Monday, November 29, 2010

Sleeping Kids Sketch

Here's a sketch I did of the kids from a photo. I was just using a little travel notebook and it has sky/cloud paper, so the background is a little strange. I didn't expect it to come out so nice or I would have done it on better paper.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Week 12 - Finals

Tonight I did this painting as an assignment for my last class. I bought a used easel from my teacher a few weeks ago and it was kind of neat getting to put my stretched paper and board on an easel and paint on really nice paper.

It gave me a little trouble though, because the paper was so big and such high quality it kept absorbing all of the water I was trying to use.

It's not as nice as the woman on the beach, but it has some good things about it. I really like the warm color of the sky against the cool color of the mountain, and I like the guy in the boat.

I've got one more class which I'm looking forward to and then I will be taking a bit of an enforced break from painting due to the upcoming holidays. I hope to still do a little here and there, particularly the watercolor sketches. I think they are a lot of fun and very meaningful in a journal.

Look, an Artist!

My mom and I went into San Francisco last weekend and took a stroll down Pier 39. We sat on a bench overlooking the Bay and just chatted for a while.

The view and the afternoon were just so nice, and I had some supplies in my purse, so I decided to do a little sketch. It didn't turn out amazing, but as I was finishing, some women sat on the other end of our bench and saw what I was doing. One told the others, "Look, an artist!"

It's not a fantastic piece of art, but it'll always be special because it will remind me of a perfect afternoon spent with my mom.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Big Paper

I only have one class left, and my homework is to paint a picture on the half-sheet of stretched paper I have. Even though it's called a half-sheet it's actually quite big.

I decided for the rest of this week I would do some smaller paintings as a practice for the bigger one. My first thought was to do this windmill pic my brother took when he lived in Belgium.

It's hard to tell from this pic, but the sky in my first attempt looked more like big city haze and pollution than the Dutch countryside. Needless to say, that one got the boot.

The next one still turned out a little unfortunate, especially the foliage.

It does get marginally better with some cropping:

I'll keep adding to this post as I continue working my way up to the big paper. The fun news is I don't have a paintbrush big enough for such a big paper, so I will have to do some art supplies shopping. Poor me. :)

I went out today and got a new brush. It's got an interesting shape, kind of like a dagger, but I didn't really need it tonight so I haven't put it to the test yet.

Here's what I painted tonight. It was pretty fun, but definitely not something I want to try to do again on the big paper. In case you'd like to meet up with this lovely lady, you can find in her the uncanny valley. =) Yes, she is a little out of proportion. Or a lot.

I am rather fond of her flowers though.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Week 10 - Plants and Trees

I asked my teacher a few weeks ago if we could focus on foliage at some point, so that's what my most recent class was about.

I am sooo awful at trees and especially at bushes. I watched the teacher do his demo for a couple of trees. I asked in particular about the brush-work. He said I just had to "feeeel it," and that "it would come to me."

I think the rest of the class "felllt it" because they had really nice trees and bushes. Here is my little in-class failed attempt at trees:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Morning Walk

I just finished this tonight and I think it came out really nice. I have a book from the library called The Figure in Watercolor by Mel Stabin, and it has a step-by-step guide for painting this scene.

Week 9 - Value Paintings

This week we talked about value in paintings and did sketches and brief paintings. Mine were so bad I don't want to post them but for the sake of posterity I will.

This week's homework is to do a value painting from a photograph we have. I only did the Mel Stabin tutorial though. It does have some nice lights vs. medium lights, but not too much dark (low key).

I later did the windmill painting from a photo, but despite my efforts it is still mainly just medium values.

Week 8 - Stretching Paper and Effects

This class my teacher did a demo on how to stretch paper. Our homework was to go home and do it ourselves. He sent us home with paper and tape, and we had to get or make boards. He also demo'd how to use unconventional items to get paint effects, including using salt, cardboard, a toothbrush, etc.

This week for homework I painted this from a watercolor painting I have of the islands:

Week 7 - By The Dawn's Early Light

This week we spent the whole painting time of class working on a bunch of skies. Here is one I did.

Then our homework was to take the skies home and add some foreground or geography or other visual interest.

I used a painting as reference for this first one. You can see the original HERE.

This second one turned out better. I chatted with someone about it who pointed out that the lighting is really lacking, but I still think it is pretty decent.

My reference for this was a photo found Here.

Week 6 - Pen/Ink Color Sketches

I really liked the projects I did for this week's homework. We had to do some loose pen/ink sketches and then lay in some washes over them.

I did this first one from a photo of San Francisco.

This next one was from some photos of paintings and I just did them really quick during my lunch break.

Week 5 - The Boat Week

The next week in class my teacher didn't let us choose which photo we were going to paint from, we all had to paint these boats.

I did one version in class and then went home and painted two more.

I'd also been wanting to try doing another person. I thought it turned out okay, but it doesn't look much like the person I was aiming for:

Week 4 - Paintings?

This week in class my teacher let everyone choose one of his photos to try to capture in a watercolor. I chose a super complicated china-town photo. It started out too pale, and then my teacher took it over and did a lot of his own painting over mine.

Someday I'd like to take another shot at this kind of a scene.

Week 3 - Watercolor Sketches A-E

This week in class we painted garlic and banana from life. My paintings were so awful I went home and painted another garlic to convince myself I could do better. Here are my paintings from class. I am particularly disturbed by the background color I picked for the banana. I thought it was going to be so bold and striking! :)

My homework that week was to paint 5 sketches of things that started with the letters A, B, C, D and E.

Apple and Button

Cat and Clove


Egg and Eggplant