Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Negative Painting

This particular practice painting uses several techniques, which I will not go into detail about, but I did want to tell you about one of them--negative painting.  I have already tried this in a previous exercise and you saw it in a previous post--here--the white leaf. 

Basically you leave a particular item shape white and paint the color around the object.  Here, I have left the farm house, water tank and a couple of other items white--actually white all around the sketch marks.  Then I have painted the background tree cover leaving the house and items white.   Then a little bit of shading is required for the finish. BTW--I am still not pleased with my wet on wet!

P.S. This was also a lesson from Hilary Page's book, Watercolor Right from the Start -- Lesson on One point perspective

P.S.S.  If you are following along, I'm going thru a watercolor crash course for my own review in preparation for illustrating my Grandma Books.  If you are interested in watercolor or children's literature you can begin following the process here!  From there check each newer post to the present.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wet on Wet

Still practicing wet on wet techniques.  Another lesson from Hilary Page (see a previous post.) This turned out much better, I think.  I wish I would have taken pictures all along the way, but I didn't think of it in time. I first clear water wet the space for a particular color. I then dropped in the color and let it spread at will.  I did this for each separate color.  This left the flowers and leaves undefined. After it was dry , the finish was to define the petals and stems with a dry brush technique.  hmmm  . . . . I wonder if hubby thinks this one is unfinished, since I didn't use a wash on the background???

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Next Illustration

It's time for Sunday Sketches over at BlueChairDiary and today I am submitting my next illustration sketch of my slippery stairs page for my Grandma Book.  I am working on an image of stairs with snow and may even do another sketch with ice, although I am not sure I want to try an icy one.  Not sure how to handle that! 

Anyway, here's my first sketch.  I think I want to work on the perspective a bit in my second attempt. Here's hoping it turns out well!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Practice for Autumn

Studying watercolor techniques this week: Review

These two little paintings are an exercise from the book Watercolor Right from the Start by Hilary Page. 
 This was lesson two on Understanding the Color Wheel. I really wasn't that interested in the color wheel discussion, mostly the technique of wet on wet.  Although my finish pieces are not exactly like the authors, I did learn a thing or two.  My pieces turned out with water marks more than I would have liked, instead of a blending of the colors in soft lines. I had the most trouble with the purple background.  Although I like the finished product on the right, my hubby liked the one on the left.  He was not used to the concept of the white space.  He's a kind of "Love the finished product" kinda guy, and felt that one was unfinished.  I think the one on the left looks "muddy" because of an allover wash that I used and didn't like, whereas the one on the right has more contrast and is different.  I like different!

Love to hear your opinion, especially since this is just practice!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Process Document and Final Product

I have worked on the scary stairs page until I was satisfied that I have the image that I wanted.  I started work on the final watercolor using a 140 pound acid free 11 by 15 inch watercolor paper. 

With all the previous practice pages, I had developed a sequence that I wanted to use on the final piece.  It went something like this:
First step: Sketching
Next, use a water resist medium for all the white areas of teeth and stairs
3.  Then do a wash for the stairs
4.  Do the lion wash
5.  Paint in the stair railings
6.  Paint the lines of the stairs
7.  Remove the resist medium
Then, the final details of the lion face and stair details.  Of course there were periods of rest between some of the steps for surface drying. 
(You may not be interesed in my sequence of process, but it's here for my documentation and future use.)

Here's how it turned out:

I'm not sure this is my best rendering of this subject but it is done now and I will have to stick with it.  It turned out a bit light, but the entire book illustrations are on the light side, so it is OK. 

Now, onto the next illustration!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Sketches - Figures

I have been getting back to a children's book that I wrote some years ago, letting it sit unfinished when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  I'm doing fine now, seven years later, and now I am  finishing up all the illustrations for it.  (You can catch up on the process in my previous week's posts.) 

Some illustrations have come easier than others--I find that I am not very good with human figures, so I have been practicing!  Here are a couple of pages from my sketch book diary.

Thanks for taking a look!

I have linked up with Sunday Sketches over at BlueChairDiary.  It's fun to see what everyone else is working on! I hope you will visit.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thought scape???

I’m working on some particularly difficult illustration ideas today.   One is for the ‘Scary Stairs’ page. With today’s exercise, I remember, now, why I left this project for so long.  I was not confident that I could complete the required illustrations. As I remember, I had not been pleased with a couple of the prototypes and how they were turning out. I had finished most of the ideas on a story board and actually completed the art for five of them in their finished watercolor form. Where I ran into a creative snag was on the more imaginary pieces.  It’s one thing to recreate an actual scene, but another to artistically record an imagined thought or dream.    I had been stumped. 

Three ideas for the Scary Stairs page

So today’s images are of the process from my first ideas of this page and on to the finished idea for it.  The final watercolor is not done.  I will try to give you a preview later on.  For now, you’ll get the idea of the process . . . . 

Sketch, trial wash, and prototype sample

Final sketch with Frisket to preserve white spaces

This last picture was kinda fun, since the window light was shinning off the wash.  Just added it for fun! Not showing the final painting--wait for the book!

What are you up to lately?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect!

"Practice makes perfect", my mommie used to tell me!  So since I am not as accomplished as I would like to be as an illustrator, I practice how I will draw a particular page.  I suppose professional illustrators do this too :)  First, I sketch the idea:

Then I try out some color:

I add a few more details.

And finally work out the page.  (Just a snippet of it, of course!)

Grandma just doesn't like the stairs!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Practice Pieces

(Ongoing series on the Grandma Books)

The box I pulled from the closet had some practice pieces for the first book in the series.

The book is called, Grandma Doesn't Like the Stairs!  My granddaughter, Taylor, had asked me one time when I was visiting her house, why I was slow on the stairs in her house.  I guess she was used to everyone in her family running up and down the stairs.  It gave me an idea for a book and then a series of "Grandma Books".  (I should be an expert on that subject, since I have so many grandchildren!!!! You can look at my profile--About Me tab--for a peek at my family life! )  This first book is obviously dedicated to Taylor! She is now 13 years old and in junior high school.

Thanks Taylor!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Journey Begins . . .

Yesterday's post showed some pictures of my watercolor paint roll up--Yes, Sarah, I made the roll-up some years ago. I have always loved watercolor, I guess since I was in the sixth grade!  I remember sitting at my desk with my paper and brush, those small paints pots, and little water jars--one for clean water rinsing and one for cleaning my brush.

I always liked art.  My parents spent money for art supplies, over the years seems like, every Christmas. When I got to junior high school we had to pick an elective, and don't ya know that I always picked art. I even had a few art classes in high school.  Other than those classes, I am a self taught artist and I consider myself a sort of "grandma Moses".  Why?  Because my style is a bit more juvenile than others.  But that is OK, art is art!
Art books I found in my closet

When I pulled out my old children's book project from the closet, I found quite a few books on watercolor. I will need to brush up on some techniques before starting my next book page.  More practice pieces are needed so  I'll do a few and see you tomorrow! 
 (Kathleen, I might need some help!)