Categories
Art Drawing Faces Painting People Watercolor

Dorothy of Oz: All Grown Up?

Watercolor painting of Dorothy from the Wizard Oz, as an adult, from a photo of a woman at a county fair
Dorothy of Oz, Watercolor on paper, 9”x6.5”

My first thought was, “Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, all grown up,” and, as the saying goes, “rode hard and put away wet” when I saw the photo (below) on photographer Earthsworld’s Instagram.

Photo reference by Earthsworld, posted with permission

My second thought was “I must paint her!” I contacted Earth (his real name) and he gave me permission to paint from and share his photo. Then, while the painting was in progress I came across the cartoon below on Instagram by artist WadeHate.

Cartoon of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz as a grown up, smoking a cigarette
Cartoon by WadeHate, posted with permission

It was too perfect, another image of Dorothy all grown up. He was kind enough to give me permission to share this artwork.

Experiments with background color in Procreate.
Bottom left was original before painting background.

The original photograph had a background I didn’t want so I experimented in Procreate with different backgrounds. I probably should have just left the background white (below).

Finished painting except for background.
Also, the limited palette of W&N watercolors notated:
Raw Sienna, Permanent Alizarin, Winsor Blue Green Shade

The deep orange I chose didn’t please me so I tried washing it off. That left an “interesting” peachy color and a paper surface that was not going to respond well to more paint layers. So, peachy pink is how it shall remain.

Painting in Progress, Final Sketch, Sketch check for accuracy in Procreate

When I checked my initial sketch I was delighted to see how close I got on my first try, and how few corrections were needed (above). It’s so nice to see progress, whether it’s in drawing or painting or both. This painting also went really well (except the background).

Categories
Art Oil Painting Painting People Portrait Watercolor

Sadie and the Swim Trophy

Sadie and the swim trophy, watercolor
Sadie and the 2021 Swim Trophy, watercolor, 10”x7.5”

My granddaughter Sadie loves to swim (and play soccer, basketball and read books, too). At the end of the season, after winning many races and awards, to fundraise for her team she swims lap after lap and people pledge $ per lap.

Reference photo

Trying to paint Sadie from this photo led to me giving up on oils and going back to watercolor. As was my way with oils, I tried repeatedly, persistently (obsessively?) but couldn’t make it work. This watercolor isn’t perfect, but it captures the joy of the moment and that makes me happy.

Failed oil paintings
Abandoned Oil Paintings, 9×12”
L-R: Start of painting #2; unfinished painting #2; unfinished painting #1

With watercolor I’m able to paint to a certain point and then happily call it done. Watercolor doesn’t allow you to keep fiddling forever like oil does.

Final drawing for the portrait painting
Final drawing for the painting (after many corrections)

I again used a limited palette because it’s fun to see what I can do with only 3 colors. This time it was DS Hansa Yellow Medium, WN Permanent Alizarin and WN Cobalt Blue.

Limited palette color wheel of primary triad
Test of Limited Palette Primary Triad using DS Hansa Yellow Medium, WN Cobalt Blue and Alizarin Permanent

I used to think it was really weird that artists limited their palettes. I thought one needed every possible color in order to capture color exactly. But now I prefer the harmony a limited palette provides and don’t really care about capturing exactly the colors in real life. I’m not trying to be a photocopier.

Categories
Art Ink and watercolor wash Painting Watercolor

Bee, Bird, Butterfly Birthday

Madeleine’s Birthday Painting, ink & watercolor, 6×4”

I went through quite a process making little birthday paintings for my granddaughters whose birthdays are two years and one week apart. I think of Madeleine as a little butterfly, always happy and amused. Strong but delicate.

Sketch for painting 11×8.5”

First I looked at reference photos of the different critters and flowers, then sketched them as if I was doing scientific illustration. I transferred my sketch to watercolor paper and painted it. Then I realized it was a terrible composition.

So I started over, deciding that they didn’t need to be scientifically correct. I let my whimsical side come out, recomposed and redrew and painted it again. This time I was happy. I hope she will like it!

Categories
Animals Art Ink and watercolor wash Painting

Undersea Birthday

Watercolor sketch of seahorse, colorful fish, and jellyfish
Birthday painting for Sadie, Ink & Watercolor, 4×6”

My granddaughter Sadie can swim like a fish, so for her birthday I painted a little undersea scene for her. I’ve always been intrigued by seahorses so it was fun researching, drawing and then painting one.

Growing up in Southern California, I’ve always felt at home in the water, whether just spending the day in the sun and surf or scuba diving.

If I were ever to marry again (unlikely) I want a scuba wedding. I wonder if guests would be willing to come to a “destination” wedding when the destination was underwater.

Categories
Art Drawing Faces People Sktchy

Fun Portrait Sketch of Pulcherie

Pulcherie, Graphite pencil on recycled printer paper, 11 x 8 inches
Pulcherie, Graphite pencil on recycled printer paper, 11 x 8 inches.

This portrait of Pulcherie was so fun to sketch! According to her Sktchy profile, she is a French artist living in China. You can see the original photo reference on Sktchy here.

It’s always such a gift when a drawing just goes well! I was able to do this one in a couple of hours while listening to Barack Obama’s latest (audio) book that he narrates. I never noticed before that he had a slight lisp but I’m sure I’m hearing one on the S-sounds when he reads aloud from his book.

Categories
Art Flower Art Glass Oil Painting Painting Rose Still Life

Spring Rose Series #5 (and #2-#4)

“Spring Rose Series #5” Oil on Yupo, 12x9”
“Spring Rose Series #5” Oil on Yupo, 12×9”

I was happy with this painting of my roses, done from life in 2 1/2 afternoons, especially after having tried and failed several times to paint my neighbor’s pink roses. (See below for photos of the process).

I’d read that oil painting on Yupo paper worked well and was archival so decided to give it a try with a pad of Yupo I’d bought long ago for watercolor. It hadn’t fit my watercolor style then, but I found it very fun to paint on with oils and also easy to wipe off. It’s similar to painting on DuraLar except it’s not transparent.

Photo of setup and steps in the process
Photo of setup and steps in the process of painting above

Every time I tried to paint my neighbor’s roses, I’d get the drawing and block in started, run out of time and the next morning the flowers had slumped or collapsed to the point I’d have to give up, wipe off and start over.

 Roses painting attempt 3 and 4
Roses painting attempt 3 and 4

I finally decided the square oil primed linen panel was jinxed and abandoned it. (Or maybe it was karma? The first bunch I’d taken without permission but even after I’d gotten permission his roses just wouldn’t hold up.)

Rose painting attempt #2
Rose painting attempt #2
Dead Flowers Again!
Dead Flowers Again!
Categories
Art Digital art Drawing Food sketch Procreate on iPad Quick Sketch Still Life

Sketching Before Breakfast #3 Mystery Pears and More

Two pears and an apple on breakfast table; morning sketch in Procreate on the iPad.
Two pears and an apple on breakfast table; morning sketch in Procreate on the iPad.

And we have more morning sketches. I was really trying to force myself to stick to 3 values for each object. My glass-topped table is so great with its frosted glass square design elements and reflections.

Unfinished sketch of bananas and lemon on the table
Unfinished sketch of bananas and lemon on the table

Super quick sketch done on Procreate on my iPhone with my finger, barely had a minute to draw but didn't want to lose momentum.
Super quick sketch done on Procreate on my iPhone with my finger, barely had a minute to draw but didn’t want to lose momentum.