Day 28 — Feathered dahlia

day 28_feather_dahlia_ink_wc_rachel_murphree

Feathered Dahlia ink sketch with watercolor wash. 3″ x 5″.

Today’s posting is a ink sketch of a feathered dahlia from my mother in law’s garden, with a watercolor wash on the top. It’s a small little piece, just 3″ x 5″ but fun to do.

A good friend suggested to me that the top right green patch on my mountains yesterday caught her eye too much, she wondered if it was a meadow. Good catch Diane! I think its value was too bright and it drew your eye up and out of the picture plane…and we do NOT want that!! Big smile. So I toned it down with a light wash of permanent rose to gray it down (red and green are complementary and neutralize each other) and added a touch of blue at the bottom for shading. I think it’s better now.

day 27_plein air

Desert’s Green Glow with the top grass area muted.

I have to say that plein air painting in our 20% humidity with a wind was a challenge yesterday. the paint dries almost before it hits the paper — ok, a slight exaggeration — but it’s a lot different than how quickly it dries in the studio.

Plein air painting of mountain with green patches

Desert’s Green Glow. 8″ x 10″ watercolor. $25

So below is how it was yesterday. Do you think the change helped?

Stages of a shell




So what do u think? I like the sketch and quite enjoyed doing it. I feel more skilled at what to do in paint, after my three lessons from that book, but of course it didn’t all happen. The area below the shell in reality was a reflection in a glass table and there was no direct light to create a shadow. I did it on a paper that was not arches nor cold pressed, and it didn’t allow the color to lift well. I needed the shell blue to be lighter. I think i like the ink on it and that’s handy because that is how ir ended up!! Lesson four tomorrow a wine glass with reflections and a beautiful rose blossom.

Shell #1


More found item sketches


Found item sketches

Found item sketches

faded barrel cactus blossom

Shell under the dirt with a plant growing right through it

Shell under the dirt with a plant growing right through it

Later that morning I was pulling up spent plants and unearthed this shell I’d laid on top of the earth a couple of years ago. it had, either on its own or with canine help, migrated to under the earth and a plant had grown right through it. so I sketched it, dirt and all.