Thursday, October 27, 2011


Rose 9" x 11.5" graphite and watercolor pencil on Arches 140lb watercolor paper

I was initially drawn to this photo for the interesting lines, single color and an opportunity to capture wood texture.  This was the first time I attempting to draw wood and use watercolor pencils together.  I normally use watercolor pencils for sketching plein air or color studies. 
My first sketch was a value study for the wood texture and layering watercolor pencils wet or dry.   The second sketch was on Arches cold press (a little texture/tooth to the paper) and the watercolor pencil showed too much texture.  The only solution was to apply the watercolor pencils wet with a brush.
I am very satisfied with the result although I don’t see myself using watercolor pencils and graphite on textured paper any time soon. 
Photo reference from desicomments.

Friday, October 21, 2011


“Marbles” Arches 140lb watercolor paper

This subject was different as very interesting to see how much form affects a drawing. My initial assumptions were I could easily capture and show the form of marbles with a high level of contrast and reflection.  I believe the drawing is fairly successful in capturing the form, and reflections, although the reflections, highlights and shadows draw a lot of attention.
The reference photo has a wide range of warm and cool colors.  I will complete a painting and compare the drawing and painting at some point.  
Reference photo from  


"Red flower" 6.5" x 8.5" watercolor on Arches 140lb
I had a lot of fun with this flower.  The initial sketch in pencil was deeper in values, but I decided to keep the overall values relatively close.  The background colors (cool greens and blues) were somewhat muted in color but overall the contrast and strength in color were still close.
The reference photo did not have a lot of lights and darks, so the goal of this painting was to capture the strong reds and subtle violets.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Yellow Hibiscus

"Yellow Hibiscus" 6.5" x 8.5" watercolor on Arches 140lb paper

This is the second time I painted this flower.  The first attempt although somewhat successful did not have enough strong yellows, deep reds and the shadows were too muted to complete the first painting.  The second and final painting was complete with Watercolor Artist Andy Smith.

Andy Smith is a mentor, and great watercolor artist.  Andy has been painting professionally as a watercolor artist since 1980. I am amazed with the quality and amount of postings on his blog and the amount of art shows he attend every year.  The first time I met Andy and Linda they were more focused on helping me as a person, and artist before I became his student.  

Thank you Andy & Linda for giving me the motivation, advice and support I needed to keep going with my art.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Red Hibiscus

"Red Hibiscus" watercolor on Arches 140lb paper

This Hibiscus was rather interesting photograph for a couple of reasons.  The reds are very strong and saturated in color even the shadows weren’t too washed out or muted.  The light was also strong and appeared white in the photo. 
I am interested in strong light that washes out all local color, detail and appears pure white.  I will eventually complete a series focused on light and darks using juxtaposing and counterchange.  I don’t know if it will be in color or B&W.  
Drawing allows me to slow down to really understand the subject, values, composition and how to play with different techniques to accomplish my goals.    
Reference photo from Sandra Blair  Sandra Blair is an amazing wildlife artist, photographer and mentor. 
Sandra is currently working on a fund-raising campaign on “Seeking Refuge: Four Seasons on Assateague Island”.  Her goals are to create approximately 20 paintings of the local wildlife on Assateague Island.  Please join me in supporting her and our wildlife.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


pencil on Arches Watercolor paper 140lb

Brandon was a challenge for a couple of reasons.  The photo quality was very good, but suffered from frontal flash and was a little distorted since the photo was taken so close.  I normally sketch my subject once or twice depending upon complexity, composition and tone value (light and dark).  I wish there were more shadows or highlights to create more interest, but I am happy how the portrait turned out.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...