Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wet Canvas Weekend Drawing Event SKETCH OF MAROUSCHA

 The weekend drawing event on Wet Canvas is a challenge in which you select a picture from those posted and then have a two hour time limit to complete your work.  For, me it is a great way to improve my speed and accuracy in drawing and painting. You can't overwork..there is no time.
This is Marouscha. This sketch took about 1 1/2 hours. In this I tried to not only capture her likeness but also to use economy of line.  Too many lines on a child's face will age the child and make her look old.  We have all seen portraits of children where this is the case.  Also, in drawing children proportion is very important as it is not the same as in an adult.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Floating is Finished

 I probably could continue to work on the water forever, but I think it is time to put this one to rest. The areas of disturbed water and bubbles were the most challenging part.  I learned a lot.  First, I indented with a stylus making dots.  Then I worked over these with small circular strokes to give the impression of foam and bubbles.  I left small areas of white paper showing in addition to the indented dots and placed lines to indicate the movement of the water.
 I did smooth the water with thinner and then work on top with color again. I also burnished with light blues and white.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

On a Dark Desert Highway: HOTEL CALIFORNIA

These are prints made from my watercolors, that I sell at the Hotel California in Todos Santos.  Yes, it is supposedly the hotel where the Eagles wrote their famous song. True or not, this adds magic to the experience of visiting this little pueblo.  I happily spent the day restocking my shelf and then visiting wonderful tropical viveros (nurseries).  Although only about 3/4 hours away, the climate is more tropical than where I live in La Paz. La Paz is a low desert.

3rd Update Floating

The painting is at the point where all of the white paper is covered with color.  Now, the plan is to smooth out the water by using thinner to blend and remove the graininess. Also, the values need that the eye is drawn to the center of interest.   To achieve this, I need a few more darks in the water and lower body and to reduce the very light area to a smaller portion of the pictures.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2nd Update Floating

It is finally beginning to be more than a sketch.  I continue to pull up and put down color on the water.

But, the biggest change came with using thinner on the ball and it's reflection. I have also started to use a stiff brush on the water to blend the color. Both of these things help to make the entire picture look less grainy.
This is quite important when painting water.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Evening Update .....Floating

About the water.........I am at the stage where I have put down three layers on the water above the figure and now I am removing some of those layers with tacky paper to give a slight ripple effect to the water.  Then,  I have gone back in again with cloud blue over almost all  the background water and peacock blue on the darker waves. I have still not worked below the darker wave line above the figure so that area is still very flat.

It is very slowly starting to come together. Patience on this one is very helpful.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


9 x11 inches Prismacolors on White Stonehenge

 I took the reference photo for this painting last summer at Playa Coromuel.  This is the beach closest to the city where many families spend Saturday and Sunday in summer.  A women was just floating, eyes closed, holding this hot pink beach ball unaware of the rest of the world.  It was a good photo.

So far,  I have only painted in the head since if that didn't work, the painting wouldn't. Then I began on the background and ball.  I always have doubts at this point in a CP painting.   But, posting both successes and failures is good, since everyone has them.  I will keep you updated.

Sorry, I am having difficulty getting a good photo.  It appears too pink.  I believe that it will be better once all the water is in. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011


5x7 inches Prismacolors on White Stonehenge

The drink of Mexico. I took the reference photo for this painting  late one Sunday afternoon while sitting under the palapa ( this is a open roofed structure covered with palm leaves ).  The sun shown through the bottle creating  wonderful abstract patterns.  I like to do paintings that have areas of reality combined with areas of abstraction.  I  find this intriguing.
I used the play of complimentary colors orange/blue to create the hot/cool mood in this painting.
I used thinner on the background and glass of the bottle midway through the layering process.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Here is the painting in black and white.  I often look at my paintings this way to check the values.  I find it  a helpful way to find  areas that may need lightening or darkening.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

For the Love of Chiles

As you will see, sometimes I just like to have fun with a painting.  So here I placed these beautiful, organic chiles on this very silly plate.  It was interesting making the chiles pop from the surface of the paper.
First of all I used citrus oil thinner about mid way through the layering process, so that the real chiles are highly saturated.  Secondly, I tried to remain very conscience of  the values.  Values are always important, but when working on an overhead view correct values really help to add depth to the painting.