Friday, July 29, 2011

Recent Sketchbook Work

Here is some recent sketchbook work. I have been using the facing page to do small thumbnail value sketches, pen studies, and color explorations. If I have a photo of the scene, I will paste that is as well, for later reference. Or in the case of my many relaxing afternoons sitting on my back deck, the label from a beloved cigar, as seen in the garage sketch.

Working Small and Fast

A few years ago I was in Vermont teaching a number of watercolor classes for Holbein. One of the classes was how to paint outside, so we packed lightly, braved the August heat and humidity, left our hotel/conference center, and walked outside and across the road to this little farm. The scene was very commonplace: just a white frame house with a screen porch, a detached garage and some trees. I found a comfortable spot and did this series of scenes using my Sanford Uniball Micro pen and my 6" x 8" Aquabee sketchbook.

I was under a little pressure for two reasons: one, it was hot out; and two, I was teaching a class and I like to keep things moving and interesting. That has the advantage of forcing me to work fast and loose and intuitively. I don't have any time to massage things, I have to draw and slap on the paint quickly. The result is either a sharp little vignette, or a spectacular failure, but either way, I don't waste much time.

I am pleased with these little sketches because they express an immediacy of thought and application. Each one has a nice and simple composition. The darks are very dark, and the lights very light. Some areas are even left unpainted. There is very little detail, most everything is left to the imagination.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rejection and Resolve

I received an email this morning telling me that my submission to an art show on the west side was not accepted. I hate when that happens. I would think I would get used to it by now, but I never do. But rejection just strengthens my decision to keep doing what I am doing, and not waver from what I love.

Watercolor Cards

Here is a series of cards I painted for Suzanne.

Pasadena Scenes

Here is a series of small paintings of Pasadena scenes I recently completed. I had a collection of 6" x 6" cradled wooden panels that I wanted to use, so I picked six favorite images, sketched them in pen on Arches hot press paper and painted them with watercolor before mounting them to the gesso'd panels with gel medium. I applied two coats of acrylic gloss varnish and four coats of Kamar varnish to complete the paintings.

I liked the arrangement of all six in single composition so I am in the process of having some Giclee's made, which will be for sale soon.