like I have a tendency to do.  Basically put the paint down and leave it alone.

Loose Landscape using Lunar Pigments

Using two colors and still on the Handbook sketchbook paper, I did this quick watercolor sketch.  This was using a 3/8" flat angular brush so I didn't get much in the way of granulation like I might have using a round holding more water/pigment.

I'm still playing basically in a loose mode for now as I try to regain some enthusiasm and motivation to work with my watercolors.  In all the years I've been painting, I've only gone through a couple of major slumps that lasted months.  This happens to be one of those times for whatever reason(s).  I'm sure everyone goes through them to some degree.  ;-)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lunar Pigments - Dragonfly Sketch

I really must work on my planning where placement is  I so often misjudge and end up with part of my drawing or painting off the page.

Still playing with the Daniel Smith Lunar pigments, I did this quick watercolor sketch of a dragonfly.  I prewet the areas but had to dip my brush in water to help the pigment spread due to the type paper this was done on.

Handbook sketchbook with #4 Round.

A little Green Gold was brushed over to add a bit of life.

Playing with DS Granulating Pigments

Thought I would play a bit using the Daniel Smith Lunar pigments which are highly granulating pigments.  I was curious to see how they would do in the Handbook sketchbook.

The granulation did appear even on this sketching paper but not to the extent they do on watercolor paper to include Moleskine. 

This was using a Daniel Smith #4 Round travel brush wet in wet (although on this paper, the water soaks in quickly and it's more like painting wet on damp.)  I found myself dipping the brush in water after pigment was added to the paper to make it pool.

My favorite of the five examples is definitely the combination of Lunar Blue and Lunar Earth.

Note - The Green Gold is not a Lunar pigment.  I just threw that in for some added color.  :-)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ink and Wash - Mixed

Few quick ink and wash mini sketches done today between phone calls.

Composition leaves a great deal to be desired but then I was only doodling and not really thinking on those lines.  I'm just thrilled to get something on paper.

Tombow marker pen and waterbrush on plain paper.

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