I had an open window several weeks ago to look back through some of my old sketch books. Some of those early sketch books are now in the landfill. However, several sketch books brought back a lot of early memories when I didn’t know transparent verses opaque. Cold pencil notes from early workshops stared me in the face waiting to be read. One particular reference was luminosity, paintings that have that warm fuzzy feeling called ‘glow.’ Surely I attended the class because the notes were definitely mine, when my handwriting was more legible. At first it was like reading something for the first time….then memories began to come back like an old movie. You know that feeling when the title is foreign and halfway through the movie you remember the ending and title. Those few pages had me on my feet looking for a photo reference, grabbing a canvas, making a quick sketch, squeezing out fresh paint and trying my hand at a new experience from an old page. Below is a painting created from a look back….hope you enjoy the view from inside an antique store….JoBeth
This was a fun landscape because local color was disregarded and some adjustment of the photograph. It was a struggle keeping a figure from this composition. The painting was drawn with a brush loaded with yellow ocher which keeps the shapes suggestive. Halloween orange, Andrews turquoise, and Carmine where the colors of choice. A light value wash was first applied preserving some white paper. The wash was dried before the next mid values where established….negative and positive strokes. Before the final dark’s the paper is totally dry. Dark values at strategic points and calligraphy are the finishing touches to a delightful day.
Demonstrations from teaching or exhibits can accumulate in my studio faster than the speed of sound. The yellow brick road can sull quickly when answering questions and talking through a demo. So….when the print rack becomes full…it is time to add finishing touches to complete the painting or….the chop shop. A stack of paintings with a variety of subjects became a challenge….jumping from flowers, sidewalk cafes and city scape’s….high key to dark keeps the creativity flowing . I actually enjoy switching gears using a variety of mat sizes to create different images from the original. Values or colors usually need tweaking because some shapes need to reconnect. These are a few of the crops/finishes that made for a fun day. Must confess some demos decorated the trash and others will be turned to the back side and used for studies. Below are the 15×22 original paintings and the crops are 16×20 or 15×11… 1/4 sheet of watercolor paper.
Although I liked the subject…the white awning cut the painting in half and detracted from the the action underneath. This was on Arches rough 140# paper.
The 16×20 crop below was more appealing to me with a few adjustments….glazed the awning with a warm yellow ochre.
Another half sheet on Arches 140# rough paper…colorful newspaper dispensers could take center stage on their own. I chose to add a few figures and umbrella for interest. The painting wasn’t
trash worthy but a 16×20 mat cropped out areas that were not important.
The focus on figures and newsstand’s….the windows were darkened and colors were popped up to enhance the overall painting.
This was an oblong southwest blend on hot press paper this size occasionally
creates mat/framing/hanging issues so…decided to create
two 11×14 paintings.
Twenty demos had make overs today…..hair cuts, color or new style…another advantage of cropping…paintings are simplified with a new perspective from the original…..
Estelle Howard was an inspiration to me last week in Lamesa. She painted on watercolor canvas for the first time and her painting was exceptional….this is no surprise for those who know Estelle. She is 93 and continues to paint in oil/watercolor and anything else that comes her way. From her photograph of an open air art exhibit, she maintained fresh colors flowing into one another. When the canvas was dry a sketch of the subject was introduced with dark lines using a script brush. As I previously mentioned my camera remained out of sight and unfortunately I can not share her painting and the paintings of those who participated.
We all have photographs or sketches books laying around without plans….stacks of organized photos waiting for me to go through…thinking ‘not sure what I want to do with this’…I tend to put those in a stack of ‘maybes’. The photograph below came to mind instantly when Estelle began painting on her canvas..
As I drove home that day….the image of my photo was rehearsed a million times. As the tires screeched into my drive and a quick hello to my husband, I was in the studio looking for the photo. The painting below is all about color….green trees became festive fall yellows and reds. The buildings at the left of the photo where boring and unimportant so more tree color and shapes gave a nice backdrop to the tents. The painting is 16×20 on Yes watercolor canvas with a warm dominance. Colors of cool and warm mingle to make their own neutrals. After it was dry a rigger brush loaded with a dark value is used to sketch my subject…..thoroughly enjoyed this paint time….simplified without the fuss….
Everyone was ready for line painting in Lamesa…unfortunately I forgot to remove my camera from my bag, DUH!! thus don’t have photos of the finished paintings that were critiqued at the end of the class…Everyone did exceptional work from their sketches and drawings. Below are two quarter sheets of my demonstrations which paled in comparison with the quality of work produced. My hats off to the eight of you who took the challenge…..
Color passages of warm and cool mixing together dominate the painting. A flat bush doubled loaded with a cool and warm indicate figures under the tent. When this wash of clean colors is dry a rigger brush with a dark value is used to redefine the original sketch…..done!!
Wet the surface of the paper wash on
New Gamboge and Cadimum Orange
over the people….the center of interest..
While paper is still wet quickly
add mid to darker values of cool reds
greens, blues and purples out to the
papers edge. The challenge is to
keep colors edges soft and graded
After the paper is totally dry
shadows are used to define the
subject. The contrast of lights
and darks at the center of interest
are the main players. The dark edges
are out of focus with hints of color.
Calligraphy and final darks where
they were needed…..I introduce