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Friday, December 5, 2014

Tight As A Drum


I was tight as a drum yesterday when I attempted to sketch this woman. She went down 
Iike a hack's cartoon. I blamed it on my supplies.   My WC cold press block was too big.  The paper too good.   My paint pads were too limited. I bought the good stuff not the kid's set with hot pink, silver, gold AND GRAY!  I need gray!  Today, I figured what the hell and let into it. It's a bit better. It's looser. But not a keeper.  I opened ArtRage on my iPad and again just colored. The marks turned into a foot soldier in the ruins of Afganistan.  



  1. Nice freedom works to warm your watercolor hand.
    In your watercolor palette you have all the gray,that you want by mixing two complementary colors, if you do not have neutral tint.
    Watercolorist loves mix your own gray because Is more expressive than useful neutral tint made by manifacturers.
    The color that you put first changes the gray. If you mix red + green, gray is different than mixing green + red. Orange+blue or yellow+ violet give many beautiful gray. When you see the gray you love, repeat it and be HAPPY!!! Have nice week end.

    1. Rita, do you really think I don't know that, after a lifetime of painting in acrylics and now oils? I'm using pads of paint, not tubes. The amount of mixing I do is two colors--complementaries mostly and often a dash of the tertiary color. That's it. Wet into wet is the only technique. I don't want to hang around waiting for layers to dry. I want to just splash. A ready made gray lets me tone down--dirty up-- the pure colors quickly. The cheap set I brought with me last year saved a lot of mixing time. I miss it. It's in the bar cupboard back home. Tomorrow I'll try again color only-- limited palette--ultramarine, transparent red oxide, or whatever the watercolor name for that color is and yellow ochre. Probably a dash of black here and there. Then maybe do a draw in?

    2. Go easy on yourself. You are on vacation!!!
      The painting has a freshness of tropical colors you are obviously missing out on admiring ... AND... before I read Roth's comedy hour critique, I was in love with the aqua next to the yellow green... next to the blue of the chair, the shape of the black glasses and the red book and...thinking this gal certainly knows how to quickly get the essence of place and time.
      So I have to ask, is it raining. Is it all gray?
      No? So maybe, dear Linda, you were actually painting what you were seeing and feeling, but critiquing it with the venetian school eye.
      I hope to see more color in the next few days. (Do you still love me????)

    3. I'll always love you Julie. We're birds of a feather. I've never met you, but I know we'd have an electrifying friendship, the kind I cherish for the stimulation.

      I do hate fowling up :-)) great paper. So I think you're seeing fear in this. After a STIFF drawing day one, I deliberately washed in whatever and added some elements throwing light considerations to the tropical winds. The picture picked up in interest. A little girl floated by and asked her dad, what is she doing? The dad said, the lady is painting. The little girl said more loudly what do you think she's painting? He said I don't know. The little girl said WHAT IS SHE PAINTING looking at me. I smiled and said a picture for my mom to put on her refrigerator; does your mom have your pictures on her refrigerator? No, she said, on my door. What are you painting? I showed her my picture. She said, Mommy. Dad said, mommy does like to read. I may give this kid my markers, not the paper.

      Met a woman from Las Vegas. She was telling me all about her retirement community. I looked it up online and saw they only had a pottery room in their center clubhouse. I mentioned that to her when I ran into her on the beach. And told her I was a painter. She said, me too! I'm a portrait painter. Well we had to share photos of our work of course. I felt better about this painting when I saw hers. She's a neat watercolorist who takes the necessary pains. On holiday, I don't want any pains. I got enough waiting for me with my Venetian self portrait. But, I have to tell you, that painting, as tedious as it was, is knocking folk's socks off. I don't know to be pleased or upset? Later for that.

      Today, splash first, draw maybe. Subject? Whoever is sitting across from me. Paint fast. Sketch. No masterpieces.

  2. Vacation? Sound familiar? it's what you are supposed to be on! Relax ... enjoy, so if the woman reading the book turns out to be less than you wanted then throw sand on her ... it doesn't matter... go get some wine. I hope by the time you get this you've unwound and are getting some battery charging time in.

    The foot-soldier 'floats my boat' .

    Having said all that ... vacations bore me to distraction.

    1. That's why I pack my crayons! I must have my toys!

      I don't know where that soldier came from. I haven't been watching the news. I must have deep seated feelings for these beautiful young men in harms way? IPad painting is great fun. Look up Reclinerart online. She does Matisse inspired cut-outs and iPad art. She's terrific and has inspired me to investigate the possibilities further. The iPad is great for sketching folks without them knowing. The woman I washed out knew I was painting her and kept fidgeting. When I'm on my iPad everybody thinks I'm gaming or on line or messaging. They have no idea I may be photographing them or drawing them.

      Being out in the field is also jarring me. I am a studio recluse at heart. Lucky thing this holiday is a long one. I have time to adjust my methods.

  3. Linda sorry if I take so seriously your complain over lack of gray. You are so skilled on all mediums colours that there is no need to suggest anything .
    Enjoy your great holiday journey.

    1. Not to worry. Your comment just struck me funny after knowing each other's work for so long. When painting wet into wet, I like to do as little mixing as possible. These Grumbacher sets are basically primary, secondary and tertiary pads plus white. White is the only one in the tube. I should have tried out the supplies I bought before I left home, but never got to it. I was too busy trying to finish that monochrome. I didn't do that either. Today was a better day. Nothing spectacular. Nothing close to your level, but enough to satisfy my need to hold a paint brush. My little girl friend, (she's about four), thought my meager efforts were wonderful. I liked her painting too. :-))