Friday, July 31, 2009

Sketchbook Pages

I went out to our little flowerbed in the backyard this morning and painted this page. Some of the glazes are still wet actually. I discovered a new color yesterday through the thoughtfulness of Stan Fellows at his blog Sketchbook by Stan Fellows. (Thank-you, Stan) One of his entries shows his color palette and one of the colors-Holbein's Lavender-I had not tried before. In his beautiful paintings one could see that it is a luscious color. So I went down to Dick Blick and purchased a tube. I tried it out last night to paint a quick sketch of the salt shaker on the table and it was great for the shadow side of the white salt. Then when I looked out the window this morning and saw six new morning glories in bloom I noticed that just one of them was the exact color of this tube of lavendar. A little synchronicity to tempt me outside. So I dragged a couple of folding chairs and my palette and sketchbook out and just enjoyed myself. The lizards were once again playing tag on the block wall and they slowly venture closer to check me out. And a hummingbird flew by and decided to land in the willow tree just to my right and watch. She flew to the privet also just in front of me about eight feet away and then landed in the mock orange as well. She stayed there a while then flew back to the willow and stayed another five minutes. Smart little bird-changed her vantage point three times.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"June in Red Rock Canyon"
9" x 6"
Original Watercolor

I painted this little watercolor in my studio a couple of days ago from a reference photo taken over a year ago. Up in the desert in the spring of 2008 the indigo bush put on a rich show of color. These plants didn't bloom this past spring so I was glad I had gotten a few photos from the spring before. The painting is small so I didn't put in specific details of the flowers. I spritzed the purples in the foreground and then immediately lifted with a paper towel to give the plant a little texture. It is on Fabriano Artistico Extra White cold press. I can always count on this paper to allow me to lift for this effect. When this plant is in bloom there are acres and acres of the valley dotted with this intense purple. It is a pretty sight!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sketchbook Pages

Last weekend I had a chance to do a little sketching in my yard. The sketch on the right is a pen and ink done at our piano teacher's kitchen table in May that I later put a color wash on. He has quite a color variety of rose bushes in his backyard and always has a few in a vase in the house. This sketch was drawn vertically but it works horizontally as well. The sketch on the left is the one from the front yard. I found some shade under our acacia tree early in the morning and sketched the yucca pods that are so heavy they are bowing over the stalk they are growing on. While painting a hummingbird came to sip from the tiny red blossoms on this stalk. She was not more than a foot away from me and she hovered long enough to take a good look at the painting. The colors must have attracted her.