I stumbled on some striking photos of southeast asians on the net and decided to watercolor one of them. This is only half way completed . . . way more to go. I'll post the finish soon. As my friend Nicholas Simmons (internationally renowned watercolorist) says, and I paraphrase him, "watercolor should be allowed to do what it wants". Permit me to also quote David Lobenberg (that's me), "watercolor can be described as controlling the flood". Watercolor just loves to flow and move about. Don't fight it . . . go with the flow (bad pun, but oh so appropriate!)
Drawing from life is the best way to see a heck of a lot deeper than one normally does. You are drawing for god's sake! You need to see those contours, shapes, values, hues, angles, and proportions otherwise those details are simply lost. Bottom line . . . exercise your visual perception, and you will paint better. I like that since I paint in both acrylic and watercolor. I teach drawing and painting at the college level and in my many workshops here in California and out of state. I present to you a quick charcoal gesture (the things at the end of the figure's upraised arm are charcoal sticks), a more detailed rendered nude in lovely charcoal as well as a very jazzified line and ink wash of my left hand (I call my left hand "Handsome Hand"), and a student busily toiling his easel (also done with ink and wash). All four are from life. I was going through some of my drawing files and thought these might amuse you. You are amused, I hope??
This is a commission I have from a Catholic church (I'm a pagan, hard drinking, foul-mouthed artist by the way). The nun started out cruder than this, and at this stage, I still have a lot of work to do with color variations and values. One starts rough and ends at whatever refined stage is appropriate to one's style. The priest is finished and reflects my loose style of painting. The medium used for both paintings is acrylic painted on stretched canvas. You can see in the priest photo the small black and white reference photo I had to work with. Sometimes I think it is better NOT to work from a color ref. photo so that you must exert your own personal color scheme . . . good practice! These canvases are 18 by 24 inches in size.
This was painted on an 11X14 inch stretched canvass from a color reference photo in about 3 hours. I painted this scene with an art instructor from the Art Institute, Sacramento who is taking private painting lessons from me and who wants to paint in a looser manner. I will be posting our side-by-side painting progress at a later date when I get the time. My palette colors were titanium white, magenta, lemon yellow, cobalt blur, and phthalo blur. I love working with a limited color palette.
An eight inch by ten inch watercolor painting of a P.B. on ice in my Wednesday (two weeks ago) watercolor class at my studio. I added the sketchy graphite lines AFTER I finished painting the bear. Gives the watercolor more energy. What do you think, dear reader?
This is a 10 inch by 18 inch watercolor I did last week in my Wednesday watercolor class that I teach at my studio here in Sacramento. Wet-on-dry for the elephant and wet-on-wet for the soft dusty background. Get that Safari Wagon in gear, fast!!!!!!
Typical weather here in our Mediterranean climate zone. Most likely by the end of October it will be getting a lot cooler. The Donner Party wagon train got stuck in the Sierra Mountains at Donner Lake end of Oct. Enough meteorological and historical info and on to watercolor art by yours truly. These are two studies I did for a recent watercolor workshop here in toasty Sacramento. Both were painted wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry on 140lb. Arches cold press paper.