Minimal wash on the castle

Putting on the water was

Putting on the water was

I’m still moving a little bit slowly on this drawing, but I had a couple of wall art sales this week and had to get them in the mail as a priority.  It is always nice to sell a completed piece.  It helps me feel like all of the artwork I have created has some value and is not just an idle use of my time.  I like the idea that artwork I have made is proudly displayed in someone’s home for all to see or used in every day life.

I decided to go minimal with the water wash on this one.  The walls are mostly stucco with some stone and shingle siding and I didn’t want to darken it all up unnecessarily.  I have done minor spritzing prior to adding the extra watercolors today, but not too much as I like the little bit of added bleeding that can occur.  I think it helps unify the picture when the colors blend a little.  The stuccoed area is off-white, but I may add some yellow ocher as I did with a previous one.  It makes or a richer looking piece and this is not strictly portraiture.

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German train tunnel

Train tunnel

Train tunnel

Back to the German train tunnel.  I layered on the watercolors in 2-3 sessions after I added some rockish lines above the entrance.  I don’t know how well that worked out but I had to have some base for the brown/gray of the stone.  I think I need to work on indicating depth more with this technique.  I don’t want to overdo the watercolors so that the elegant writer pen washes disappear.  There is more to this than meets the eye.  I’m not unhappy with this, but I think it could be better.

 

I received another small commission over the holiday weekend.  Maybe the holiday purchasing has begun.  It is nice not to be rushed.

Back to Germany

Preliminary ink-up

Preliminary ink-up

I picked out a simpler photo for this session with the Elegant Writer pen.  I liked the reference photo for the stonework and the little side portico and slate shingles.  I can’t remember where I took it, but it must be part of a much larger building.  I don’t think it was a castle as we only visited one intact one (Marksburg, maybe) and I just don’t think this is it.  In reality many of the medieval castles had colorfully painted stucco over the stonework.  I didn’t know that before we visited, but it is fun to imagine all of the beautiful colors that the buildings once were. They were not wall flower colors either.  I got the impression that reds and yellows were common.  All I had ever seen were dreary looking buildings in the movies but I think Medieval people appreciated color as much as we do, and for those that could afford it, it was a visible show of wealth.  I thought if I toned down the stonework here, it would turn out much better.  It does look like, in fact, that part of the portico wing was stuccoed over at one time.  Maybe it was colored at one time too.

Washed line drawing

Washed line drawing

I’m coming to the conclusion that with these pen drawings, less may be more.  It is too easy to get bogged down in details and then the ink lines all run together when you add the water. One thing I like is the unpredictability of the color shift.  It adds a level of spontaneity to the drawing that sometimes is lacking in my drawings.  I know that if you lift off some of the wet spot you can achieve a shift more to the pink, but I am kind of liking the unexpected aspect.  It is too easy for me to get over controlling and this is good practice for keeping my hands off.  I plan to use more subtle watercolors on this, more like the first one.  The second one was okay by the end, but I think I ended up removing too much of the randomness with the afterwork.  The sky looks good to me, so that part of the drawings seems to be working out.  I do find skies difficult.