Friday, August 20, 2010

Photo of the Day, Drawing Lab, Blind Contour and Another WC WIP

Yesterday morning I was having serious problems with my internet connection, but have since worked on the phone with to get it resolved. The good news is that while I was waiting for it to resolve itself, I got outside with the camera and got some fresh photos. The bad news is that while I was out shooting, the mosquitoes were having a feast on my blood.

Today's photo is of one of my favorite flowers, the Cleome. She is even prettier earlier in the year. The only thing about her is that those long wispy attachments are quite prickly.

While I was watching the Roddick/Soderling tennis match last evening I spent some time doing assignments in the Drawing Lab book. I was having so much fun, I was planning to do more, but the next two were about getting outside and drawing what you see. In the first place, it was dark out and in the second place, I don't have enough blood to spend that amount of time out of doors this time of year with the mosquitoes queuing up to get their turn. But I did really love these two, especially the bug one.
This one suggested watercolor, but I used colored pencils and Neocolor II wax crayons.

I used my Staedtler  Triplus fineliners to add color to this one.

Since it is Friday and I've been meaning to continue practicing blind contours, I have this little drawing for you.

Sorry for the blurry picture.

And finally, I've attempted another watercolor landscape and I don't hate it. It has several problems, but overall I think I can see improvement over the last one I tried.

I'm not all that good at a graded wash yet, but I think my sky is better in this one than in the last.

I like the overall color, but wish the open hillside was a bit further to the left. It is pretty close to the center, which I was trying to avoid.

My birds are a little large, but I am calling them sandhill cranes and they are huge.

My animals are not so great, but I think you can tell they are animals. I intended for them to be cattle, but I think at a glance maybe they are sheep.

My fence isn't very good, but I think it's addition added something to the picture.

I'd sure appreciate some critique of this one, and suggestions for improvement are always welcome.

I've gotta get ready for the day. I am still in my pjs and haven't had breakfast yet. I'm either going to run errands with a friend I haven't seen in a long time and then going to spend the rest of the day and evening with the little girls, or I am just going to spend the day with the little girls. In either case, I'd better get my act together.

I won't be able to watch the Molly Murrah free WC class through Creative Live today, but next week's is supposed to be about having fun and putting it all together and I think I will be able to watch that one. I will tell you about it the Monday after.



  1. Hi Vickie, Just a quick comment. I posted a link to your blog and blind contour on my blog. Cool posting and thanks!

  2. Beautiful photo! And I like your sketches and watercolor. I agree, that fence is a nice element for leading you into the scene.

  3. First off, I LOVE the flower photo...what is it? I'd like to have your permission to paint this if I may.

    Let's concentrate on what's "right" about the painting...

    The sky is lovely! Skies are very hard to paint. You did a bang up job with this one.

    The birds are fine shape-wise. Compositionally, could be placed together instead of dividing the viewer's eye away from the center of interest...just my HO

    Build up layers of paint in the trees, let one layer dry completely before adding more paint and have less paint, more water. Same with the fence.

    Your hills and the animals are fine...overall, you did a splendid job...I'm so proud of you for sticking with this very trying medium. But the challenge is SO worth it.

    I think the Butterfly is spectacular...just lovely.

    Read your email...I have an offer for you.

  4. I love your sky -- it has a very soft feeling to it. And the colors you've chosen work really well. The only critique I could make for improvement would be to make the fence lighter as it recedes instead of a uniform dark value. Your birds are wonderful and at first glance I just thought that they were very closer to the viewer, not that they were large.

  5. The watercolor drawing is absolutely beautiful! Really nice sky =) And the sunflower and the butterfly are really nice too!
    Love the photo of the day =)

  6. This is a huge step forward, Vicki! Excellent! Love the sky, and the trees have so much depth! You have the right idea with the fence, and though I don't think it should be going straight up-all perfectly aligned, I do think some should be vertical. (Try to keep in mind that I'm no expert!) On the grasses, I don't think you should use individual strokes to show the ones in the distance as they would all blur together. This is really, really good. A keeper for sure! Oh, and your bugs are great too!

  7. I think your colour wash for the sky works really well. I love your photo - it's really sharp and shows the beauty of the flower perfectly.

  8. Stunning photo, and I love the insects. I think you did a fine job with the watercolor. Great that you are self-critical, because that is how we all learn, from trying to do better the next time, but don't be too hard on yourself because overall it is a fine picture and you don't want to talk yourself out of continuing - that would be a tragedy.

    Isn't watercolors fun and challenging? I think your sky is great. The thing about a wash that I find quite amusing is once you learn to do a perfect wash you find it is perfectly boring and have to add stuff in it to make it interesting! I am firmly convinced that no one knows that I can do a wash because every time I have one, I purposely put color splashes, etc., on top of it to break it up. lol. I love your trees - great texture and interest. The only advice I would have for you is to paint what you see. If your brain tells you the sky is blue and grass is green tell it to shut up and look out of your eyes - if you see various colors use them. The same with line and assumptions about form. If step-by-step you draw and paint what you see rather than what you think you should see, at first it will seem like it isn't working, and then suddenly it all comes together in an almost magical way. At least that's my experience.