I'm back in the painting groove again. I was going through a bit of painting block so I decided to change tack and paint some flowers instead of the usual landscapes and seascapes. These thistles grow prolifically on the trail we use to exercise our dogs. I have taken a number of photos of them but until now have not attempted to paint them. I like to keep my flower paintings loose, leaving something to the imagination for the viewer. I did two paintings because I wasn't quite happy with the first one, and I am still not that happy with the second one. I may have a third go and if it is better will post it.
My first painting of 2015. Our house overlooks Richardson Bay and a spit of land called the Strawberry Peninsula. I've wanted to paint an atmospheric watercolor of this scene for some time. I watch the tides come in and go out daily and it makes for an interesting subject. I was trying out some new Daniel Smith colors, particularly perrylene violet ,which dominates this painting. I could have included some yachts but wanted to keep it a more quiet peaceful scene. I'm still thinking of maybe adding a few yachts though.
I haven't painted in a while. However, having sold nine paintings in the month of December, I figure I had better get busy again. For anyone wondering how to go about selling their art, I have had a lot of success with the online gallery zatista.com. They sell my paintings regularly - this year I sold 19 through them. They also have a store on amazon.com and list all of the paintings in their gallery on their amazon store, where art seems to sell quite well. The downside is that zatista takes 45% commission on each sale. But then, if I didn't have my paintings on their site, I probably would still have them in my inventory, which is one way of looking at it. I have sold all of my sunset and marsh paintings so wanted to paint another in the same series since the subject appeals to me. This is probably my last painting of the year so I wish all my fellow bloggers happy holidays and a fruitful painting new year.
I painted this one of Mt Tam too late to enter the O'Hanlon Gallery exhibition but I quite like how it came out. Only used two colors, Payne's grey and French ultramarine.I managed to get Serpentine Mountain and the previous Mist Over Mt Tam accepted in the juried exhibition.
It's that time of year again. I love painting the fall colors - reminds me of our time living in Virginia. I donated this watercolor to my local Marin Society of Artists for their annual auction fundraiser. Each time I paint one of these scenes I try out different colors. For this piece I first thoroughly wet the paper and then painted a very diluted wash of oreolin. After it was dry I spattered different combinations of color with different size brushes and then spritzed the spatters with water just slightly to give the spatters uneven shapes. When that was dry I dabbed the piece with scrunched up saran wrap dipped in different colors. I used cad red mixed with new gamboge, raw sienna mixed with burnt sienna, lemon yellow with burnt sienna, oreolin with burnt sienna, and for the browns, burnt sienna mixed with french ultramarine. I was particularly please with how the brown worked out, also supplying the needed darks to the watercolor.
Here is my abstract version of Mt Tam. I used one of the techniques mentioned in Ann Blockley's latest book by using cling film over the wet paint to create texture. The colors I used were quinacridone burnt orange, Prussian green and quinacridone gold - with some sepia ink squeezed under the cling film to add more texture. I thought the textures came out quite well and gave the mountain nice contours while remaining abstract. As it happens the stone on Mt Tam is called serpenting stone and is this very color green. This piece made it into the exhibition.
I am currently working on a series of watercolors depicting Mt Tamalpais to enter in a local gallery exhibition where the theme is "Under The Spell of Mt. Tam." I can enter up to three paintings, so I thought I would try to approach the subject in three very different ways. Mt. Tam is a very imposing mountain that can be seen from most areas in Marin. At it's highest point it is 2,574 feet and is often shrouded in mist - making a great subject for painting. Above is my first attempt with the mist coming down over the mountain. I want to also do an abstract version and a night scene incorporating the mountain. My next two posts will follow this one - if they are successful that is. Update: this piece made it into the exhibition along with Serpentine Mountain.
This watercolor was inspired by a black and white photograph - a good exercise in being creative with color. The photo was also a good guide for the lights and darks. I took a lot of artistic license changing shapes and leaving out a water scene in the background and replacing it with distant trees. I used quinacridone gold, cadmium yellow, cobalt blue and Prussian blue and sepia ink for the textures in the foreground.
I was aiming for a tonalist look in this watercolor, using a number of glazes to achieve the result I wanted. It's easy to do too many glazes and ruin the painting by overworking it, or too few and not quite achieving one's goal. I'm a great admirer of the tonalist painters who mostly painted in oils. To quote from Wikipedia, "Tonalism is sometimes used to describe American landscapes derived from the French Barbizon style, which emphasized mood and shadow. Tonalism was eventually eclipsed by impressionism and European modernism." I love trying to create atmosphere in my watercolors. The colors I used were quinacridone gold, brown madder, neutral tint, transparent pyrrol orange, Payne's grey and burnt umber. Also some sepia ink for the texture in the foreground.