Layers of Clouds (Underpainting)

I used lamp black and charcoal gray for the dark undersides of the clouds in this sketch. To soften the edges of the dark brush strokes (applied to dry paper), I diluted the pigment on the brush and drew it parallel to the initial stroke, as one would execute a graded wash.  Toward the bottom […]

Plumed Bird

I have altered my approach slightly to my free form designs. I pencil in the design first, as I usually do. Then I begin to paint in the areas subtended by the lines. If those areas, taken together, suggest a theme, I paint areas to further that idea and ignore the penciled-in lines. I noticed […]

Limit

With today’s composition, I’ve reached the limit of my frisket-and-shake technique, at least for regular patterns (see Netted). The graph-like overlay on the painted area resulted from shaking the liquid masking (frisket) that I applied in closely-spaced parallel lines. The design includes some very dark areas. A bit of overspill from my ink bottle, poured […]

Untitled – Purple Yellow

Today’s jumping off point was mixing colors with white and black. In the frame-design world, the mat corners we use when showing customers their artwork matted and framed, are classified by tint or tone. Tints result from mixing the pigment with white; tones from mixing with black. I began with purple and mixed it with […]

90 Pound Abstract

I distressed an 11″x14″ piece of 90 pound watercolor today. It was significantly easier than wrestling with 300 pound paper (see 300 Pound Abstract and Another 300 Pounder), even though it was much smaller (8″x8″). I did some painting (Prussian blue and quinacridone gold) on the paper before immersing it in a pot of water. Then […]

Does This Count?

I am reading about artists from the 1940s and 1950s, whose number includes Jackson Pollock, the quintessential ‘action painter’.  His paintings were so large that he was within the confines of the canvas, placed on the floor, as he dripped and splashed paint. Some who watched him paint described the process as a ‘dance’. The painting below […]

Blue Streak

I love to peruse the magazine section when I go to a bookstore. I gravitate toward the watercolor magazines and buy one now and then. However, I find that I rarely read them once I get home. Just as “writer’s block” is a phenomenon that inhibits writing, I’m sure that there is an equivalent circumstance that […]

Fiery Landscape

I revisited my tree-growing technique from the landscape I painted a week or so ago (Landscape). I wet part of the paper and left the rest dry. The idea was to apply drippy paint to the dry part of the paper and allow the run off to encounter the wet paper. When that happens, the […]

Watercolor Print

I’m back at home, a bit tired from the drive, but looking forward to painting. Today’s watercolor experiment: I took a peek at the next lesson in the Tate Watercolour Manual, Lessons from the Great Masters by Tony Smibert and Joyce Townsend, the book I am currently using to improve my technique. I did not read the instructions in […]

Lesson 3

Today’s warmup exercise: Graded washes have a real application in watercolors. Today I practiced with the ‘gray’ mixture I concocted in my first (published) warmup exercise (Scales).  Instead of gray, it is purplish. After I painted the first graded wash (that deposits more pigment at the top of the picture) in the small sections of […]