Saturday, February 04, 2017

And the Sling is OFF! Yay! And Studio Work

The sling has been very supportive... but also restrictive. I'm still supposed to wear it when I go out in crowds, to minimize the possibility of being bumped or hugged or some such that might pull the joint before it's totally healed. But today, there was freedom to work in the studio!

I've started working with Charles Reid's book, Painting by Design: Getting to the Essence of Good Picture Making. I enjoy Reid's watercolors because they look so loose and free - but they are really not at all that loose since he spends hours placing appropriate drops of paint in appropriate places on his paintings! However, his compositions are excellent and his drawings are superb. I can learn a lot from Charles Reid and use the information that fits my style of watercolor painting as it evolves.

Painting by Design: Getting to the Essence of Good Picture Making

Here are a few of the exercises that I've done in the past day or two - with a focus on contour drawing, learning to draw without looking at one's paper, teaching the hand/pencil to move along with one's eye as the eye travels slowly along the edges of the object(s) being drawn. This type of drawing is definitely a favorite of mine, although I haven't done it for years - even though I used to teach it back in the day! So brushing up on this technique has been fun and also has reminded me to slow my eye down and to encourage the eye and hand to work together for more effective representational drawings. No, they are not realistic, however, they are accurate - or become that way with practice/experience.

Today, I was inspired to get out some newly ordered/arrived small canvases and to prepare them for what has been circling around in my mind for the past month or two. I prepared 5 of the canvases with black house paint (used as gesso) so that I can continue painting my farm animals. I really had fun with the Hereford cows on the black canvas, so I figured I might try painting roosters, hens and sheep on black, also. Who knows how that will work out, since these animals/birds aren't black! But it will be fun, and that's the important point for me right now. Alas, I'm fairly certain that I'll need to add a second coat of paint to make sure the canvases are totally, completely black and evenly coated.

The remaining 5 canvases were painted with Daniel Smith's Watercolor Ground. I'm thinking it will be fun to try my hand at painting watercolor on canvas as opposed to watercolor paper or illustration board. I'm not sure, but I may need to give the canvases a second coat, as well. First, I must wait 72 hours for the first coat to dry.

Notice my drying racks? They are kitchen accessories - cookie cooling trays. I've never liked them because they are supposed to stand up and be stack-able, but they don't stack at all well. But they work well for drying racks for small items in the studio! We use whatever we can, don't we?!

So that's my adventures of the past few days. Hope you are having fun, too!

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