13 July 2015

13 July: Stones

Every Day in July's challenge today was "stones." My mind immediately went to stepping stones, so I went looking for a photo that was as close as I could get to what I was picturing in my head; I have trouble drawing just from imagination, and need something concrete to step off from, pun intended.

I documented this one in three stages: drawing, partial painting, finished painting. Here is the drawing:

And here is the partial painting:

One of the reasons for the pause between steps two and three (pun not intended) was that I was working on this on my lovely shaded back patio, and the gardener arrived with his noisy tools and created a wind full of grass clippings. Not good for watercolor!

The other reason is that I am terrified of painting water, so I thought if I could document this before I inevitably messed up the water, at least I'd have part of a satisfying piece of art!

I did not, however, mess up the water. I am actually really happy with this water! I feel like I found the perfect balance between hard strokes that show ripples with soft blending that shows calm water and depths. I like the shadows around the stones, and I like the reflections. I left enough blue to echo the sky. The yellow reflection is of something that is outside my picture (in the original, larger photo, there was a big yellow tree), so I suppose it's a little anomalous, but I like that too. Altogether, a happy experiment!

12 July 2015

One simple, one fussy

Teen summer reading club is taking it out of me. It's great fun, but oh so tiring. So I haven't been painting much. But I did manage a quick one on Friday morning before I had to go to work, to fulfill Every Day in July's prompt for "horsing around." I had saved a photo of a girl and her horse sharing a quiet moment, so I grabbed a sepia-colored Tombow marker off the desk and did a sketch. Since Tombows are not waterproof, I was then able to take a small wet brush and just pull out some color for both tint and shadow. Not the best drawing, but…practice.

Sunday's prompt was "fall." People interpreted it in various ways--everything from sky-diving out of a plane to autumn foliage, and even the "fall" of Adam and Eve. (!) I wasn't sure what to choose, but I haven't drawn any book illustrations lately, so I searched Goodreads for books with the word "fall" in the title and was reminded of this new one from Ally Carter, the first of a new series set on "Embassy Row" in London. I liked her book Heist Society a lot (and of course the Gallagher Girls series), so I figure I'll read this one in the near future. So in the interest of multi-tasking, here's an illustration of that book with a background of buildings from Embassy Row. Once I read the book, I can review it for the teen blog, and use this as the illustration to go with the review! "Fall." Done.

It became a little more elaborate than I planned--I was just going to do a silhouette of the buildings, sort of a vague washy thing, but I started drawing those little cornices and it got busy.

9x9, LePen and watercolor.