Saturday, August 30, 2008
These are just three of the 163 photos I took this morning. I also processed four new panorama shots which are on my Flickr site. They are the last four photos on this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wcbysusanroper/sets/72157602224060332/ Stop by for a peek if you want to see some sunrise panoramic photos.
I shared these links Tuesday with one of my online groups and one of the artists stated "if God had wanted us to see the sunrise She would have scheduled it for later in the day"! I have to disagree with that notion. At sunrise, even on the desert, there is no dust or heat, all is fresh and renewed. It has been wonderful getting to take these jaunts this week.
I have to add, also, that we realized this morning that it was 39 years ago in July that as an engaged couple we sat on a cliff in LaJolla, overlooking the Pacific, and took sunset photos together. Of course this was with my little Instamatic camera....no heavy tripods, cameras, extra lenses, etc. But, the memory of doing that has not faded, nor has the appreciation of being together then as well as today....39 years later!
Friday, August 29, 2008
After reading some extremely helpful critiques from the WcW on this, I made a few suggested changes to make those pesky reflections read more true to the scene and I noticed a post that should not have been in front of the deck and sent it to the back. Those extra sets of eyes are so invaluable to us all!
So, I am done with this and hope that it will stand on its own now. I like it and am proud of myself for finishing this challenging painting.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
If you would like to see the panoramas I took this morning and have had the time to process, please go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wcbysusanroper/sets/72157602224060332/ and choose the last two of this collection. I am trying to get good at these, trying is the operative word here! At least I am having a ball trying to get these right and I think I am inching toward that!
I am working on two panoramas and will post the Flickr link to those later, be watching for them!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We had such a nice time enjoying the freshly dampened desert, wish that temperature and freshness could continue through the day, but it will get hot and muggy shortly.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I am at a stopping point with this so I can consider/reconsider the value shifts on this one so thought I'd do another WIP of it. After making a few adjustments (mainly at the lower left quadrant) I will remove all the masking and start modeling all those (gasp) sticker clumps. Then I will scratch out the biggest of the thorns that come from the fruit and sides of the cactus pads. If anyone sees anything bothersome at this point, that can't be assumed to be fixed next, please holler!
What I like so far is the extreme sunshine-y look to it, as all cactus should have. Goodness knows this cactus gets enough sunshine!
My friend, Carol Kennedy, provided me with this photo from her brother, who has given permission for me to paint from his photos. Since she is such a good friend and her brother is such a good photographer and gracious with his permission, I cannot refuse her request (comment below) to show the WIPs of this painting. I have misgivings showing it at this messy stage, however! It is also at the stage where I have to force myself to go forward since it doesn't look like it will amount to much, but I usually just need to let it mature a bit and keep working on it and they eventually do turn out fine. I just don't like these early stages.
Carol's brother, Fred Reed, lives on his boat and travels around all the navigable waterways both foreign and domestic, and takes great out-of-the-way photos. This one just blew me away. I have not drawn on any of the wonderful cast shadows from the slatted deck cover and the great value shifts in the photo, so hopefully this will come alive when I can start adding those. This is my change of pace painting from the Prickly Pear painting I am working on at the same time.
Next, I will fine tune the foliage a bit and make the shoreline and waterline more like the photo than it is now. Then, I can get rid of that distracting masking tape and start working on the shack - great weathered wood and cast shadows!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I've started my larger version of the Prickly Pears I did the study for last week. As usual, when I do a study I often do an about-face and change my mind about how I want the finished version to appear, but then I guess that is the beauty of doing a smaller study first. The critiques I received for the small study convinced me to change the placement of the fruit for better composition so I did that. Also, these fruit change color from the pink to a deep burgundy as they ripen in the hot sun so I decided to do the fruit in the more current color of burgundy than when I took the ref photo. I chose a purple underpainting to set the values of this since it seems to be a more natural shadow color.
The image size of this painting is 18x30, which will go into an existing 24x36 frame. Watercolor on Arches 140-lb paper.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I am at my stopping point for today. I darkened the cast shadows on the cactus pads (chromium oxide green with a little sap green here and there and some Royal Amethyst [dioxazine purple] dropped in just for the fun of it).
Not being much of a "detail" person this one is going to be a bit much for me to properly cast all those sticker shadows to show where they are in all those clusters on the cactus pads, but I want to do it to add to the realism a bit and I love the dark colors against that sunlit green. I've already done a few of those in some of the fruit stickers and think what I am doing will work. I also need to soften a few of the modeling shadow edges and continue adding modeling shadows to the fruit. This one and the large one it is a study for should keep me occupied for quite awhile!
Since I like to update my blog more frequently than I have this past week I will add my current WIP. This is a quarter-sheet study for a larger (14x30) painting I already have drawn onto paper and waiting for me to work out the problems in this study, first.
I have the lighter colors of the underpainting done so I can establish location of everything and now I get to do the fun part; making it more alive by the addition of the darker modeling shadows and the even more exciting cast shadows. Now, we can all have something different to look at than the Supai Falls, enough already!
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Every time I pass this painting, still on the painting board, I think it needs something so today I went in and added a few more darks here and there as well as lifted out some lights in a few places. Now that I see them near each other on the blog, I will probably see that I didn't do enough to make much difference. But, I am weary of this one so will put it away and continue on with my rose still life. That one is less exciting to me, also. Must be the dog days of summer, where it is hard to get excited about painting anything. Maybe I could paint something I really like if I were sitting under a pine tree somewhere where it was cool! Yeah, that's the ticket. We will be venturing out in the motorhome in another week or so for a short trip to a slightly cooler, higher elevation place so I'll let you know if that helps! In the meantime, I will keep painting on this rose that is looking suspiciously muddy to me already.
Friday, August 01, 2008
This is another of my entries submitted for the Watercolor Workshop monthly project, this month's is waterfalls. These have been difficult for me but the more I do, the better I get, so will keep on keepin' on.
Supai Falls is at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and this photo was provided by Marvelous Marvin, a guide there who has trekked the canyon many times. He and his wife, Magnificent Maggie, shared a CD of canyon photos with me so I could paint from them. Cool, huh?