My current pochade palettes are made out of standard plexiglass that I got at Home Depot or Lowes. It’s difficult to clean dried acrylic paint off of them, and it requires rubbing alcohol and a palette knife and a great deal of scraping. I got some new HDPE plastic sheets (thanks Bennett Vadnais) from Amazon. I conducted a test to see how easily dried acrylic paint would come off of them before I cut them down to size and installed them into my boxes.
They are white but they are translucent, not opaque. This is not a problem for me but others may want to know. There are some slight scratches all over these. This is also not a problem for me but I wouldn’t expect a smooth glass-like piece of plastic. These sheets are 12×24″ and 1/8″ thick. They cost less than $5 each.
The dried paint from this morning’s work.
Using just my fingernail I very easily scraped off the paint in less than a minute. I’ll have to keep using this to build up a very thick layer to see if I can pull it off in a skin, but this is fabulous!
I hadn’t been out painting in weeks and it shows. I felt very rusty. I wanted to take a long time on this one but the sun didn’t stay out for long. It got very cloudy and I lost interest in my scene. If it had been cloudy earlier I would’ve picked something else, but I stuck with it anyway.
acrylic, about 12×18″
The ice was melting as I painted. I walked in to my location on snow and ice, but when I left I walked out on mud.
Also, this is the finished revision on that other piece: (**Edit: NOW I think it’s finished. I adjusted the drawing of that distant island.)
And this is what it looked like originally (November, 2011). From sunny day to twilight. Quite a lot of changes to the drawing and composition.
Still not sure about it.
I’m working on some old plein air paintings to see if I can salvage them before I just toss them in the trash. Here are the first two. Both acrylic, 12×16″
This is fun. I’m away from the location and making things up as I go. I can see in the failed versions where I was bullied by the scene and reality was dictating the painting. Working out of my head I’m free to let these wander. As they get more abstract and less about the location I’m more interested in them.
This one still needs some work but I’m considering options. There are things I like about it and it’s much better than it was, but I think now I need to let it wander more. I may play with it in Photoshop and try raising the foreground or adding a tree or more islands… I dunno.
Here are some watercolor sketches I did inside this weekend. I think I’m understanding watercolors better and hopefully I’ll be up-to-speed by the time it’s warm enough outside to use them for plein air painting. They’re still preventing me from over-planning and controlling the painting too much. I may try to get out to paint some landscapes this week if the weather cooperates since I haven’t been out in a while. To me, this is kind of the ugly time of year to paint outside.
Here are a couple of faces from today. The likenesses are way off. I’ve been doing all of these in my lap. I need to get them on my table or easel. And I still need to consider making finished paintings rather than sketches.
I also modified my little summer box this morning. Usually I hold this in my lap on the beach but I added a removable tripod mount on the inside to make it a little more versatile. I also replaced the old hinges with a single adjustable tension hinge. I’m ready for summer! (That’s a 6×8″ canvas panel.)
No plein air painting this weekend. I painted this today instead. I’m still learning which colors lift and which ones won’t. Didn’t quite get the expression on the right one but this is still fun.
With my kids off from school so much lately I can’t get anything done. It crushes me when I can’t work. This little drawing took a couple of days. Five minutes here, ten minutes there. Just slowing down. Removing thought from the process. Some days I just feel like trying to be true to the subject. I’m getting closer with my likenesses.
Tried to keep on rolling with these doodles this morning. It was kind of a dreary morning anyway and I still have a cough.
This started out as a big yellow stain for the face with an orange stain for the ear. I was happy. It was “watercolory”. But I couldn’t leave it alone. I just can’t change who I am and I don’t know why I fight it. I’m too concerned with specifics to be happy with a couple of stains making a ghostly suggestion of a face.
This is all transparent watercolor again. Very minimal suggestion of the head outline in pencil and two marks approximating where I wanted the eyes. I tried to scratch out a couple of hairs by her ear but I stopped because I didn’t like it.
Here are the last two shown together so you can get an idea of the size. This a 9×12″ pad of paper.
A little under the weather lately so I stayed home today and did some work from the comfort of home.
Being winter, whenever we go outside it’s cold so we need to wear winter hats of course. Our youngest son insists on wearing his Santa hat instead of a more typical winter knit hat. I missed his likeness in this, but I’m pushing on and trying to continue learning technique with watercolors. Again, very minimal drawing before just dropping in light shapes and broad puddles and trying to gradually refine it.
It’s really funny when he puts it on so the top stands straight up in the air. He looks like an elf.
Whenever my kids are home I just have to accept that I can’t get much work done. On snow days I have to keep telling myself that in June I will get the day back and the weather will be exceptional. That’s what I need to tell myself to remain sane. Here are a couple of watercolor sketches I did manage to get done.
I’m still really enjoying painting my kids. The first one was tight and pretty matter-of-fact. There’s still so much for me to learn with watercolors that these type of efforts are still part of my learning process even if I’m not appreciating the lessons and even if it isn’t a direction I want to go in. I need to learn control first and understand how these paints work.
The second one was like the last watercolor portrait I showed. There was minimal drawing and I just let ‘er rip. I was less concerned with getting it “right” and the accidents and flaws generate more visual interest to me than the one above. I don’t know yet how much the controlled one influenced this one.
And here is a quick one I did of my oldest son a few days ago. I really liked how the paint bled in his hat. I think that unplanned event adds interest.
I’d like to have more time to consider more finished paintings rather than sketches and vignettes. Soon, I hope.