Sunday, July 20, 2014

A little fruit still life

I took my Van Gogh watercolor Pocket Box with me on a recent trip to Nashville TN.  The box includes 12 1/2 pans, a folding brush, and lid with 5 compartments to mix paint.   It was a short trip so I packed light.  I carried the watercolor pocket kit, an extra small Strathmore spiral bound journal, watercolor postcards, packet of tissues, small water bottle, two Koi short waterbrushes, a mechanical pencil and kneaded eraser in a large zip lock bag.

I only found time to do two still life sketches of the oranges I took back to my room for late night snacks.  Of course I didn't think of doing the first sketch until I had already started peeling the orange.  I carefully removed additional peel and two sections to expose a view of the inside of the orange.  Then set it down on the black desktop.  The light from the lamp cast deep distinct shadows and highlights on the oranges.  The dark surface of the desk reflected back very little of the orange's color.

The second orange I painted before peeling it.  The second orange was not as orange.  I set it on a white napkin which allowed more of the colors to show in the shadow.  I used both cold and warm shades of yellow (254, 269), red (311, 370) and blue (506, 535); as well as burnt Sienna (411) for these small sketches.  For photos of both orange journal entries see my Flicker site.

While in Nashville I went to the Frist Art Museum and saw two really wonderful exhibits.  'Watch Me Move: the Animation Show' with clips from every type of animation done since the beginning of this art form.  'Real/Sureal: Selections from the Witney Museum of American Art' which contains many thought provoking pieces of art.  The bonus was that in their gift store I found a lovely waterproof zippered clutch that everything fits into perfectly.  No more zip lock bag for me!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Watercolor card contest

This past spring I worked on several floral watercolors, which I painted on Strathmore cards.  So when I saw the Strathmore card contest I was ready to enter.  Except for on thing, the contest is for cards with a fall or winter subject.  Fall and winter are still a long way off, but I took a look at some of the fall leaves I painted while in Marilynn Brandenburger and Carol Parks' Illustrated Tree Journal class I took at the John C. Campbell Folk School several years ago.

I had sketched several journal pages of colorful fall leaves during that class and they were a perfect reference for this project.  I decided on re-working the cluster of White Oak leaves and the Scarlet Oak leaf.  The new card versions of the leaves would not have ink outlines, and the watercolor pigments would be the ones I use when painting in my studio, not from my field kit.  I also made some adjustments to better fit the dimensions of the cards.

For the White Oak leaf cluster I used several shades of yellow: Aureolin Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Quinacridone Gold, Yellow Ochre.  The green leaves are Sap Green with a touch of Quinacridone Gold, and the acorns are Burnt Siena and Burnt Umber.  In the photo at right are: the large format journal entry (left), the draft sketch (bottom right) and finished card (top right). 

For the Scarlet Oak leaf I used Cadmium Yellow, Quinacridone Rose and Sap Green. The acorns is a mix of Burnt Siena and Burnt Umber.   In the photo at left are: the large format journal entry (left), the draft sketch (top right) and finished card (bottom right).  I experimented with an edging in the draft sketch, but decided to relocated the acorn instead on the card.