Friday, 30 August 2013

Geraniums and some new supplies...

"Summer Morning Geraniums"  20 x 30 cm watercolor on paper ( Cartiera Mangnani hotpress)

In the first months of summer, the light is very strong at dawn and into the early morning hours. It's a great time for taking reference photos because of the abstract shadow patterns that objects create. In this painting I tried to push the idea and work with the shadows being formed against the building. The brightly colored petals are being warmed by the rise of the early July sun. For lack of better ideas, the title to this watercolor is... "Summer Morning Geraniums".

I started this painting as a sketch to test paper I recently purchased and in order to play with some new colors in my palette. There are many mistakes in the painting but I managed to finally achieve strong darks. Hooray!! I need to work on my leaf painting skills, they never come out looking right. Indigo blue, Winsor Green and  new Gamboge are my new colors from Winsor and Newton.  I hopefully didn't go overboard with them. I am redoing my palette and ordered another six tubes, I can hardly wait!

 Thank you for taking the time to visit!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Citrus Garden

"Citrus Garden"  watercolor on paper 38 x 28 cm.

I found the inspiration for this painting in Greece, walking by an orange juice bar. Baskets, beautifully filled, a lemon tree planted in a little garden and grapes growing on a vine. It is both an invitation to stop and smell the sweetness of the citrus and walk in and quench your thirst with freshly squeezed juices. The person who thought of this was trying to attract our senses: it worked … the bar was packed with tourists.

The background being rather busy, I tried to eliminate as many details as possible to highlight the baskets. I also simplified my palette in the hope of tying the painting together at the cost of digressing from the photo reference.

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend, thank you for stopping by!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Work in Progress

WIP 38 x 28cm. watercolor on paper

I would like to update you on my art endeavors for this week. I am painting a still life from a photograph taken during my recent vacation to Crete. It represents an orange juice bar. I love the lemon tree, the grapevine planted behind it and the citrus leaves in the orange filled basket. It is citrus heaven! I was only able to get one shot because I needed to keep up with the group. Otherwise I would have exploited various angles and lighting situations. It is hard to conciliate keeping up with a schedule and photography.

I am slowly building up the layers but don't have much to show for. I am reading an excellent book, Making Color Sing, by Jeanne Dobie. I am trying to put into practice some of the numerous suggestions in the book about mixing color and making them work well against each other. I finally ended up working from a black and white reference photo I made because I wanted to make my own color choices. I'm worried about making everything too busy. I want the focus to be on the baskets. I will stop here with my reflections with the hope of having not digressed too much!

I wish everyone a great weekend, thank you for taking the time to view my blog!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Warming up...

"Red Water" watercolor on  paper  27 x 18 cm.

We are having hot weather, 100 degrees in the shade! It's normal for August in Rome but not ideal for painting watercolors. I drew two big compositions last week. I will show you once I have something more concrete evolving. For now I am afraid to start on something complex and not have it work out, I feel as I have forgotten things along the way. I will contrast this feeling by just throwing some paint on a piece of paper, play around and know I will rip up the end product. I did that, in  the sweltering heat of my balcony. The water evaporates almost immediately. I gave it another go with a painting of a plastic bottle that I saved. It's of the French water Badoit. Good water and cool bottle! I think red for a water bottle is unusual. Clear, green or blue bottles are more common. This time I'm a little happier, although I was hoping for better results. I wasn't able to get all the nuances the way I was hoping for and maybe I should have avoided copying the letters. I like the red, it was fun to paint and get back in the swing of things! Thanks for stopping by!

my thermometer in the afternoon shade
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