Restless Sea

Restless Sea
Watercolor, gouache, and casein on 300 lb paper, 4.25″ x 7.5″

I happened to look at the recent painting Fading Quietude upside down and thought it looked very much like either a sea with rocks or a mountain scene with foggy clouds. So I reimagined that same upside down composition as this seascape.

Friday is nearly over, the sun is setting, and it’s almost time for my own Sabbath rest, but the world at large, like this sea, doesn’t look like it’s going to rest anytime soon.

The paints are the same as before. The white in the small plastic container is the casein titanium white, which I’ve found works far better than either watercolor or gouache whites, as those both significantly lose opacity as they dry.

For brushes I started with a small ox hair flat from Daniel Smith, but found that I needed a stiffer brush for this paper. This is old paper and I think the sizing on it got too old to work well, causing it to absorb water too fast. A stiff synthetic brush is more usable even if the water is sucked out of it because it doesn’t get floppy like a natural brush. Most of the basic shapes were then finished with a Hwa Hong synthetic filbert brush with much stiffer hairs, especially because it’s difficult to fully rinse out and some old acrylic paint had dried in it. The finer details and color adjustments were finished with a small Robert Simmons titanium round.

Solnedgang om Vinteren, after Ludwig Munthe

Solnedgang om Vinteren, after Ludwig Munthe

Watercolor on paper, 4.25″ x 4.5″

I copied a painting by Ludwig Munthe, seen here, on the back of a different watercolor painting that wasn’t working well. A lot of the paints I used here aren’t normally on my palette. There’s a little white gouache mixed into the paints on the top half of the sky.

Clouds and Waves (finished)

Clouds and Waves Finished

Oil on canvas, 5″ x 7″

Somehow the paint from yesterday evening was already nearly dry this morning. I know burnt umber dries fast but I’m wondering if the marble dust I mixed into the acrylic ground absorbed some of the oil out of the paint.

It’s afternoon now and I decided to glaze over it with a mix of putty (linseed stand oil, walnut oil, marble dust), some more of the burnt umber I made, and then from Daniel Smith I used some transparent blender, genuine lapis lazuli, and zinc white. The lapis lazuli looks good out of the tube but is such a weak paint that it just doesn’t live up to its marketing hype. It’s fairly good at glazing though. I don’t normally do glazing but I like how this worked.

Clouds and Waves

Clouds and Waves

Oil on canvas, 5″ x 7″

Sun setting behind low clouds while waves beat on the rocks.

I painted this using three oil paints that I made recently. The reddish brown I made today using Italian Burnt Umber Warm pigment from Natural Pigments. The black is Iron Oxide Black 306 Bluish, from Kremer Pigments. I also used a little bit of a violet earth pigment, Augite Porphyry Violet Light from Agulis Pigments, but it was mostly covered by the black at the top. The light areas are just the burnt umber scrubbed on thin and then scraped off.

I was using a stiff brush, a Titanium #4 bright from Robert Simmons, which has some dried paint in the bristles to make it extra stiff. It’s one of my favorite brushes.

Before starting this I wanted to smooth the texture of the canvas a little, but for some reason I still haven’t gotten any gesso since I ran out a long time ago. Instead, I took some clear acrylic gel medium and mixed marble dust into it. Then I spread it over this canvas board with a plastic palette knife. It seems to have worked perfectly. The deep gaps between the canvas weave were mostly filled in but there’s still enough tooth that it held the paint well enough.

The burnt umber also has some marble dust in it as an experiment. 🙂

Ocean Cloud

Ocean Cloud

Oil on board, 5″ x 7″

A cloud billowing up from the ocean. I used cobalt blue (Blue Ridge) and titanium white (M Graham). This is still wet but I didn’t want to have to wait to scan it, so I place a coin at each corner with only a tiny bit of the board overlapping onto the coin. This kept the wet paint from touching the scanner’s glass and I only had to crop off the very edges of it with nothing really lost.