In my short life (nine years) as a professional illustrator, there is one thing that I can’t paint, and that’s what we will be painting today. Yay. I can feel the excitement from you Dear Readers already.
But first, we need to lead with the cats:
And this just in:
Prince Harry is going to marry his American sweetheart! I, of course, watched the video of their engagement announcement on Monday in London and it was clear that these two people are smitten. She’s gorgeous and intelligent and fun and kind (so I read), and Harry is a Prince and I’m happy for them and they make a beautiful couple.
But I also noticed the height discrepancy and had to look it up. Prince Harry is on record as being 6’1″. Meghan Markle is supposed to be 5’7″ (that’s one zillionty-two centimeters for those of you who think metric, but maybe not; I’m not good at math). Meghan was wearing heels that added at least three inches to her height (I looked it up; her shoes have a 4.1″ heel…YIKES), so that would, in theory, make her 5’11” in this picture. Well, I don’t think so.
This is why I love the internet: I found a site called celebheights.com and it has been discussing Meghan Markle’s real height for about three years. The inside info is that she’s maybe 5’4″ TOPS, but someone who worked with her PR people says she’s only 5’2″, but she’s very slim, so that makes her look taller.
So, yeah, I have a lot of free time on my hands if I’m looking up stuff like Meghan Markle’s real height. But I also do productive stuff, such as solving the problem of the day.
Back to the problem of the day:
Before Claude Monet gave up painting genre pictures to concentrate of doing abstract water lily landscapes, he was quite good at painting sunlight:
I would love to be able to paint sun-dappled grass like this (see above).
Or, I’d love to be able to paint sun-dappled shade, like this:
But my problem is that I can’t do the dapple.
Dapple: the light that flickers between sun and shade.
It’s very hard to paint. Really, really hard.
Now, I’ve done a Triscuit or two, in which I have achieved a small dapple effect, one from Monet’s own garden at Giverny:
This next Triscuit dapple is a scene from my own village here on the Long Island Sound:
I have also achieved a semblance of dapple in several other small illustrations and studies for other projects:
So last week I attempted to do a dapple in the part of Monet’s garden at Giverny that is called The Ladies Circle (if you’ve been to Monet’s place, it’s that semi-circle of benches under the pawlonia tree at the bottom of the apple orchard):
I lied down a thin wash of yellow and bright green before I dappled it with dabs of darker green (working wet-in-wet):
The I sjuzzed it up by swiping at the still-wet blobs with my size-00 brush, because I had a recollection that this had worked for me in the past:
Suffice to say, it was a fiasco. And it was fiasco when I did it the second time, and the third time, and the fourth time:
I tried to find other watercolor painters on the internets who have successfully achieved dapple but not surprisingly, I couldn’t find a single one. No one who works in watercolor can do the dapple on green grass. It’s strictly an oil paint thing.
So I decided to go for a more, um, impressionistic look and this is what I got:
I painted this picture in true proportions to my photo reference, but those benches just don’t look right as they are. They need to be embiggened, even if they are not so in the real world — so I will be be re-doing this pic in the near future. But I did manage to do a nice study of one of those benches (the design was Monet’s own favorite), and the tea table that I put in front of it is a quote from one of Mr. Monet’s own pictures:
I never cared for one of Monet’s fellow impressionists, Pierre-August Renoir, but he’s been in the news lately because of this:
Maybe you heard about the fake Renoir that der Drumpf has hanging in his glitzy Trump Tower apartment? The one that he still brags is “real”, even though the Chicago Institute of Art has had the authentic Renoir painting on display since 1933 and can substantiate its provenance from 1881, when the artist painted it and sold it to a dealer in Paris. It’s called Two Sisters on a Terrace and I don’t care for it at all, except that I LOVE it for being evidence of der Drumpf’s delusions that even his nut job fans can’t possible defend. I mean, even a nut job crypto-Nazi half-wit has to believe his own eyes, right?
Just remember this the next time you hear der Drumpf claim that the news is fake, that he turned down Time magazine’s cover for Person of the Year, and that voice on the recording isn’t his. I hope and pray that no one from der Drupf’s family is invited to Prince Harry’s wedding, oh lordy, the next thing you know der Drumpf will be telling us that Harry wanted him to be Best Man because of his close friendship with the late Princess Diana.
Luckily, as the Prince is only 5th in line to the throne of England, I think the wedding will be a personal rather than a state affair, so the happy couple will be free to exclude any head of state whose every word is a nugget of steaming puss oozing from its filthy rotten lying orifice, or any creep they just don’t like.
As you see here, Renoir couldn’t dapple either.
Have a great weekend, Dear Readers. It’s beginning to feel like Winter here on Long Island, so wherever you are stay warm and cozy…
…or stay cool, whichever make you feel dappled and drowsy and groovy.
See you next Friday!