Sunset Over Plains

Sunset Over Plains

Mixed media, watercolor and conte crayon on paper, 3.75″ x 5.25″

I’ve never tried using watercolor together with conte crayons before, so this is yet another experiment for me. I think it worked out well, so I’ll try this again.

The watercolors I made myself and include Italian dark ochre (one of my favorites of all my paints), yellow ochre light, and Nicosia green earth.

I’m actually having a little problem with the green earth since I didn’t use any preservative in it. Out of all 12 of the watercolors I made and put in tubes this is the only one that’s done this, but I noticed a few days ago that the tube was swollen very full. When I saw that I was like “Wait, did I fill it that much?” When I took the cap off a small amount of paint burst out of the opening and when I squeezed the end of it there was a large air pocket.

From what I’ve been told in the past it seems that whatever bacteria that may have been in the earth that was ground up into pigment are now eating the honey the paint was made with (even though honey is suppose to be anti-bacterial?) and are producing gas. So, basically, my paint tube has germ farts in it.

Since then it swelled again and I squeezed out more air, and now it’s starting to swell yet again. I may just squeeze out most of the paint into a container. Next time I’ll try making the paint with a tiny drop of clove oil added to the gum arabic to act as a preservative, and we’ll see how that works.

The Highlands

The Highlands

Oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″

A couple of days ago I found out about an artist named Arkhip Kuindzhi. He grew up poor in Ukraine in the mid 1800s, was orphaned when he was 6, worked for a living from then on, and eventually moved to Russia and learned art. I’m going to put my painting to shame by showing you guys this, but I saw this painting he made called Snow Tops and I wanted to paint something like that today. Again I wasn’t actually looking at that painting while I worked except a few glances during breaks, and it’s not meant to be an exact copy anyways. He has so many good paintings, I want to make copies or paintings similar to at least 20-28 of them.

This particular canvas is one that I had previously coated in multiple layers of Golden fiber paste mixed with white acrylic paint until the canvas texture was gone and in its place was a sort of stony texture that I like. The paints I used were cobalt blue (PB28, Winsor & Newton), azo green (PY129, M Graham), prussian blue (PB27, M Graham), king’s blue (PB28+PW6, Rembrandt), flake white hue (PW6+PW4, Winsor & Newton), and a little bit of zinc buff yellowish (PW4, Williamsburg). This was my first finished painting using that azo green (known in other brands by names like “green gold”) and I think it may become one of my favorites alongside viridian. It doesn’t show up very well in the photo but I used very thick paint that gets thicker towards the foreground.

I used to live in a place called Highlands Ranch. It sounds romantic, but by the time I moved there nothing was left of the former ranch. Instead there was only suburban sprawl with mountains very far in the distance.

Fox Field

Fox Field

Graphite and colored pencil on cardboard 5.75″ x 4.75″

It’s not often that I actually draw something anymore. I think this is the first time I’ve used a colored pencil to draw something in many years, maybe even 13 or 14.

This blue is cobalt blue from SoHo that Jerry’s Artarama sent me for free a couple of years ago. It’s pretty nice actually, especially for their low price. Maybe I’ll order a few of them the next time I place an order. The pencil is a mix of a 12B graphite stick and a 0.3mm mechanical pencil with 4H lead.

Overall I’m really pleased with how this came out.