Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another Little Gouache Experiment

paper size about 5" x 7"
Just another random face--with LOTS of textured paper showing through. There is definitely a Happy Medium for the "texture showing through" thing. A little too much in the top half of his face, I'd say.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Pulling Back to Plunge Ahead

9" x 12" watercolor on paper

Although I'm still excited about the little gouache faces on handmade, colorful paper scraps, and still planing a few more to the series (mainly, because I have a few more scraps left. When they're gone, I might make more,) I took a time out. Here's the result. 

It's not just a face!  

Instead of zeroing in on the face, I pulled back my sights, drew, and then painted this scene from a photo I'd taken of Ron in the barn. Really--he does stick out his tongue and kind of bite on it when he's concentrating.

And HEY! This is my 250th post. I've stuck with this practicing program for a while now.
For my reward, I am taking a one day workshop with Robert O'Brien at the end of August.

Friday, July 25, 2014

And One More

about 5" x 7" gouache on handmade paper
Today's gouache experiment is from a self portrait of and by Anders Zorn, the Swedish watercolorist and oil painter. (Coincidentally, James Gurney posted about Zorn and his incredible self-confidence or...boastful pride? today. Also coincidentally, I chose an Anders Zorn painting for the cover of my quirky, funny, comic drama "Kismet," photo and link to Amazon up there on the left.)

Again, I started with a piece of the wrinkly, highly textured handmade/homemade recycled paper. The color made me think of this Zorn portrait and I set out to paint my take on it, super-limited "Zorn palette" of el cheapo gouache paints at the ready. Not that he used bottom of the line materials, but he did use a very limited palette of colors.

As the paper color was already the color of Zorn's jacket, I used the surface a la Coles Phillips, the fashion illustrator, who's "fade away girls" decorated countless ads and magazine covers of the early 1900's. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hey! This is fun!

gouache on paper, paper about 5" x 7" 
Here's another quick and dirty little gouache sketch, done from a reference photo, on paper that I made out of other paper, my kitchen blender, some old window screens, some wooden framing bits, and a couple of dish pans. It's very wrinkly; I don't know why I decided to paint on it. Probably because...color.

Anyway, I do like the quirky result.

And I'm having fun with the gouache! Gouache that I swore I'd never use again, several times over. I wonder how much of a difference better materials would make in the process and in the outcome--the paints used here were a set of Reeves that I picked up for under $100. And that was for 24 tubes!

Without a doubt, smooth paper would make for better results, too, Maybe some nice, richly-colored pastel paper? And if I really wanted to get serious, I could use more than the one brush.

More gouache to come....

Friday, July 18, 2014


Gouache has been my Kryptonite.
I couldn't get a handle on it, and couldn't understand 
why anyone would or could, after having some very unhappy attempts with the medium.

But...Robert Moylan
I must try again.
So in a real "What Have I Got To Lose" attitude, 
I got out some scraps of handmade recycled paper I made with the first graders, and let loose. 
each scrap roughly 5" x 7"
"Why the handmade paper instead of something smooth?" 
you might ask? "Something normal?"

obviously, (or maybe not so) from online photo refs

I have no idea. 

and in this case, from a selfie.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Little Departure

watercolor on paper, 9" x 8"
A couple of sweet teacups came into my possession 
after Liz's baby shower. 
(They were pretty little favors, 
each holding a tiny herb or flower.) 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Old Lady

watercolor, about 7" x 8"
Another "imagined color" watercolor based on a vintage photograph. See the drippy tendrils and also the blue "river" that leads from her shoulder to the bottom of the page? I was trying to make drips because I like the way they look on paintings that I admire by painters who have that wonderful way of marrying free-wheeling-whimsical and masterful representational technique. I didn't do it very well. There's always next time.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Granny Time

7" x 8" watercolor
Granny or Auntie? I don't know. The hazy old photo reference for this was amongst the bunch in my "Family" file, and it was fun to add color (and a slightly more pleasant expression) to this ancestor.