Christmas wrapup

Well, folks, for those of you who celebrate it, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas spent with friends and family you love.  Ours was unexpectedly white here in El Paso with about 8″ of snow falling over the weekend.  I’m seeing lots of snow scenes figuring in my painting future!

While I didn’t get as much painting done as I had hoped in the past several weeks, I did get some cards painted and sent out:

Chile_Christmas_Cards_rachel_murphree_watercolor

Chile Christmas Cards

And here’s a painting I did for my older daughter.  It came out differently than I thought, but she loves it, so that’s all that counts!

Blow_away_rachel_murphree_watercolor

Blow Away. 11 x 15 watercolor by Rachel Murphree. Gift.

And now it’s time to think about a possible theme for my third 30 paintings in 30 days challenge that starts (gulp!) on Friday!  wow…where did the month of December go?  I don’t think I am alone in that feeling….

Thanks for stopping by throughout the past year, and I hope to see you in the next!

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Day 10 of 30 in 30 –I am not a snake!

Locust pod. 9 x 12 watercolor.  $25

Locust pod. 9 x 12 watercolor. $25

This is not a snake! it’s a locust pod that I picked up on my dog walk. I’ve been watching this tree for a long time, seeing the greenish white pods in the summer and hot they curled among the foliage…really cool! and then as the pods turned color in stages over the length of the pod…and now when they’re on the ground.

I’m so happy with how quickly this came together, and how it turned out. Day 10! Whew!!!

Locut pod sketch in pencil with notes on shadows and lighter areas, and watercolor wash to try out colors.

Locust pod sketch in pencil with notes on shadows and lighter areas, and watercolor wash to try out colors.  Click on image to view larger.

Here’s the sketchbook version in pencil, with my notes to remind myself on light and dark, and what kind of shadow. I seem to have rearranged the pods a bit before painting it, so the shadow shape is different.

collage of three locust photos

on the ground, dried, in the tree in early summer, and later in the summer see how the pod changes bit by bit into dried?


I added this photo collage later so you could see what these locust pods look like on the tree and dried on the ground.
Painting of hawk perched on a metal wire

study for a painting of a red tailed hawk on a windmill in the west texas desert.

I love working with these colors. The lighter area is quin gold, then quin burnt orange, quin burnt scarlet, and indanthrone. I used these colors to paint Hawk on a Wire earlier this week.

Cones and Pod, Day #4 of the 30 in 30 watercolor challenge

watercolor pine cones and seed pod

watercolor with ink of pinecones and seed pod. Available.

This little painting is of two pinecones and a seed pod. Which do you like better? Yesterday’s white pine cone or today’s cones and pod?

This one is about 4″ x 6″ and again done by blending colors on the paper and then sketching on top, and then adding paint for definition.

It was fun to get the shapes of the seeds in the pod by dropping in colors.

Harvest mouse

Harvest Mouse

8″ x 11″ watercolor on Arches 140 lb

This little piece is from a challenge on the Watercolor Workshop yahoo group to paint from a mouse picture. I had fun figuring out how to get the fur texture on the little creature and played with color on the seed pod.

Seedpod studies

From WC2010-2011

The thing learned here is to allot areas on the page for each study, so in case one turns out well — I really like the colors on the one to the upper left — it can be used for something! Live and learn…

An obsession

CIMG4158

Seed pods and pinecone

Seed pods. Yes, I know, it’s weird…I’ve heard that before many times in my life! anyway, another attempt at painting seed pods. Not sure what kind of background to do….

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?

Seedpod study

Seed podsI set up a still life of a dried up pomegranate, a yucca seedpod and three pods from a desert tree, but right now, I’m not sure what species it is. Here’s the still life set up I’m working from.

From WC2010-2011

I think the seed pods were successful, Love the shadow on the top left, I like the pod on the right, not sure about the left one. I need some more definition in the pomegranate seeds, I think, but not sure how to.