More winter branches

snow branches_2_rachel_murphree_watercolor

Snow branches 3, small watercolor

I’ve been painting but not posting, so here’s a catch up post of two more paintings of snowy branches and a wintery sky.

snow branches_3_rachel_murphree_watercolor

Small branches 4, small watercolor

I’ve been having fun getting to know my dagger striper brush, a Silver Black Velvet brush.  I’ve been really happy with this brand of brush that combines the softness of squirrel hair with synthetic bristles.    I have no affiliation with the company, but heard of it from friends, watched videos of them, and read reviews.  It’s a versatile brush because you can press down as the larger part of the wedge is on the paper and then left off to aid the skinnier part of the wedge to make smaller branches.

At this halfway point of the month, I thought I’d point out the slideshow of paintings from this month, as well as linking to the 30 paintings in 30 days page where you can see my progress from last year to this.  As with golf, I feel sometimes like watercolor is two steps forward, one step back, but I like doing these challenges and documenting the paintings, because it lets me see the progress I’m making.

Today’s plan is to start a larger piece following the mesquite shade study I did earlier this week.  However there’s a big school project that I need to shepherd for my 8th grader, and we’re celebrating my mother in law’s birthday tonight…and there’s the playoff game this afternoon.  So we’ll see….

I enjoy hearing from you and appreciate you stopping by!

Winter Twilight — Final, really, it’s the final!

Winter twilight.  Watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Winter twilight in a grove of aspens. Watercolor that is available. Click on image to view larger

You know how you can look and look at something you’ve done, whether it’s art or writing or sewing, knitting, etc. and you don’t see problems until you’ve had some time away from it — or when you are just about to wear it!  I think you’ll know what I mean…

It took looking at this some more and encouragement from others to fix problems with trunk definition.  In the earlier view of this the trees to the left of center were ill defined and didn’t quite make sense.  so now it is a forked tree with a broken stump beside it, the darks have been softened, and it is now done.  Final.  Finit.  (I know, famous last words!)

And it has a new name:  Winter Twilight. I may look at getting this framed and submitting it to a show, or having cards made from it.

And I’ve been keeping busy with painting group, painting class, and drawing class.  In the latter we’ve been drawing and painting simple shapes.  Perhaps I will post some pics of those another day.

Aspens in winter

Watercolor of aspens

Watercolor of aspens in winter. 7.5″ x 11″. Available. Click on image to view larger.

Ok, here’s the finished piece. I’m pretty happy with it.

I think I would put in less branches next time, and maybe I’ll do it again soon and make it be a different time of the day, or season.  That sounds like fun doesn’t it?  Sorry I don’t have longer to write today.  Busy morning, and hopefully I will squeeze in some painting in the afternoon.

I just realized the background makes it look like a frame.  It’s not, it’s just my painting board.

I’d love to know what you think.  Feel free to share or pin the painting.

Snowy Day

Snowy Barn

Snowy Day, watercolor painting from PMP photograph by Rodney Campbell

It’s been awhile since I painted more than small studies, and this one came about from a challenge on the yahoo Watercolor Workshop to which I belong. This was November’s paint along photo, and it comes from Rodney Campbell posted on Paint My Photo

Last week I watched a video Watercolor Workshop by Sharon Lynn Williams. I really learned a lot from it on how to approach areas of color mixing, to keep the paints moist on the paper, to pay attention to edges and get them soft quickly if you need to in order to finish laying in the wash in that area without a drying edge. It gave me a lot more confidence to approach this challenge for November.

Comments and criticism welcome!