Categories
Drawing People Self Portrait Sketchbook Pages

End of Journal Self-Portrait

End of Journal Watercolor Self Portrait of Jana Bouc, Artist, graphite and watercolor, 7.5x5"
End of Journal Self Portrait, graphite and watercolor, 7.5×5″

Just like my life, my blog and journal posts are all mixed up. I always save the last page in each journal for a self-portrait and this was in the Moleskine watercolor notebook that I finished last month.

I did the sketch standing at the big mirror in my studio which I just knew would be great for self portraits. The unlovely, but much-loved apparel in the sketch are a T-shirt my son made for me back when he was a teenage graffiti artist, and my favorite, funky, old grey sweatshirt that I wear all the time at home/in the studio.

The past month has been a bit of a wild ride, with a major transition in progress, which I’ll write about and celebrate here once it’s complete. In the meantime, I’ll see if I can catch up with more posting, painting and drawing!

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

Gone Wild With Wildflowers (and Watercolor) Part 2

Purple wildflowers in purple glass vase, ink & watercolor 8x5"
Purple wildflowers in purple glass vase, ink & watercolor 8×5″

This was one of my favorites of all the wildflowers (see previous post for the wildflowers’ back story, which had such a variety of parts, from the pea-like pods to its spiky green leaves, plus I love purple.

Big yellow wildflowers on stalks, ink & watercolor, 8x5"
Big yellow wildflowers on stalks, ink & watercolor, 8×5″

Another curious plant with a variety of features and quite vibrant in color.

Yellow spikey flower with photo
Yellow spikey flower with photo

Here it is above in real life (though a bit blurry) with its portrait.

Gentle white blossomed wildflowers, ink & watercolor, 8x5"
Gentle pinky-white blossomed wildflowers, ink & watercolor, 8×5″

These were very delicate.

Gentle pinky-white wildflowers with photo
Gentle pinky-white wildflowers with photo

I had to take an allergy pill halfway through the day because all the wildflowers were making me sneeze.

California Golden Poppies, ink & watercolor, 5x8"
California Golden Poppies, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

The first attempt at the poppies above came out nice and fresh but my pen was running out of ink so I drew over the lines with another pen and then wasn’t crazy about the composition so I sketched them again (below).

California Poppies, first attempt,  ink & watercolor 8x5"
California Poppies, #2, ink & watercolor 8×5″

I liked the composition better. Since this is our California state flower, it deserved an encore anyway. If you know the names of any of the flowers, let me know and I’ll update the captions.

Categories
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
Animals Ink and watercolor wash Painting Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Lucy: Cat Portrait in Watercolor

Lucy, Watercolor cat portrait on Arches paper, 12x9"
Lucy Painting #2, Watercolor cat portrait on Arches paper, 12×9″

I was asked to make a watercolor portrait of a beloved cat much missed by her family.  This post will be their first chance to see what I’ve come up with so far. I’m not sure I’ve captured her appearance or spirit yet as her family knows her.

(UPDATE 6/12/2012) Yay! They loved the painting and are getting it framed.

They sent two beautiful photos of Lucy in different poses to work from. I had to guess a little since the photos only showed one paw and the bottom half of her ears and I wasn’t sure how accurate the colors were. Below are the studies I made before the painting above.

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!)