“In the Vineyard”

12″ x 16″ watercolor

Lately, I have spent so much time painting in oils and acrylics that it was time to get back to my favorite medium, watercolor. I would enjoy hearing from other artists, especially those who paint with watercolor.

Merry Christmas!

Back to Watercolors 

I am not sure if I am the typical artist but I like working with several mediums, I get bored and have a need to go different directions with my art and sometimes, I just need a break from doing any art at all. During the summer, I was working “en plein air” as well as in my studio painting summer seascapes with oils and currently have a couple of paintings to finish for friends but the “bug” hit me and I had to get back to my first love, watercolor. I needed to create another painting even bough I have a couple unfinished paintings. Living in Southern California you would think I would be at the beach all the time to paint but vineyards, harvest in general, mountains and even the harbor are so much more interesting to me.

I wish I didn’t need any rest at all and had all the time in the world because I would love to produce so many more paintings then I already do, but I plod along like a turtle. Below are some “in progress” photos of my little detour from oil painting.

Merlot In The Morning 

18″ x 24″ watercolor on Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

I have been working for quite some time on a vineyard series of large paintings which include acrylics, oil and watercolor. This particular painting was taken from reference photos taken at quite literally the crack of dawn! Although this painting maintains my typical control with the paint, it is more stylized then my usual realistic approach.

Beginning stages of the painting:

Among the Wildflowers

10″ x 14″ watercolor 

Some paintings go smoothly while others are a struggle. Originally, I began this subject using a different perspective, in oil and on a much larger canvas but from the start, it was just plain boring! I should have listened to my inner voice but I didn’t and after the 3/4 mark I decided to scrap it and begin again. I chose to work much smaller, using watercolors and in a looser style.

Process of this simple watercolor:

Portrait In Watercolor

18″ x 24″ watercolor on illustration board 

Whether or not a face is toward the viewer, I love to capture a single moment in time,  as in these paintings. It was a lovely Spring day at Descanso Gardens in the La Canada/Flintridge area of California. In the painting with the water fountain, the reference photo I was working with had these two children in front of a bathroom so I changed and simplified the background. In the painting below some of the detail on the kids have faded, so I’ll need to go back in to touch it up.24″ x 30″ watercolor 

“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.