A great spring day was at the rendez-vous for the monthly USK Montreal meeting. We met at the parc Lahaie at the corner of St, Laurent and Laurier.
I wanted to test the setup in preparation for Chicago. I am looking for ways to lighten the working surface so that I can work standing or sitting. Today I worked sitting and it was fine. I cut a piece of corrugated plastic - the kind used for elections stuff - 14 x 14. I have a smaller one, but I think I want to work on 8 x 10 or 9x 12 paper, so this bigger size is better.
I used clip-on water containers - I think they are meant for oil painters to hold linseed oil and such. I put the paint in an empty cough-pills container and attached it to the board with magnets, The container weighs next to nothing and has space for 12 colours. If I want more colours, I can easily add another container. So far, so good.
I chose to sketch the church instead of the firehouse. I also wanted to test the paper - it failed. I won't take this paper at the symposium. It is not white and it has to much texture for the pen to glide smoothly. I think this will be an issue because I had problems with my pens on other types of paper too. I made three attempts to sketch the church, trying to get the whole building on the paper. I still have issues simplifying the subject effectively because my building is missing various parts.
The setup is in the first picture - it works well with the paper landscape or portrait.
And my fellow sketcher Ludmila sketched me sketching the church - how cool is this? And I look 20 years younger!
I played catch-up over the Christmas break - my sketching habit took a hit lately. I decided to sketch some of my presents and some leftovers.
One of the classes I am taking over at Art Tutor is about watercolor pencils. I bought a while back 10 Inktense pencils and I seldom use them. I also have watercolor crayons - and I use them even more seldom that the pencils.
I also think that they might be a better choice for sketching out - at least for now. They are easy to carry around and I can use the water brush. When I will get better and faster with watercolors, I will take them out again.
Inspiration - a photo taken in Girona. I am pleased with the result. Different from pure watercolor washes of course, but not bad. What do you think?
I picked up few art classes over at ArtTutor - they were on sale this past weekend. One of them is "Watercolor wet in wet" with Andrew Geeson. Watching the videos, I realized the mistake I was making. Well, one of them anyway. I used to wet the whole page, which made it very hard to control the paint. I decided to practice the approach and test it with pen line.
Here is the result:
For the apple, I used some lines with the Platinum Carbon Pen and for the gourd, the glass dip pen. I like the gourd the least. I see potential with this method, but more practice is needed of course,
The last USK meeting of the year was this past Sunday. It was cold, but dry. I lasted about 1 hour before my fingers turned into icicles. I chose to sketch a little flower shop.
The corollary of my last exploration is that now I am using ultramarin blue anywhere and everywhere. I suppose one could say this is the "blue period". Maybe after I am dead, somebody will stumble upon these records lost in the electronic world and think that indeed a blue period begun. Wouldn't that be fun!
More terre-a-terre, I used a photo from my vacation to sketch the same scene multiple times. Three times to be exact. One using two opposite colors, then directly to brush using Mona's UB and finally continuous pen line.
I used the paint that dried up on the porcelain plate used for mixing. I am curious to see if the mixed paint looks any different. While I like the color, I think that the paint is not transparent enough. I need to do more research before the next attempt to make paint. But that won't be any time soon ...
I want to get used to my new palette. Well, my new old palette as most colors remained. Anyhow, practice makes perfect, right? So I opened the fridge to see what looks appealing. I found a pear, an apple and a very old lemon.
I fond the washes a bit stiff, so I made another sketch with the intention to loosen up the paint application. Between take 1 and 2, I ate one of the models so I replaced it with a gourd ...I think I like the second one better. What do you think?
It is gotten cold ,,, and rainy ... so I sketched some leaves I picked up on the way home on terraskin paper. I am getting to like this paper quite a lot for its smoothness and resistance.
t Right before I left for vacation, I took a 2-day color workshop with Jane Blundell. The topic was how to build a watercolor palette. Now, I believe that anybody who even remotely is interested in watercolors struggles with this. In my case, when I got the sketching bug 3-4 years ago, I ended up purchasing all the colors than an artist had on his palette. I was heading to Vermont for a quick intro workshop to sketching, I did not have any watercolors at all, I liked the the look of this artist\s sketches - bright and lively - the paints were at a discount and they were a good brand (Holbein). But somehow, I was never quite happy with the colors I mixed.
Jane explained how to check the pigment composition of a color. The basic colors on the palette should be individual pigments. That has two main advantages:
Looking at the composition on some of my tubes, I also noticed that some paints had black in them. No wonder I did not like how they interacted with the sketch(Payne's grey and Indigo). I also had semi-transparent colors that I hardly used because they muddied my mixes. They were eliminated from the palette.
I added titan buff, Jane's grey, a third red, phtalo blue and goethite. Jane worked with each participant to sort out their palette based on the colors they already had. Jane;s grey is a premixed grey - ultramarine and burnt sienna. The idea is to make our own most used mixes and have them ready in the palette. That saves time and frustration when one needs to add a touch of dark or whatever. It is also cheaper in the long run.
In addition to the basic colors, there are also convenience colors.These are personal choices, colors that speak to each individual, or convenience colors (colors that can be mixed from the single pigments but that one may chose to have as premixed colors to save time when painting, especially on location).
We then painted a pear study to apply the newly acquired knowledge.
I am continuing the explorations of page design and part of the ByDesign class with Roz. Great class as usual, lots of content and even more food for thought and things to ponder before getting started on a page.
In this spread I wanted to explore the relationship color - pattern and representational - abstract. I like the result.I do not use text very often so I used pattern paper for texture.