Monday 27 January 2014

New Palette

As I've already indicated the `Blue Jays' study (see separate piece) stemmed from the AVA weekly subject  `Winter Scene'. I'm hooked on birds so combined the two. It also coincided with my revised palette of 24 paints utilising the new insert I asked Craig Young to make. 

Top Row: Hansa Yellow Medium (Daniel Smith PY97), Indian Yellow (Rowney PY153), Perylene Maroon (Graham PY179), Quinacridone Rose (Graham PR19).

Second Row: Permanent Carmine (W & N PR N/A), Quinacridone Coral (Daniel Smith PR209), Ultramarine Blue (Rowney PB29), Cerulean Blue (Graham PB35).

Third Row: Cobalt Blue Deep (Rowney PB72), Cyan Blue (Maimeri PB15:3), Cobalt Teal Blue (Daniel Smith PG50), Turquoise (Lukas PB16).

Fourth Row: Ultramarine Violet (Rowney or Graham PV15), Raw Sienna, (Winsor & Newton ), Raw Umber (Rowney PBr7), Translucent Brown (Schminke Pbr41).

Fifth Row: Burnt Umber (Rowney Pbr7), Quinacridone Gold (Daniel Smith PO49), Qinacridone Rust (Graham PO48), Translucent Orange (Schminke PO71).

Sixth Row: Viridian (Rowney PG17), Phalo Green Yellow Shade (Maimeri PG36), Moonglow (Daniel Smith), Gold Ochre (Winsor & Newton PY43)

There is nothing scientific about the above selection. Limited palette enthusiasts will hold their hands up in horror and wonder about some of the selections.  It is a combination of `must have' colours and those I just
 happen to like. As far as makes are concerned I choose  many of the colours on price as long as the quality is acceptable. Some of the above may well be replaced by other makes. Other colours are chosen because I just happen to love them, Cobalt Teal Blue, Translucent Orange, Translucent Brown and Moonglow are examples.  I'm trying Translucent Brown as a replacement for Burnt Sienna. The Daniel Smith choices are because they do such great colours although very pricey. Although I've listed Cerulean Blue under Graham I actually prefer the Windsor & Newton version. I think there are several alternatives to some of the above. I intend to make up a secondary palette of twelve colours including Green-Gold, Sap Green, Green Apatite, Quinacridone Fuschia, maybe Indigo and Permanent Magenta. Madness? No just me indulging myself. Different colours for different subjects. 

Saturday 25 January 2014

Blue Jays

This is the painting I did in response to the AVA subject `A Winter Scene'. It enabled me to kill two birds (no pun intended) with one stone. I looked up birds in winter and came up with two photos of Blue Jays, a bird I'd previously been unaware of as they certainly aren't a UK species. I decided to combine the two as this seemed feasible with shared similarities. 

This was my setup with one of the photos used for the right hand part of the painting.

Blue Jays in Winter - 18" x 12" Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140lb (300gsm) Not.

The most difficult party was depicting the snow and this could certainly be better. I added some Galeria Acrylic White at the end but it hasn't made that much difference.

I completed the drawing the day before the AVA session to give me more time on the day. I realise one of my many faults is rushing into things. This was with a Pentel mechanical pencil 07 2B. I did so using Ward's version of Charles Reid's modified contour drawing method. I first painted the left hand bird starting with the head. I painted this as carefully and slowly as I'm capable. I then did something similar with the right hand bird then moved down the bodies, although I also included parts of the surrounding areas so as not to isolate them too much. I didn't want the birds to look like cutouts.

Colours used were blues and violets on the birds, Cerulean, Cyan Blue, Turquoise, Ultramarine Violet and Moonglow. Ivory Black also featured around the eyes and in places on the wings. Background colours included Sap Green, Green-Gold and Quinacridone Rust. Other colours included Phalo Green mixed with Perylene Maroon, heavily diluted. The branches are mainly Raw Sienna, Raw Umber and Cerulean with touches of Burnt Umber.

I used three brushes. They were the two Isabey retractables sizes 4 and 6 - much smaller but longer and slimmer than most others of these sizes. The other brush was the Rosemary retractable travel brush Size 10 Kolinsky sable. This is another nice brush that I've had for a while.

I finished quite pleased with this painting although comment from fellow artists was muted!

Sunday 19 January 2014

The Tufted Coquette (2)

I was so disgusted with my first effort that I've done another today. Still less than 100% happy with it but it is an improvement and gets me painting again.

The initial drawing using a Pentel 07 2B mechanical pencil and using the modified contour method of Charles Reid.

Similar colours and three brushes. The Isabey 6228 Kolinsky nos 4 and 8 plus the retractable 6.

