“Along the path at Scuplterra”

9″ x 12″ Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

This is #17 of my daily painting and even though I didn’t get this one done in an hour or even a day, it needed to be completed. Friends of ours had brought us to Sculpterra Winery in Paso Robles and not only was the wine really good (“nummy” as one of our dear friends phrases it), the grounds that had meandering paths were filled with sculptures. 

Awhile ago I had begun a vineyard series and by the time I started on this, I was burned out on painting clusters of grapes so I put it away for quite a few months but pulled it from my “to do” stack a few days ago and completed it today. As I normally work, I began with a sketch to figure out my design then did a textured effect for the background with burnt sienna and finally went in with the detail work. Planning each project ahead of time with sketches and maintaining control of the paint and detail has typified my work but I have a goal to loosen up my style like so many amazing plein air, as well as studio, watercolorists that paint with broader strokes and washes.

Question to Artists… 

I have been debating whether or not to take an online art instruction class and would like to get other artists thoughts on the subject. Staying fresh and challenged in my art is important to me and it has been awhile since I’ve taken a class (which I always get so much out of) but I’ve never taken an online course and need to know if it is worth it. Someone on WordPress mentioned Roos Schuring and although her style is completely different from my own, her work intrigues me and I would love to learn from it. Since her class is a bit pricey, I thought I would ask around to other artists and see what you think. 

#15 Morning Hour

3″ x 4 1/2″ watercolor “thumbnail” sketch

Well, I sure didn’t have to go far to find a tranquil scene to paint! Early one morning, I happened to walk out the back door at just the right moment to see the sun peaking through some of our avocado trees with their great diagonal shadows across the lawn. I have a couple of larger paintings that I have just begun but plan to get this little gem onto canvas in the near future.

Iris’

Detail of a 20″ x 30″ watercolor painting. 

Working quickly to finish a painting using watercolor  has never been a strength of mine. I love the intricacy as well as layers of color and detail when working with watercolor. The challenge to myself is to work smaller and quicker but there are certain projects, such as this one, where I need to slow down and take my time getting lost in the process of painting.