I took several successive watercolor classes at the nearby Irvine Fine Arts Center. I had a terrific instructor, Marlene Gerloff, who gave us the freedom to try a wide range of techniques with a variety of subjects.
I worked on many paintings. However, there were only two I considered successful enough to frame. "Penguin on Ice" was one of the two.
"Paint animals and use a wet-into-wet technique" was the assignment on the day this picture was painted. Marlene supplied several magazine clippings of animal photos. I chose one with three penguins. To simplify my composition, I focused on one of the penguins. It sketched out quickly.
To further simplify matters, I decided to use only three colors from my palette of 26 watercolors. I chose only the secondary colors of orange (Cadmium Orange), purple (Ultramarine Violet), and green (Viridian Green). The entire painting was composed of just these three colors. Even the black feathers were made from several glazes of two or three of the colors. I was amazed at the versatility of this limited palette.
I'm told that the underside of the left wing is purple; I was shooting for gray. I would have been reticent to purposefully paint the underside purple. However, this fortunate misstep added accidental interest.
Besides wet-into-wet, I used washes, dry brush, and the aforementioned glazes.
I have yet to master the medium, but that does not diminish my enjoyment of watching wet colors spread, swirl, and blend with expected and unexpected results.
(I use a Quiller Palette and a Quiller Wheel. I tried a rectangular Robert Edwards palette, but found it difficult when trying to locate the complement of a selected color.
The round Quiller Palette is designed as a color wheel. Working from a color wheel and using watercolors was a manageable way to further understand color relationships. It helped me mix colors in my head - to imagine the resulting mixtures.
Furthermore, the palette and the laminated Quiller Wheel graphic allowed me to arrange my watercolors with confidence. I checked the names of the colors on my paint tubes against the names called out on the graphic. I depended a lot on the tube labels. With an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie, I carefully wrote the names on the ridge of each paint well.)
The Tustin Art League is putting on their second annual art show at Chemers Gallery. Today I excitedly submitted my painting. This is the very first juried art show to which I have made a submission.
A tree had to be included in all art work submitted. The subject matter had to be located in the City of Tustin. From all the locations I reviewed in and from the many photos I took of Tustin, I kept on coming back to this mobile home in Parque Santiago. I tried to capture some of its charm. And, yes, the heart actually does hang in the window.
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. My fondest childhood memories are of those few innocent summers spent eating over-ripe apricots freshly fallen from our two enormous trees, playing with caterpillars, chasing our bantam hen, watching our tumbler pigeon somersault erratically through the sky, and just laying around through the midday heat.
The "New Hampshire Bantam Cockerel" photograph in Tamara Staples' "The Fairest Fowl" inspired this painting and brought back to mind those pleasant memories.
I took a photo of this scene a few years earlier. It was one of those rare winters when it snowed in the nearby hills. My wife and I took a short drive into this remarkable landscape. I pulled off the road and hurriedly took some pictures; I'm so glad I did.
Karin Jurick has posted my drawing of "A Companion of Diana" on her "Different Strokes From Different Folks" (DSFDF) blog. There were over 100 interpretations posted.
My drawing measured 8-1/2" from the bottom of the statue's base to the top of the statue's head. I used an HB pencil for most of the drawing. I used 6B and 8B for the darkest shadows. The paper was 9" x 12". Given the amount of detail, the multiple light sources, and the subtle changes in values - next time I'm using a much bigger sheet of paper.
With each teeny, tiny stroke of the pencil, I marveled at the complexity of the statue. I was continually amazed by the sculptor's ability to create an entire story of the adoration of a dog for its mistress, the fondness of the mistress for her dog - all delicately portrayed with strength and beauty.