Thursday, February 26, 2015

trial exercise for watercolor class

i am working on a 6-week, 12-session curriculum for a beginner watercolor class that i am going to teach this summer; just as soon as i am mobile after the planned hip surgery in april. in contemplation of that i wanted to experiment with a little landscape for the second or third session that would use most , if not all, of the techniques we had learned in the prior classes. so, this isn't meant to be finished, regular painting, but and exercise that will leave the students with something to take home that will be at least decent. something they could be proud of. as an aside i am planning to do something like this with increasing complexity each week. that way they will have more than sheet after sheet of random brush strokes, a variety of washes, etc. i am planning the grand finale to be a portrait.

anyway, this starts out with a flat wash for the sky. then a bit of a graded wash over that to bring out the darker value higher in the sky.  some watercolor type of scumbling, scratching out wet washes, wet-in-wet, wet on dry, and dry brush.

i sketched the horses when i was out at kay's ranch last week. i'll let folks know more about the class when i am more certain of the dates. i do know that it will be at the studio gallery 1311 in la crosse. it will be called, "the new golf: a watercolor class for beginner and intermediate painters.

simply and exercise (11"X15")

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"hot day, cool drink" yet another plein aire offering from borrego springs

two days ago i went out to the mustang sanctuary here in borrego springs. kay levie is the owner, rancher, proprietor, chief cook, bottle washer and mucker. she also was our landlady for a couple of years when we stayed at her bunkhouse studio casita. cool place with burro alarm clocks (not models....real donkeys braying at sunrise), 3 border collies, a bunch of horses.

anyway i set up just outside a several acre plot housing a number of animals from the burro, bays, paints, and some mustangs. it was a bright almost clear day with a bit of atmosphere on the surrounding santa rosa and jacinta mountains. almost perfect. this is pretty much what i saw except that i moved the shade-producing tarp to the far left as it was obscuring some of the details i wanted to emphasize and put an opening between the near fence so the rails, etc. wouldn't run over the horses.

the background and sky are pretty well done if i do say so myself. the horses while accurate are a bit stiff. i may redo this on a bit smaller scale (this is 15"X22") to try to get them a bit more relaxed appearing. i like the way the dark shadow from the trees off to the left bring the middle ground into sunny focus. for ease of painting i made the fence wire instead of 2" round "bars" of galvanized pipe. this may have been a mistake.....i'll have to look at this a bit longer. nothing to do abut it now, just for the future.

so, for your edification. "hot day, cool drink".

"hot day, cool drink" (15"X22")

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

...and yet another.....

this view is south out the back of our driveway. painted in two settings with wildly different lighting at opposite ends of the day, it has a bit of a schizoid feel to me. in the second sitting i had to try to remember where shadow, etc. had been. all in all i am fairly pleased with the result. every painting out and about en plein air is a learning experience with a very steep curve....i must say i am really liking it. i got a sorely needed umbrella to shade the painting and me. can't wait to use it later this afternoon.

hope you enjoy "casa borrego nos. 26 and 16" (14"X19") on 300# arches cold press paper.