Saturday, February 26, 2011


A single butterscotch hard candy seemed suitable for trying out some new materials in this 20 minute sketch. Watercolor, water soluble crayon and Inktense pencil, 5 1/2" x 8". I really like the saturation of color I can get with the addition of the water soluble pencils and crayon, though I admit my highlights got a little muddy in the cellophane here. In a regular watercolor painting I wait for the watercolor paint to dry before adding deeper layers of color, but with these quick sketches my paint and paper stays wet. The deep color in the water soluble pencil glides right on, and the pencil lines can be faded in with the clean damp brush if I choose.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Folded Fabric

Trying out some different water soluble mediums in 20 min. tonight on this very textural packet of multicolor tweedy fabric. Let's see - pencil, watercolor, Inktense pencil, and water soluble crayon on watercolor sketch paper, 5 1/2" x 8". I love using complementary color schemes but rarely try the purple/yellow combo. This fabric had a lot of lavender, so it was an obvious choice here, but I intend to try this color combo unexpectedly on some other subject. It's a very spring-like combination, and I am eagerly anticipating spring at this point.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Red, red wine...

...leaves such beautiful purple tones on corks (probably Cuvee Rouge and Roaring Red, two faves from this excellent winery). Pencil, watercolor and a wee bit of water soluble pencil, 5 1/2" x 8". I tried this subject again to make sure, but yes, corks are surprisingly difficult. Bear with the artist notes here - even though they are a basic cylinder shape, the color is hard to achieve with watercolor. If I was using oil or acrylic I would go to town mixing titanium white with yellow ochre and burnt sienna and just a smidge ultramarine blue for what I imagine would be the right color, but in watercolor, without the opaque white (or any opaque for that matter) their elusive color just isn't very strong. I am determined to try again because the wine color, the shadows, and the reflections created are just wonderful to paint.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Pair of Paintings

Ripe pears are a classic still life, the bright colors and interesting shapes never failing to delight both painter and viewer (at least in my opinion). Pencil, watercolor and water soluble pencil, 5 1/2" x 8". I was happy with this 20 minute painting, so then I decided to try another 20 minute painting of a more challenging still life - these corks and grapes in a small bowl (same size and medium):

I've been wanting to paint wine corks for some time, inspired by Michael Naples (an excellent contemporary artist who creates 6" x 6" oil paintings almost daily, but obviously without a time limit). His paintings are generally classic still lifes, lit beautifully, and are just incredible in their simplicity. I am trying to learn a lot from his approach, though I certainly prefer watercolor to oil paint. With more time, I think I could have come closer to achieving the rich deep colors in the grapes and more texture in the corks, so I'll try this subject again, perhaps without a time limit.