Cholla Trio

cholla-trio-_rachel_murphree_watercolor

Here’s another piece that I’ve finished and I’m really happy with it! The thorns are made by scratching on the paper surface to add more texture to the negative pained thorns and segment edges of the cactus itself.

If you remember here’s what it looked like in an earlier post.

So what did I learn from doing this?  First that negative painting to preserve lights is not that difficult.  Negative painting is when you create an image by painting what is around it  I did that on the branch, and also to create a stamen and pistils in the center of the main bloom.  I remembered to describe the elements in varying amounts of specificity.  In other words, not all of the blooms are equally detailed or in focus which gives the viewer something to imagine and fill in the blanks.  I also went ahead and put in the background at the same time as the focal flowers and foliage which helped have some edges soft, some edges sharp (that’s known as lost and found edges).  Plus I learned that all this was FUN to do!

Finished! Here’s Shiloh….

shiloh_rachel_murphree_watercolor

I took the painting down to Shiloh’s folks and they loved it so now I’ll get it framed and take it down to them. We are using a white on white mat to pull out the white of his fur with a dark frame.  I am thrilled they are so happy with him!

And now while I’m in the dog painting mode, I’m starting work on a painting for my sister in law of her sweet golden retriever Murphy who is no longer with us.  here’s the initial sketch of him:

murphy sketch (2).jpg

In related news I have the opportunity of putting pet paintings down at the Crossroads Animal Hospital which I’m very excited about.  I’ll frame prints of Tulie (below) and Shiloh and perhaps some others and include information on doing commissions and how to get in touch with me.  I am quite thankful for this opportunity.

Here's Lookin at You

Here’s Lookin at you. 16 x 20 framed $225

That’s it for now!  more soon as I intend on blogging daily in March.

Where Shiloh stands now

shiloh-wip-feb-23-rachel-murphree

I am enjoying the challenge of capturing Shiloh in watercolor.  I’m at the stage now where I want to lay in a varied color background probably in blues and browns that will capture the shaggy white edges around his ears and shoulder fur.  I also have to decide what side to shade his face.  I’m thinking on the right side as we are looking at him.

Since putting in the background would involve uninterrupted time and attention to get the edges just right and keep all the pigment  flowing without sharp edges, I’m going to work on that tomorrow.  The kids are almost home now and even though they are teenagers, uninterrupted time is hard to find!

Here are previous posts in this process:
https://rachelm.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/shiloh-early-stages/
https://rachelm.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/shiloh-in-progress/ (first attempt)
https://rachelm.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/shiloh-study-day-24/ (wild study)
https://rachelm.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/shilohs-eye-study-day-22/

As always, thanks for stopping by and letting me know your thoughts!

Shiloh early stages

Here is where the Shiloh commission painting stands now.  I will be working on it further this weekend. Once the area around his right eye has more done, I think it will be well along.  

Here’s the board I have handy to work from. The top photo is the principal one, the black and white next to it shows me the values. The bottom right photo shows his ears, the dreadlocks, that I am incorporating. And the bottom left is the initial practice painting. 

I got lost in keeping some of the white areas of his fur, and with watercolor keeping the white paper is imperative. So on the current painting I have a tiny white x  in each area to remind me to keep them white. 

Here are earlier stages of the painting. 

Webbie backgrounds

These pieces are  half sheet size papers created at a class.  We used the polyester fiber that is sold at Halloween time to stretch and becomes spider web like for decorating. We pulled it in various ways and pinned it to wet paper and added colors here and there and let it dry. Aren’t they cool??  They can be used as a background, or negative painted on (darkening certain areas to create another design), cutting or tearing for collage. The possibilities are vast and exciting to think about, including using the technique in a conscious way to create a design before putting down paint.  

What do you see in the paintings?  I see angel wings in the pink. I love the colors of the blue



Cholla blooms in progress

Have I mentioned how much I like taking classes with Laurel Weathersbee? This is the third of four classes with her and I have learned so much.  More on that later, because I am energized from class and want to put that energy into my Shiloh commission.


So bye for now. More later…

 

My Yupo Valentine

Here’s a painting on yupo paper from a Valentine’s bouquet my husband bought me.  

One thing I should point out you should watch with yupo is that oil from fingerprints on the paper act like a resist meaning the paint doesn’t stay there.  Sometimes it fits into your design; sometimes it doesn’t. 

You can see the spots along the bottom which is the vase but I don’t mind it that much.  One place where it does work well is next to the pink purple daisy. The thin straight line acts like a vein in the leaf; it’s also an oil spot. These spots can be removed by wiping rubbing alcohol over the paper even now.  Remember anything can be lifted off of this paper at anytime. 

Cactus by Moonlight

This is a product of a class I’m taking with Laurel Weathersbee,  a fabulous watercolor painter from Las Cruces.  It’s the first time I’ve painted a night scene, and I’m really liking the challenge suggesting dark shapes and soft edges and then highlighting the focal point.  I think this is done but I’m open to suggestions.  wwwhat do you think?

Shiloh in progress

shiloh-wip-1

Here’s where it’s at with earlier shots, and I’m not happy with the eyes, especially the left one and know that I need to save more whites in his fur.  With this one I tried painting wet onto dry paper and have some fur like edges in places, giving myself a map to follow as you can see from the first step below.

shiloh-wip-2

And below is stage 2.  I have to admit even though I’m not happy with the outcome, I am having fun with the process and rethinking my procedures.  Happy with the colors on the whole too which is nice.  I’m doing this on strathmore aquarius and it is a very soft paper and I think I’m going to switch to arches or saunders waterford.

shiloh-wip-3

You can see earlier blog postings in the journey of painting Shiloh.  Here’s where I painted in bed without a pencil sketch and here’s an eye study.

Now that the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge is over, I’ve been painting plein air, taking a painting class, and working on the Shiloh commission.  I just haven’t been blogging about it.  But I will catch up on that. I promise!

 

Thanks for stopping by!  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

End of Winter day 30

I made it!  30 paintings in 30 days, and it was fun! Hope you had fun too following along.  This is also done on yupo.