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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Clark's Grebe and Two Chicks # 41

The time I am working within my comfort zone ... tidy and careful. I drew it lightly from a recent photo and then added watercolor. I used to think there shouldn't be any pencil showing when I get done, but I'm relaxing about that.

For more about the grebes go to my blog. Just click on my name in the left panel.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Painting #66 - A Cacti of a Different Color

Let me explain how this painting evolved.
I wanted to do something different for Cactus Monday and thought I would a sketch a few cacti and paint them different colors.
After I did that I didn't like it so I put the rectangles in the background.
And still didn't like it.
I wondered if there was something I could do to save it, then I saw Laure's post about word design.  So I tried something similiar and like it better.
What I like is the strong graphic feel to it.  Still not what was in my mind but happy I didn't have to throw it out.
Great learning experience.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Clark's Grebe and Chick #40

It occures to me that when I signed up the this challenge my goal was to try new things. I've been so in love with my trusty pen, I haven't done much experimenting lately. So here goes.

The inspiration came from a recent camping trip. Baby grebes are so precious! They leave the nest as soon as they hatch and ride on their parent's back. The other parent brings tiny minnows over for the babies to eat.

The grebe is drawn with water soluble pencils and some water color added. I think the back ground got away from me. Rough watercolor paper turned out to be a hinderence. ... but the painting does have some punch. So I see things I like and things I'd handle differently.... and I'm definitly out of my comfort zone (which is a good thing once in a while).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Black Bear's Dinner # 39

Another of my Yellowstone sketches. The bear is feeding on a winter-killed elk carcass. I had my spotting scope mounted on my car window (it was cold outside), and I was scrunched into the back seat of our little RAV (so Dale could still photograph from the front seat). The bear stayed for days so I'd had quite a bit of practice drawing him before I tackled this.

Pelican pen and watercolor.

For more about the experience, plese visit my blog.

Monday, June 21, 2010

#6. Aloe Vera

I did this as a quick painting for the Cactus Monday Challenge to which I belong. I was glad to know that aloe vera belonged to the cactus family! This plant sits in my veranda in this misshapen pot and has grown from a tiny shrub to this size. It was quite a challenge to try and get the thickness of the leaves and the spikes on the sides! Water colour

#5 Red Chillies

I was doing my weekly vegetable shopping at our local open bazar, when I saw this basket of dried red chillies! I loved the amazing colours, the myriad shades of red and the shine of the sun on the chillies. I did a quick sketch for my 20 min challenge. Have taken some reference pictures to do a more detailed picture later!

Painting #65 View Through The Cactus

I have painted this cactus before but this time I wanted to try the water-soluble ink with it (any excuse will do :).  I added the watercolor when the ink was dry.  However, my main purpose was to look through the hole of the cactus to surrounding landscape because that is what caught my interest in the first place.

I find myself setting little challenges, those "I wonder if I could..." and then jump in and try.  They are not always successful but I know I tried and always learn from successes and from failures.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

#4 Ceramic, brass and copper!

I did this still life at my weekly painting class. It took a couple of weeks, and I finished it yesterday. We wanted to try and capture the different textures of these objects, the shine and glow of the brass pots, the dull copper of a very old copper kettle and the matt finish of the ceramic pots. As a composition I now feel that maybe a potted plant instead of the tall candle stand at the back may have been better. I really enjoyed painting it, trying to also get the lights and darks, the shadows and reflections. I find I use quite a limited palette...with around 5 to 6 colours and this seems to be enough for almost all my work.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Juniper Snag #38

On got to paint this one sitting on the shoulder of the road at Lava Beds National Monutment, California. The morning hadn't quite warmed up yet, but I had a good jacket on and my hands stayed warm. Several years ago this snag caught my attention; and many years before that the heart of the snag got burned out by a fire. One branch continues to live on.

Pelican fountain pen and watercolor on Strathmore 140# cold press watercolor paper.

Painting #64 - Strawberry Story

We picked about 10 pounds of strawberries the other day and I wanted to make a story board of the experience.  I would do it different next time but it was a fun day and a fun way to remember that day and all those yummy strawberries.

I used this illustration for Six-Word Saturday also.
Picking strawberries is such delicious work.

