Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 7, 2009 - Day 89

Da Vinci watercolor on 140lb Langton cold press paper

I tried 2 new techniques today. The first technique was to mask the Big Horn Sheep by covering the animal with tape and then using a sharp utility knife to cut away the excess tape. I recently saw this technique used by Gordon Mackenzie in a free video segment called Improve Your Water Painting Techniques. This video is located on The Artist Network website under "Art Workshop Preview Videos". Using tape gave a nice sharp outline that I have never been able to achieve with masking fluid. I will definitely be using this technique again.

My second technique was for the background. I was watching "Star Portraits" on Bravo channel today. This show has three artists who each paint a portrait of the same famous person. I find it interesting to see how each artist has a different take on the same subject. Today's painting was of Alex Trebek and in one of the paintings the background was streaks of color and I loved it. So I thought I would try a similar background with my sheep today.

Once I masked the sheep with tape I wet the background and applied a dark blue color and let it blend. Once that was dry I removed the tape and painted the sheep. I really like this effect and will be experimenting more with this in future paintings.

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6, 2009 - Day 88

Da Vinci watercolor on 140lb Langton cold press paper

I am starting to burn out from completing a painting a day for 88 days. I really had to push myself to paint today. If it wasn't for this blog I don't think I would have had the motivation to complete a painting today. I know that if I didn't complete a painting today that I probably wouldn't have completed one tomorrow either.

I find that having to post the painting on this blog each day really keeps me on track. I feel that if I were to miss posting even one day that it would negate the purpose of this whole blog and I will have wasted the last 88 days for nothing.

Yes, I am THAT type of person. It's all black or white for me - either I am completing a painting a day or I'm not doing the project at all.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009 - Day 87

First attempt

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Langton cold press paper

I painted this subject twice today but if I had more time I think I would have kept painting it until I got it right. I didn't like anything about the first painting and finally I just gave up on it because I couldn't think of what to do to save the painting.

I was much happier with my second attempt. I like the way the background turned out and the flowers have better definition but the paintings till lacks impact. I would have liked to play with different backgrounds and methods but I just don't have the time today. I might continue to work on this over the next week or so outside of the blog to see what I might do differently.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4, 2009 - Day 86

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Langton cold press paper

I was planning to keep working on tree paintings for awhile in order to improve my skills but I decided to paint something that I wanted to paint rather than something I thought I should paint.

These rock formations were beside the road as we were travelling through Washington state last year. I think that they were close to Grand Coulee, Washington. I thought that they were amazing.

I was disappointed with the sky wash. I don't know if it is a flaw in the paper or my technique was off but the wash is blotchy. I used the same technique I always use but this time is just didn't go on smooth. I even added an extra layer but the wash still wasn't even.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3, 2009 - Day 85

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Langton cold press paper

While walking through the park last week I came upon this tree. I loved the way it looked against the yellow and green autumn trees. I also liked the way that the sunlight shone through the trees in streaks onto the grass.

This is my second attempt at painting this scene today. While this painting is much better than the first one it still lacks the contrast and depth that I would like to achieve. I think that maybe I am starting with colors that are too weak and that I need to have my initial tree and grass washes quite a bit darker. I have had this problem previously in this blog but I am finding it a hard habit to overcome.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2, 2009 - Day 84

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Langton cold press paper

The temptation was so great today to just say "Forget it! I am just going to paint subjects that I know I can paint well." I am learning so much by pushing myself outside my comfort zone but some days it is very scary.
One subject that I am having a lot of problems with is trees, shrubs and grasses. I find it very hard to see the form when there are so many different colors of green and so many individual leaves or grasses that make up the whole.

I decided to do this tree today. I don't know what kind of tree this is but I love the bright red leaves. I also thought it might be a little bit easier to paint than a green tree. It wasn't. I reached a point where it was just a mess of red color against the background and I thought "I can't do this".

I took a breath and remembered when I first tried to paint cats and I would reach that same stage of stuckness. I learned through practice that it is all a matter of just adding more layers and more depth. So I started adding some areas of bright red and suddenly I could see shape and form in the tree which made it easier to complete. It didn't fully come together until I added the tree trunk and branches then it looked like a tree.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November 1, 2009 - Day 83

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Langton cold press paper

Yesterday I decided that I wanted to get more detail in my paintings and today all the old fears came back to haunt me. As I sat down this morning to choose my painting of the day I couldn't decide again because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to finish it with the level of detail that I wanted or to my satisfaction.

It ended up that I really didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to paint and I think that lack of clarity shows in today's painting.