Sentries

071516-Courtyard-PalmsThe queen palms serving as sentries for the mighty Date Palm. This is a favorite spot of mine in the landscaping, and these palms always seem so majestic. The viewpoint is a little below grade, from down among the blocks in the water feature. The decorative grasses are only about a foot tall, but I’m eye level to them here.

Laid out with the Kuretake #40 brush pen initially, then washed with color. The foremost palm frond and a few other points employ gouache, although the highlights on the date palm trunk are saved whites. Painted across the spread in my sketchbook.

Cobalt blue, green apatite, some PO62 to mute the blue and Jane’s gray mix for the background black glass building. The palm trunks are Raw Umber (with and without cobalt) and there’s a little PY129 and Naple’s Yellow among the greenery. Oh, and the shrubs are Jadeite. Nine pigments – no limited palette here! At least not for me.

Found: Lighthouse in Progress

Boulder Point Lighthouse IPWent rooting through a paper drawer this weekend, and look what I found! Don’t remember when I started it, must have been 2013 or so. I recall being disappointed with the sky at the time and sort of abandoned the effort. Last night, it started looking good! Some paintings just need to age apparently. Now I like it – time to finish it!

I wondered if this was the lighthouse at Orfordness in East Anglia, but the tops are different. This must therefore be a made-up lighthouse, probably as an excuse to paint the dramatic sky.

Beach House

121315-Sunset-Bch-HouseHad a rare opportunity to really put some time into a plein aire painting today. I spent most of the day working on this, from a very careful base sketch to laying in all the paint. The house really is shaped like a paralellogram! It’s old, it’s built right on the beach and it has obviously settled over the decades. To be honest, I’d love to live in it. That third floor has a window looking over the sea – guess which room would be my studio?

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Sunset Evening

120515-Sunset-TankersAh, the tankers at sunset. Spent a lovely hour or two sketching while the sun went down. We were there late enough for the tankers’ lights to come on, so I dabbed those in with a bit of Bleedproof White. Otherwise, that’s cobalt, PO62, and a dash of PO73.

Tankers were not the only thing in view this evening – in addition to the usual birds and porpoises, I made friends with a beetle.
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A Banner Day – Osprey En Plein Aire

090515-HCP-OspreyThis was an unforgettable trip to the park – I was painting a fairly nondescript landscape of the pond when a man passed by, and asked if I had seen the osprey. I hadn’t, and of course asked him where it was. He pointed – maybe 20 feet away and practically over my head! All that time there was a fabulous bird of prey right out in the open, and I missed him completely!

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Another Lighthouse Paper Test: Fabriano Cold Press

100714 Fabriano CP lighthouse test_CCI find lighthouses are irresistible subjects when I want to test some paper… there is no better excuse to paint a sky!

This is some 140lb Fabriano Cold Press that I’m considering for the next sketchbook. Have been using various brands of 140lb rough for the last three books and decided to change it up a bit. I like using something different in each, keeps me from getting stagnant.

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A Repair Job – American Avocet

082314 AAvocet MaskingI decided to paint a series of shorebirds on some of those lovely Garza Papel sample sheets. For extra fun/practice I am doing them without sketching first, just put up a ref and dive in. The Great Blue (heron) turned out nice, so I decided to do an American Avocet next. It was an adventure! I thought others might benefit from seeing a rescue operation in progress.

The short version: Better to plan ahead than try to fix things!

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The Great Blue

The-Great-Blue-081214Testing a free sample of Garza Papel. I’m in love!! They have a standing offer for free samples, which I highly recommend if you’ve never used their paper. Now that I’ve tried it, I’m dying to purchase and make a sketchbook out of it… have to save up first though. It will be worth it.

Cobalt blue PB28 and Burnt Sienna PBr7. I mixed the samples up accidentally, this one feels like 140lb CP. It’s about 5.5″ x 7.5″.

The reference was a Great Blue Heron, although the red came on too strong and it’s looking more like a Little Blue Heron. Oh well. No base sketch, I just went right in with a wet brush, for the challenge.

Originally posted on WetCanvas.com.