Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 72 - Out My Back Window

My father and mother in law loved to watch the birds play out their back are a few of the birds they would have seen..

Drawn as I watched them eating and chasing each other on the back porch.

 I ran out of room before I saw the nuthatch and the chickadee which are two of my favorites.

Background is done with yellow ochre and cerulean and splattered with a mix of the two. Shadows are  done with ultramarine blue and burnt umber.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


As I have been known to yell at my dogs when the squirrels are swinging from the bird feeder.  When I got home today from a funeral in need of distraction a sleek female decided to pose for me on the back porch.

I did something Charles Reid said to do when drawing live models in quick poses...just keep drawing them on the same piece of paper till you fill it up...and I did...after all wasn't my lady squirrel a live model??

Right page

Background Piemonite and ultramarine blue...squirrels painted with zoitite and raw umber with ultramarine and burnt umber for shadows. Those primeteks do a great job on fur...and I also like their transparency!!!  Pentel brush pen for outlining and lettering.

Ps Am excited...I have a chance to spend a week with Charles Reid in the mountains in October...should I or shouldnt I??   Thinking SHOULLLDDD!!!!

Full page

Right page

Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 70 - All about Contrast

I was watching videos on how to paint trees today on Youtube...rainy day not many expectations right??! 

I ended up painting 8 -10 trees and wasnt happy with any of them till I realized what was wrong with the last three...not enough contrast...about 8 pm I started adding more darks to them....and here are the before and after painitns...its all about the C O N T R A S T!! Not enough and watercolor just will NOT just lays lifeless on the paper.

These are sycamores I can see out my windows...the Savannah River is lined with them...and they are all turning a lovely yellow green right now...


This tree kept growing...its way too rectangular but at least it looks better in the second one.

More contrast under the limbs, and in the grasses...and of course in the leaves.

Before ...I actually was sort of pleased with this one till I took a pic of it...and then WAS NOT pleased!!  Blasé!!!


..the branches really are popping which they do on a reason they are my favorite tree...the lovely white shiny bark.

 I actually was sort of pleased with this one...and it was quite involved to paint.  First I drew it and masked out all the branches and the trunks.  Then I painted all the leaves yellow.  I then did negative painting around it with cobalt and cerulean to define and make the yellow pop.  Yellow and blue are contrasting colors so blue makes yellow pop.


Here's the whole thing...not enough contrast in the grass...and more needed to make the branches stand out...but not bad compared to the first two...


Lots of contrast in the tree, on the branches and in the grasses at the foot of the trees.  Grass lines the river banks here unless you keep your yard manicured...I dont mind a weed or two where they belong!! :)

So next time a waterolor looks flat ...dont blame the papere which i was doing...add some more contrast!! 

Thanks for looking!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 69- Hot Press paper!!

Despite its deceptive appearance of luscious soft finish I DO NOT like hot press paper.  Its very unforgiving.  Once the paint is on its not going anywhere.  I cant do Charles Reid style loosing edges and watery textures of water color doing its watercolory thing on hot press.....the paint just sits there and says here I am and here I will stay!! 

As I have said before I have a lovely journal FULL of Fabriano hot for playing on but NOT for painting cats.  While I like this cat painting, I have done alot better...I may repaint him on Kilimanjaro aka COLD PRESS paper!!

The final Tom HP which stands for Tom Hot Press

This is the initial sketch with a 4H Pencil

This is an early pic of Tom HP.  I like to take pics in progress to see where I need to work on it...Sorry it's a little can't go back to retake!! It didn't matter if it was blurry until I decided to use it on my blog post today!! I will do better!!

I kept having to intensify the darks to make the cat recede under the quilt and make his chin well as his nostrils.  Painted them over and over again just a touch darker because this paper was NOT going to let you lighten it if you got to dark!!

I had to paint him in layers...runny stuff was NOT an option...I like him...but really wanted to do him runny ...I guess I will get some of the watercolor books out and READ about that darn hotpress paper now!! Report soon.  I have a masters in Library and Information Science so I am a PRO at research!! :)

Thanks goodness for mr. clean eraser sponges...those meant for the walls...a couple of times I looked at parts of it and thought OH NO its ruined but Mr. Clean to the rescue...I always did like Mr. Clean on the ads!!

This is how I set up to splatter Tom.  I laid strips of paper towel around the edges and a wad in the middle to cover Tom.   I didn't want to get splatter on the cat nor did I want to get it on the white margins which really didn't matter since I had already smeared red paint on them!! OH well...something else to improve on!!

Thanks for looking!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 68 - Those Daniel Smith Primatek Paints

Green Agatite

I think I am just in love with some of the Daniel Smith Primateks. Primateks are made of finely ground up stones- some semiprecious and quite pricey.  I LOVE the way they granulate..well at least for some things like trees...not so much for painting black labs!! I also love the way they stay transparent no matter how much color you slather on the page.

I hear you wondering WHAT is granulating?  Granulating means that the paint breaks up into granules.  The green agatite square is a really good example of this.

L-R Piemonite, Hematite, Green Agatite
on Fabriano Artistico Hot Press

 I own a tube of these three and just love them.  I use them ALOT.

L-R Hematite, Green Agatite, Burnt Tiger, Amethyst
 in Square Handprint Watercolor Journal

So what do I use them for???

So here are some things I like to paint with them...Trees!! Noses on dogs!  Eyes! Brindle fur!

Some things I don't like painting with them - washes that you want  a consistent color or black labs that you want a consistent black color.

Daniel Smith Primateks

According to the website the colors are actually darker, and you should use them with alot of water to let the color granulate and do its thing.  I was using the paper sample sheet of colors when I painted these.  Just little dabs of color.

Several of them are sparkly....the Kyanite, Fuchite and the Suglite.  Hmm do you think Daniel Smith would give me a set of them so I can experiment and report back to you?? A girl can hope right??!

The best deal is to buy a set direct from Daniel Smith but some of them are well priced on Amazon.  They are also widely available at fine art supply stores now.

Thanks for looking!!