12″ x 16″ watercolor
In our yard, we have a dwarf Meyer Lemon tree which produces the sweetest, best tasting lemons! This little tree was the perfect subject and of course, it was so nice not to have to travel anywhere to create artwork. Today I finished this small watercolor painting and am pleased with how it turned out. Generally when painting, I know when to be “done” but with this particular project, I was getting way too close to overworking it and had to force myself to put my paintbrush down.
Here is a recap of the process:
1. The concept drawing
2. Drawing and beginning stage of laying down color
On the edges of the lemon and part of the stem, I painted an art masking fluid
The above photo shows the project almost completed and below, the finished painting.
Like the majority of my work, this painting shows my strong illustrator background but I enjoyed allowing myself to get looser in some of the areas behind the lemon. It is my hope that you find helpful hints in the creation of this painting.🎨
Vasquez Rocks Park, Agua Dulce, CA
Tuesday, March 6th, was a windy day but beautiful and the temperature was perfect for painting “En Plein Air” with a group of friends. I am a native Californian but have not been back to this area since I was a child and now that I have been back, I kick myself for waiting so many years to do so. This is a perfect area for so many sports along with photography, painting or just hanging out to enjoy the beauty.
Vasquez Rocks was home to the Shoshone and Tataviam peoples and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. These iconic rock formations known as “hogback ridges” are steeply ridged strata that sit along the San Andreas Fault system and of course, we as Californian’s have to deal with the occasional earthquake now and then because of this fault system.
This area has been used to film motion pictures, television and advertising since 1935 but prominently since 1963 with episodes of the Outer Limits, the Wild Wild West, Blazing Saddles, The Flinstones and Star Trek’s episode “Arena”, where Captain Kirk rolls a boulder on the reptiloid alien, Gorn. The prominent rock formation has been nicknamed “Kirk’s Rock” since it had been featured in a several Star Trek episodes. Taco Bell, Nike and Bank of America have shot commercials here and there are so many more, too numerous to mention but interesting to look up.
I continue to set aside days to paint outdoors and am loving the time but with all this amazing reference material, it’s time to head back into the studio. I consider myself a perpetual student and look forward to the challenge and practice of this technique. I am encouraged by what I was able to accomplish in a few hours and encourage any other studio painters to grab their gear and head outside.
There are so many wonderful sites to visit in Southern California and if you like the desert and are traveling in the area, definitely make a point to explore this area. Happy travels!
Harbor Village, Ventura CA
Some days just go into a 180 degree direction….
I met with a new group to paint the Tall Ships at Harbor Village. It was cold but beautiful and so I posted to share my day. I had planned only to be there a few hours so that I could get to my “chores”. Heading over there on the freeway, I ran over something metal that hit my car with quite a racket but by the time I got to the harbor all seemed well. So imagine my disappointment when I got back to my car and one of the tires was completely flat. I called and waited for AAA to help. The young man changed the tire and left and as I barely got 10 parking spaces away, my spare went flat! Ugh. Another call to AAA and more waiting then I was towed to a tire place to wait, yet again, for the tire to be replaced. It was a really long day but on the positive side of things, while I was waiting, I found a cute UV hat for my outdoor painting adventures, the tire was able to be fixed – costing only $10 and I made it home safely.😊
A couple of lessons were to make sure I don’t post just to boast and to take the good with the bad gracefully. Stay safe everyone!
18″ x 36″ oil on canvas
This painting began with a conceptand instead of sticking with the usual sizes of canvas, I made an 18″ x 36″ canvas to fit my design. I had fully intended to go with a full color, daylight scene but it was missing a certain feel to me.I was going to scrap the whole idea but figured I had nothing to lose by changing the color and with it, the mood. I went with a limited palette of Dioxazine Purple, Indian Red, Raw Umber, Titanium white and a tad of Ultramarine Blue.The underpainting from the original colors show through and gives a nice warmth to this piece. It is quite a departure in color from my other paintings but I’m liking it and it gives a calm, moonlit effect. I am thinking about creating a smaller version in full color but I need time to ‘rest’ from this subject and to paint in watercolors.🎨
I welcome your thoughts and if you have changed directions as well with paintings of your own.