On such a beautiful afternoon, there’s no better way to begin the month than chillin’ in the sunshine of my tiny San Fran yard. Just look at that urban view…
Was in DC earlier this month for a work conference. Despite the windy cold and snowflakes, I found comfort with my pens and paints whenever I got antsy.
Also got this goofy souvenir…
Looking back at all the work since New Year’s Day. It’s really been more fun than work — fun to look back at scattered things, to see what story they tell. (Click to enlarge images.)
Time to start drawing people and playing with different techniques. (Click arrows to advance slideshow.)
An old friend from decades ago got in touch today. He turned me on to his nature photography, and one of his pics inspired this watercolor sketch.
Just got back from a quickie across the ocean.
Stayed up on the northwest tip of Kamehameha’s island.
Had a nice room with a patio view of a lush hillside.
Got to spend some time at the beach.
Went to see some touristy historical sites.
Took a hike through a lava-locked pikupa forest.
Checked out the Kohala coast.
Watched Venus rise over palms.
Had to come home much too soon.
Watercolor based on a handmade coaster brought home from a trip to Thailand.
Found an inspiring summer photo on a Uruguayan Tourism website. Started off with a wash of watercolor pencils.
Once that dried, went in and detailed things with more watercolor pencils.
After adding a bit more blue to the water and sky, plus a few more details on shore, smoothed it all out with a water brush.
With it cold and rainy in San Francisco, doing this sketch makes me want to peel off my clothes and dive head first into the warm summer waters of South America. Soon enough!
Got some good advice about focusing on shadows and not worrying too much about coloring. Did this quick sketch of my hand with watercolor pencils, using various shades of brown, beige, pinks and light blue. I really like the bulge of flesh just below the pinky.
Too much thick paint on this one, but it was fun to draw. I do like the blue, how it created clouds on its own. Here’s the original image. I also gotta work on my color matching. Oh, well… We live and learn.
Many thanks to Gyroscope Review for publishing the following poem in their Winter 2017 issue:
—restaurant & bungalows
Last year, a beach-view balcony
a midnight breeze brought salt
thirsty lime juice on our lips
At lunch, cotton-stuffed cushions
tables tall as crisscrossed knees
curries spiced with dragon weed
This year, a cold-water room out back
garden dogs, mosquito verandah
laptop lines and letters glow
Tonight, back for another sea breeze
pineapple curry on chicken and rice
I breathe the freedom absence brings
Your absence, a ghost seated beside me
stirs her own papaya pleasure
same same, yes yes, but different
I’ve seen lots of online watercolorists post paintings of their paint trays, so I thought I’d give it a try as a fun way of testing all my new paints. Also wanted to experiment with shadowing with color.
One thing I like about watercolor painting is that mistakes highlight the human interaction with the subject of the sketch. My shadows aren’t all that smooth, and there’s that blotch of a bad dark line on the right.
But errors show the process of learning and, as a teacher by trade, I love the learning process and seeing mistakes that appear along the way. After all, it’s in the making of mistakes where we learn.
Heck–I learned a lot with this effort.
Went to the art store today and bought some stuff to start playing with watercolor. Watched some videos by Kelly Eddington for instruction. Here’s what I came up with.
This first one is just an experiment with the new brushes I bought, which were pretty inexpensive, and I could tell when using them. At some point, I should consider getting some nicer tools to work with.
I added some ink to each of those to see how it would work with the color. These next two were wash experiments. In both cases, small hairs from the brush were coming out and winding up in the wet paint. Once the paint dried, the brush hairs wiped right off the page, but not without first leaving behind small dark lines of color where they sat.
Finally, these next two were were fun to make and to watch how the colors interact with one another.