Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Playing with Watercolor and Pen


The one thing all of todays drawings have in common is they were done with pen and ink and watercolor. Not always pan or tube watercolor, I did use watercolor pencils for the abstract design, but since I did take the time to activate the pencil with a brush and water it is still watercolor.

Above is a small still life, bowl of fruit on one of my quilts. I rendered the quilt in a very abstract way, just to see if I could. Don't know how I feel about this, could certainly be better but could also be worse. Added the darkened background because I wanted the visual contrast. No pencil work in this one, everything was done directly.


Another of my sort of paisley doodles. I am much happier with the colors I used here. For one thing I limited the number of colors I used to fewer than I used in the last one. I don't know how many more of these I have in me right now, will just have to wait and see. In the meantime I may pull one of these into Illustrator to see if I could actually design an overall pattern that could be used for fabric. It would make an interesting challenge for 2016.


Above is another watercolor sketch/painting. Well it isn't awful but could certainly be better that is for sure. I based the painting on a photograph I made last fall in the Fens area of Boston. The black tree I did with ink, and probably should have used paint for it but... I wanted to use ink so I did. At one point I was afraid I was overworking this piece, but looking at it now, I think I mostly didn't. Watercolor is so easy to overwork ending up with muddy color and no definition. I didn't go quite as dark on the right side of the painting as it is in the photograph but I am not sure that is a bad thing.

For this one done in my Strathmore Multi-media sketchbook I did block in a few pencil marks prior to starting the painting. Not a lot of detail, but I did note where I wanted the tree, the line of the top of the bridge, a line for the top of the building, that type of thing. Note that all of today's images were done in my Multi-media sketchbook so are small about 5 x 7 inches or less.


My reference photograph for the above watercolor painting. I may attempt this one again on larger and better paper.


Sunday for us was a day of rain, lots of rain, which we still need from our dry summer and fall last year. The water levels in the lakes/ponds are looking better but I know the water table is still probably lower than it should be.

We did get a few breaks in the rain and during one of those breaks I photographed the swan pair in my local park. Just realized when I was editing the photo that Sunday was the first time I hadn't seen the signets with their parents, well I think these are the pair that had young last summer, but maybe not. Swans sort of look pretty much alike and I certainly can't tell the pairs apart. But the above pair was only the one I saw out and about so who knows if it is the same one and the young have just taken off to find mates and a home elsewhere or if the whole family left and another pair has moved in.

That is it for today. Per usual comments are always welcome.