Monday, February 28, 2011

Painting in the Hood

Was out in the local town of Woodland where there are wonderfully restored Victorian houses. It was a cold day. Sketched and painted this scene in about 90min. The sun came out at the end which allowed some shadowing. The green of the house was mixed on paper using a pale yellow and sap green. I believe this direct glazing activates the color, creating a more vivid color than when mixed on the palate and then put on the paper. My teeth were chattering at the end of this outing and I headed home for some hot soup.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Troncones Hotspot

This painting is from sketches done last year in Troncones, Mexico. I wanted to try painting it again but, this time, mixing all of my color directly on the paper. The result was I achieved some pretty brilliant color which typifies Mexican buildings. I would call the real stucco color almost pure yellow, like a daffodil yellow. I started with cad yellow, added some opera and finished with raw sienna, all while still wet. I then lifted some of the color on the sun exposed side. The building color in back was done with raw sienna, followed by alizarin crimson and then cobalt blue. It's fun to experiment and at my stage, I'm not quite sure what the final color will be.
This composition is awkward. All the weight with the momma, papa, and baby sizes are on the right side. It needs something on the left for balance. Then again, with watercolors, you can always crop.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Watercolors from Mexico

Some more of my watercolors done while in Mexico. There is such a relaxed atmosphere in the heat and beauty of the coastline, the risks of creativity, seem to dissipate. Yet, once engaged they return and you want to make something of your effort. The painting of the flower pot was done while on the patio of this little hotel. The other paintings were done on the first days on the beach. There is this intriguing tree in front of our place and I've painted it several times. That it continues to thrive and is even more robust than previous years is amazing. The trunk is dried and porous but encloses something that supports the green canopy.
Out on the point of this bay are huge waves and usually, plenty of surfers in the morning. The waves break from right to left, making it ideal for surfing. So many nice distractions for this painter.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Watercolor Sketches in Mexico

First visits present so many things to paint. It is seeing with fresh eyes. I quickly sketched and painted this urban scene in Zihuatanejo. Speed resulted from avoiding the hot sun as well as meeting up for lunch and a cold cerveza or two! The other sketch occurred while reading in a hammock and hearing the sweeping on the patio. There is this gnarly twist of vegetation that looked interesting with its dappled light on the stucco wall. There is a freshness to doing quick studies. Lot of fun mixing color directly on the paper to capture the colors that make up the Mexican culture.

Monday, February 21, 2011

En Plein Air Painting on Mexican Beaches

There is the roar of the surf in Troncones Mexico. No one else is on the entire beach but you. Those are my foot prints and, unless you count the busy trails left by hermit crabs at night, there is little other to distract you from painting. I next moved to Playa la Ropa beach in Zihuatanejo where you do find people but in very small numbers compared with past years. February is the high season for visitors but they are not coming because of our press coverage of banditos. It is a shame that it is considered unsafe for travel because this is a very safe and secure region.

I have been coming here to paint and surf for 13 years. There is nothing like it; morning awakening to an ocean view over your toes. Another warm sunny day in paradise.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Troncones Home

This painting was done standing on the beach looking up at this great house that I share with another couple. The kitchen, bath and pool are on the patio by the pool and everything is on the beach. The temperature is hot and the ocean has a huge surf. After painting each day we are off surfing. Cooking out on the patio with a cold cerveza is living the good life. Not many people around, say about 2 others in the ocean. I mean, you have it all to yourself.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Painting in Mexico

I have been painting all month in Mexico but unable to upload on this blog. This is my first success so I will start putting some of my work up. It is hot and humid but I love Mexico. For painting, the urban scene is very colorful. Mexicans like strong colors and painting them forces you to take it even further. You get home and look at what you have done and are amazed. This picture was done yesterday while painting on the beach. My poor easel picked up plenty of sand in its mechanism.