Sunday, February 25, 2007

Learning Mode: Imagined Lizard

Imagined Lizard, watercolor on Arches 140#, 9x12

I worked on this piece in my last two watercolor classes. The goal was to learn to build depth through layers of color, and to build a wet-in-wet background. It is loosely based on an iguana, but not intended to be realistic.


Dragon, underpainting (left), finished (right)
9x12 watercolor on Arches 140#
This is my first attempt to use what I learned in class on a piece of my own. On the left is stage one, the underpainting. On the right, the finished work. The scan is oversaturating the yellow. It's much more subtle on the original. The painting combines underpainting, wet-in-wet, and layering.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Sketchbook: Mr. Grumpy

Mr. Grumpy, watercolor pencils in sketchbook, approximately 9"x12"

Class was cancelled this past week due to bad weather. My teacher suggested I use reference photos of reptiles in sketching my dragon critters. This grumpy little guy was inspired by a photo of an inquisitive little lizard perching on a flower bush. This isn't a realistic portrait, but I feel good about the facial expression and the round little belly. The icky weather also inspired my use watercolor pencils for color instead of my usual graphite. The water made the paper buckle, as you can see on the left side.

Learning Mode: Landscape Tone and Value

Two Landscapes, 4"x5", Watercolor on Arches 140#

These two paintings are my homework assignment from my watercolor class. The goal was to paint a landscape using tone and value and only three colors. In this case, I used cobalt, viridian, and gamboge on the top/blue one, and cobalt, quin rose, and ultramarine on the bottom/purple one.

The paper makes a tremendous difference. I did a series of practice pieces on 90# Canson, but it felt as if the pigment was sliding off the paper. On the 140# Arches, the pigment gripped the paper better and stayed put.