Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 10, 2009 - Day 61

Da Vinci watercolor on Saunders Waterford cold press paper

Having problems with creating form on black horses. The body of this horse isn't bad but I had to resort to using China White Da Vinci watercolor mixed with blue/grey to get the highlights on the black parts of the body. The head was very hard to do and there is no indication of where the head joins the neck.

Part of the problem might just be the size of the paintings. When I am creating a painting of just the horse's head there is more room to put the brush strokes. With something this small the slightest shake of my hand will make a mess.

But I like these small paintings. Maybe next year I will challenge myself to a year of large paintings. That would really be a challenge after a year of miniatures!

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 9, 2009 - Day 60

Da Vinci watercolor on Saunders Waterford cold press watercolor paper

Can't decide if I like this painting or not. When I look at it from farther away I love it but when I look at it up close all I see are the flaws and lack of detail.

For this painting I applied the darkest areas first then painted a lighter color over the entire horse. Usually, in watercolor, it is taught to work light to dark due to the transparency of the paint. There are some artists who start with the darkest colors and they get excellent results. I am unable to provide a link to any websites because I can't remember their names. I just remember their paintings being wonderfully detailed and vibrant.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

october 8, 2009 - Day 59

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Saunders Waterford watercolor paper

This watercolor paper seems to work better wet on dry than it does for wet-in-wet techniques. I am very happy with my results today.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 7, 2009 - Day 58

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Saunders Waterford watercolor paper

This painting really came together tonight and I don't know why. I did the exact same thing that I did last night with the black pony but the results are totally different. Maybe it is easier for me to paint lighter colored horses because I am able to see the muscle and bone structure better than with a black horse. I don't know what it is but after I have painted a couple more colored horses I think I am going to try some black horses to see if I can figure out what I am doing wrong.

One other thing to note with today's painting. I used the frisket in the form of the masquepen to cover the area of the white of the star so that I could paint around it freely. I used a rubber cement pickup to remove the masking and I have to say that I love this tool. Previously, when I used masking I would rub it off with my finger or an eraser - never again. The masking/frisket sticks to the rubber cement pickup and pulls off cleanly. No rubbing required. Love it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October 6, 2009 - Day 57

Da Vinci Watercolor on 140 lb Saunders Waterford cold press paper

First painting with the Saunders Waterford watercolor paper. The Saunders Waterford is shown underneath the Aquarelle paper in the picture below. As you can see the Aquarelle is quite a bit whiter than the Saunders Waterford.

My initial impression is that I don't like this paper. I have always used a bright white paper so I don't like the color. The Saunders Waterford also absorbs the paint differently but I can't really say in what way. It just doesn't seem to flow as well. Finally there also seems to be more "tooth" or grain than the papers that I am used to using.

That being said, I don't think the type of paper really would have affected the quality of my painting today. When I was little I used to draw horses all the time but this is the first horse that I have painted in Da Vinci watercolor. I think that there must be an easier way than what I did today. I painted it with probably 10 layers of thin paint mostly in blue/black but there were some layers of dark brown.

I know there is a way to paint it wet-in-wet with no more than 3 layers but right now I really don't know how to do that.

Back to the library for me!

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5, 2009 - Day 56

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper

Although I like the way that my "Rainbow Reflection" landscapes are turning out I am starting to get really bored with them. Tomorrow I am going to start something new - I just don't know what that will be yet. There are a lot of different things that I would like to try like science fiction/fantasy, portraits or western art. I even want to attempt a series of abstracts at some point.

Tonight I prepared a colorfast test for my Da Vinci paints. I painted strips of pure paint for all the colors I have. Tomorrow I will cover up the top half of the strip and place the paper in the window. A month or two from now I will remove the covering to see how much the paint has faded.

I was reading about in "Make Your Watercolors Look Professional" by Carole Katchen. She said that she had bought a bright and beautiful watercolor painting but when she went to re-frame it she noticed how faded it really had become. She said that she would never buy anything from that artist again because the paintings would lose their color and vibrancy over time (paraphrased that bit). I thought that it might be a good idea to see if the colors that I use are permanent or not. If they aren't then when I make larger paintings I will have to spend the extra money to get special glass with UV protection when framing the painting.

Right now I don't really need to worry about it because I mostly paint ACEOs which are collected like sports cards and are put in plastic sleeves and kept in binders.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 4, 2009 - Day 55

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper

I am still in the "I don't want to paint today" stage so I did another "Rainbow Reflection" painting. The nice thing about these paintings is that I don't plan them. I wet the paper then randomly paint on pure undiluted paint. It is only when I start the sgraffito (scratching with palette knife) that any idea of form comes to mind.

Today I was thinking of doing a mountain lake. So I put in blue at the top and bottom of the painting and then added Gamboge (yellow) Yellow Ochre, Hooker's Green and Burnt Umber to the middle of the painting. As I did the sgraffito though the paint flowed down into the blue that was to be the lake making it green as well. At that point it was reminding me of the rolling hills of Montana so I scratched in grasses and some rocks to complete the painting.