Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sketchbook Pages

This is a photo of a watercolor sketch from last week. I bought the shell at PetSmart in their aquarium department just to have a new shell to play around with. I am using toned Rives BFK paper here - the tan shade - and I thought I might need a little white gouache for the whitest area of the shell. But I was surprised to find that I didn't need the white as the tan tone of the paper reads as a highlight next to the warm browns of burnt sienna and transparent oxide red. The transparent oxide red is from Daniel Smith and I added it to my watercolor palette after using it in my oil palette under advice from Richard Schmid in his book "Alla Prima". I really like this color and find it warms viridian to a wonderful earthy green and makes a good dark brown mixed with french ultramarine.

Another plein air watercolor sketch from about a week ago. Set up next to the road on the approach to the Pine Creek trailhead in Red Rock Canyon. Below you can see more of the landscape I'm viewing and my set-up. I took my umbrella down so the photo would have light on the sketchbook but normally I have the umbrella up.

This is a sketch from about two weeks ago. I was set up behind the old visitors center facing the Calico Hills. The hedge hog cactus were in bloom on this rocky hill and there were deep magenta blossoms all around me every 30 feet. They were gorgeous. Our brand new visitors center in Red Rock Canyon is wonderful by the way. After much planning and construction the new building opened in April. The habitat exhibits are fascinating and there is much to explore.