Fruit Paintings Part 2

Strawberries

Next up was strawberries and an apple.  These are all 8×10’s.  I like the smaller size as it is not too intimidating for me at this point.  I really need to take an acrylic class again, just to get some tips on manipulating the paint.  I have problems dealing with the thickness of the paint and using the drying speed retardant.

In any case, I was pretty happy with the way these turned out. Once again I raided my refrigerator for inspiration and came up with these.  And the nice thing is, when I’m done, I can eat the scenery props.  Which I did.  LOL

Granny Smith apple

The last one done

watercolored

The triplex finished and off to its new home.  Since this was pretty monochromatic, I added color in the landscaping with the flowers, echoing the yellow doors.  I added some reds and mauves in the shrubs and trees as well as the shadows.  For a simple structure, it came put pretty well.

I think I am going to use my acrylics next and paint some small fruit pieces.  After seven weeks of architectural commission work, I need a change of pace.  I’ll put them into my etsy store when I’m finished.  I haven’t added anything new since well before Christmas due to the portrait work (not that I am complaining) and I need to.

Simple lushness

simple can be hard too

Simple lushness

The inking took a while, but it is finished now.  What I thought to be separate houses above and to the left, turned out to be part of this front.  There must have been some massive sprawling additions going on with this ranch style home.  Plus the other part was roofed in metal, so I am glad I asked before I deleted. I would never have thought the asphalt roof was connected to the metal roof.

It sure was nice to have such lush landscaping to work with. It certainly softened the board siding and the brick fireplace.  All in all, it was fun to do.

Day 3

Day three

Day three

Day 3 of the inking and it’s going well.  This project is probably the most fun I’ve had with a drawing in a long time. Lovely landscaping and interesting stone work.  What more could I ask for in a drawing.

The landscaping is pretty well done and the doors and windows are in.  Next session will concentrate on finishing the stone facade.  It has been a while since I have done stonework and I am looking forward to it.

Inking started on the Colorado cabin

Starting to ink all of those pine trees

Starting to ink all of those pine trees

At the end of last week, I started to ink my latest commission.  With a small weekend break to visit my new grandson, progress is a little slow, but I’m getting back to work today.

I started the way I normally do on a home commission – with the foliage.  For whatever reason, I like to begin with the landscaping and gradually move inward.  This is fairly complex as there is not really any “front” landscaping, but a massive amount of trees all around.  I have to be very careful with the positive/negative space so that the house doesn’t get lost.  The linearity of the house will help contrast with the softer trees.  Even though they are spiky pines, their irregular shapes are more fluid.  Another balance I have to find.

I actually stopped here deliberately because I started to lose my judgement and needed fresh eyes.  I need to rebalance the two pine trees on the right so they don’t look quite so lined up and will reshape them to move them slightly apart.  I was starting to lose sight of the whole at this point and decided it was time to stop.  Ink is so unforgiving that way.

Windows and the railings will be up next, after all of those trees are mostly done.

Chinese dragon linocut

Well, first a blizzard and now flooding rains. The pond rose 2-3 feet overnight and the road briefly flooded over.  We can get out now, but it is sometimes chancy when we get several inches in a short period of time.  Fortunately, the creek goes down as fast as it goes up so it doesn’t last long.  I am so grateful it was not snow again, considering that we just got rid of the last of it on Friday.

Chinese dragon

Chinese dragon

I have been tweaking the latest entryway the past few days and didn’t want to start another one at the same time.  I’ve thinking about trying a Chinese dragon linocut.  A few months ago I bought a clip art book of Asian art.  I thought I could adapt some of the illustrations into simpler linocuts.  There were some nice floral ones but I especially liked the dragons. This one is a variation of one of them.  I made the basic cuts fairly quickly, but then was stumped on how to add the body scales.  I let it sit overnight to ponder the question.  When I looked at it the next day, I knew that I couldn’t try to make individual cuts with a straight edge to delineate them.  I haven’t quite figured out the inking process yet and I knew that all I would accomplish would be to over fill them with the brayer.  I finally decided to use the scalloped blade and just scoop out a patchwork of scales.  I think it turned out well.

With the red

With the red

I thought a partial red background would accent him nicely, so I pulled a print on the heavier paper and this morning, after letting it dry overnight, I used the watercolors to put some on.  I didn’t want to color the whole background, so I spent half an hour doing the lower portion.  I think it looks like the right amount of color, but what do you think.  Should I have colored it all red?

Polly parrot

Parrot

I’ve had it in mind lately to paint a brightly colored bird and I thought I remembered a photo of one amongst the other things when I last was looking through the old box file.  Sure enough I found an old picture of a parrot nestled under B for birds.  I liked the scarlet reds and the vivid blues of this parrot.  It hardly seemed like a possible combination for a real bird, but there it is.

I went the route of the frisket/spritzed ink, but this time I held a little back on the water in order not to muddy the overlayed colors too much.  I played with the watercolor over two days and am fairly satisfied with it.  I am less satisfied with the inking.  There seems to be a very fine line between too much spritzing and a muddy, gray result and too little spritzing and too sharp of lines.

In this case, I think I erred in the direction of too little spritzing.  The feather lines seem to be too delineated.  I wanted to show more the suggestion of feathers rather than the actual feathers themselves, but that is not quite what has happened.  I am not totally dissatisfied with the outcome, because I do like the colors but, like the blue abstract floral, it’s not quite what I wanted.

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