This week I wanted to try a peaceful scene with the idea of botanical gardens in mind. I was in a bit of a rush with travel plans so to get it done today some of the work was done while waiting at a train station and some while on the train at stops. These are Koh-i-Noor colored pencils, mostly the polycolor line, but also a little of one of their woodless progresso greens was used. The photo might not be the best but all I have available right now are dim yellowish lights and some editing was needed.
This was painted from a reference photo on Paint My Photo here. I’m starting to rethink my opinion of acrylic paint. There are some challenges like how quickly it dries and then the need to remix the same color to make an adjustment, which often isn’t an exact match, but an advantage was the whole process went quickly. I need to practice water more, or just not rush it so much.
Pencils: Pentel Graph Gear 500 3mm with 2H lead, Eberhard Faber Design Drawing 6B pencil, Conté a Paris white pastel pencil
Paper: Strathmore 400 series toned gray 80 lb
4.75″ x 2.75″
I think I got a little carried away with the white, but I’m still getting used to this kind of drawing.
Black watercolor on sumi-e paper, 6.25″ x 4.75″
This took a little bit longer than I expected. It’s copied from a drawing by Leonardo, though because of the age of the paper and maybe the roughness of the chalk he drew with it was hard for me to tell exactly what all the lines were meant to be, so I just made a few interpretations of my own.
I painted this because the past few days there was a lot of rain, but much less than was predicted. The prediction of what even the next few hours would be like was always being changed. I had expected to wake up yesterday to more rain, but instead there were only a few drops the whole day.
It reminded me of when Nicodemus came to speak with Jesus in the Bible, and was told by Jesus “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) Jesus was explaining the mystery of conversion to him, which is by the Spirit of God, by comparing it with wind. The effects of wind can be seen and felt, so we know that it is there, but even today with all of our technology we still can’t really say where the wind is going.
I took this photo a little over two months ago while on a train passing through a canyon in the Rocky Mountains. It was evening and the sun wasn’t shining directly into the canyon, but the red rock walls above us were still lit and gave a golden glow to the river.
Pencil on paper, 8.5″ x 5″
I drew this last night on Strathmore recycled sketchbook paper with my very old GraphGear 500 0.3 mechanical pencil using 4H lead. The water took such a long time to shade in with such thin lead…
It’s be a very long time since I’ve really drawn with pencil on paper. I kind of like it though, so maybe I’ll do more in the next few days. I think that once I started painting years ago I kind of stopped drawing, except rarely, which really isn’t good. Drawing is an important foundation of art, and not drawing has probably held me back.
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.
Oil on canvas, 10″ x 8″
Based on Cliffs at Pourville, Rain by Monet. I wasn’t looking at his painting while I painted, or especially trying for an exact copy, so mine turned out a little different.
I don’t normally paint this thickly, but I’ve been watching some video clips of an artist named David Leffel and I’m hoping to learn some things from him so I can improve my work. I kind of like thick paint.
I had a cobalt, prussian, and cerulean blues already on my palette when I started so I was using mixtures of those with white and a little Portland Grey Light from Gamblin. Around 2/3 of the way through I decided to try a mixture of french ultramarine with my new cobalt teal (PB28) from Gamblin. I really like how that mix turned out. The reddishness, darkness, transparency, and intensity of the ultramarine was balanced by the greenishness, lightness, opacity, and relative dullness of the teal, resulting in a mellow middle blue in all regards.
Oil on canvas, 5″ x 7″
Another experiment, this time with painting a night scene. I don’t remember all of the paints that I used, but this is the result of having various new paints on my palette that I was mixing to see how they would look and then wanting to use them on a painting so they wouldn’t be wasted. I mixed them all together into one blue color. I think it was mostly ultramarine violet and viridian, both from M Graham.
When I scanned this I did another experiment because with so much dark paint the light from the scanner was reflecting off every thread in the canvas it was hard to see the painting.
On the left is the original scan after the size was reduced. You can barely see the painting through all the glare. In the middle I flipped the painting upside down and scanned it again. It looks about the same, but the glare was on the other side of each thread. I then aligned the two scans, each on a separate layer, and set the top layer to 50% opacity. Lastly, in the right image, I made a new levels adjustment layer above both of those to adjust the light levels. The glare disappeared, the details were preserved, and the colors closely match the real painting, so it was a complete success.
A couple of years ago I was about to cross a shallow stream in the woods when I saw this little frog. It was just sitting there in the water no real concern. To get this photo I knelt down on my knees in the water and had the camera lens just 6 or 7 inches away from it, but it didn’t seem nervous at all. This wasn’t the only frog I got a photo of in that stream on that day, but this was the best photo. I never did find out what kind of frog it was even though I tried.