Monday, April 17, 2017

Rabbit in pencil

I figured I would play around with sketching a rabbit since its right around Easter. My inspiration for this actually came from "Leap", the 56-foot long bunny that is in the Sacramento Metro Airport (SMF). Conceived by artist Laurence Argent, it was installed back in October 2011 when they opened up the new terminal. According to some articles, they have dubbed SMF as the "Hare-port", but I have never heard it called that here in Sacramento!
Unlike the scupture, which is bright red and created from geometric triangles, I decided to make my sketch more realistic by drawing fur onto my bunny and just using the reference photo for the form.
I hope every-bunny had a hoppy Easter!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday sketching at the cafe

On a sunny Saturday, I headed down to a downtown cafe to do some sketching on the patio. I always feel a little awkward as I "spy" on other people while sketching, so it is always a very quick sketch, and usually from the other side of the cafe. I kind of cheated with the jogger by taking a picture as he jogged by, then working from that. The chair of course was a subject that didn't move around and didn't mind me staring at it. And as you can see, the patio chairs are not very comfortable, so this whole session was about a half hour before my bottom was numb. But when you want to practice human form and you don't have a model, you do what you gotta do!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Succulant pencil drawing

This is a sketch of a succulent plant that I started a while back, plein air, outside on the patio. As I was going through my sketch book, I thought I should finish it up, so with a little shading, I think it's done.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Atmospheric effects, watercolor

I am always watching the clouds, and with this wet spring we are having, they are always there in some form or another. I thought I would try to recreate a rainstorm, with different kinds of clouds, cirrus (the high whispy ones), and cumulonimbus (big towering ones). I worked with very wet paper, letting the paint move around freely, hoping for some happy accidents.
The cumulonimbus clouds were actually  "blooms" or "cauliflower" caused by not being patient and trying to add more paint to an area that is still not dry.  By adding wet paint (or water) into an area that isn't as wet as what you are adding, it creates a bloom. Some people love the affect while some don't. I used it as a happy accident.
This second piece is more of the same, but I tried to encourage the paint to move the way I wanted it to in order to get the desired effect of a rain cloud passing through.
I used similar color pallettes in both with Payne's grey being my cloud color of choice. Which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

No Hands Bridge, watercolor

The Mountain Quarries Bridge, now more frequently called the "No Hands" Bridge was built in 1912 and is located just south of Auburn, CA. It crosses over the North Fork of the American River and is near the trailhead of several nice hikes in the area, including the trail to Black Hole of Calcutta Falls (which I have sketched as well as watercolored).
This concrete bridge has always caught my attention between the shape of the bridge and the shadows it casts. The reference photo was one I took last fall.
I enjoy seeing the balance created between the straight lines of structures, the bridge in this case, and the free form of nature.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Sunset watercolors

Finally got out the watercolors again after way too long of a break. My Artist Way friends were wanting some directions with watercolor and I thought some sunsets would be a good jumping off exercise. Loosely based on my Sunset along the River painting,  it was not anything planned out, just some spontaneous painting.  We experimented with blending colors wet on wet, lifting color to create clouds, as well as creating silohettes: mountains, trees, birds.
This one was based on a photo from a thank you card. It was suppose to be a lighthouse, and even though it didn't turn out quite as I had wanted, I liked the colors I was able to create in the sky. The Artist Way is about removing the creative 'blocks' we impose upon ourselves and to just let the creative spirit flow through us. Sometimes just playing around without the pressure of creating some masterpiece is just what we need to inspire us.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mural project

I have finally completed the mural for our elementary school. I know that murals seem to be the "in" thing in oue area these days, especially since the Sacramento Mural Festival that we had here in August 2016. This is the mural project I have been working on for a while. It started out as a sketch based on some ideas the principal showed me (see above). Then we coordinated colors based on the school colors and stretched it to fit the space. Then the execution of painting it into the ball wall was done over two days, thanks to several teachers volunteering their time on a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
The ball wall is 12 feet tall and 30 feet wide...enormous! This has definitely been out of my comfort zone, at least 10 times bigger than anything I have ever done (except for painting a bedroom). I hope the community enjoys it!