Thursday, December 28, 2017

Smoky - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 9"x12"

      Just a quick little sketch with some ivory black. I never use ivory black. I've always preferred neutral tint or burnt umber or sienna mixed with ultramarine blue for more organic blacks and greys, and Payne's Gray for deep, absolute blacks. But, this reference photo was screaming for a grayscale treatment and what better way to do grayscale than with a pigment with "no color"?
      And, for general FYI, there are many more ways of mixing greys and darks/blacks including three primaries or two complimentary colors. UM blue and burnt umber/sienna are essentially complimentary colors for the purposes of mixing grey. Using two complimentary colors seems easier to me than three primaries. I try to limit all my palette mixes to two colors as much as possible anyway. And, a two-color grey is easy to warm or cool as necessary. Sometimes I even get the added bonus of a little pigment separation on the paper during drying. I think the look of UM blue and earth tones separating is one of the reasons I picked up watercolors in the first place.
      So, what's ivory black good for? Mixed with a little cool yellow, you can get some nice greens.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Louis Louis - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      This is a little different from my normal shoe still life. Works pretty well, though, I'd say.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Natalie - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 9"x12"

      Just a quick, loose portrait of a model from some glamour site. There's very little about this one I don't like -- except maybe the scan. Scanning always adds contrast and washes out some of the lighter spots, hiding much of the subtlety inherent in the real painting. I recently went through some originals and was struck at how much better many of them were than I remember them because I'm used to seeing the scanned file. I'm still trying to figure out an easy method of shooting originals with my camera. Theoretically, I should get a much better, truer-to-life image that way.
       I used a pretty limited palette on this one, yellow ochre, a warm red and ultramarine blue for the skin tones - with just a touch of permanent rose to bring the nose forward. The hair and lips needed a couple more colors and I think the background blue is a loose mix of ultramarine and cobalt. The fewer colors you use, the less chance of mud, everyone always says.