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Drawing Flower Art Glass Ink and watercolor wash Painting Plants Sketchbook Pages Still Life

Gone Wild With Wildflowers, Part 1

Bachelors Buttons (I think), ink & watercolor, 8x5"
Bachelors Buttons (I think), ink & watercolor, 8×5″

Just days before the city mowed down all the “dangerous” wildflowers on Carlson Boulevard for the second time, finally killing them, I walked along the narrow median strip with cars zooming by, and snipped specimens of each to paint. (I previously wrote here about why they were dangerous. They grew back after that first trimming.)

Pink Wildflowers, ink and watercolor, 5x8"
Pink Wildflowers, ink and watercolor, 5×8″
Pink Wildflower sketch with photo
Pink wildflower sketch with photo

I took them home and went wild, putting them in pretty bottles and vases, then sketching and painting them all day long.

Pink & Yellow Wildflowers, ink and watercolor, 5x8"
Pink & Yellow Wildflowers, ink and watercolor, 5×8″
Pink and yellow wildflowers with photo
Pink and yellow wildflowers with photo

My goal was to make free and fresh sketches of each flower that captured its personality while keeping composition in mind.

Little Daisy-Like Wildflowers, ink & watercolor, 8x5"
Little Daisy-Like Wildflowers, ink & watercolor, 8×5″
Little Daisy-Like Wildflowers with photo, ink & watercolor, 8x5"
Little Daisy-Like Wildflowers with photo

I postponed posting because of the time it would take to prepare the many sketches, scans and photos from that glorious day. I finally made the time; I didn’t want to be posting spring wildflowers in the Fall!

Lacy Wildflowers in Blue Bottle, ink & watercolor, 8x5"
Lacy Wildflowers in Blue Bottle, ink & watercolor, 8×5″
Lacy Wildflowers in Blue Bottle with photo
Lacy Wildflowers in Blue Bottle with photo

Do you know the names of any of these flowers? If you do, please leave a comment and tell me and I’ll change the captions with the correct names.

There are many more wildflower sketches to come, which I will post in Part 2.

Categories
Flower Art Glass Ink and watercolor wash Oil Painting Painting Sketchbook Pages Still Life

Dandelions and Wine

Dandelions and Wine, Oil Painting on Gessobord, 10x8"
Dandelions and Wine, Oil Painting on Gessobord, 10×8″

It was time to take a break from portraits and do some still life painting after ten failed attempts at painting a friend from a not-great photo. I gathered some dandelions from my neighbor’s yard (I’m sure he didn’t mind) and stuck a few in my favorite old French Cognac bottle (that I found in the street years ago). With the addition of a bottle of Spanish wine, I had a still life ready to paint.

Dandelions & Wine, Watercolor, 7.5"x5"
Dandelions & Wine, Watercolor, 7.5″x5″

But first I did this watercolor sketch. Even if I plan to finish an oil painting in one go, it always helps do a sketch first to get to know my subject. And since I’m eager to get started with the oil painting, I work quickly which keeps my watercolor fresh and not overworked.

It was a relief to turn out something I liked after my frustrating journey with the portrait. But I haven’t given up on it. There are still two failed canvases facing the wall, waiting for me to make them work (or smash them to bits!)

Categories
Art supplies Drawing Flower Art Glass Ink and watercolor wash Painting Plein Air Rose Sketchbook Pages Still Life Watercolor

War of the Roses, Part I: Schmincke Watercolor Review

Schmincke Rose Saga #1, ink & watercolor
Schmincke Rose Saga #1, ink & watercolor

On the next test run of my new Schmincke palette that Roz introduced here, I painted some roses on a tablecloth in the sun on the deck. While the Schmincke pan paint is lovely to use, and the palette a good size and design, the colors frustrated me. Their version of rose called Permanent Carmine (PV19) is much redder than the Winsor Newton (PV19) Permanent Rose I rely on for pinks and several other colors didn’t appeal to me.

In the color chart below, the top and bottom rows are the original Schmincke colors that came with the set. I added the colors in the center row by filling empty half-pans from tube paint in the space designed for adding extra pans.

Schmincke palette original colors plus added middle row
Schmincke palette original colors plus added middle row

The colors (abbreviated above) are:

Categories
Art supplies Drawing Every Day Matters Glass Ink and watercolor wash Sketchbook Pages

Lightbulb Moment and Mini-Review of Stonehenge Wirebound Journal

Lightbulb, ink & watercolor, in 7x7" Stonehenge Wirebound Journall
Lightbulb, ink & watercolor, in 7x7" Stonehenge Wirebound Journal

I was trying to find a way to make this old blue photography light bulb (purchased back in the days of film) stand up so I could sketch it. I tried using tape rolled into a double-sided ball and sticking it to the table but it fell over. Then I found this little glass yogurt container about the size of a baby food jar that I’d bought primarily for the jar. Perfect. (Sketched for Every Day in May, EDM #108).

Stonehenge Wirebound Journal Mini-Review

The short version: Nope.

I loved the idea of a 7″ square journal and the paper seemed like it would be nice for pen and watercolor. The description on JerrysArtarama included this bullet point:

  • Excellent surface for graphite, colored pencil, printmaking, pen and ink, pastel, silverpoint, watercolor and more! [italic/bold added]

But it’s a no-go for watercolor. I couldn’t get a rich smooth wash anywhere on the page. When I tried to add a darker glaze over the first wash for the shadow on the table, no matter how light a touch I had, my brush picked up the first layer of paint instead. On the underside of the bulb I had a similar problem. And then there’s the mystery line across the top of the bulb. Something embossed the page in the brand new book and the color sank into it. Perhaps the edge of the ruler I used to pencil in a border before drawing in ink left an imprint, but I’ve never had that happen before.

When I ordered the sketchbook I thought I remembered Roz writing a couple of positive reviews of the paper but when I checked again, I saw that her third and final review came to much the same conclusion for watercolor.