Wednesday, March 21, 2018
The first explosion of native wildflowers has begun, the first I found up close being the blanket flowers growing on a street corner in Somerville, Texas. Yesterday I stopped to get a closer look at the bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, and tickseed blooming near highway 36 and FM 1948. Washington county will soon be covered in glorious color — this year, the peak bloom time is expected on Easter weekend, though they will continue through next month. And summer varieties will soon follow . . .
Lately I find myself not sketching every day, but just adding bits here and there to my journal when the mood strikes, whether text or drawings. But I just can’t let the first wildflowers of the season get by without trying once again to capture their likeness.
Friday, March 16, 2018
I was recently asked to do a short article for Watercolor Artist magazine for a new column they've begun, Open Book (our friend Liz Steel was in this month's issue!) They asked for 3-4 images to pick from, but will only use one in the magazine...and as usual I overproduced! I came up with 9 images, but controlled myself and only sent, um, 5...or 6...
So I have leftovers to share with you!
This one was from a fall trip to Bennett Spring state park...I was wanting to explore wet in wet but with touches of gouache against that dark background to pop out and suggest a bit of depth.
I painted the dark, shadowed background hill, the warmer stream bank and the water first, and quicky laid in splashes of orange for the colorful tree and its reflection. When those washes were dry, I painted the taller, darker oak tree, using a kind of quick, loose scrubbing motion to suggest foliage.
The dark trunks and limbs were added next, with a round brush and a small rigger brush, and allowed to dry.
Then I used my old friend spatter in watercolor and gouache, plus touches of pale green gouach on the bankside bushes. An opaque gel pen made linear sparkles in the water...
Fast, fun, and I was satisfied with the effect, for the most part.
I'll add more of these as I get time...