Showing posts from July, 2012

Water, Water Everywhere

I took the photo that inspired this painting last year, on a cold day at the beach.  I didn't get around to painting it until this year, on an extremely hot day at home.

Looking around at the finished pieces and works in progress sitting around my kitchen, I realized that every one of them had a common element: water.  Even my landscapes have a bit of water in them.  I thought back to my high school days, when I first really tried to make paintings of my own.  I remembered that they usually had some water or waves in them too.

I don't live near water, but it's not too far to drive to the beach.  I'm also happy to paint swimming pools, ponds, and lakes.  I'm not sure what it is about water, but a painting feels much more comfortable to me if it has some in it. 

One thing I've learned about painting all these water scenes is the importance of shadow under the light.  Even the brightest reflection on water needs that shadowy element to give it depth.  I end up u…

Creating the Mood

A week ago, it was so cold at a Fourth of July event that we were shivering with sweaters on.  This week, the weather has turned...

Dreaming of cool evenings, I took out the oil pastels and sketched in a tree, Then I added a little bit of sky and water.  I really just wanted to give myself a color exercise, but it turned into a full painting.

After I filled the paper with a full oil pastel underpainting, I used light watercolor as a wash to fill in color over some of the whites.  Once that was dry, a layer of chalk pastel completed the piece, giving it that soft, textured look.  I stuck to a lot of blue and purple, using a bit of green to suggest the leaves of the tree and the grass.  A little red and yellow-orange in the clouds lent a bit of warmth and variety.

I used Strathmore watercolor paper, which holds up pretty well for mixed media pieces.  I didn't have any particular place in mind as I worked, although I usually work from photo references or plein air.  This also allow…