Friday, October 31, 2014

West Asheville sketch crawl

I spent my second free day in Asheville to do my own personal sketch crawl.  I used my new smaller watercolor journal kit that has a Van Gogh watercolor Pocket Box for my walk around West Asheville.

The day started with breakfast at Battle Cat.  We sat on the porch drinking coffee and watching West Asheville wake up.   Eventually Steve walked down the street to the glass studio where his glass workshop was being held.  I stayed to take advantage of the morning light to do a few more sketches.


I wandered up and down the streets for a while shopping, then stopped for lunch at The Walk.  While leisurely eating a delicious lunch, I painted a sketch of a rusting blue car at the garage across the street.  From my view I could see under the car and I thought it would be a great place for a cat to hide.  Later, as I finished up the background of the sketch, a cat ran across the street and dove under the car.

For these small sketches I used a palette of warm and cold shades: yellow ( 254, 269), red (311, 370), blue (506, 535) and burnt sienna (411).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A day at the NC Arboretum

While my husband was in Asheville for 'Hot time in the Mountains', I used my free time to do some watercolor sketching.

 I took my hiking watercolor journal kit with me to the North Carolina Arboretum, and spent a beautiful day wandering the gardens and viewing their indoor quilt exhibit.  They were just replanting their garden quilt with fall plants.  In a week the blooms will make the quilt patten pop.  There were still plenty of flowers in bloom else where in the garden.  Some of the trees were starting to turn color around the edges, hinting at a color show yet to come.

It had been so long since I did any sketches it took me a few sketches to get comfortable with my paints.   The pitcher plant's patten of bright pink and green on a background of pure white were so beautiful.  I took several photos, but only did a quick sketch since my water brush wasn't small enough to do the intricate pattern justice.  But between the photos and this sketch I will be able to do a larger painting when I get back to my studio.

The garden was a mix of late summer's brilliant annual colors and the first blush of the more earthy colors of fall.  The dying leaves of the Swamp Hibiscus and spent seed pods rustled in the wind.  Whispering ghosts of the vibrant red flowered plants of summer.  The stems still had the dark red, but the green of the leaves had faded to yellow.  The dark brown dried seed pods added a bit of additional interest to the sketch.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Lost Ukidama

I framed and submitted the Green glass float watercolor to the Oconee County Arts Foundation 2014 Annual Georgia Small Works Exhibit.  I was excited to find out it has been selected for inclusion in the exhibit.  This is the first watercolor I have had accepted in a juried art exhibit.  

The painting was developed from a sketch done as an exercise I learned in Marilynn Brandenburger's Watercolor class.  Two different colors of construction paper are used for the background and foreground.  The colors are selected to complement the subject of the painting.  You can see the first sketch and development of the final watercolor in the previous blog entry.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Green glass float

I have been working on sketches of a glass floats.  Glass floats are perfect for studying the reflection and refraction of light.  Handmade glass floats were used in many parts of the world by Fishermen to keep their nets, longlines or droplines afloat.  Most floats made in Japan are green because the glass was recycled from sake bottles.  Small air bubbles are often trapped in the float's glass by the rapid heating and cooling of the process.  The blown floats are sealed with a 'button' of melted glass.  Some glassblowers added their mark, usually near the sealing button.

The float was lit by a single strong light source to provide intense highlights and dark shadows.  There are additional reflections and refractions around the glass float.  The challenge was to capture both the solid shape of the object as well as its transparency.  The sketch to the left was done as an exercise, and used as the bases for the final painting.

First I painted the green and yellow washes for the background and foreground.  Then added the light transparent green for all but the area on the glass float that is highlighted.  Additional green glazes were added to darken parts of the float where the glass is thicker or there are shadows.

More glazes of green were added to darken the bottom of the glass float, and yellow highlights were added.  The rope around the near side of the glass float were added, as well as the rope shadows.  Highlights and shadows were added to the rope to shape the twisted  strands.

Lighter impressions of the rope behind the glass float and cast shadows from the rope on the glass float were added.  Additional shadows were added through out the painting.  The use of multiple values is important in creating the three dimensional illusion.  They enhance the round shape of the float as well as explain the translucent and transparent aspects of the glass float.