Don’t be Koi… #5

#05

Don’t Play Koi With Me

11”w x 11”h watercolor on 140lb WC paper

Our lady koi is ready to enter into her world. How is she going to look underwater? This is my favorite thing about watercolor painting. Wet on wet! I absolutely love the way that the colors bleed pool and spread when you give them water to travel on. There is no better experience than carefully wetting where you want color to transform and then dropping color and watching the magic in front of your eyes. Beginning at the extreme curve of her body and working my way under her chin her underwater world appears.

Don’t be Koi… #4

#04

Don’t Play Koi With Me

11”w x 11”h watercolor on 140lb WC paper

I continue to add color to her scale areas getting the majority of her done. The next area is her back tail where I am opting to give her a real colorful fin to stand on for her statement. The tricky part for me here it to give her an impression of standing on two legs without giving her legs at all. How do you make fins kind of sort of be legs? Well here is my best stab at it.

Don’t be Koi… #3

#03

Don’t Play Koi With Me

11”w x 11”h watercolor on 140lb WC paper

At this point I begin to add the areas of different colors on my koi character taking turns between adding scale patterns and shadow shape. She is colorful with white, gold, orange, red and black patches. I add darkness in layers we are able to see the depth of her open mouth which makes her expression have much more impact. The darkness on her right chin makes her lips seem to jut out toward us. As I work with the eyes I darken where the shadows are along with her iris. Isn’t it great how watercolor allows you to carefully bleed the edges of the shadow to gently show a curving eyeball? I noticed her dorsal fin is not right and am able to correct that with darkening in the back that reduces it to the correct size.

Don’t be Koi… #2

#02

Don’t Play Koi With Me

11”w x 11”h watercolor on 140lb WC paper

You may notice that I was in the middle of doing a couple’s wedding portrait but I put it aside and did this real quick because the meeting was the next night. I have had to learn to be able to quit one project and hop onto-the-next whenever customers put a hold on something. It works well for when I tend to procrastinate too long too.

Don’t be Koi… #1

Don’t Play Koi With Me #01

11”w x 11”h watercolor on 140lb WC paper

 

This little watercolor was a challenge from the Spokane Watercolor Society (SWS), which is a club that I love being part of. It is great to be able to see fellow artists every month throughout the year and be able to learn from and inspire each other.

At these meetings each month we are asked to paint something and then bring it to the next meeting for show and tell. This challenge was to paint something “Fishy”.

When I thought of what to paint, I immediately thought “koi” because of the great techniques discovered while watching Vicki A. West for an evening as we both showed people how-to-paint at the SWS art show opening the month before. Vicki is quite a talented artist, and it was an eye opener to see her quick and decisive strokes blossom into beautiful koi images. My brain immediately took this koi idea to another kind of comical path envisioning a talking fish saying, “Don’t you play koi with me!”. The old time movie that I thought of was “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” where Don Knotts plays a mild-mannered bookkeeper who falls into the water and becomes a fish.

 

The painting begins with a quick pencil sketch showing a fish with mouth open and eyes wide-open, standing with its left fin pointing up and out and it’s right fin reaching down to it’s hip. The character I saw was a sassy woman putting her right hand on her hip and her left hand up in the air pointing as she declares her powerful statement to the world.

 

I reserved fin areas with transparent yellow and then proceeded with putting a real light wash of shadowed scale pattern on her body. My main goal was just being able to see the roundness of her form before putting her colors on.

title…giving me a problem

Just finished this watercolor of a view straight out my studio window. I just can’t seem to pick a good name for it.  I was thinking,

“Look outside at what is looking inside!”

No. But I know that is just way to long… and just naming it deer isn’t cool so… Please. Do any of you have any suggestions? HELP!!!

Chakra Whites are Revealed

I am able to add a few shadows around the shapes in the symbols and on the figure to give it some 3D feel with the resist still on.Once all is completely dry, I mean totally dry! I usually wait overnight because if you don’t, you will find that watercolor paper does rip and rub off when damp and there is no way to make it look right again. A painful lesson on a finished painting to say the least.

Get ready for a shock! I remove the mastik and reveal the saved white areas. I also go across the whole surface and erase out as much of the pencil as possible. Wa La! Isn’t that amazing?