Saturday, May 07, 2011

Mangos II

                                   Mangos II, 3x5, watercolor pencil

This time I used a smooth paper, Vellum Bristol paper, to work on. I liked it better than the cold press I used for the last picture. It was easier to get a smooth look and to diminish the look of the pencil strokes. I decided to paint fewer leaves; I felt they cluttered the background and detracted from the simple mango shapes. I also left the background white which for this small format is OK. On a larger composition I would probably have added one.
I'm starting to get the hang of how much pigment to use and how to layer the colors for the effect that I want. I'm finding that after a few layers, the paper seems to be "full" and it's difficult to add anymore pigment unless it is added with a wet brush. That's something  that pastelists complain about, paper without enough "tooth". I think trying different papers and materials is consistent with any medium that one chooses to work with. It's what makes the whole process enjoyable.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Watercolor Pencil learning curve

                         Sun Dappled Mangos 4x6 watercolor pencil


This is my first attempt at a whole picture using watercolor pencils. It's an experiment, I haven't really learned the way to proceed with the pencils. So it's pretty much trial and error. The top mango blended much better than the bottom one. I tried burnishing the bottom mango before using a wet brush. Burnishing bruises the paper and makes it difficult to blend the colors with water. So, that was lesson #1. I haven't quite got the hang of how to get soft edges, I'm hoping to figure that out. I've got to wait until Monday for my next class. I think I could have painted this in less than half the time with just watercolors and a brush, and I found myself just taking the pigment off the pencil with the brush and applying it to the paper.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Watercolor pencils

                             Exercise #1, watercolor pencils

I'm taking a class in watercolor pencils. Although I've had them for many years I've only used them slightly. I thought this class would give me some ideas for how they can be used effectively in my art work. We spent most of the class time making color charts with the pencils that we had, diluting them with water, and basically just seeing how they work. The homework assignment was to make spheres in squares. The primary colored spheres with the complimentary color as the background square and the shadow a combination of the two. All of these were finished by wetting with a brush. They are really much more versatile than I thought they would be.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Quick Geraniums

                      Quick Geraniums 5.5X7, watercolor on gesso paper.


I've been frustrated lately with the paintings I've been working on. It seems like they just aren't coming out the way that I'd hoped they would. Sometimes I just have to put the big stuff aside and do something small and quick. This afternoon I brought a geranium pot into my studio and painted it on a little piece of paper that had been textured with the "gesso juice". The painting looks like more pot that flower but you should have seen that poor little geranium before it got some TLC and fertilizer! Doing paintings like these puts the joy back into painting for me. I was about to change my name to "strugglingartist" instead of "joyfulartist".

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I started watercolor painting earnestly in 1991 after I moved to Florida. My husband and I are retired, and we are both artists. We both have works displayed  at the Wildchild Gallery in Matlacha Florida.