Friday, June 18, 2010

#3 The Dhobi Ghat

We live in an apartment building which overlooks this Dhobi Ghat. Dhobis are traditional washer men. Before the days of the washing machine, they would come to our homes and collect our laundry...bring it back a few days later, all washed and crisply ironed! In some cities this tradition has all but gone, but Kolkata being an old city, the tradition still remains!
It took a lot of time to get the folds in the hanging clothes, the wet grass, and the drama of the bamboo poles. I used a local handmade paper with a rough texture which was really difficult to paint on. Finally after soaking it a couple of times, it got a little easier. The painting took a lot of time, but it was worth the effort as the texture of the paper lends itself to the subject!

#2 The banyan tree at Tolly

The Tollygunge Club in Kolkata has a golf course with the most amazing trees. I painted this picture for my husband  Viveck's 60th birthday a few days ago. This is a very grand old Banyan and Viveck always says how wonderful it is to see it in its many moods. The banyan never totally loses its leaves, although the leaf cover definitely gets thin in the winter. This is the tree in Spring when a lot of new leaves have come through! I loved painting this picture. The challenge was in trying to capture the magnificence of the tree with its hanging roots, the tiny golfers near it, the many shades of green and the brightness of a summer day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Painting #63 Shorebird in Ink

I have seen and admired Elva's use of water soluble ink so I had to try it.
I love it!

This is the first sketch I did of a shorebird (hand carved by a friend).  I added a bit of watercolor for interest and to see how the two mediums reacted together.
I really love how fast a sketch can be done with the addition of water for shading.

Thanks for opening my eyes Elva.

Barn Swallows #36 and #37

I'm posting these two swallow paintings together because of their connection. I drew/painted the first from a photo I had just taken. I wasn't lucky enough to capture both the swallow and the feather, only the swallow; but I did see it chasing the feather. ... Micron pen and watercolor.

Afterwards I thought to myself... how about trying something more daring. Draw from my head, not my photo. So I did the second. I think the second may have a little more action, but the anatomy isn't quite right.

I do think it is good to jump out of our comfort zone once in awhile. I know I should give it a try more often.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mammoth Hot Springs Snag # 35

I find myself drawn to the twits and turns of old snags. This is a quick sketch of one drawn on location in Yellowstone.

Pelikan fountain pen on watercolor paper.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Painting #62 Cactus Shadows

I love this painting.  It turned out way better than I planned.
I took my reference photo before we left Arizona because I loved all the shadows and wondered if I could get good results.
I painted the shadows first which I rarely do, then I used plastic wrap on the wet painting for texture.  (Reference idea came from Karlyn Holman's book, "Watercolor, The Spirit of Spontaneity")
I painted the purple prickly pear cactus in one sitting and quit while I still liked it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cranes in Love #34

One of a series of crane sketches I did for an experience in Yellowstone. For more details, please go to my blog.

Pelikan pen and watercolor on Strathmore 140# Cold Press.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

No 1. The Lady from Wan (in the Himalayas)

My name is Brinda and this is my first post! I live in Kolkata in India (the same city where Mother Teresa worked!!). I have 4 grown daughters and have just become a grandmother! I have always been really interested in the 'Arts' so to speak, even as a child, have always done a lot of sewing, crochet and bits and pieces of painting. Then life took over and the sewing etc remained, but the painting got left behind. Last year a friend and I got together and started a once a week painting class guided by another artist friend. I have been fascinated by watercolours, so this was like the realization of a dream! So I am new to this art, but very keen to learn and do well.
I have joined this challenge, primarily because I think it will discipline me to paint regularly, and ofcourse meet other artists and learn and learn and hopefully also share!
I loved painting this picture. Its an old lady in her stone house in a village called Wan up in the Himalayas! We were on a trek on our way to Roopkund (15000 ft high) in the Himalayas, exhausted, as it was the first day of the trek, and she called us in to rest. The picture she made was so perfect and the colours seemed to complement each other. I loved the old wooden carved door posts....one hardly sees them now.
I have posted this as my first picture, because the trek was my first and a HUGE challenge, and making sure I paint regularly in spite of a busy work schedule is going to be another ....so it seems appropriate to post it as my first picture!

A New Challenger - Brinda Crishna

Good day! I am excited to share with you that Brinda Crishna has taken on the 100 Painting Challenge!

