Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My VW Bus

Love VW buses.  They were the rage during the '60's and 70's.  It was fun driving them.  I remember taking our bus to Tahoe during the winter and having trouble finding it after a snowstorm.  We didn't dig it out for a week.  It started right up and got us home.

This was a very quick sketch and painting for a Senior Watercolor Class.  The object was to grey colors by mixing some black.  It worked for some colors but not all.  The bus didn't get any and you can see the sparkle.  I prefer to make greys by mixing complementary colors in nearly equal amounts.  This method produces greys that enhance one or the other of the complementary colors when placed next to it.  The mixing can be done on the palate or directly on the paper.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Flotsam Marina

Painted this from the shore of Sausalito.  The Army Corps of Engineers have this mammoth  pile of debris that they add to on a daily basis.  I was quite impressed with what they found floating in the bay.  As I watched them unload these very heavy beams, I sketched it and painted. 

The composition is an example of informal balance with the addition of the sailboats.  All of the action is on the right side.  It was late morning and the light is from the right. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rainy Day Shopping

A make-believe down town street scene with shoppers under umbrellas.  Fun to sketch and paint.  This is a preliminary work for thoughts on a more realistic composition.  I will paint something recognizable such as a Davis City block and then put traffic and people into it.  When it is so cold outside, I sit with my sketch pad and try out some of these possibilities.

Can't wait for it to warm up for some outside plein air painting.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Birds Over Wychmere

After all the cold plein air days I stayed inside this past week and painted a scene from memory.  Wychmere is a very picturesque harbor in HarwichPort on Cape Cod.  It is now a very private and privileged place to live.  It wasn't always.  When I was young this building was Thompson's Clam Bar and was an extremely popular place to dine.  I remember eating there on the deck with all of the windows opened to the harbor.  If you weren't quick, a gull would suddenly fly in make off with your fried clam or French fry.  The Clam Bar is now gone. The building is a private eating place and site for weddings.  So, the gulls are off to find a new dining spot.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cold, Wet and Grey Day

This is California.  It's not supposed to be this cold and damp.  Went painting yesterday morning and it was grey.  The plein air session lasted only 2 hours and I quit.  Nothing was drying.  The sun did not come out.  I tried to capture the kind of day/landscape by using a lot of greys which I made from various combinations of primary colors.  I am a firm believer in saving shadows for the finish of the painting.  There were few if any shadows to paint.  Some puddles had reflections but that was all. 
When there is no sun, no cast shadow and you are uncomfortably cold, it is very challenging to paint watercolor landscapes.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Done for the Day

This is my attempt at painting a night watercolor composition.  It helps to have some moonlight.  I gave the subject, the tractor, some rim lighting. Some house lights would enhance but since this was a farm or field, I didn't put them in.  It is challenging to paint a night scene.  I have been observing things in the night while I go for a jog.  Everything in the distance  appears black, like a silhouette.