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
Art Drawing Faces Painting People Portrait Watercolor

Terrible Watercolor Triad, Mean Model

Mean Model, Watercolor portrait of woman, 8.5”x7”
Mean Model, Watercolor, 8.5”x7”

I recently spent a couple weeks working through a Proportions and Rhythms of the Head portrait drawing class created by Bradwynn Jones. I watched him do the demo drawings (mostly while working out on my rower) and then sketched them myself. When I finished all the drawings I transferred them to watercolor paper and started painting them. This is the first one I painted.

Reference Photo of Mean Model

I took an immediate dislike to this model. She was pretty but mean-girl looking to me. I decided to experiment with a triad of colors on her that turned out to be equally unpleasant.

Final Sketch for the painting

Cobalt Violet has very low tinting strength and just sits on top of the paper, so it came right off if I tried to glaze over it. It is both opaque and granulating, causing an unpleasant texture for skin.

Color wheel test of triad limited palette

The QOR Nickle Azo Yellow also had low tinting strength and when mixed with the violet made a yucky brownish color for shadows. The QOR Paynes Grey combined with the yellow made a gross greenish-gold of her hair.

I didn’t really care because, like I said, take that, mean girl!

Also, Payne’s Grey; I’ve never understood why people use it. Most brands make it from black and ultramarine blue and sometimes a bit of violet. I guess it’s a convenience color, but one that would be so easy to make, though I prefer not to use black paint in watercolor.

Do you use Payne’s Grey? If you do please tell me why and which brand you like.

Initial sketch with needed corrections superimposed in Procreate
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.

Categories
Art Digital art Procreate on iPad Still Life

Sketching Before Breakfast #2 – Cantaloupes

Big cantaloupe and fruit bowl early morning breakfast table sketch in Procreate on the iPad.
Big cantaloupe and fruit bowl early morning breakfast table sketch in Procreate on the iPad.

Another couple of days worth of stuff on my dining room table drawn before breakfast, with cantaloupe making a guest appearance.

Another view of the morning breakfast table; sketch in Procreate on the iPad.
Another view of the morning breakfast table; sketch in Procreate on the iPad.