Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Primulas and Illustrations

Primulas again, this time the watercolor version I have been working on for several days. It turned out much better than I expected it to about a week ago. At that point I was wondering if I should even bother to work on it more. What a difference a few days and a lot of work can make.

Done for two reasons, one I want to work on my watercolor skills. And lets be clear here mine are minimal, and because this was one of the challenge images for the WetCanvas Florals and/Botanical forum.  Since I am not doing wet into wet techniques my watercolors take shape over several days/sessions, applying washes of color, using a wet brush to lift out color, applying more color, until I get the look/result I want.

I did do a very light outline pencil drawing of the flowers prior to starting the painting. Done on Cansons 140lb watercolor paper, it is very small only 3.5 x 5 inches.

I am still reading the painting techniques book, and have moved on from basic techniques to some more adventurous ones, like salt spatter (which I have seen done on fabric), wax resist (another fabric technique) and line and wash. The latter I have done, usually with India ink which is waterproof usually prior to applying the watercolor but it can also be done after or even while the paint is wet.

I may put the cook book I have been working on aside for long stretches of time, but every now and then I get an idea for an Illustration for it and spend time playing around with it. That is what the above colored pencil sketch is all about.

I started with some onions added what look like garlic cloves, the small chopping block and a knife. To complete the graphic I added the words chop, chop all done first in pen and then added color pencil.

I like the freshness of this but think it is a bit too rough to actually use as an illustration so have done some further exploring of these images.

Yesterday I sat down and sketched from life this time, the above. Onions out of the fridge, a partially used garlic clove and my paring knife. Didn't add a chopping block but I probably should have. Anyway I have brought this image into Illustrator and will see where it goes from there.

Even though spring has officially arrived and we have actually had several days of semi warm weather (temp. into the low 50's) the past couple of days have been a reprise of our winter weather and very cold.

The icicle you see above is maple sap that has frozen. The tree (I think a silver maple) has suckers growing around the base, since the tree is next to a sidewalk these stems obstruct the path and some have been broken off (I am one of those responsible for the breakage) So with the warmer days and the sun heating both truck and ground the tree has rising sap which leaks out the end of the breaks. With the cold they have created icicles.

Maple syrup is the result of harvesting the sap of Sugar Maples (the above sap wouldn't be sweet) and boiling it down. For Native Americans here in the northeast it would have been their primary sweetener and the trees highly valued.

That is it for today, hopefully the forecast blizzard due tomorrow will stay out at sea and we will only get a couple of inches of snow, anyway comments are always appreciated