Think pink!

Surprisingly pink entryway

Surprisingly pink entryway

I finally got back to work on this massive looking wooden entryway located in Germany.  I have always like the pink facade combined with the huge wooden doorway.  The last time I looked at it was before the Christmas rush, so now that I’ve caught back up, I thought I’d get back to it.  I didn’t really have much left to do, but I deepened the colors some as well as the shadows.

This exemplifies what I like most about Old World architecture – the use of vibrant, unexpected colors.

We have been having a little bit of wildlife excitement here the last couple of days.  This year’s crop of coyote puppies has made its appearance.  I think they are denning across the lake as the mother hangs out past the far end of the dam just outside of the woods.  The boldest 4 of the 6 puppies (!) have crossed the dam and come to hunt and play in our back yards.  I am surprised the parents let them roam so far away.  It might take them 10 seconds to get over here if there was trouble, but I guess they are not too worried about us after all this time.  I took some pictures, but even with my telephoto lens, they hung down too close to the lakeside for really clear pictures.  If some manage to turn out, I’ll post them.  The last time they appeared in 2013, we saw them every afternoon for about 5 days.  I hope we get to see them at least that often.  These are younger than the 2013 group we saw early that July.

Color, finally

Wooden doorway

Wooden doorway

Color, finally, on the doorway.  I have made a preliminary fixative spray as I was having trouble deciding how rich the dusty rose for the woodwork was going to turn out.  So far, so good, but I definitely think I need to darken and delineate the shadows more.  It’s too flat yet.

We’ve had an up and down fall so far.  First very warm and then quite cold.  The animals have been hiding too, perhaps because some of the hunting seasons have started.  We’ve been hearing gunshots in the woods lately so hiking the south trail may be a bad idea for a while.  I did see flocks of tom turkeys twice this week, so that was nice.  And coyotes have been howling some.  Too bad we didn’t see pups this year.  The flower beds have given up the ghost, although I had one wayward white iris that decided it was okay to rebloom in November.  That didn’t last very long, but it was pretty.

I started an instagram account under ruthsartwork a couple of weeks ago.  Slowly, with the help of my son, I am being dragged into the social media webs.  LOL  It’s been surprisingly fun so far, though.

Black and white

Entryway inkied

Entryway inkied

The inking of the entryway is more or less completed.  The massive oaken doorway is going to be fun to color.  I have decided to go with the pastels for this one.  The richness of the doorway and the painted trim seem to be calling for more depth of color than I seem to be able to achieve with watercolors.  The vines growing up the side of the building will add natural green effects to soften the stucco and all of that wood.  Maybe I’ll throw in some red and purple too.  Depends on how the dusty rose trim and timber work turn out, I guess.

The brickwork for front walkway has a mild pattern to it and helps ground the drawing.  It is really just a gray color, but I may change that.  Too boring maybe.  Sometimes these decisions are made as I go.

Castle entryway colored

Yellow castle

Yellow castle

I went ahead and used the yellow umber for the stucco.  In the spirit of the past vivid wall coverings, the light beige just seemed too plain.  There were nice touches of red in the window frames and I added some red flowers next to the stone wall. Since these castles are usually built high up on the mountainside or riverside you often see a panoramic view of the country beyond the walls.

My son just came back from a business trip to Germany last month so I hope to have more pictures to work from.  I think I will try a few with just regular pen and ink and watercolors or pastels.  Old World buildings are just too much fun to draw.  Modern architecture rarely has the intricate detail work seen from centuries back and I think that is a shame.

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.

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.

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.

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