Showing posts with label Watercolor plein air. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Watercolor plein air. Show all posts

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.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Field Sketch Friday - Mayapple

At long last, spring weather has arrived!

Last Friday, I made my way to a special area on Spring Island called the Trillium Garden.  It's an amazing piece of property where spotted trillium, atamasco lilies, bloodroot and mayapples, Podophyllum peltatum, naturally decorate the landscape. This year, as part of my job, I will be illustrating the plants found here and creating a map of the area.  My illustrations will be used to create outdoor signage and a brochure about the area.

I must say my field sketch looks more botanical than sketchy.  It took 10 minutes for the pencil sketch and I was finished with the watercolor portion in 35 minutes.  I'm not a fast painter by any means.  I paint a bit, wait for that to dry, look off into the wilds and relish in the moment, and then pick up the brush again.  I was in the zone for sure.  How could you not be sitting amongst the atamasco lillies with the soft breeze filling the air with their lily scent?? 

This is a squirrel's eyes view of a mayapple.  Yup, I was on the ground for this one.  Not an easy thing in the lowcountry given the chiggers and ticks!  I have an old vinyl table cloth that I carry with me to lay on the ground.  I spray it with Off.  My pants are tucked into my socks and my shirt into my pants.  I spray Off around the tops of my socks and waist band.  It's called war......

This piece is not finished yet.  I want to add a 'crow's eye view of the mayapple to the page.
You'd never know that this plant even had a flower when standing above it.  They have 2 wonderfully shaped, large leaves. I took photos so I may finish this indoors, as I brushed one tick off of my arm (they fall from the trees) while painting this. I then found another under my shirt when I returned to the office! 

I love sketching and painting plein air - even with the challenge of bugs.  I don't always have the time to complete a piece, but if I can at least sketch it live, and then add color from a reference photo, I still feel the magic of the plein air moment as I work within my original pencil marks.

Did you know:
• Native Americans had many uses for the mayapple.  However, only the very ripe fruit is safe to eat.  All other parts of the plant are poisonous. The ripe, egg shaped fruit will be yellow and kind of wrinkly.
• Other 'local' names for the mayapple include: wild lemon, hog apple, Indian apple, duck’s foot, umbrella leaf, and wild mandrake though it is not related to the old world mandrake, Mandragora officinarum.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Magnolia and Pines

A week ago we treated ourselves to a visit to Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head Island, SC.  Sea Pines is the oldest plantation on the island and the dream child of Charles Fraser.  There are three public golf courses and two private.  Of the three public courses, the most famed is Harbour Town Golf Links where the PGA's RBC Heritage Golf Tournament is played in April. 

The club house for the two adjoining public courses; The Marsh Course at Sea Pines and Heron Point, is in the process of rebuilding. They recently reopened the practice facility so we thought it would be a great Sunday excursion to check it out.  Rob brought his clubs - I, my trusty rolling art studio.... my bike; "Blue". The bike trails in Sea Pines are wonderful, and this at this time of year, uncrowded.

I had no painting destination in mind.  I just headed off on the trail that runs between the courses to gather my inspiration. That's when I came upon this lovely, eye-level magnolia branch right beside the bike path.  I viewed the possibilities, then rode on.  It called me back.

My Stillman and Birn Alpha Journal propped nicely on the bike's basket.  I clipped my Expeditionary Art Pocket Palette  to the journal and started painting - no sketching with pencil first, I just wanted to feel and capture the end of the limb with paint. I laid in shapes lightly with paint.
And, this is where Mother Nature decided to rain on our parade.  It started to sprinkle, I checked the radar on my phone and decided I'd better pack it in and took a reference photo.

Back to the practice range I went.  Of course the sprinkles let up.... so I laid in more color while Rob finished hitting golf balls on the range.  I also practiced fast sketching, trying to capture Rob's different positions.

Once home, I finished the third set of leaves.  Today, Saturday, I was able to add the formal title.

The colors in my palette are M.Graham waterolors that include warm and cool primaries plus sap green, nickel azo yellow and quin. rust.

Warm:  naphthol red, ultramarine blue and azo yellow.  Cool: quin. rose,  anthra. blue and hansa yellow



Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Little Sketch Here a Little Sketch There....

Jumpin' Joe! Where has the time gone!  Guess I went into unintentional blog posting hibernation.  I really have been sketching, though.  Nothing glorious as time has been tight, but sketching none the less.

Here's a look back through my books and iPad Paper 53 journals from the end of December until today.

This is a tiny journal I made from some scrap hot press paper.  It's an accordion fold book with 2 more spreads to fill.  I'm filling it with walks taken around our neighborhood and other destination walks around our town.

I love keeping a journal in my purse.  I use it to capture all types of on-the-go activities.  It's a little Moleskine with the very thin paper that really doesn't work well with watercolor.  I have a very carefree attitude when I use it as it's very hard to control the results.  Not to mention, a lot of the entries are of our special dinners out.  Rob is very patient about waiting to eat his food while I sketch away.  I've become very speedy with my ink sketching.  I paint while I'm eating.
This iPad/Paper 53 sketch took place during the Super Bowl.  I love watching football, but this game was painful!  Grizz was laying beside me on the sofa.
Yum, out to eat again for our anniversary.  Love the Skull Creek Boathouse.


Finally finished the Spotted Trillium sketch on my iPad.  I wish you could see the Trillium Garden on Spring Island.  There are thousands of plants blooming now - all courtesy of Mother Nature.  Part of why I've been so busy is that one of my new projects at work is creating art for signage and a small brochure about this garden. Exciting times at work.  I'm a bit worn out when I get home each evening, though :)

And last but not least.... Today Rob and I did our annual trek to the Gullah Festival on Hilton Head.  It's been a perfect February day. Lots of sun, not much wind and actually got up into the low 60s!  Unlike yesterday where the wind blew 40 mph all day long.  Thank goodness the temps were in the low 50's.  We are now official weather wusses.  No living back up north in the winter for us!

This is my new purse palette that's the size of a business card case from Expeditionary Art.  I've filled it with M. Graham watercolors.  Loving it!