Friday 17 January 2014

The Tufted Coquette

This is the latest bird subject on the `Paint Colorful Birds for Fun' Facebook community. Can't say I'm very happy with it and have cropped the painting somewhat. It's colourful but that's about it.

Lots of scope for colour, too much possibly, with all the usual suspects present.  I think it an example of what happens when things get too complicated so I should have simplified much more. I may have another shot at it this afternoon but am more inclined to do an Indian portrait as I've just been watching the Charles Reid `Figurative Watercolours' video again.. Unfortunately since Xmas eve I've been struggling with a virus which has ebbed and flowed and returned with a vengeance yesterday. I think perhaps this was due to the soaking received when leaving Bath Artists studios on Monday. Still I feel better today so fingers crossed. I've been doing some work on the Kolinsky Sable brush piece but still more to do before I can post it.

Sunday 12 January 2014

Another shot at `Betty'.

I recently posted a painting of a derelict shot-down `Betty 'bomber somewhere in the jungle on a South Pacific island. This aircraft was a Japanese WW2 Mitsubishi  G4M Type 1 Navy twin engined attack bomber. The islands of the South Pacific and other adjacent areas where fighting took place are littered with the wrecks of Allied and Japanese aircraft, and when discovered , if  possible, they are reclaimed by enthusiasts. in order either to be restored or just partially displayed if they are decayed beyond a full restoration. As reiterated earlier the Americans, unable to comprehend the complexity of Japanese aircraft names, initiated a code name system with boys names for fighters and floatplanes, and girls names for bombers, flying boats and training aircraft. This isn't the same aircraft although the `pose' is similar.

This was my setup.

Derelict  `Betty' 15" x 11" 140lb not Paper Unknown (another `reverse' painting).

As so often happens I felt the original  painting was overworked. Charles Reid says whenever he asks students to critique their paintings the usual comment is that they have overworked. I personally feel overworking is the main fault of many, many watercolours, but that's just my opinion.

Putting my thinking cap on I decided  to concentrate on the aircraft this time and  hint at the mass of foliage that surrounds and entangles it. Often I'm far too hasty in approaching subjects and a little less haste and more thought usually produces a better result. There are also a lot of subtle colours in this photo and that presented a challenge and opportunity. After a careful drawing, with the main emphasis on the glazed nose of the aircraft, I applied masking fluid Pebeo Drawing Gum, with a ruling pen, not a huge amount but lots of small touches, mainly on the framework of the glazed nose but also the engine and lower belly and into the surrounding foliage. I let it dry really well not painting until the following day. You cannot leave it too long as removing it can cause problems and damage the paper. In this instance the Pebeo came off with no difficulty so it may be better in this respect than some other makes. 

When painting I began with the nose and put in the darks as a starting point. then progressed to the underbelly, then cockpit and fuselage sides. The darks were various mixtures of Ultramarine and either Burnt Sienna or Burnt Umber. Greens were Viridian, Hookers, Green-Gold with added Ultramarine, Cerulean or Hansa Yellow Medium to vary the shades. The cockpit area and immediately below the fuselage side are Ultramarine Violet. Quinacridone Rust (Graham PO48) is the `rusty' colour, which was emphasized with a stronger mix at the end. I think,that's it but there may be touches of other colours here and there.

Brushes used were the Isabey Kolinsky sables series 6228 sizes 4, 6 and 8. Plus the Da Vinci Artissimo 44 size 2.

It may seem  an odd subject to paint and one that is unlikely to sell, although I don't paint to sell. Charles Reid says paint offbeat subjects. In his case he can probably sell anything but in mine.....It ties in with one of my other interests which is WW2 in all its aspects and aircraft feature strongly. One of the attractions was the multitude of subtle colours, even the greens. I am quite pleased with this one, particularly as I think I avoided overworking and the painting has a nice `unfinished' look. Well I think so anyway.

Monday 6 January 2014

The White-Crested Turaco

This is the latest bird featured in the `Paint Colorful Birds for Fun' community on Facebook. I combined two photos and made up the rest.

My working setup.

I first drew the larger bird at the front then painted it. I had thought I might add another and eventually did so. Colours used were Hookers Green, Green-Gold (Rowney), and Viridian (Rowney). Hansa Yellow Medium (Daniel Smith), Indian Yellow (Rowney), Turquoise (Lukas) Ivory Black (Maimeri), Indigo (Daniel Smith), plus touches of Quinacridone Rose (Graham), and on the tree, Raw Sienna, Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Rust (Graham) and Yellow Ochre (Graham).

Brushes used were the Isabey 6228 Kolinsky sizes 4, 6, and 8 plus the retractables 6201 size 4 and 6. This was painted on the back of a reject painting as it was basically an exercise designed to get me going once more..