Friday, May 30, 2014

More Sketching from Memory

A couple of evenings ago, we had a stellar evening.  Our favorite place to take the dogs to walk is down on hole number 17 of our neighborhood golf course.  Yes, this is the view from the spot where I'd pitch my tent and grow old.

The late day light was stunning with the sun warming up last year's very dead spartina.  New grow is making great progress, but still, when the tide is at its highest point, just the old spartina rises above the water.

I have so many shots of this spot with many variances in lighting.  I'm saving them up for painting references.  But wait!  I don't have to worry about getting enough time to break out the canvas..... I can start the process on my iPad! 

Yes, this image is created on my iPad using the Paper by 53 app. Done in one hour while watching television.  I'm so liking this app!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Enjoying the Shade of Cypress Trees

Ahhhhh, nothing finer than to be outside in the shade with warmer temps and a light breeze.

I had the opportunity to do this on Saturday. The shade was courtesy of a couple of cypress trees with  knees galore. The far shore view of a small pond enticed me with the colors of new and old vegetation.  This is one of three ponds where Canada Geese breed and raise their young.  The geese were wary and stayed around the farthest pond, honking for the first half hour, then settled down.

I was sitting in our golf cart, my supplies spread out on the seat beside me. I used a combination of traditional brushes and waterbrushes.  All but the lettering was done on site.

Dragon flies and water-striders were everywhere. The call of red-winged blackbirds filled the air.
This is my first plein air sketch on the private plantation I wrote about in March.   The owners were out looking for turkey hens with their chicks.  They are very concerned for the turkeys, as we're in a dry spell and the insects that the chicks need to survive are not hatching without the rain.  I saw a total of 3 hens and 5 chicks.  There has already been mortality among the chicks......  Water is so very precious in all its forms.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

iPad/Paper 53 and Watercolor Workshop continued

Again, we worked from a photograph, using the iPad / Paper 53 app, to learn how to feather colors into each other like when creating a wash in watercolor.

Oooooo, I'm really liking the new skills I'm learning using the Paper 53 :)

Step two.... create a painting from the sketch.  This exercise was on the third day of the workshop.  I didn't finish, and on day four, we started a new project.

Although I will finish this piece, I'm not real thrilled about it.  I've muddied the marsh grass near the horizon and that's all I can see.  However, there are advantages to having already written this piece off.  When I proceed to work on the pluff mud and foreground marsh grasses, I can do so with abandon.  The pressure is off - this is now a large single page of my journal.  A place to learn and grow.  Stay tuned for the result  :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Ideas, New Work.... Great Workshop with David Rankin!

One of my artistic goals this year is to further my inspiration and learn new painting processes and techniques. I'm off to a great start!

David taught us how our iPads and the Paper by 53 app are invaluable tools to have in our artist's quiver.

In our first exercise we worked from a photograph of a marsh scene that was shot with afternoon light. The sun rises over the marsh past these trees. Our mission was to create a sketch of the scene on our iPad, but to change the lighting by adding the sun and shadows to make it an early morning scene.

In the next step, we used this rough sketch as our inspiration to create a watercolor.
We worked on rough watercolor paper using a one-inch flat brush - both totally new for me.  I'm a hot press paper girl.  I'm liking rough paper, not to mention the Steven Quiller one-inch brush!

David took us step by step.  He showed us how to paint the sky, cutting around the sun.... off we went, back to our work stations to paint.  Then he demoed the marsh and trees....  I love watching instructors paint and find I learn best with this method.

I'm very pleased with the end result! Working on rough paper with a flat brush offers the opportunity to paint quickly by using specific brush strokes to create different textural effects.

Stay tuned..... more to follow.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Workshop Wednesday

I'm taking a workshop with David Rankin. We are sketching on iPads using the Paper 53 app, then using this image to create a traditional watercolor painting. 
Yee ha!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Stewardia malecodendron

My coworker has this southern native tree/shrub growing on his property and brought a cutting to work for me.  It sat on my desk several days before I had the opportunity to make a sketch.  So long so that it was now or never, as the blossoms were starting to fade.  I decided to use a Pentel brush pen for the line work.  I love the calligraphic marks this tool makes. I added watercolor to the finished line work.

I love this addition to my Stillman & Birn journal that I've dubbed 'my book of trees'.

Did you know:
• Stewardia or Silky Camelia is a small understory tree/shrub mostly found growing along the coastal plain from Virginia down to Florida and over to Louisiana and even into east Texas.
• It's an uncommon tree but has a large range
• Favorite growing conditions include rich wooded bluffs, ravine slopes and creek banks

For more information about the Stewardia, please click here.