Monday, January 13, 2020

Week of January 13th - Payne's Grey/Autumn Blue Jay

A year or two ago I captured this beautiful blue jay on a branch of Autumn leaves. He posed so pretty, and the background was so smooth, he almost has the appearance of being stuffed. I liked the way the color of his feathers almost blended into the background and decided to exaggerate this look and paint him on a bluish gray background. 

The watercolor I chose for the background is Payne's Grey. 

"Payne’s Gray DS PB29 PBk9 PY42, A low-staining, semitransparent, cool blue-black mix. Do not use it to create shadows on yellow as it turns green." ~ John Muir Laws Blog

I primed the background twice with clear water, going around the edges of the leaves, but including the blue jay in the background color. I quickly brushed on a very diluted layer of Payne's Grey and was pleased with the foggy look it gave the background. As is usual when I paint backgrounds, a bit of color migrated past the leaf edges. Since Payne's Grey is low-staining I was able to lift the color away. The short video, Watercolor Lifting Payne's Grey, shows how I lift mistakes or highlights.

This post is part of Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Mother Color

What is a Mother Color? For me a Mother Color is the paint I mix into every other color in my palette in varying degrees. A good article on the wisdom of using a mother color in your art can be found at: The Felt Magnet.

This lovely climbing rose is my next watercolor project for November's WetCanvas Plant Parade Challenge. It was planted years ago in homage to the gardeners of England and provides a delicate contrast against to the rough texture of the brick chimney. 

With the Paint program I isolated many of the colors in the rose, leaves, and background and created a palette chart. Doing this helped me decide on a mother color using color charts I've painted for each of my watercolor paints. 

I've chosen Quinacridone Magenta as my mother color. Years ago, I made color charts for all of my watercolors. Using these I decided on three additional color for my palette when I start. 

The colors I've chosen to use in combination with my mother color are: Scarlet Lake, Sap Green, New Gamboge, and Perylene Maroon. The left side of my sample page is wet paint on dry, the right side is wet into wet. 

My decision is not set in stone, and I might add or subtract colors, but for the beginning these are what I've chosen. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Inspiration - Van Gogh and Spurgeon

Like most folks, I love the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. Beyond the art, I love reading about his life. Did you know that before he began seriously pursuing art Vincent hoped to become a pastor?

I've been listening to the audiobook 'Van Gogh The Life' by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. I am only into it by ten chapters, but the revelations within it are amazing.  

Did you know that while he lived in London Van Gogh attended many of C.H. Spurgeon's services. Spurgeon was a well-known pastor in London at the time and preached at the Metropolitan Tabernacle
"What many don't realize is Van Gogh was passionate about Jesus, yearning to follow in his father, Dorus', footsteps as a minister. And even more intriguing, Van Gogh was an admirer of devotional writer, Thomas รก Kempis, and pastor, Charles Spurgeon, whose church he attended while in London." ~ Crossmap/The Misunderstood Minister
Often, before I begin to create or practice techniques I hope to master, I will read aloud beautiful words of praise that others have written. One of my favorites is 'John's First Doxology,'  delivered by Spurgeon from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit on September 2, 1883. It shows that praise and adoration of the Lord Jesus Christ is timeless.
"This text is just the upward burst of a great geyser of devotion. John’s spirit has been quiet for awhile, but on a sudden the stream of his love to Jesus leaps forth like a fountain, rising so high that it would seem to bedew heaven itself with its sparkling column of crystal love." ~ C.H. Spurgeon
When I read beautiful words such as those above it inspires my own heart to praise with words and with every aspect of my life...including my artwork. To read the whole sermon you can visit this link: John's First Doxology.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Art Goals

After years away I joined our local art league once again. Last weekend I dropped off my painting, 'Sophie's Auntie,' at a county library. I haven't seen it hung yet, that will be the art goal of this weekend, to attend the reception for the artists.

Sophie's Auntie is a watercolor depiction of a vendor on Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica. This lady had the regal bearing of a queen and sold us delicious fruit from the basket she carried atop her head. I hope I caught a bit of her aura of dignity and beauty. 

I've come up with a three year goal for my art, and hope to record my progress here along with possible detours from the main goal now and then. Please stop back again. I love visitors and comments. 

24 X 24 INCHES

Digital files for printing of 'Sophie's Auntie' can be purchased at:

Life is more than just art and learning new techniques, check out my other interests in the Sidebar under DETOURS. 

Week of January 13th - Payne's Grey/Autumn Blue Jay

A year or two ago I captured this beautiful blue jay on a branch of Autumn leaves. He posed so pretty, and the background was so smooth...