Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Iris Time

Today was watercolor day (Wednesdays) and I painted radishes, plums, and a yellow iris. This time of year, irises are all over our yard and others. Neighbors and friends admire each other's different colors and varieties. This purple and white iris was painted last year during Iris Season, but it got lost in a shuffle of papers. I found it last night and intend to frame it, but first will make some color prints and notecards of it.

I used acrylic washes, on paper, carefully choosing the background color, capturing the opposing hue on the color wheel and matching the intensity of the blue-purple. Betty Edward's book, Color, is an excellent text for learning color theory and putting the knowledge to practical use in painting. I painted this study after working through her exercises and highly recommend this book for all artists working with color but baffled by typical college color courses, which generally leave one with extensive charts but no working knowledge.

Tomorrow: today's watercolors

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the coming storm

Back to brushes and medium (Liquin) in this painting. The underpainting was a tone of alizarin crimson mixed with leftover paints, then I brushed in the sky using 3 blues and titanium white. I fiddled around with the cloud, realizing after I put in the foreground that I had a rainstorm on the horizon. I looked at a photo of a sky with clouds to start, but the painting is totally different from my beginning. I finessed the clouds with a fan brush, and laid on thick white with the palette knife. My idea is a rainstorm coming, off at the far horizon. The white fluffy clouds and sunshine are still around, but the storm is moving in. I left the dark blue threatening sky up in the left top corner. Rainstorms come and go, but is there a bigger storm threatening?