Thursday, February 25, 2010

Top Lighting

This is a fun exercise in saving the white of your paper. With overhead lighting the tops are left white so a wonderful design appears. The buildings are done with the paper flat and wet and the colors are dropped in the wet and then mixed by tilting the paper back and forth. the same is done for the background. The paper is then tilted upright and finished. Some boats were put in the front and the reflections were drawn out with the graded wash of the water not yet dry. The entire painting is really done on a semi wet paper. It is a lot like a back lit painting when there are no details to the structures.

Coit Tower and San Francisco

As a former resident on Telegraph Hill I sat out on my roof many times looking up at Coit Tower and wondering what the view would be from above looking down the Marina. I tried painting the scene before and this was done yesterday. It is a mosaic composition with the white of the paper saved for design.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ranchland Spoils

Had a wonderful day to paint on a cattle ranch in the Capay Valley. Barns, machinery ruins, budding trees and grassy knolls were there for arranging. I moved (artist license) the car wreckage down the hill in front of this large barn and tank. The wreck was completely rusted but intact. I meant to later paint some of the trucks and machinery but the sun went in and all of my fellow artists had already packed up and left the area.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Troncones Paintings

This first of paintings was done on a rainy stormy day which is most unusual at this time of year in Mexico. The other paintings are done on the usual sunny days and were quick sketches that were painted. One gets a rhythm for painting when at it on 5 or more consecutive days. There is more spontaneity and risk taking which is what we are all after in watercolor. It is so easy to do on vacation in a warm cozy place.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Grand Place

Mexican living is tough. This is a quick sketch and watercolor of my place. Bedrooms in back and kitchen and pool in front; on the beach. You can choose fresh or salty for a swim.
I tried reducing watercolor supplies by using a block of paper instead of the usual half sheet. Big adjustment painting on something different. My thinking is just do a quick painting and then redo at home. The jury is out as to whether this works. Not easy to change old ways.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Mexican Beach

This is the scene that I awaken to every morning and the surf can be thundering. Usually there are surfers out at the point of the bay. This strange twisted tree, I believe it is a Manzanillo, is out in front of my place and in many of my paintings. You are now aware that I often do not wander far. Why should I, when there is cold cervesa, comfy lounges and good company.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Home from Mexico

This is paradise on the Mexican Pacific ocean where I return for the past 13 years. I sketched and painted my housekeepers on the last day as we sadly headed home. Life is basic. My biggest packing: my sticks, paper and easel; otherwise, it's bathing suits and shirts. The surf is tremendous and I didn't break anything this year.

Our 'green grocer' does house calls and we get our stuff (note no paved roads). That's Susan picking out tomorrow's breakfast. She also does wonderful watercolors.