Here is the first of the monochrome portraits all finished. I am very happy with the look of this and hope it ranks well in the monthly challenge program at the next meeting. It is a veritiable challenge to get depth and shape in using only one color. I believe it was done using Ultramarine blue or cobalt, now I am not sure. Some day soon I have to go ahead and mark my watercolor wells on the pallet. The only sure fire way for me to keep the names straight. Honestly, I just dab into whatever color feels right to use rather than knowing which color should be used scientifically. It is the artist (lack of) logic in full force.
Can’t wait to go to the Spokane Watercolor Society meeting scheduled for January 18th (Saturday) at 10am at the Spokane Art Supply Classroom here in Spokane, Washington. Truly, a case of, “birds of a feather” hanging out together. It is so much fun to visit with other artists and compare methods. I haven’t been able to attend any meetings for quite a while. Health issues prevented me from doing much of anything for the past half year. It is great to be feeling better and I am hoping to be able to get out more now.
I’d be glad to have you come as my guest to explore your interest in watercolor painting. You’d probably like to come check out this meeting with me. It really is a great help to be able to hook up with others interested in art, as you are. Email me here if you are so inclined and we will work out the particulars about where to meet, driving or carpool etc.
Today is a happy painting and writing day for this person.
A monochrome painting, the start or beginning for a monochrome “monthly member challenge” of the Spokane Watercolor Society meeting scheduled for January 18th at 10am at Spokane Art Supply. I love these different monthly challenges because they make me stretch my abilities and try new things. Being able to see and discuss the methods used with other members makes the lessons learned so much better.
Really, this is NOT something I “never” do. I actually love to do a a black and white rendering first for almost every painting done in color. It is the natural was for me to see things for lighting, you know…. where are the shadows, and where does the light burn it white. Yep.
In fact, I took a Ron Stocke weekend workshop last year at Spokane Art Supply and absolutely loved it. Ron is a talented professional that I totally admire, and he does amazingly beautiful plein air work with a full understanding of architectural design. It was fun learning a different system of painting. Ron’s first step is, sketching, followed by a monochrome layout study to paint from. It was a great feeling to see a professional like him use monochrome studies the same way I start my projects.
Dale Latinen is another professional artist giving a great local weekend workshop through the Spokane Watercolor Society, Check it out here at Dale Latinen Workshop , April 2-5th, 2020. Places are filling up fast.
The amazing thing about this whole series of pictures showing Lottie take her turn are the changing facial expressions and reactions of all the people as they watched. Jenka affects the whole group and this game got the whole family going. In this first image you can see avid interest as Lottie selects which piece she is going to take.
With the middle of the column already pretty unstable, it was getting difficult to remove pieces without making it fall. Nerve racking. The boys are surprised at which piece she chose.
They watch the piece move. Look at the intense expressions while watching with anticipation (including a tongue).
She does it without having the blocks topple over and it blows Isaac’s mind.
Lottie is feeling truly triumphant! Yay! La Dee Dah!
Hurley did not forget his kids or their favorite snow “ball” game. When the snow came, they were all outside having fun and he jumped up over and over and never tired of chasing every snowball thrown.
How many team members are that dedicated to catching a ball? Especially, when the ball continually dissipates into a million pieces, every time you catch it. Dogs are truly the most dependable friends and never hesitating to have some fun.
Hurley is a Golden Doodle (half golden retriever and half poodle) who loves snow. When we got him he was skinny and loosing all of his hair (more than half his coat). After getting him checked out at the vet, we paid for an allergy blood test and found that he was horribly allergic to many things (17). Look at all the red boxes on this graphic of his test results.
After first getting really overwhelmed… the vet said, “First pay attention to eliminating allergens with sensitivity numbers over 200, especially in food. Many times doing that will greatly improve things avoid others if you can.
Foods to Avoid:
Corn, Rice, Peanut, Oat, White Potato, Green Peas.
The vet gave us a list of food sources that costed anywhere from $4 each meal or more. Whew! Fifty dollars or more a week for food, is just not affordable for us. Hurley is generally a great dog, but we are not millionaires. Pete checked out the internet and found a solution on www.chewy.com. This brand “Victor Dog Food”, suited our needs perfectly and at a good price.
