Practice Day

Clematis in progress

Clematis in progress

Today was truly frustrating. I felt really good about the work that I had started, but nothing is working out the way that I planned. I have decided to sketch prior to painting in order to “warm up” and make good decisions in the final piece. Today I worked on three small pieces, one of which I just threw away and the other that I will keep to learn from. The last one is in progress and I think will work out okay. Even if this last one doesn’t work out, I really like the composition and the color, so I will try it again.

sketch

sketch

I am trying to not to get too tightened up about things and that usually works, but today it has all been a struggle. What I hate about that is the time devoted! I know it has to be done, and some days will just not result in work that is successful on any level. There is always tomorrow!

Flower from Kauai

Flower from Kauai

My plan for tomorrow is to return to graphite only. I will do some sketches and then a finished piece or two…but restrict myself to just the graphite.

flower sketch

flower sketch

Small Studies

finished

finished

These pieces are really small. Just 4″ x 4 1/4″, both are so far just casein. I started with a dark blue stock, crinkled ups tissue paper and then painted over the tissue with casein. When it was almost dry I lifted put the tissue paper. These were taken from photos, but I didn’t do an under sketch, I just boldly put down the paint! Yikes! For me, that is a little scary, but also liberating! I am thinking of keeping the daisy in all casein, the sea urchin I am going to work on top of with colored pencil and maybe graphite…or maybe just graphite!

I may force myself into working without sketching ahead by only working on the darker grounds.

unfinished

unfinished

More snow shadows

Snow Shadows No. 3

snowshadowsno3

Watercolor and colored pencil: 5 x 4 1/2″

The snow shadows are a good series to work on because they force me to see simple shapes but offer up an opportunity to really add color from my imagination. I love this perspective…it slows me down. I am working on adding movement to the work, the watercolor is a little stiffer. The casein has a fluidity that is so different from the watercolor, and it can be worked into. I think I prefer it. The other thing that is nice about the casein is the white takes on layers of other color so well…and snow is rarely really just white.

in progress: pairs

in progress: pairs

This one is in progress…I think I will do several of this composition and try to keep improving on the work.

Tahitian Plumeria

Final painting

Final painting

Today was an experiment in layers. I started out with the intention of just using the casein and nothing else. I started with a left over piece of dark blue heavy stock and just through down some orange, red, yellow layers with broad strokes. Then I added the white layer hoping that the color would come through. Then I added more detail to the flower layering in red/pink and yellow. I did scratch through it a little in the petal areas…which revealed a nice dark undertone. The background was simply an experiment in layering in heavier color. After all this I just couldn’t help myself and I just went in with the graphite…nice dark soft 4B pencil. I like the way the layering turned out, this will take lots of experimenting to really know how this all works out. It’s a discovery process! Size is 3″ x 3 1/2″

Roughing in the flower

Roughing in the flower

Base layer

Base layer

Snow Shadows Two

snowshadow2final

Casein and colored pencil on dark green paper: 4 1/2″ x 3 1/2″

Here is one more with the shadows. I think that this is good practice for adding color and depth in sections that really seem like they are only one color. I made an attempt of one started on light/white paper, but it just didn’t have the depth. Working on a dark colored paper forces me to put the guide of the drawing down n white and then block in white casein. I think that this really helps me loosen up, and the colored pencil works really nice on top of the casein. I think I will try a watercolor base and casein next.

Snow Shadows

snowshadowssketch

Casein and colored pencil on blue paper stock: 5″ x 7″

Breaking out of my shell in terms of subject matter. I love the long shadows in the snow. I am going to work on a little series of these. I tried pastel…again! I want to like it, but I end up unhappy with the result. The casein is a great medium for throwing down a lot of a light color and then drawing on top of. I will try a couple of more of these scenes. I think it will help me understand working with the medium. I need to add in some bold and unexpected color to these.