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This watercolor painting is my daughter and my niece together at Flagler Beach, in Florida. Elizabeth, the eldest of all the cousins on my side of the family, has always had a special relationship my sister’s daughters, of whom Annie is the youngest. Annie (here, age 3) was thrilled to go splashing through the surf and had no fear of the waves because Elizabeth (here, age 24) was with her.
The first rendition of this scene is at my mother’s home (since these two are the eldest and youngest of her twenty-three grandchildren) and this second rendition belongs to my sister.
I’ve been thinking about the next painting in my coffee series and decided to use today’s small painting as a time for working out some ideas. I’m glad this is just a practice painting. I learned where to put the reflections on the puddle of coffee to give the puddle some height, but I don’t like the shape of the puddle. I also need to work on the shape of the mug; the perspective is not right, especially in the oval forming the rim.
- “It takes 120 bad paintings to know something about painting.” - Larry Seiler as quoted by Jeff Mahorney in his blog
- Each painting is small in format and should be completed in about an hour or less.
- My goals are to improve my technique, to paint faster, and to gain experience with a variety of subjects.
I didn’t realize until I started talking about using this china in a watercolor painting that my husband thought of this as my “fussy china.” It is delicate, would be expensive to replace, and he doesn’t see it used often, as I get it out on special occasions with friends.
My childhood memories of visiting my grandmother include knowing that she usually had her breakfast brought to her in bed. This was some of the china that would be used on her tray. My mother and I would eat in the kitchen or the dining room and my grandmother would join us later in the day. After her funeral, I was allowed to bring home the bits and pieces of the set that remained and it has sat, mostly unused, in my china cabinet, but I think of her when I get other china out of the glass-fronted cabinet.
Although this painting is 5″ x 7″, the coffee pot itself is 6″ tall.
What could be more sun drenched than a day at the beach? with family and friends and a frisbee?
This watercolor painting was inspired by such a day. My sons were playing frisbee together and I wanted to capture the action of the game as well as the feeling of sunny Florida at the beach in Jacksonville. When I mentioned to my son that I had painted him throwing the frisbee, he commented, “That must have been a catch, Mom. It’s in my left hand.”
With all the growth of spring, I just couldn’t help painting the basil sprigs that were started inside during the winter and moved out into the garden recently. I am looking forward to having fresh basil for cooking and adding to salads!
I took an online seminar given by Larry Seiler and the major point that I took away was his assertion, ”It takes 120 bad paintings to know something about painting.” Because I want to be a better painter, and to improve my skills, and to learn to paint faster, I am going to commit to my own 120 paintings. These paintings are small, about 5″ x 7″, and should each take an hour or less from start to finish.
Today’s subject is a bloom on the Easter lily that my stepmom gave us.
Is it possible, using watercolor, to paint a visual image that invokes in the viewer the sensation of an auditory event? Can one paint music?
This was the challenge for me as I contemplated my entry for the show (and free recital) tomorrow afternoon at Providence Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia, whose theme is “Painting the Music.”
I decided to use a book format, since like a piece of music, a book has a beginning and an end. However, this book is all pictures, and I used a “pop-up” format to give more of the impression of motion and the explosion of sound.
The book opens and closes on the diagonal, has three main painted panels, painted on the front and the back, has a ribbon tie to hold it shut, and decorative tassels. The covers are made from foam core board covered with a sequined material.
Update: This entry won best in show! The judges liked the unusual format and that the work tells a story.
In this watercolor painting for the challenge “Two Subjects,” I have horses and snow.
As a general rule, having two (unrelated) subjects in a painting is like having two stars in a play; they tend to compete with each other for top billing. When deciding what to paint, I usually decide who (or what) is going to be the star and make the other images co-stars, or less emphatic. Then all the elements tend to “play well together.”
Today, I want to take the same sketch that I posted previously and do some evaluation.
Although I am happy with the ideas and the overall impression, there is room for improvement.
I think that the house in the center should be bigger. Right now, the house, the porch, and the barn all occupy spaces about the same size on the page. Making the house bigger would give some variety in size. It would also put the chimney on the right overlapping the porch and eliminating the halo of sky that is there now.
When doing a final picture, I would spend more time on the dogwood flowers, giving them some shadows and more details. I wanted a darker background to help them stand out, but I couldn’t figure out how to transition between the background and the sky. Next time, I would make the edge of the dark background shape to look like more blossoms, leaves, and branches.
The pig in front on the left has his head in the grass, but this didn’t come out at clearly as I had planned.
The barn should have some hay bales and farm equipment. Right now it is too neat.
The color washes for the sky and the grass are blotchy since I started this in pen and ink on sketchbook paper and decided to add the color directly on the sketch. Putting the final picture on watercolor paper would allow me more control in these areas.
I am wondering if there are other areas which should be addressed. You, my readers, have been very kind and supportive in your comments and I now welcome your suggestions as to other improvements that can be made.
One of my goals in creating art in watercolor is to make images which elicit a response from the viewer. Here is one of the positive reactions that I’ve gotten this week.
I’ve been posting about a picture of Western View that friends have commissioned me to do. I’ve sent them the sketches that I wrote about last week, a regular “house portrait” and an evening view with the lights on in the porch area. Then I attempted a composite picture of the house and some other scenes on the property.
To my great delight, I was immediately greeted with several stories: tales of taking care of the pigs every summer while in high school, about loading hay into the top of the barn, and riding the tractor.
The current Western View doesn’t look like these pictures. Some trees are gone, as is the windmill. A couple of the chimneys fell down in the earthquake last summer. And I’ve been asked to replace some of the shutters on the house and trim the boxwood hedges.
Whether they choose this as the final image or not, I am thrilled that this brought back memories and is a picture that made a connection with the viewers.