Typically I would do enhanced gestures in charcoal pencil during the short warm up poses, but yesterday I went straight to watercolor. First a 5 minute pose.
Then a 10 minute pose.
Then our 20 minute sessions started.
I don’t draw on the paper before painting. There isn’t enough time. I just go for it. Here I got bogged down in trying to get an accurate drawing while painting that I didn’t finish the study. The shapes came together well and I am happy with the drawing aspect of it though.
Faster for this one. Less concern for accurate drawing. I’m not really a figure painter. It’s wonderful to draw from a model whenever I get the chance. The challenge of accuracy just doesn’t usually exist for me when painting a landscape. But primarily I use these opportunities to hone my color, and the color across a model is endlessly fascinating.
Watercolor on toned paper with some white added. This was my favorite of the day.
The last pose I went back to my small sketchbook and was more subtle on the color. I wish I had worked larger so I could’ve gotten her legs.
I painted a tall girl yesterday in watercolor. About 2 hours. It’s fun to paint people with different proportions and different skin colors.
Here are a few things I did last week. Some 20 minutes poses in watercolor.
And a still life with a box. Not much time to paint lately but I squeezed that one in. Acrylic on paper, about 9×12″
I got to work from a longer pose today. I haven’t been painting much lately so it felt a little rough. Watercolor, about 14×17″
Here are the few paintings I did this week. Figure group yesterday. Again, these are 20 minute poses. A little heavy on the color for the first one for me.
Much happier with the second attempt.
Ran out of time for my third.
And this morning I went out for a little one.
This may be my first lighthouse painting. It’s across the inlet in Little Compton. It’s the little vertical blip to the right of center on the horizon of my painting.
I found another figure group today. Twenty minutes seems like forever when you’re in the dentist chair, but when you’re drawing it flies by in a blink of the eye. These were all 20 minutes.
What a treat to have TWO models!!
This was such a fabulous pose. As soon as they got into position at least half the room oohed and ahhed. The pose, the light, the shapes, the colors… all fantastic! I wish I could’ve spent all day on just this pose. Having only 20 minutes was tragic.
Unfortunately, the second model had to excuse herself half way though this pose. It was such a treat to have two models together. It was a real challenge to relate two figures to one another and good exercise to contrast their different skin tones. Here I was really enjoying the play of warm/cool of one model under the lights while the other was lit by the cool light coming through a skylight.
This is so much more fun and challenging than painting a landscape.
I spent a short evening doing some short poses with a model this week.
5 minutes. I lost interest in the drawing and just wanted to try to get the differences in value and temperature of her tan lines.
I think this one was 10 minutes. Maybe 20?
When I started I was using just a knife and planned on doing a sloppy, smeared, scraped, abstract-ish painting with lots of “confetti” effects from unmixed colors. The reality of the scene however was too much for me. It’s just too beautiful here and the reality is more interesting to me than anything I can manufacture with artifice. I’m just not that kind of painter.
Finally, the last week of the challenge is over! I can go back to painting if/when I want to. I have too many domestic distractions and priorities in my life right now. The self-imposed obligation of taking an hour a day as a break was nice and I probably need it, but I have some other projects that need to be completed.
These were mostly watercolors because it was just easier doing this every single day to peel off another sheet of paper from a pad rather than prepare 30 panels for oils or acrylics. It was nice training. Most of these aren’t what I would consider my best work and some I never would’ve shown if not for this challenge. I think some of the skills and tricks I learned this month will carry over into my other paintings.
This is Easton’s Beach (First Beach) in Newport. I tried to paint this one as tight and controlled as I could. I’m finding a lot of the landscapes here don’t need my artifice to help them be interesting or beautiful. The beauty of the subject is kind of bullying me.
It was bright and sunny when I set up to paint but the fog rolled right in while I was still drawing the scene. It stayed foggy the entire time but as I packed up to leave it cleared away completely and was bright and sunny again.
Another foggy day.
Some fog early that burned off.
A hurricane off the coast gave us some magnificent waves! And the wind kept blowing the tops off them. I wish I’d brought oils or acrylics.
The next day was calm so I turned away from the water slightly. I like the banks along the shore here. In the summer they were covered with little pink roses. Now they’re covered with goldenrod.
It was raining this morning but I painted in the lid of my pochade so I was able to tilt it enough to avoid most of the rain. If there had been any wind at all it would’ve been a complete disaster. My palette however got very wet which isn’t so great with watercolors because they all melt together into a big puddle of mud.