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Watercolor Paintings Week of September 21st

When I was in the gardens in Wagner Park last week, I tried to paint loosely and without a preliminary simple pencil drawing.  I found it very difficult to paint the yellow flowers, and at the end I sketched one with my pen and then added watercolor just to remember the actual shape and color.  I definitely need to work on these using only a brush and paint. 



My homework after my FIT class was to paint an organic still life using 3 colors: Payne's Gray, a yellow (New Gamboge), and a red (Scarlet Lake).  I lightly blocked out the plant and sculpture and then tried to paint it loosely and with different mixtures to vary the greens.




In class last week we had 4 big animal skulls to draw, all placed on dark backgrounds.  My problems were many fold:

1.  I am so used to working small that my preliminary drawings were too small regardless of where I started drawing.

2.  I found it very difficult to simplify the skulls.  They are so complicated structurally, and I wanted to capture the different depths, angles, and holes.  Without those structural details they were just big blobs. 



The skull of the right, repeated slightly bigger: 


I'm hoping that I can work toward bigger drawings, and much looser painting.  This week our homework is to draw "a flower" and we examined many paintings of Georgia O'Keefe for inspiration.  I have a few beautiful, fresh sunflowers that I bought today, just waiting for me to paint one! 



Love the granulation in the paint in the shadow areas of the skulls! Marc Taro Holmes, an Urban sketcher from Canada, has influenced me to dive into the paint and sculpt out the shapes as a way to quickly get my subject down and simplify details out. I did a lot of that this summer in travel sketches. Then I put in just what details I needed in ink afterwards. At first it was soooo hard for me. In the end, it helped me. But I hear you about being tempting to dive in in ink! LOL! The flowers have some graceful flow to them that the ink would not make it easy to see. This class sounds great!

Well done, Shirley. Like your figures in the second painting.

I love the contrast in the last image of the larger skull. And the background colors and texture go perfectly with it.

You continue to get so much done! Keep up the joy of painting. You inspire me.

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