Trying to keep my hand in!  This attempt at painting Lucas the elephant (when he was about 3 years old, I think) reminded me of a few watercolor principles:
– squint at your original to determine where the core shadows are;
– use color/shade contrast to convey shape rather than outlining everything; and
– keep a sense of proportion throughout, using bigger or smaller brushes as necessary.



Seal in Triplicate

Last week, I helped with a fundraiser.  Among other things, this involved making a couple of signs to post on the street, pointing folks THIS WAY! 

After a frustrating half-hour of scribbling with Sharpies to make letters readable from a distance, I pulled out my widest paintbrush and Chromacryl paints.  These suckers are about two decades old, purchased from some enterprising lady hawking student acrylics at my grade school.  Should I have tossed them years ago?  Probably.  Did I instead hang onto them for their much-vaunted hour of need?  But of course.  Slightly goopy, but they got the job done!


So old that new tubes of Chromacryl look NOTHING like them.

Since then, paint’s been in the back of my mind.  I’ve got 3 different sets of watercolor tubes, 2 sets of oil paint, 1 set of acrylics, to say nothing of various markers, colored pencils, pens, and oil pastels.

I should paint something, I thought yesternight, digging out old watercolor paper that had been divided into quadrants with painter’s tape 5 years ago and never used.  But what?

And then I saw this post, and figured a seal was as good a place to start as anywhere.

What should I paint next?

What have y’all drawn or painted lately?

Taking Up the Brush (Again)

In the fast-receding days of college, I took a few art classes: Drawing 101, Graphic Design, and (my favorite) Watercolor Painting.  When the painting class ended, I had several paintings of varying quality, tubes of paint, a mixing tray, several more brushes, and 5 big sheets of 300-pound paper.*  The lot has languished sadly beneath my bed, until I pulled them out this weekend to see if I could recall any technique.**

Thalia encouraged me to post the results, so…um…it’s her fault.

It's hard to tell, but these are the same person (in the fun-house mirror of my ineptitude); since faces are my weakest weakness, I figured I'd tackle them until I improve. Guess which one was done in half the time of the others when I got tired of sitting on the floor.

This is my rendering of the cover of Berry's Life is a Miracle. I might almost remember how this whole watercolor thing works.

*So called because 500 of the sheets will weigh 300 pounds.
**What I most certainly did not forget is the importance of taping down the edges of the paper to keep it from buckling too badly.  The funnest part of any given painting is ripping off the tape.