Reeds: From sketch to study

For today’s post I thought I’d show a sketch in pen from my sketchbook and how I translated it into a small watercolor study.  It’s fun to play with colors that aren’t always quite THERE when you look in nature, for example the blues in this, but they add a level of complexity and interest.  I like the suggestion of what’s behind the reeds in this, and also how the rocks are suggested but not clearly defined.

While doing this I remembered several other points I learned in last week’s workshop with Carol Carpenter.

  • If you want to emphasize the whites or lights, put a dot or two of dark next to them.  I did that in this piece.
  • A palette tip on paint placement:  often the wells that hold one’s paint have slanted sides, and I put my blob of paint at the bottom and use the edges to wipe off the  brush.  What Carol does is place the paint blob near the top, on the upper edge and then she can swipe down the paint into the well and mix with water so you control how much water is mixed with your paint.  As the colors on my one palette in particular run out, I’m going to give that a try.

If you are local and are interested, please remember that my Red Bird of Paradise is going for auction at the local PBS station this Saturday, the 16th, from 3-3:30  Bidding starts at $60.

Thanks for stopping by!

Seedpods, lesson learned

Seed pods

Lesson learned: don’t use up colors that are on a palette, just to be frugal. It’s only paint, and not tons of paint either. I used up colors to make this painting, and I wasn’t happy with them nor how it turned out. Afterward, I washed out the palette, and the colors seemed to go ON and ON forever, but that was part of the problem, the colors left on that travel palette were the strong staining ones.

Someone on the watercolorworkshop yahoo group suggested they would have placed the bottom pod to either the left or right, and I definitely see that — it would be better than the “T” formed by the pods as they are positioned here.

I’ve decided I don’t like filling up a palette and having tons of choices, I prefer to pick a limited palette for the painting at hand and I think I “fuss” less with it using that method. What method do you use?