living and learning

#72 Big Poppies~ 28x18~ Acrylic on Collage
(c) 2013 L. Everett Finn
Now that I've completed this larger piece... (with the wrinkled paper applied to watercolor paper... then painted with watery acrylic...) I think the process lends itself better to the smaller scale. While an interesting texture... it's not enough texture at this size. Living and learning.

(Big Poppies are going to try to get in a show this week... we'll see if the juror agrees with me... hopefully not.)

No Peeking While Drawing

Blind Contour Drawing.... What it is... and how it can help you!

Blind contour drawing is drawing the outside edges of something, without looking at the paper.  Let your eyes travel the edges of your subject, and let your pencil match the speed of your eyes. It's almost a trust exercise with yourself. The hardest part about it is NOT LOOKING!

blind contour coffee cup
Put on your non-judgmental hat... seriously, you'll need it. :)

And why would anyone want to do this exercise?

Because it trains your eyes to really look at the edges of something, and you'll probably end up with some very interesting drawings that you can then develop into some very interesting paintings!

blind contour piggy
Click here for more detailed instruction.

My friend and fantastic artist, Margaret Stermer-Cox, introduced me to "Blind Contour Friday's."  She's very dedicated to maintaining and improving her drawing skills with daily practice. If you want to improve quickly, daily drawing is the very best way to go about it. Check out what she does here.

Thanks for letting me share your terrific blog here, Peggy!

Oak Leaf Support... who woulda thunk

Someone sent me a link to some incredible leaf art a few weeks ago... they had intricately carved images out of the leaves.... That got me thinking about leaves as here is my first experiment. The trick is to treat the leaves with glycerin, so they stay supple. I'm thinking I'll need to coat the back of the leaf with some sort of acrylic medium, so it won't crumble... I love experimenting. :)

Striving for Luminosity...

7.5 x 5.5 inches
Acrylic on collage paper

I was reading "Color and Light for the Watercolor Painter" by Christopher Schink this morning. He has devoted a few pages on achieving luminosity that were inspiring to re-read.

Schink suggests that; "To create the illusion of glowing areas, paint your subject using light to mid-range values only --no pure whites and no darks." There are a lot of inspiring illustrations to motivate you in this wonderful book.

So here's my attempt, but in acrylic..... It was so very hard not to reach for the darks!!! This was really a stretch for me. I included the black and white photo to show that I really didn't go past mid range...

When might you use luminosity? When trying to paint lanterns, glowing windows at dusk, maybe candlelight... When the light is emanating from something, not shining on something. It would be a great skill to have in your arsenal... I'm going to keep practicing. :)

Wax Resist and Watercolor....

This was a day of experimentation!!!! While cleaning up the studio (I've been such a good girl) I uncovered my batik supplies! So i decided to devote the afternoon to play.....complete ideas in mind at all...really a lot of fun to do once in a while!

Started with an unfinished watercolor, and painted over parts with bees wax....then more watercolor....

Started with a watercolor....found my Batik wax pen thingy...(i know that's not the right name)...and drew and dripped (accidentally...and then on purpose) with the hot wax.

Watercolor, then used a black crayola crayon on top of the paper that was sitting on a food warming tray turned up high...paper gets rather warm!