Muse of the Sea, 11×15, watercolor on paper
Every once in a while I work on an idea for no particular reason, with no particular outcome in mind. I had done some sketches and small watercolors using a mermaid as the main feature. I continued working to find a look for the mermaid ‘muse’ that for me was more real–but not realistic. Imperfections and all.
The way watercolor works provides beautiful accidental back runs, blooms and bleeds, blends and stains. Its one media that has a mind of its own yet provides unintentional options to an artist like myself who loves the unplanned happenings of color and water. For instance the soft greenish color of the mermaid’s arms appeared as I was scraping the lines of the drawing through wet color. I liked the way they provided a shadow-like sense in the foreground and brought a dusky feel to the piece. I’ll be exploring this further…
Lesson learned: Let water be watery.
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I’m happy to help friend and artist (and musician) in promoting her new ‘Field Artista’ compact portable watercolor sketching kit. I have been working with it and it is a fun little set—includes a small sponge, two short shaft soft hair paint brushes, and 12 colors. Two fold-out palettes are very handy and an additional small metal screw cap water holder can be clipped onto one of the palettes keeping a small amount of water right where you need it. Good range of 12 watercolors that rewet quickly provide broad mixing possibilities.
The biggest advantage of this set is its small size—able to be used in inconspicuous settings such as coffee shops, bars or restaurants—or from the seat of your car. Easily sketch with your favorite pen or pencil and then add bold or subtle color—or vice versa. Beginner or experienced artists will find this little set is just the right size to get you started on a fun pastime or provide a new approach for your serious work. Very reasonably priced as well and sold on Amazon at $29.99. Hope you’ll check it out! And please share with your artist friends, thank you.
So go sketch from life, or work out designs for larger artworks, or…
(photo shows a small plastic cup-not included in kit)
(Blue fountain pen is found at The Goulet Pen Company)
In a city like Boston, there are so many beautiful options for sketching and painting that it takes quite some time to make a decision. In a plein air event like this–painting direct from nature outdoors– painters must decide quickly where they will spend their day or risk running out of time. For a painter, the chance of losing the shadows or lighting conditions are what pressures us to settle on a view and get to work. I spent about 30 minutes walking near Trinity Church looking for a position that gave a me a broad view of the main facade, was away from dangerous traffic, had some shade for me to sit in if need be, and was not located too far from the Copley Society of Art gallery in case nature called. I had great fun doing this piece although it was chilly and windy. Nice to hear that someone bid on this piece at the Auction held May 8th. Thank you to whoever you are. Visit my painting website at www.anntrainordomingue.com
How many options are there with a photo reference such as this? So many I still haven’t exhausted the possibilities and I have done at least 12 paintings of all sizes to try to capture the essence of this scene. So much to work with. So much to leave out. The trick is which is which. And that is the most fun and challenging. Some landscape images thrill me, others do not. I use my sketchbook to work on figuring this out. Lots and lots of pages. Each one getting closer to what my sensibilities say is right. Yours, and any artist’s will be different. Isn’t that great? Visit my website to see more www.anntrainordomingue.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive my newsletter.
A bit pinched for time today. This happens at times when one of my regular working days needs to be reworked. I may have some studio time this weekend to keep up with this 30/30 project. Enjoying the “push” so far. This piece was made on a scrap of heavy watercolor paper from a commissioned painting last year. Had a cool color base of mixed dry media which I have added ink, color pencil, and Caran D’arche color layers. Another entry for the 30/30 challenge project on the http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/ art blog.
Here’s what happens when hoping for a perfect day turns into hoping for a somewhat not rainy day. And that’s what I got. No sunburn, no bugs, no heatstroke. Instead of whining about the weather, I made the most of the light mist by letting it help me create the inexact lines as I drew with my whittled stick dipped in ink. This approach kept me from being too cautious as I drew the Christian Science Center building and reflecting pool –designed by I. M. Pei–world famous architect. Awestruck. Good thing I didn’t know this before I started. I did a quick pencil sketch in my sketchbook to assess the overall design of my painting. (Each participating artist was working on a square 14×14 format in their choice of medium.) Because the weather was so poor and threatening to downpour at any moment, I got right to work and drew directly with onto my Arches cold press watercolor paper for approximately two hours. A few ducks checked out my progress as I worked next to the beautifully reflecting pond with white caps at times. It appeared the sky would hold off so I added the subtle tones of neutral colors suggesting the stone surfaces and highlighted some of the reflections in the water at the bottom of this drawing. I flicked my brush a couple of times to add the raindrips as a memory of the day. Hope you enjoy my messy, uncommon, friendly view. Art is available at Copley Society of Art in Boston. http://www.copleysociety.org
Sketchbook image drawn from snapshot of a much warmer time of year on a Cape Cod beach. “Kindle-less”, watercolor, 5×7. www.anntrainordomingue.com