Today's subject didn't just catch my eye but grabbed me and stopped me in my tracks on the way to the garage. This stunning daisy is my favorite color, red of course so that may be partly why it spoke so loudly to me today.
To mix this color I began with Daniel Smith Watercolors: Cadmium Red Medium Hue, Quinacridone Rose, with French Ultramarine Blue for shadows and Hansa Yellow Light for the flower center and to mix a leafy green. I warmed my red with the yellow and cooled it with the French Ultramarine blue and created my neutral dark with all the colors in this palette. This was another fun exercise. I do find that the process takes a bit more time than the previous challenge did. This may mean fewer posts but they will continue with as much frequency as I can manage
Day one of a new challenge
And not completely sure where this one is going . . .but the idea being, a practice that gets me outside before the summer comes to a close and painting what I see in my backyard, either from life or a photo. My "rules" this time are, drawing or painting from life if at all possible, without creating more stress in an already too full schedule. If weather or time makes that impossible, then from a photo, but the photo has to be from something I notice while outside that day. My challenge will be to look for the predominant color of the subject matter, and then mix that color, rather than using a straight from the tube color. So, lets see how this goes.
I started by choosing a familiar subject, the frog name Robert, (because he came from a plant, jumped out of the hanging basket I was watering) who lives at the front door. We think he has taken on the roll of the doorbell since he lives where one would be if we had one and his croak is so loud that an approaching visitor would be well announced regardless of our doorbell deficit.
I limited my palette to sap green, yellow ochre and Phthalo Turquoise, mixed all my greens with those three colors I added burnt sienna, quinacridone purple and indigo to darken shadows. I cooled down my greens and shadows with purple and warmed them up with burnt sienna.
This is going to be fun.
Much like Opera Pink by Daniel Smith, this Turner Watercolor Opera Red is a very bold, bright red on the magenta side and a staining pigment. It's wide variety of values allowed me to use it almost exclusively to render all the different stages of this Rhododendron's bloom from completely closed to about to open.
This is the very last of my watercolor paints. I have swatched them all, and some more than once by accident. While that might be a good excuse to stop challenging myself in this way, I am not going to give it up just yet. I will reveal the next challenging idea tomorrow, but for now, it is nice to have met a goal of test driving every single tube of watercolor paint in my studio and in the process, now have a well established daily, (or almost daily) practice of painting in my sketchbook.
“I am a contemplative artist who has trouble accessing verbal skills. Finding the right words to talk about the amazing things I observe around me can be frustrating. It is much more natural for me to pick up a paintbrush, some embroidery floss or my camera when I wish to share some new discovery. The artwork I create is meant to be enjoyed on whatever level the viewer experiences it and not layered with complex meaning. Feathers, fur, flowers and the incredible variation I find in wildlife not only inspire me, but compel me to share every nuance with you.