This diminutive flower was growing on what looked to be some sort of spider plant. I know them better as houseplants, not sure if it’s the same kind, but they grow big and abundant on the northerly sides of the buildings. In addition to the interestingly-striped leaves, most of them had sprays of these tiny flowers and buds. This is probably double life size. Doesn’t look like I captured the light coming through the petals very well – live and learn! This bloom was backlit and shining over some shadowy leaves behind it. I’ll have to try for greater contrast next time and see if I can get that glow in the petals.
The flowers were perhaps a bit more lavender than this. PV23 would have been way too violet, and PB60 was close enough, so I spared myself the hassle of mixing. Leaves and background are Green Apatite and Jadeite, and there’s a touch of PY150 in the flower’s center.
Update 6.16.17 – it’s a flax lily. I don’t recall seeing blue berries on them in the past, those are coming next however. There’s an outstanding closeup of the flower at AphotoFlora.com.
In other news, I picked up a whopper of a sunburn while painting this. I am usually thoughtful about sun exposure and take care to employ hats, sleeves, and shade to my skin’s advantage. On that day, a delicious cool breeze and pretty tiny flowers had me transfixed. Plus, I very untypically wore an off-shoulder top. Add an hour-long lunch break and OUCH. The only thing that kept both shoulders from getting scorched was the shadow cast by my own head! Live and learn indeed.
Garibaldi are the largest members of the Damselfish family, which surprised me. I’m only familiar with the smaller damselfish commonly found in people’s aquariums. Apparently Garibaldi are easy to find if you’re diving or exploring the sea with a glass-bottom boat. It’s hard to imagine something so colorful inhabiting our local waters!
This time I thought to scan the fish before painting it. It’s the largest drawing of Inktober 2016 so far and possibly the largest thing I have drawn all year. Someone offered me knitted socks in exchange for a Garibaldi painting – I figured if she was going to work that hard, I had better do the same! This fish takes up the entire 9″ x 12″ page from the Windpower pad. I put down the base drawing with the Kuretake #40 ink brush using several reference images. Now, on to the paint! Read more
I was fascinated with these insects as a kid! Always wanted to catch them, but someone told me they would bite, so I rarely even tried. Probably a good thing for the poor bugs I believed that tale!
Apparently this is a European damselfly, Enallagma cyathigerum
. I would have seen Familiar Bluets, Enallagma civile. They’re all gorgeous, and always a treat when one lands nearby. This sketch began plein aire, since a Bluet landed while I was sketching the Bird of Paradise a few days ago. Of course it flew off a few seconds later! I found a photo taken from a similar angle and finished it up for Day 7. Not sure I love the Jadeite on the plant stem, but pretty happy with the rest of it.
TIL: Damselfly heads are really complicated! After finishing I realized that it actually has five pieces: two eyes of course, and three apparent sections between the eyes. In the ref, the left eye is nearly hidden. In the drawing, I sort of mixed up the left eye and the sections of the upper head. Might have to draw a damselfly head study to make up for my carelessness.
It was getting late last night, so I decided to draw a tiny thing. Here’s the copper clip off of the keys from Oct. 3. It’s a little larger than life size, whole thing is about 1″ x 2″. Still ended up being some good unwinding time. Strathmore 140lb CP Windpower paper, Platinum EF pen, Platinum Carbon ink.
I think I’m in love with pen and ink.
This Bird of Paradise was drawn, and mostly painted, on location at lunchtime. There’s loads of these in the corporate landscaping; I was able to grab a chair from the cafe patio and get into some detail. The backlit sepals looked like stained glass! Approx. 4″ x 7″, same paper/ink as the others.
The pen was running out of ink toward the end of this sketch, but held out until the finish. Painted the flower itself on location and laid in the background (and a couple of touchups) at home. I didn’t plan to go all Halloween with the purple and orange, but kind of glad I did. PV23 is so deep, it helps set off the glow from the fiery sepals. Think I got the backlighting right – that doesn’t always turn out as intended for me.
The 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.
Here’s another take on Il Fornaio. This time I wanted to capture the forest of umbrellas that shade their enclosed patio. Didn’t even notice, until deep in the sketch, that one of the umbrellas was a different shape than the others. I used a bit of Bleedproof White with PV23 to lay in the flower blossoms over the background. It was tempting to add a few silhouette diners behind the glass, but something told me that would go too far and I’d ruin it. Decided to listen for once and stopped, so here it is.
This is what kind of day it was outside today. Post-scanning, I realized that one of my feet looks like I’m wearing clown shoes. Ah well… this is what I get for diving in with an ink brush all come-what-may!
Jeans courtesy of PB60, Indanthrone Blue which I added to my palette this weekend. Painting on location demands speed, and I have come to rely more on using paint direct from the well (vs. mixing precise hues before applying to the paper). This might limit the hue range to whatever’s on hand, but drastically reduces the amount of time spent before brush hits paper. It also means there’s been an awful lot of people in my book wearing Prussian blue pants because I didn’t have a good “jeans” color on hand! As of yesterday, problem solved. Indanthrone is the best blue-jean-blue I know of, and makes a nice neutral with orange/brown as well. It gets a workout here, by itself and in combination with PO62 for the socks and shoes. Jadeite and Green Apatite were used for the lawn.
Is heaven any sweeter than Blue Jean?
There’s magnolia trees outside at at work. There was also a magnolia tree next door to the house I grew up in. Without my realizing it, that aroma seeped its way into my memories each year and became the olfactory theme for for late spring/early summer.
The first spring at this building I walked out the front door and immediately found myself feeling like school was about to let out. It’s a wonderful feeling, even if I only get to enjoy it for a lunch break!
Thought I would take a break from the courtyard people and sketch this restaurant at lunch. It’s a sit-down place with a quick-serve sandwich shop off to one side – this is the door to the shop. I found a lovely shady spot on the open patio and soaked up some fresh spring air, and painted away.
Just for grins, take a look after the jump for my take on the same shop from early 2012. Read more