Saturday, September 12, 2009

September 12, 2009 - Day 33

Da Vinci watercolor on 140lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper.

Today, I don't have any words to blog. I painted my painting and I think it's OK but I really have nothing else to say about it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009 - Day 32

Da Vinci watercolor and Prismacolor colored pencil on
140 lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper

Well, I don't know if I am getting any better at painting cats but I am definitely getting faster. This painting only took me 1 1/2 hours to do. I still had to use colored pencils to add highlights to the fur and for the whiskers but right now I don't have the knowledge on how to paint the "fuzziness" with watercolor paint alone.

Watercolor is the opposite of painting in acrylics. With acrylics (and I am guessing oils) I always paint the dark colors first and then add progressively lighter paint until I finish with the highlights. With watercolors though, you can't paint light over dark. You have to know where your highlights are going to be and basically paint around them. That's where I am having the problems and why I have to resort to using colored pencil to add highlights afterwards. I could also use acrylic paint or gouache but I prefer the precision of the color pencils.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009 - Day 31

Da Vinci watercolor on 140lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper

The painting above is as far as I could get using just watercolor paint. I just couldn't get the highlights or the fur right. I tried "mapping" out the highlights before I painted them and although they were in the right place the color and brush strokes were not right.

This second picture is what the painting looked liked after I used Prismacolor colored pencils to provide additional detail and highlights. While the completed painting looks much better with the colored pencils my goal is to be able to paint realistic fur without "cheating" by using colored pencil or acrylic paint.

I find it easier to paint smooth subjects (vases, fruits, vegetables, etc,) because the edges between the highlight/midtone/shadow are sharper and more distinct. I am finding it difficult to paint the highlight/midtone/shadow on soft subjects like fur or grass or trees. I just can't "see" what the shades, colors and values are or what brushstrokes to use.

Well, all I can do is keep practicing. With every painting I am learning how to create different effects. Eventually I will know what I need to do to create fur. The first chance I get I am going to go down to the library and pick up a book on painting animals in watercolor.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 9, 2009 - Day 30

Da Vinci watercolor on 140lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper

Today I decided to do a painting of a black cat because I thought it would be easier to see the highlights and shadows on the dark fur. The hardest thing about this painting was making sure that the paint was mixed dark enough the first time.

I painted this painting twice today. The first time, I didn't know how to achieve the highlights in the fur and ended up using Prismacolor colored pencil for the highlights and to add some more depth to the eye. I also used colored pencils to darken some areas and provide more detail. I decided to list this painting on ebay (see link on sidebar) and create another one using only watercolor paint.

The second painting was easier although I still had problems with the highlights. The only other problem I had was that the black really didn't sink into the paper and it was very easy to lift off. When I tried to darken some areas a lot of the color would lift off with just one brush stroke. I don't know if that is because of the paper or the paint. I use Aquamarine Blue + Burnt Sienna to make my black and I have never had an issue with it lifting so easily.

I really love cats and would like to improve my ability to paint the fur accurately so I will be doing a series of cats over the next few days.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8, 2009 - Day 29

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper

This will be the last of the still life subjects for a while. I am happy with the way this type of painting is turning out and would like to push my limits and challenge myself to create realistic animals and foliage.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7, 2009 - Day 28

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper

Ran out of Bockingford cold press watercolor paper yesterday so I decided that I would try the Aquarelle. There is a slight difference in the way the colors blend and I don't think that the Aquarelle is quite as bright a white as the Bockingford. It is a pretty good paper though and it comes in a 9 x 12 wire bound tablet.

Today I decided to paint two paintings. One for my blog and one to sell. I started with another red pepper painting and then I painted the strawberries. The pepper painting turned out good but the strawberries were much better.

That created a dilemma. Do I list the strawberries to sell because it is a better painting or do I list it on my blog to better showcase the improvements in my art? In the end, I felt that the red pepper painting would still sell even if it wasn't perfect and I would rather have something I was really proud of on my blog rather than something that was just OK.

I think that over the next little while I am going to start experimenting with different types of watercolor paper just to see if there is any difference. I learned to paint watercolors on the Bockingford and really liked so I never tried anything else. There are quite a few other brands out there that are very popular with professional artists that I would like to try. I think I will also try tinted paper as well.

Current Ebay Auctions

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 6, 2009 - Day 27

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Bockingford cold press watercolor paper

There is a saying "whether you think you can or you think you can't - you are right"

This painting really blew me away because I didn't think I had this level of skill. I didn't realize how important self-confidence was in my art until this project. I always wished that I would be able to paint photo realistic paintings but I didn't think that I had the skills to do so. Today, I realized that the only things holding me back all this time were my own fears and insecurites.