Practicing looseness

“I never get tired of the blue sky.”
Vincent van Gogh

With this experiment, I tried playing with different values and staying the loosest possible and it gave me quite an abstract result. I had to go over the trees with a black pen afterwards as the values were too similar…. had trouble distinguishing the trunk from the background. Here the leaves have not started to burgeon yet, but soon…. very soon!

Direct Painting in Watercolour

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Scott Adams

What does direct painting mean? It just means that you do not draw any lines whatsoever beforehand. You take your brush, and your brush becomes the calligraphic tool. Very very intimidating at first, but then you get a thrill of doing it. So for this painting of the Joshua Tree National Park in California, I find that it is rendered very softly… a tad too soft in a way. I should have painted a level 5 value in the end to add contrast but I decided to keep it this way. Still happy with it!

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP
Colours: Yellow Ochre, Cerulean Blue, Burnt Umber

To have spunk…

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
— (Frank Lloyd Wright)

Even though this dog is unknown to me, he has spunk! Like many small dogs that I know, they are fierce little creatures when taunted and show courage and determination. I like his badass attitude when painting, but I really do not enjoy when they constantly bark at you. LOL -) My own big Golden Retriever is nothing like this. He is soft, gentle, intelligent, never barks (or hardly) and is very affectionate. He is also getting very old, on our daily walks he lags behind and is walking very very slowly. I fear that not much time is left for our big guy.

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook
Colours: [W&N] Yellow Ochre, [W&N] Payne’s Grey and [DS] Alizarin Crimson

Just a little push…

I want to remind you that regardless of the turmoil you have in your life, or the errands, or daily tasks, it’s important that you stop and make a sketch, even if you only spend 10 minutes on it. That connection to your creativity will bring you back each day to your creativity. It will help you stay limber for those days when you might actually squeeze in an hour (gasp!)
— https://rozwoundup.com

Sometimes what you need is just a little push and you start doing it. I have been busy, yes busy, but not busy enough to stop drawing or painting as it fills your heart and purpose in life. So I just needed this little push and https://rozwoundup.com/ did it for me.

Here are some of her words, and I thank her.

So here is a dog that she painted that I drew, in gratitude.

Meteora, Greece

La fin du monde est à sept heures
Annonçait le téléviseur
La fin du monde est à sept heures
La fin du monde est à sept heures
On voit les signes avant-coureurs
Les voisins ne se parlent plus
On ne rigole plus dans la rue
Les gens ne font que travailler
Ils sont chanceux et occupés
Le samedi, ils magasinent
Avez-vous vu leur triste mine

— Jean Leloup, “La fin du monde est à sept heures”

Painting done in direct watercolour, no lines, directly on watercolour paper, Saunders Waterford CP. So hard to do and so proud too. Wow! Never thought that I would be able to pull this off. All a question of values… value 2 for the mountains, value 4 for the strokes in the stone and value 5 for the shadows. Still so much to learn, but I am following a path…

:: Desert ::

There is a town in north Ontario,
With dream comfort memory to spare,
And in my mind
I still need a place to go,
All my changes were there.

— Neil Young, “Helpless” Canadian singer, songwriter extraordinaire.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8LYOyqJE7k

The same landscape as the previous ones, but the elements of design are different, as in this case colours. Hot, fiery desert winds and sparks of light. In our sub-zero temperatures here in Quebec, it feels good to delve into a bit of warmth… once in a while.

Unreal II

I’m really starting to have fun with these “unreal” landscapes…. they are pushing me in another direction which I like. They are pushing me to throw in elements from my imagination into a landscape instead of painting what I see in front of me. As an urban sketcher I often see myself as a recorder, a gatherer of information, painting a memento of what lies in front of me, of the landscape or cityscape around me.

Unreal

Je fais un rêve
Chaque nuit le même
Et dans ce rêve
Tout est plus réel et plus terrestre
Où je me vois tout en contrôle
Aimer la vie, m’aimer aussi
.
— Daniel Bélanger, Dis tout sans rien dire.

In these Covid times, days pass and almost seem the same, for a fleeting moment. And then you sit down, and realize that the feelings are real and charged with the day’s differences. The colour of the sky, or the way the sun reflects on objects, the sun’s angle, the days getting longer, if you slept soundly or had vivid dreams, all of these elements affect us in different ways.

Sometimes an emotion carries you to another level in your painting… and this is what happened today. When I started painting this landscape, I was not sure what I wanted to do and I just let go. I told myself that the painting would be my guide. At the end of the painting, when I looked at it, it seemed not real… in another world. Well, perhaps that today, this is my state of mind, and my emotion. Direct painting in watercolour on Arches paper.

Paper: Arches
Watercolour: direct painting, no lines.

Light & Shadows

In art, the journey outshines the destination.
In art, mistakes are golden.
Painters’ Keys

I am presently following a class with Uma Kelkar and boy is it hard… and so gratifying at the same time. We are looking at how light bounces off objects and how it reflects, on shadows, cast shadows, etc. Here are two preliminary sketches that I did. I used Payne’s Grey on Strathmore paper.