Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jack and Sandy's Garden

What a special treat is was to be invited to this charming garden!  With Sandy's monkey bread and a cool drink - I was off to choose my painting location!  There are so many paintings to be found in a garden, it was hard to narrow down the field!  So, I didn't!  I included the view with the "windows", which were really mirrors framed to mimic windows!  How clever!  The beautiful garden is reflected right back - doubling it's size instantly!  This was such a peaceful place to paint. The icing on the cake?  An informal pan flute recital on the lawn, hand carved and played by our gracious host, Jack!  What a perfect way to spend the first day of summer!  Painting number 1624 in 1624 days.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Horse - Da Vinci Style

i have a journal that I reserve for studying master works.  The pages have an aged look, and the hard cover is meant for a drawing of it's own.  Here, I am working in the style of Da Vinci, loosely trying to keep my marks within his bounds. I am using an India ink pen for this, no pencil or fountain pen, just the line to shade and turn the form. I can learn so much by working from a master's piece - I don't dio this nearly enough.  Perhaps I need to give it one day out of 30? I really LOVE working from life, but drawing from Da Vinci could only improve my skills.  Painting number 1623 in 1623 days. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Allium Batik

Teaching last week's Watercolor Batik workshop has me experimenting in the paints this week!  I like to keep a few small sheets of rice paper in my sketch bag, so I can ink my drawings in the field and batik them at home with the hot wax.  This is one from the Overland Park Arboretum (when the allium were amazing) on Kozo rice paper.  This paper is quite thin and fragile, so I must be careful when it is wet with watercolor.  I carry my pan sets in my bag - and they are opaque, unlike the transparent color I have always used. Guess what?  I love them!  The pigment is so rich, and the way the sediment is migrates is so cool!  I left an edge which I filled in with the batik color....which is new.  The opaque brown that I used in the batiking process actually sits on top of the wax, and stays on the painting after ironing.  Interesting!  I think I can use this to advantage!  I'm having so much fun, how will I ever sleep?  Painting number 1622 in 1622 days.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Brookville Farm

The drive through western Kansas is so much more interesting with a pen and journal inn my hand!  These wonderful, pastoral scenes are so appealing to me, bringing back memories of cattle running on my grandma's farm. Not so long ago, I challenged myself to painting 100 cows in one week.  Has that ever made my cow rendering so much easier!  I know their form from all angles, and can draw them very quickly now. Such a bonus!  If there is something you would like to improve your skills on - draw it 100 times in a week!  You won't believe the difference it makes - even months later!  This painting is number 1621 in 1621 days.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mountain Road

I could hardly stop drawing during our mountain drive!  One right after the other, I drew the unfolding scenes before me as fast as I could, barely finished as the scene disappeared in the rearview mirror.  Nothing bumps up my painting speed like a fast moving car!  The one draw back is that I couldn't get a single photo of my drawing with the landscape behind it - it was gone before I could get the shot!  What a great way to spend that time - REALLY looking at the scene.  I had 11 of these painted before we left the mountains behind us!  Painting number 1620 in 1620 days :)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Along Blue River

Venturing out along a dirt path through the wildflowers behind our hotel, I soon heard the rushing of water.  I couldn't see water through the trees and tall grass until I was nearly upon it!  What a surprise!  The river twisted and turned,  and I followed it deep into a brushy area (this was before I knew to be wary of bears and to carry jingling keys)!  When the path finally reached a road, I recognized it and took the civilized way back.  There are a hundred paintings along that path - river, mountains, woods, waterfalls and a bluff rising up along the back side of that river!  This quick color sketch hardly does the place justice.  I will have to do it in oils!  Painting number 1619 in 1619 days.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mountain Trail Inked

The Yampa River Core Trail was the closest to our hotel, and the first one Michaela and I explored for a morning run.  Advised to dangle our keys to let the bears know we were coming, we ventured out!  The views are amazing at every turn, and the evidence of bear tracks were all over the trail.  This trail parallels the main thoroughfare in town, and leads out the other side.  Passing several other runners, I felt sure the bears weren't hungry.  They surely would choose juicier morsels than us!  I've gotten so fast at pen and ink sketches, I can do them on the fly with just a short pause in activity.  It really is remarkable how skills can improve with daily dedication.  Now, if only the watercolors were this fast for me.  I think they can be, I just need to devote more time to them.  Painting number 1618 in 1618 days.