JustinsSunset-sm

Justin's sunset - the Aqua series

Well - I have many talented friends. This painting was inspired by a gorgeous sunset photo taken by my neighbor, Justin. I think it fits nicely into my "Aqua" series.

Justin's photo jumped right out at me because of the drama created by the composition and intense color contrast. His photo was amazing - I hope this painting does it justice!

Pictured above, "Justin's Sunset" - the Aqua series. Measures 32" x 40" framed.

Underpainting

In progress: Shadows and daylilies

Original photo - "Shadows and daylilies"

Original photo - "Shadows and daylilies"

I've started working on a new painting based on a photo I took last week. Even though stopping to take a few photos made me a little late to my class, I think it was worth it. I feel strongly that you have to grab the moments of inspiration when they are presented to you. The light in this scene was too lovely to pass up.

Wet into wet

The image at left is the photo I took, and last night I started working on the underpainting (below). The underpainting is the first layer of paint, and it's where I determine the beginnings of my composition and the pattern of color I want to create. I always do this step "wet into wet" - which means I thoroughly soak my paper first (I use Arches 140lb watercolor paper) and then work into it with very wet watercolor paint. The effect is that the color seeps like crazy, fuzzing out the hard edges and leaving you with a soft layer of color.

Don't forget the seasoning

Once I'm happy with the underpainting and pretty much ready to leave it to dry, lots of times I will add salt into the wet. The salt has the effect of repelling the color that it sits on, so you are left with spots of white around each grain of salt. If you've ever worked in watercolor you know how important it is to preserve your whites as it's very hard (sometimes impossible) to get them back once you've applied paint to the area. The salt helps keep the whites and adds a freshness and unpredictability to the panel since you can't control how the color will repel.

I couldn't help myself and as it was drying I did start putting in a few sharp lines and shadows. This is not technically the underpainting stage but I just couldn't wait. I finally walked away and left the painting to dry overnight - next step is to start laying in more color and depth. Can't wait!

Read more

See the progress on "Shadows and daylilies".

Inspiration found outside Galter Life Center

Hustling to my exercise class the other day at Galter Life Center in Chicago, I stopped in my tracks. I was running late, only minutes to check in, whip off my street togs, shower down and jump in the pool for the class that was about to start… but yet I stopped where I was, and reached into my bag.

You never know when you will find inspiration. For me I can say what will usually inspire me – intense color and great light. This is what I found the other day, a perfect combo. Outside the gym, the daylilies were blooming and the sun was hitting at such an angle I just couldn’t walk right by without trying to capture the moment. I had to snap a few.

I wasn’t sure if I got anything good I finally downloaded today and I think these are the best of the pack. Can’t wait to try and start painting them!

Original photo - "Shadows and daylilies"

Original photo - "Shadows and daylilies"

Daylilies

Daylilies

Close up of daylily

Close up of daylily

Under the tree

Under the tree

Fall in summer

Fall in summer

RO

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