Last week’s painting:
I give it a 5 out of 10. And that’s only because I’m looking at it cross-eyed and from across the room and there’s a really nice CD playing in the background which puts me in a good mood, namely Joni Mitchell’s Night Ride Home, and because, by my count, there are only 310 minutes left in the day in which I have to stay sober and that makes me very happy indeed.
So, this (above) is a 5-out-of-10 picture. Well, I am not a 5-out-of-10 kind of person. Nope. Not me.
So today I am going to take out another piece of paper from my stash of specially-cut 90-lb Canson (perfect for doodles) . . .
. . . and I am going to do this:
Yes, this week I am at it again, only this time I’m going to start the bleeds from the top (Literally. You can check out last week’s painting — I started the bleed at the bottom last week, which was very whimsical of me):
Next, I’m dabbing in a really strong gray here (below), which would appear to be far too dark except for my secret knowledge that this paint will turn much lighter than this when it dries:
While the pic is still wet . . .
. . . I will “pick up” some of the paint (again, this is different from last week’s strategy):
I used a hair drier to get this show on the road, which is why there is an unsightly puddle there on the right edge. Guess what’s going to be cropped out at the end of this pic???
Feeling much less ham-handed today than I did last week, I am using my China White watercolor here for this next step, instead of acrylic, since I really loathed the way I could not control the acrylic paint the last time I attempted this:
Today let’s see what happens when I “shadow” these white trees like this:
And then, let’s see how it looks when I paint in the background come ca:
I’ve always said that the only thing that makes me a decent painter is not that I have innate talent; it’s because I’m willing to PRACTICE until I can turn a 5-out-of-10 skill into at least a 7-out-of-10 aptitude. This is AFTER:
And this was BEFORE:
All I can say is that it’s BETTER. Not good, but BETTER. And if you keep at it, my darlings, you can not help but get better and better and better, even if (and this is the lesson of this week’s post) the range of improvement isn’t drastic, it’s still worth it to try, try, try, try again. Example follows.
This week, I am painting this:
I’m doing just the one tree, in the front there. I don’t recall ever painting a snow-drenched ever green before so this is all new to me and you can watch me work it out from step one.
I begin by taking a good look at this photo, to map out where I will NOT be painting — the secret to painting snow is that YOU DON’T PAINT IT. The important thing to understand is that you will be painting around the snow, leaving only blank white paper to “stand in” for the shite stuff.
So, having thought about what I won’t be painting in this tree, I put down just a few pencil lines to indicate the shape of the tree:
I’m using a blue-gray paint because evergreens rarely look green on a snowy day, right?
I’m working with very diluted (watery) paint:
Now I’m painting around the “snow” (which calls for a lot of self-control and attention(:
Of course, since it was a first attempt, it STINKS:
My big mistake was that I had tried to “shade” a big hunk of snowy branch in the middle of the tree with pale blue but it didn’t work. And there is no finesse with the way I’ve laid down the paint inside the tree. I obviously have a lot of room for improvement.
I try it again, and again, and again. (My final attempt is the one on the lower right.)
Here’s a close up of me using watercolor over those pencil makes I drew on the paper as guide lines for my painting:
Now that I look at this pic in this un-finished state, I kind of like the way this tree looks. Maybe it’s not necessary to paint a background for it after all. Hmmmmmmm. [Pause for thought.]
I will probably incorporate this idea into my painting for next week, when I attack the problem of How To Paint a Deciduous Tree in Winter (see below, the one with all the pointy branches going every which way):
And then I’ll put it all together and we will have a complete Winter scene:
To answer your lovely inquiries about our calico cat, Candy, who returned from her three-month vision quest last November looking much, much the worse for wear, and hunkered down in one corner of the kitchen from which she refused to budge because, having lived with us for 9 years now, she knows that basically we are serial cat murderers who can’t be trusted to get within 10 feet of her.
Candy stared out curled up on the bare floor, but I was able to pull a fast one and get her a small hand towel to ward off the chill (it’s November her perch in the kitchen is near the back door and we live in a 100-year old house that is as hard to keep heated as a birdcage anyway):
One day, taking advantage of her dinner break one evening, I managed to slip an additional fuzzy wuzzy blankie under her to make her old bones a tad more comfy:
Then one day I did the unpardonable. I tucked a heating pad in between the folds of that pink blankie, which was an objectionable level of comfort that Candy refused to have any part of. She abandoned the kitchen and found a “safe” corner on the hard wood of our living room, which meant that yes, I had to finally wash the kitchen floor, but also meant that I didn’t have to vacuum the L.R. because we still consider Candy a flight risk (yay!) Eventually I was able to sabotage her perch there:
But you know how cats have a thing for not doing what you wish they would do. One day some big boxes full of packing material got delivered to the house, and we unpacked them and carefully arranged the packing material in a place where I would get to them on my next thorough cleaning day basically when hell freezes over, so here is where Candy now spends her days, giving us the stink eye:
BTW, Candy is the mother of two out of three of these lunk heads:
Thank you, Dearest Readers, for your Comments and B-day wishes. You are all so kind and caring and I am grateful to have you all in my mind and heart when I sit at this computer and type my report on cats and cups of tea and countdowns to cocktail time.
Here’s to us, my Wonder Ones, on this strange and mournful day: