This set was painted using a single tube of Phtalo Blue watercolor from my watercolor set. The paper is 140 lb cotton watercolor paper. I am really enjoying the challenge of creating an entire painting with just a single tube of watercolors. Perhaps I will try making a larger one some time in the future.
Both this set and the set of watercolors in Yellow Ochre are based on photographs I took of the local forests and landscape. I saw a marked improvement in my art as soon as I started working from not just reference images, but reference images that I took myself or things that I have right in front of me. I think that having seen the thing in person helps give life to the art.
I spotted these fluffly little flowers while walking along the road. The flowers sure are blooming late- see all the fresh, crunchy leaves on the ground?
Edit: I have learned these are called Blue Mistflowers.
Again using my Speedball Acyrlic Ink and Crow Quill set, I made a drawing based off a photograph I took of a local stream. I used to do really intricate pen and ink work all the time several years ago. It was really nice to get back into it.
I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing that acrylic ink. It has been nothing but trouble with technical issues- first the false waterproofness, and now? It smudges when I erase faint pencil lines from underneath it. I was able to save what had smudged, however, I don’t want to get more of this ink once I’ve used up what I have.
This is an American plant that is EVERYWHERE and very difficult to remove from the garden due to its enormous taproot. If you leave even a bit of the root, the entire plant comes back next season, and the root goes very far into the ground. To top it off, the plant is poisonous to humans (though songbirds eat the berries just fine), and so you have to be careful with it. Colonial Americans would use the fermented berries as an ink to write with, and my research shows that it was a lovely red-purple color, like the darker part of the berry stems on this image. I would love to have the opportunity to use for my art such a beautiful ink made of plants native to my home (though I’d have to be very careful while using it!)
When I make a painting using only one tube of color, I’ve found that I have about 4 or 5 layers of color. The first is a very faint wash for the whole background, which I may or may not blot off portions of with a rag or paper towel to make a cloud effect. Then is a barely-more-saturated background layer. Next is one or two medium-saturated layers of middle ground. Finally, I have the foreground, which is with undiluted or barely diluted paint right from the tube.
This set of watercolors was completed with a tube of yellow ochre watercolor on 140 lb cotton watercolor paper. This project is another iteration of using a single tube of color to create an entire composition. I am starting to get a better understanding of how to use different amounts of water to create different saturations of color. This is a fun, but slightly tricky project, as if you get the saturations wrong, you very quickly find yourself with a blotchy page of undefined color (especially since there is only one color to start with!)
Taken on one of my many nature walks: a swamp tree in a sandy field. The grass in the front has the tiniest flowers in the spring. It’s like a barely-there, purple mist half a foot off the ground.
This was a really fun project. It’s another idea I found while looking at painting techniques- basically, you take oil or acrylic, then layer several dark colors in the background as a nebula in the night sky, then sponge or brush crudely some lighter color or white to make atmospheric clouds closer to where the ground would be. After that, you paint in stars. The foreground is painted in flat black, and then backlight is added in any lighter color. My take on this idea uses pine trees, as I think they make a very nice silhouette.
I have a small set of oil paints that I’ve had for several years. I took the opportunity to practice with them on a small, 6 inch by 8 inch (15 cm x 20 cm) premade canvas I also already had laying around. It reminds me of some of the art I made in school, using thick paint over a black background to create a lot of contrast (though this is kind of the opposite). I have a ways to go to improve myself, and I hope to incorporate some of the things I’ve learned or remembered from this project into my future art.
Here is a photograph I took of a local oak tree just as autumn begins. Very few leaves on this tree have changed colors and fell, but I noticed that a lot of the local oaks looked rough this summer in general, so that may be why it is missing leaves despite being early in the season.