Saturday, August 08, 2009

Knights and waves

I'm working on three pieces at once, more or less. Its something that I've always tended to do, this multitasking whether in art or other projects that I work on.

They different projects consist of different mediums and different levels of difficulty so that I can switch back and forth when one becomes a little tedious to continue with. In between the major pieces, I also work on sketches and small paintings. Its my equivalent of a coffee break.

This image of a man in a jousting tournament from a renaissance fair was in this weekends WDE at WetCanvas and his intense look appealed to me. It started out as a quick sketch which then turned into a watercolour.

The other piece that I started yesterday is a 20 x 30 inch oil painting of a wave breaking over the rocks in Pouch Cove. I was there last weekend and watched the water, took some photos and came away inspired. I will be working on this piece for awhile yet and it will likely be on the Watermarks blog.

I have blocked in colour at this point and am starting to develop some shading to give the waves and rocks form.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Capelin update

Capelin study

I've had a hectic few days and haven't had much time to spend on painting for one reason or another, but I managed another few layers for this watercolour. The initial panic about the Arches paper has died down a little and as it dries the wrinkles are eliminated. So far, any masking fluid that I have used has come off without taking off any layers of paper with it.

I did get a full sheet of Arches today but 250lb hot press so I'm hoping that will be better. I'll still be placing an order for some other types of paper as people have been kind enough to offer to suggestions for other brands.

This piece is 15 x 22 and so far, its behaving. I'm going slow to avoid muddying colours. I want the blues and pinks of the fish to show through but have the fish in the bottom layer more subdued. This is where I can scrub back some washes of colour if necessary, but am a little wary doing that noting previous Arches behaviour.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Rock challenge results!

Image taken in natural daylight

Image taken under artificial light

I have found that the best way to tackle something that tests your ability is to study it continuously for a period of time and to study the subject as it is portrayed by other artists too. A month ago I issued a challenge to other artists to join me in a month's exploration of rock and their complexities. And what beautiful images were created!

This last piece is some rocks jutting out of the sea at Holyrood. The images, the first taken in natural daylight and the second under artificial light at night show quite clearly how lighting can affect viewing colours - and the same would seem true when applying colours to your painting too.

Here are the links to drawings and paintings that were submitted. Take the time to visit each and every one, as they all have a lot to say about creating rocks in art. And thank you to everyone who joined in!

And if there are any waifs and strays who still want to submit a piece, please do. Just put your link in the comments and I'll add it as soon as I can.

Maree Clarkson
Link I
Link II
Link III
Link IV
Link V
Link VI
Link VII

Katherine Tyrrell
Maritime Inversion

Vivien Blackburn
Sennen Cove & Land's end

Charlene Brown
Link I

Harry Bell
Link I

Link I

Jennifer Rose
Link I
Link II

Jeanette Jobson
Rock Challenge
Mariners Foe
Savage Cove Rocks II
Savage Cove Rocks III WIP
Untitled WIP

Monday, August 03, 2009

Tools and fishes

I started this watercolour with a line drawing the other night and have begun to lay down layers of watercolour. This is being done on a half sheet of Arches 140lb paper and its acting horribly, almost like tissuepaper, despite having been stretched. I'll continue on with it and see how it turns out and whether it will warp badly. I've had bad luck with this batch of Arches paper with masking fluid tearing the layers and now it reacting badly to being wetted. I may invest in another brand of w/c paper, but am limited here to what's available. Looks like its another mail order.

Note to self: Buy 300lb watercolour paper in future, no matter how much it costs!

These are capelin that I was given and photographed last week. I was drawn to the colours and sheen on the skin and this piece is a bit more of an experiment to see if they turn out as I want them to do without getting muddy. This is early stages and in its ugly phase where its very much at risk of being trashed. I'm trying to see past this and into its final form which is in my head.

Its time I invested in a new set of watercolours, as I'm still working with my ancient set of Winsor & Newton half pans which are literally 25 years old or more. That shows how often I use watercolour. A number of the pans are nearly empty, but I can buy the halfpans to replace them. Or perhaps I may just go for a set of tubed watercolours.

What are the watercolourists' views on this? Pans or tubes?