I went out and did some plain air painting yesterday! It was a beautiful sunny day, but there were big grey snow clouds coming from the mountains in the west, so I was trying to stay ahead of the clouds…and I ended up painting them in all three paintings. These were done fairly quickly (it took me about 2 1/2 hours)–I am trying to loosen up with my painting again and just have fun with it. I painted right up until the clouds caught up with me and it started to snow, at which point the sun was covered anyway so I called it a day.
The past month I have not been very inspired to paint so to help me out I decided to try some different coloured grounds on my panels. I went with flourescent pink and yellow and I really love the pink one! I have two more pink ones ready to go for next time, and I think I am going to prime a bunch more of them. They are tricky to photograph though, the flourescent does not look bright enough in the photos!
I did not have a new watercolour for this week, but I do still have watercolours that I have not posted yet. I have been meaning to post these studies for a while now, so what better day than Watercolour Wednesday! These were done in a Canson multi medium sketchbook that I tend to use mostly for doing quick watercolours, even though it is maybe not the best paper for it, they are all pretty rippled.
Last week I did more paintings of clouds with window curtains. I decided to play with opening the curtains halfway. These two with the red curtains are the view from my bedroom window, and I painted them when we had a lovely chinook to warm up the weather. The first one with the darker curtains was done at 9:00am and the second lighter one was done at 3:00pm. I was going to put a second narrow strip of curtain on the left hand side, but then I decided that I liked the asymmetry of the one curtain. Maybe I will do two curtains on the next ones.
Then the next day was also a beautiful, windy and warm day with amazing clouds all day long, so I did another painting of the view through the patio doors in the dining room. I had preciously painted this view with full curtains across the view, but this time I painted the curtains halfway open. I think this might be the most successful of the “clouds and curtains” paintings so far–it has the right amount of open space versus curtains I think.
And later in the same day there was this amazing “shelf” of clouds in the sky out the living room window, so I did another painting just of the clouds. All in all it was a very productive week for painting, even though I had a terrible cold all week–I can still sit and paint the views from my windows!
First painting of 2022! And it is a Watercolour Wednesday post as well! The Watercolour Wednesday posts were always a really good motivational tool for me, and I think it is time to start them up again.
I painted this on January 1st but I just got around to photographing it today. It was a bit of an experimental painting and I am going to be doing more of these “painting through curtains” paintings. Kind of a combination of my recent interest in windows and clouds. I have lots of ideas bouncing around with this and I think next I am going to play with having the curtains open and where the gap in the curtains should be placed. Doing these in watercolour will also be perfect for playing around with these ideas with less pressure, and I am still so impressed with my new Arches watercolour pad–it’s been a bit of a game changer for me with my watercolours.
I started this blog ten years ago this month! I feel pretty proud since even though I have been a bit sporadic with blog posts, I have kept painting the entire time. I started an Instagram account thinking that I wanted something more direct and easy; so I could just post a quick photo after doing a painting. It was nice and direct and easy, but I was also a bit lazy with it. I took photos on my phone rather than my good camera which was fine for Instagram, but not good enough for my blog. Now I am having to go back through and re-photograph all the paintings that I did. It feels like a lot to catch up on for my blog. I still want to put them up here though. Especially the 30 days project that I did in April during the quarantine. I may just have to throw them up here in one big slide show.
For now here are two watercolours that I did on Saturday because it was such a glorious day–maybe one of the last days to enjoy my patio this year. The first one with the tree tops is looking up at the sky from my patio. Lately I have been fascinated with capturing those whispy clouds that stretch across the sky in watercolour, and I am very pleased with how this one turned out.
Then just before supper some crazy clouds and wind blew in, and I did a quick study of the clouds out the living room window. Very pleased with this one too.
I meant to do a blog post last week, but I completely missed it so I will just have to blog about both these painting days at once.
The first painting was done August 12th during a little day trip we took south of Calgary. It was on a little side road just off highway 22. I was sitting right next to a field and there were swarms of these tiny flies that got into everything. Quite a few of them lost their lives in the painting as I couldn’t get them all off so I just painted over them. The joys of plein air painting! I must admit though, I have never had an experience quite like that one. I am pretty proud that I kept going until the painting was done, inspite of the flies.
The second painting was done this week on August 19th when we decided to do a little road trip from the “hump” to the “gap”. I had never heard of either of these spots until I got a book out from the library all about the Cowboy Trail. The trip started with highway 532 west of highway 22, then went south down highway 734, and then jogs back along highway 517. The “hump” refers to a high point along highway 532 where you can see seemingly forever, and the “gap” is between two mountains on highway 517. I initially thought I would paint the view from the hump, but it was super, super windy, and it was a small, somewhat treacherous road with no real spot to set up and paint. The road is closed in the winter and there are signs that no trailers are aloud. I don’t think a vehicle with a trailer would make it up that road. However we did sit and eat a picnic lunch by the road there and it was beautiful. The painting I did was done along highway 734 when it was around 6:00. It was also pretty windy there, and at one point the painting flipped off of my easle and landed on my shoulder while I was bending down to clean a brush. I was so frustrated and ready to quit, but again I kept going. I had to repaint the sky when I was frantically trying to capture the light, and I now have another studio shirt, but I finished the painting!
Here is a couple of on site photos from that second painting day–one in progress with the light I was trying to capture, and one with the finished painting, but the sun had gone behind the mountains by then. Both photos were taken from where I was painting in the shadow of the van so they are not accurate to the colour of the painting, but I like that they show the quickly changing light.
A could study and my first painting of 2019! I am aiming to start doing weekly posts again but as I made no resolutions this year, I haven’t let myself down by starting three weeks late. As long as I start at some point I’m still winning.
I don’t have much else to say–just a short and sweet first blog post in a while.
I was tucking my daughter in to bed the other night and I caught a glimpse of this sunset out the window so I rushed to paint it. I only had minutes to get it done so it was a bit frantic and I think it shows. Very different from the painting in my last post. For this one I did try using both the watercolour pens and watercolours together which helped me to get down the most intense colours very quickly. I started with the pens and then finished it with watercolours and brushes, and a whole lot of water to blend it together.
Very pretty morning sky the other day. Very subtle and pale, a cool end-of-winter morning. I did this one with my regular watercolours. I am not as happy with the photo though–the painting looks better in real life. For this one I also painted right to the edge of the paper, which I don’t usually do with watercolours. I don’t know why I usually leave so much blank space, but I’ve become more conscious of it lately and feel like I need to “finish” them.
I also did a quick second study with the watercolour pens to try it out, but they weren’t quite right for capturing the pale colours. I will have to try using the pens when there is a super vibrant sunset. The pens are much faster to work with so that might actually be perfect. Here is the super quick watercolour pen one (which isn’t true to what the real sky colours were).
I’ve been experimenting with using the watercolour pens with other subject matter, but so far they have worked best with the flowers. The pens are so vibrant. Maybe I will try using both the pens and my regular watercolours in a painting. Last week I tried to do a painting of the big tree across the back alley using the pens, but it was very strange. I still can’t bring myself to post that one. It really was like learning to paint all over again.