To learn more about Brinda, you can visit her at her blog, Moments of Quiet. Brinda joins us from Kolkata, India and has some beautiful watercolors on her blog.

Welcome, Brinda!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Edge of the Forest #33

A Yellowstone sketch: The gnarly roots of the tree first caught my attention, and then I noticed an elk antler nearby. I was walking at the time, a long way from the car and in a place where we couldn't park ... so I photographed it and painted in on a day the weather kept us in.

Pelican fountain pen and watercolor.

Sandhill Cranes # 32

This is one of a series of five sandhill crane drawings drawn after watching them on April 17 when were were in Yellowstone. Here the cranes are performing their mating dance, part of the pair bonding process.

Drawn from far off photos we took in Yellowstone. Pelikan fountain pen on Strathmore 140# cold press paper.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ruddy Duck # 31

Ruddy ducks are improbable little fellers. They are smaller than most ducks, have a great big head, and during the breeding season sport a bright blue bill that must be the envy of every duck on the pond. Their plain brown hens are definitly impressed by it.

Drawn squished in the back seat of our RAV on a cold, windy day in Yellowstone ... Pelikan Fountain pen and watercolor.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beta Male of the Canyon Pack # 30

I didn't succeed in drawing 100 'Yellowstone Dogs' before we got to Yellowstone, but I got close. I think the practice helped a lot when it came time to draw a wolf.

This is the beta male of the Canyon Wolf Pack. I drew it from a photo I took right through the windshield. I penciled first, then inked with my Pelican fountain pen and finally added watercolor.

For more about the encounter go to my blog.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Painting #61 Cactus and Full Moon

One morning a few years ago we were going to church early (in Arizona), early enough that it was still dark out when I saw these cactus framed by the full moon.  I tried to paint it back then and failed so I did this one from memory and used gouache.  Worked great.  There is just something about painting on black paper that really interests me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

High and Wild #29

A golden eagle in front of Barronette Peak, Yellowstone National Park. I painted this one after I got home, but I knew I wanted to paint it and photographed the peak while I was there. It was inspired by watching two golden eagles soaring way up there, at over 10,000 feet in elevation. The eagle should actually be much smaller, but then I was afraid you wouldn't see it.

Pelican Pen on Strathmore 140# cold press watercolor paper.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I'm Looking at You # 28

I knew before I left for Yellowstone that I wanted to draw this. I have a pencil sketch of this idea in an old journal. So I brought with me a photo of the doe and then looked for the right aspen. I drew lightly in pencil first, then added ink with a 005 Micron Pigma pen.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spatzie # 27

Most of us think of English Sparrows invading other bird's bird houses and making a royal nuisance out of themselves. In western Washington they build their own nests -- nests that look like prickly soccer balls. They are a cheerful addition to an oasis of trees out in the middle of vast openess.

Pelican fountain pen with ink and watercolor added.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

#26 Mountain Bluebird on Aspen

Mountain bluebirds have nested in this aspen tree for several years. The hole used to be much smaller, but a couple of years ago a pair of flickers reamed it out. I’m not sure if flickers or bluebirds nested that year. I was happy to see the bluebirds are back. Note that this aspen also has scars made years ago when a bear cub climbed the tree.

I used my Pelican pen and watercolor for this sketch. It is one of the few I actually painted outside (not scrunched up inside our car).

#25 Robin on Lodgepole Snag

I’m back after a long, wonderful trip to Yellowstone. I got lots of painting done while I was gone and lots of material for this challenge and for my blog. It will take me awhile to get it all posted.

This robin on a lodgepole snag is done with a Pelican Fountain pen and a little water added with one of those wonderful plastic brushes that have a little reservoir of water. What a wonderful invention!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Painting #60 - An Experiment

I have been reading "Watercolor, The Spirit of Spontaneity' written by Karlyn Holman and this is one of the exercises she suggested trying.  It is called 'designing with three white corners'.
You tape over any three corners in any design and paint the rest.  I also combined it with wet-in-wet and tried to see what kind of design I could make of it.  It got a little wild but I really like the three open corners.
I painted into them a little and added a bee.
Fun exercise.  I'm looking forward to trying it again.

Just for grins, I did a wet-in-wet with this painting that wasn't working out the way I wanted.  Now I like it lots better.