Colorado Commission

Colorado cabin

Colorado cabin

This little commission came out of nowhere. Usually there is a bit of back and forth between me and the client before purchase, but last Saturday, when I came home late from helping a friend at a horse show, there the order was.   I contacted her about what I needed and she sent me three shots of this mountain cabin. We decided a summer view was best since that was when the gift recipients spent most of their time there.  Thank heavens, because I really prefer not to do snow.

This little house with its log siding fits nicely into an open glade surrounded by pines.  The whole structure and landscaping is on the simple side so I will have to work hard with the watercolors to make it interesting.  I am sure it is quite charming when you are there, but I have to make it look special, just from the photos.  The flowers and shrubs often help there and all I have are 2 winter snow scenes and one spring one.

In some ways, the small 6×8 and the large 16×20 are harder than the middle sizes.  I have to be careful the small size so it is not just a jumble of ink with too much detail and the large one is just plain a lot of inking.

 

 

Advertisements

Washes for Germany 5

With the wash

With the wash

I am really enjoying putting the water washes on these elegant writer pen drawings. I find I like the multi color effect that is still surprising to me with its blues and pinks.  I can be a little predictive with the amount of water I use, but it is still somewhat mysterious.

I haven’t quite figured out how I want to do the area above the stone structure.  Right now it looks as if the upper foliage is just overhanging trees, but it is really a rocky hillside entrance for the railway.  Maybe I have to draw in some of the rock wall first.  I may have to experiment on another piece of board first.

I got a small watercolor house commission over the weekend, so there will be a slight pause in Germany 5.  It was quite a surprise as most people contact me before they purchase a portrait listing, but there it was on Saturday evening.  It is of a kit log home in Colorado and she sent me both summer and winter photos.  I don’t know which season she wants so I’ll ave to wait for her reply before I get started.  It’s only for a 5×7 so it will be quick to do.

Germany 5

German countryside

German countryside

I chose this photo next because I liked the combination of the upper crenelations with the three rectangular aspects of the structure.  The  lower half round shape contrasts nicely with squareness of the building sections.  I think I took the photo for this structure while we were on a boat cruise down the Rhine.  The spring tour season had just started the weekend before and we were virtually the only passengers on board. As I recall, it was quite cool and breezy and I was glad I had my coat.  I guess April can be cool there, just like here.

This may be part of the railway system as an entrance to a tunnel.  Once again my failure to take adequate notes notes comes back to haunt me, but I do remember someone telling me these elaborate structures were part of the tunnel system. I think I remember that because it was so surprising such elaborate structures would be built for a train tunnel.  If anyone has any other ideas, I’d be glad to hear them.

I am going to use some of the coral color here.  The area around the entrance was red and I think I will make some of the stone corners red too.  We’ll see after I use the water wash.

 

Linocuts again, briefly

I decided to take a short break from the speedball pen architecturals to refresh my eyes. I find if I work on the same kind of art piece repeatedly, at some point I start to feel stale and uninspired. These little projects help prevent that and give me variety in my etsy store.

Choose kindness

Choose kindness

Recently I read a young adult’s book named “Wonder” for my book group and there was brief use of the phrase “choose kindness” in it.  It struck me as a good way to live life in general.  I have never done a linocut using words before and thought this might be the one.  It actually took a lot more effort on my part to create this than I anticipated.  Originally, I sketched out the words horizontally.  I played and played around with the background and nothing was happening for me.  Then I went into the bathroom off of my studio to wash my hands (dark chocolate isn’t enough inspiration you say?), and looked at the shower curtain. It had vertical flowers on it and it suddenly occurred to me that the orientation was wrong.  It needed to be a vertical piece, not a horizontal one.  Sure enough, after I resized the words using the computer copy feature, I was quickly able to finish a design.   Funny how long it took me to realize what I needed to do.  I definitely don’t have the skills of a graphic artist who probably could have decided a lot faster what to do.  In any case, I’m happy with the results, and it’s off to list it.

I have two more Germany photos I can use for the speedball art, so that’s probably what is up next.

I decided to go bold…

Yellow stucco

Yellow stucco

…but not overboard. I hemmed and hawed with myself on whether to go yellow or coral. In the end, the yellow won. I started out with a more intense hue, but it seemed too garish for the picture.  The vividness overpowered the softer wash colors, so I toned it down with yellow ocher, making it closer to a gold but still quite bright.  It is a bit more yellow than this, but I just don’t seem to have that photoshop touch to show it more exactly.  I placed a spot of red in it with the chimney top.  The flue was grey in the photo, but I have the feeling it was a later addition, so I didn’t feel bad taking some artistic license with it too.

In addtion, I straightened up the entryway.  The right side had a bit of a lean which started to bother me.

A couple of days later I still like it.  Perhaps the next one will be red.

German castle walk

Castle walk

Castle walk

I am not quite sure where this photo came from, but I think it was taken on one of the castle tours we took during our trip to Germany in 2000. The view looks as if it is from high up overlooking the countryside, just as a castle would.  I wish I had more context for this series, but I didn’t identify the photos very well at the time.  I know the towns we visited and some of the castle names but not really what goes where for many of them.  Not very good journalistically, I suppose.  We were just enjoying ourselves and I didn’t give it a lot of thought.

Castle with water wash

Castle with water wash

The entryway area is stucco and the rest is layered rock, with a stone wall in the front left.  I didn’t use as much in the initial wash as the others.  I did 3 separate light oversprays to perhaps lessen the extra ink bleed when I watercolor.  Maybe I should be bold and color the stucco vibrantly.  I don’t know what color it might have been.  It is off white in the picture. Yes, in some way, I think I’ll go brighter with this one.  Shake things up a bit.  Either coral or yellow.  What do you think?

Watercolor of the German entryway

Watercolored building

Watercolored building

I decided to watercolor this Germany entryway in the same vein as my first one.  I have come to the conclusion that less is more with these drawings and it is so easy to overdo the work. In some ways, it takes as long as a more detailed picture because there is the same down time needed to make these as in the regular pen and inks.  The work itself may go faster but I really want to be careful about how much I add in terms of the wash and subsequent watercoloring.  I still learning the subtleties of the speedball pen.

For this one, I wanted to keep the focus on the doorway and upper overhang, so I concentrated the added watercolor in that area. I let it fade somewhat as I got closer to the edges.  I am pleased with how the skies are turning out.  They always hold a bit of angst for me, but prewashing the area with water and then dropping in the wet ink seems to be doing the trick.  I like the way the blues and pinks separate out somewhat randomly, but are a unifying color with the rest of the picture.

I tried a light water overspray after I finished the initial wash phase this time around.  I decided that a little bit of ink movement on the architectural from the sprayer was acceptable and it does reduce the extra flow when I add the watercolors.  I have yet to accomplish complete fixing before I paint, but I’m not overly concerned about it.  It adds some character to the overall drawing in my eyes.