Archive for July, 2012


July 29, 2012

Here is a small watercolor of my brilliant great-nephew, Ethan.  He is modeling a “cow” hat his grandmother knitted for him.  The only problem with that wonderful hat is that it covers up his curls!

8″x8″ watercolor on paper

I had a request from an overseas college student to talk about my palette. The rest of you can totally ignore the following…

I did give some thought to  exactly how it is I paint and it can be hard to put that process into words.  I use tube watercolors, all professional grade.  Student grade colors won’t always have enough pigment in them to get richer colors.   I look at shade and shadow first and usually lay in an ultramarine mixture (and I say mixture because my palette is so messy with color, all colors become mixtures) in those areas.  I will then play with very warm (warm reds and yellows) but light colors for the warm areas of the face (cheeks, nose, chin, ears) and then do the same with cool colors (blues, lavenders) for the cooler areas like under the eyes, temples, upper lip.  I let some of the colors mix on the paper.

Step away from the paper and look at it for a distance.  The one thing that always surprises me is that although my colors look rich and deep up close under the table light, if I put them up and look at them 10 feet away, they are always washed out and too pale.  So I go back and deepen up everything and try to be bolder with the color.

To get drips, make the paint thin and flooded then stand the paper upright and tap (or pound) the edge on the table until the paint starts to drip.  You may have to add more thin paint to help the drips develop.  Practice this before you do it to a great piece!  Keep a paper-towel in your hand to pick up excess or too dark color immediately.  For fun, after your drawing is on the paper but before you have started actually painting it, wet your paper and float light-in-value colors on your paper.  Let that totally dry and then proceed like above.  This will add interest to the colors on the face and can be a fun technique.  Note that I did not do that to the piece above.  Since I know this sweet boy and was trying  to capture his likeness more than I wanted to paint for fun, I was rather tight with my drawing and painting.

This isn’t much of a tutorial but I hope it helps for what it’s worth.  I will think about how I could document and share the painting process.  Good luck with the studies!


Angry Fish

July 25, 2012

I haven’t had much desire to create but I want to have that desire again so I forced myself to start small (very small) this evening.  Here is a goldfish that looks quite angry, doesn’t he?  I wonder why.  One of those silly questions to start conversation when my kids were younger was “would you rather be a bird or a fish?”  I said fish.  Birds have the ability to move in 3 dimensions as do fish, but birds have to work hard to do so.  Fish have it easy because of the buoyancy of water.  I think it would be nice to just float around all day and not get prune-y.

It is hard to come back to my blog after a difficult hiatus.  I am sadden to tell you that my mother, Julia Evatt,  died July 12.  Her battle with pancreatic cancer didn’t last long enough to even call it a battle.  It was barely a struggle.  My mother didn’t loose though, she won, because she is now in perfect peace.  But she was my best critic and I will miss her comments here among many other things.  She was an accomplished writer/poet and artist.  I hope you don’t mind me sharing her work as I discover more of it.  Here is a poem from her journal in 2006.   I think she would be fine with me sharing it with you…