Girly

Girly, 8 x 10 Watercolor (O, P)

Girly, 8 x 10 Watercolor (O, P)

This is an experiment: a new technique and a slightly new style I’m trying.  Same old subject matter.

The September meeting of the Pittsford Art Group included a demo by Stu Chait, abstract watercolorist.  He drops paint onto a flat surface by either squeezing the paint out of a big brush, or pouring it from a cup.

portrait by Leanne Sarubbi

portrait by Leanne Sarubbi

I thought this might work well for an idea I got at the Roco 6×6 show.  I was inspired by this portrait at the left, and so I thought maybe one could combine Chait’s abstract big drop idea and Sarubbi’s high-contrast simplification.  I ended up modifying it significantly as you see, by putting in eye and ear color, and I chickened out on leaving the chest all white, instead putting in a light drop-in of the same colors to set the chest back from the face.  I loved how the “black” came out, and that has no subtle shading on it on purpose, requiring the shape to tell your eye what the form is.  I feel I made the background too bold, but other than that I like it.  I did the whiskers with white gouache again.

This work is painted with 4 colors: Intense Blue, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red Deep, and Burnt Umber, the “black” being all but Yellow Ochre.  I almost never use more than 5 colors in a painting.

 

Noelle

2014-07 Noelle

Noelle, 8 x 10 Watercolor (O)

This is a commission piece.  Noelle looks like a very sweet dog.

I used gouache in a painting for the first time, to do the white whiskers.  Usually I use a razor blade (scratches away the paint revealing the white paper) but it wasn’t doing what I wanted.  Masking fluid never does what I want.  Gouache is an opaque watercolor, so it can be used on top of any color.

Maria

Maria, 8 x 10 Watercolor (O, P)

Maria, 8 x 10 Watercolor (O, P)

I was chicken-sitting for neighbors one winter a few years back.  There had been a lot of snow and while the chickens loved to peck the snow, it was way too deep for them to walk in, so they had been stuck in a small patio I was shoveling for them.

This was the first warm day and the snow began to melt around objects such as this free-standing door.  They were thrilled to sneak along the edges of the snow and peck in the dirt for greens and roots.

Fooling Around

I have been doing a series of casual 6 x 6’s in various media, usually on the back of scrap or abandoned paintings.  I didn’t sign any, with the thought of taking them to the RoCo 6x6x2014 show.

The first three are from a Farm Sanctuary calendar, the cub was from some magazine, and the other three are my own photos.

Benny 3

Benny 3, 8 x 10 Watercolor

Benny 3, 8 x 10 Watercolor

I finished this commission today.  It’s in a different style than I have done in the past, but I really like it.  I dotted it all on, dry brush, starting with the light blues in the whites, then the purples and greens, then the blue-blacks.  Pointilism let all those colors in the black areas show through vibrantly.  It seems to be moving.

Benny 2, 8 x 10 sketch for watercolor

Benny 2, 8 x 10 sketch for watercolor

I named this Benny 3 because I had begun Benny 2 but decided to do another pose.  Ben’s mom was particularly fond of his floppy feet, and this composition put them front and center.

Benny 1 was a pastel.

Ben is missed terribly.

Secondary Values

Over three days I painted three pages of secondaries going from full strength to almost nothing.  Just as with the Primary Values, I started with gouache and then any single watercolors I had, but I don’t have many of those, preferring to mix my own.  So I started showing values of mixed secondaries.

For the curious artist or random pedants, the oranges are Bright Orange gouache, then watercolors Cadmium Red Light (RY), Perm Rose (Rb) + Cadmium Yellow Light (Yr), Cadmium Red Deep (Ry) + Cadmium Yellow Deep (Yr), Alizarin Crimson (Rb) + Lemon Yellow Hue (Yb), Alizarin Crimson (Rb) + Yellow Ochre (Yrb), and Cadmium Red Deep (Ry) + Yellow Ochre (Yrb).   So per this previous post, any time there is a “b” in the mixing code, you can expect a dull or greyed orange.

The greens are Permanent Green gouache, then watercolors Hookers Green Dark, Intense Blue (By) + Burnt Umber (gorgeous deep color), Intense Blue (By) + Lemon Yellow (Yb), Ultramarine (Br) + Cadmium Yellow Light (Yr), Ultramarine (Br) + Lemon Yellow (Yb), Indigo (Byr) + Lemon Yellow (Yb), and Paynes Grey (BYR) + Lemon Yellow (Yb).  With four blues and five yellows/browns, I needed a little more room, so at the top I added Intense Blue (By) + Burnt Sienna (Ybr), Payne’s Grey (BYR) + Yellow Ochre (Ybr), and Ultramarine (Br) + Yellow Ochre (Ybr).

Indigo and Intense Blue make beautiful darks, but I find them difficult to work with.  Indigo lifts too easily and Intense Blue has so much pigment it is difficult to get it to softly fade to white – as soon as I touch a dry edge with fresh water, it colors all the water and makes a new boundary.  They are both fine if you’re not going to touch them again – that just doesn’t seem to be my style.  Ultramarine seems to be in the sweet spot, mixes well, and even adds lovely granulation, but it doesn’t make particularly exciting darks.

The purples are Deep Violet gouache, then watercolors Ultramarine (Br) + Permanent Rose (Rb), Indigo (Bry) + Alizarin Crimson (Rb), Ultramarine (Br) + Alizarin Crimson (Rb), and Intense Blue (By) + Permament Rose (Rb).  I was tired of doing whole value runs, so at the top I added single mixes which I’m not going to type out.