Before we did the allergy test, I was beginning to think that maybe we were dealing with some horrible disease that was going to claim him in the near future. He had ear infections over and over. There were itchy sores similar to “mosquito bites on steroids”, wherever his hair had fallen out. Nothing seemed to improve, with salves, and medicine for his ears. He was constantly dragging his body on walls, handrails, to scratch and was always licking his paws and chewing for itch relief.
Eliminating his worst food allergies by getting him food without those items in it. We have seen a transformation as he improved incredibly and amazingly fast. He is now a whopping 120 lbs. (from a sickly 80 lbs.). Things have greatly improved since we found out what Hurley is allergic to. We have to limit his portions now to stop weight gain. His hair is thick, fluffy and soft and he loves to go roll in the snow outside because, I think he is a little too hot. Here is Hurley outside loving his roll in the snow.
The Chattaroy Church Craft Fair is this Saturday from 9am-4pm. It is easy to find off of Hwy 2, a white single story church catty-corner across from the Chattaroy post office. I have attended this fair before and it was fun, chock full of wonderful hand-crafted items. Larry and Linda Pointer will have snow men that Larry made and there was some talk of Linda’s pine cone creations too. I am unable to attend this year, thank you so much for including my art you two!
These small community events are wonderful as they inspire me to complete things in the studio. I just finished matting and bagging 9 paintings and one ink drawing that were laying around here. It feels good.
The purple Cosmos was a vivid beauty in our garden this year. Inspiring this artist to try out her wings with a new subject. Here is a completed watercolor study of a single purple blossom.
Via “Wikipedia“, Cosmos is defined as the world or universe, regarded as orderly, harmonious… quoted from my print version of the Webster’s Universal College Dictionary in the studio. Yes, I still use printed books to look things up because the old references often cover subjects more fully. In my printed version there is an additional definition #4 that is relevant to what I am sharing today.
4. Any of a genus, Cosmos, of New World composite plants having open clusters of flowers with red or yellow disks and wide rays of white, pink or purple.
BTW, I only have the purple cosmos, anyone want to trade purple seed for white and pink? I have a lot of seed, because I save them after harvest and use them the following year. Let me know if you’d like to barter.
This is a study of the Cosmos flower up close. I do studies before I do any larger paintings. Using an Arches paper scrap that is much smaller than I usually paint on, I practice and see how to paint something new. This is not the first time I have been inspired by this beautiful blossom, check this embroidered Cosmos tablecloth out. It was a fun project that took over a year to finish embroidering by hand.
Beginning with negative painting I put the background in, then warm it up with a wash of Azo Yellow. I then put in the yellow center and add shadows. Followed by, working my way out to the petal edges adding light and shadow.
I routinely conduct research about whatever it is I plan to draw, to be able to correctly illustrate things. Searching for the general facts, like sizes, colors, friends & enemies and next finding good photography. First, I envision the character realistically. Next, heavily simplifying the lines. Next, the challenge becomes giving them some human capabilities while retaining realistically identifiable specie characteristics. Here are some sketch examples.
I had no idea!
When I did the research on rhinos I found that I was totally oblivious to their plight. I had no idea that they were so close to extinction. The White Rhino is one of 5 quickly disappearing species of Africa, and Eurasia. Rhinos live in tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannah, shrub lands, forests and deserts. Unfortunately, with numbers dropping so drastically, many remain only in wildlife reserves now. The main factors driving the rhino population to extinction:
increasing human population creating less and less habitat for them
wars and militia massacres
Poachers kill approximately 3 rhinos each day to sell their horns for highly inflated profits. Poachers are the worst threats, very much like drug smugglers or cartels. Honestly, money is most important thing to them. Insidious criminals with no conscience.
Research the Horns
Poached rhino horns are purchased by two major markets in the world. The Chinese and Vietnamese mistakenly believe that magical medicinal properties exist in rhino horn. Not true. Rhino horns are made of “Keratin” which, is what human fingernails and hair are comprised of. If, Keratin is a magical medicine, we don’t have to kill the rhino’s for it. Honestly, anyone needing “keratin” can simply chew on their own fingernails or hair and get the same results.
This horrific act of killing rhinos and harvesting their horns, makes me ashamed to be a member of humanity. I wish it would stop.