Autumn Brushwork

The leaves are finally and reluctantly beginning to fall, but this year’s wet weather must be muting their colors, so I dug out a photo that I took last Fall of a bright, bitternut hickory along the Wyomissing creek.

A few months back I bought a couple of flat brushes as part of my run-up to painting in oils, but there is still a pile of acrylics laying on my table, so they got the assignment. Instead of a precise drawing I decided to let the brushes indicate the shapes. I had a lot of fun with this one.

Acrylics on Arches watercolor paper.

October Moon

October is upon us, and the crows are on the move to their next perch, setting up a racket that usually means they are trying to dislodge a hawk from their territory.

Sometimes I luck out with the wet-in-wet technique and I keep a watercolor looking watery. This is glazed, light to dark. I let each layer dry completely before re-wetting it and adding shadows, being careful not to draw anything in detail.

Watercolors on Arches paper.

Mirror Monday

This was an experiment with watercolor crayons and Yupo paper. Because Yupo paper is plastic rather than paper, the crayon sits on the surface. It took a while for me to learn how to control the painting. The addition of water just made everything run off in all directions. One nice aspect of using a surface like this is that any mistakes can be mostly obliterated with water and a paper towel.

Dead Vehicle

This was going to be my entry in an online painting challenge, run by James Gurney on his blog Gurney Journey, titled “Dead Vehicle Challenge”. But I cheated – the rules were that it had to be a plein air painting; mine was done in the studio from a photo, so I couldn’t submit it for the contest, but I can display it here. It’s actually my next door neighbor’s car, and it hasn’t run for quite a few years. Every year the blue tarp seems to uncover just a bit more, which accounts for the brick on the windshield.

Watercolors, goauche and watercolor pencils.

Another Sunset

This was the view from the Second Street dock in Beach Haven, New Jersey, at sunset, right after a short but intense rainstorm blew through the area. The evening subsequently turned cool and beautiful –  great vacation weather.

This is a glazed watercolor on stretched Arches paper. I worked light to dark, allowing each layer to dry thoroughly before adding the next one.

I should probably move on to oil paints.

Another Mirror Monday

Another installment in the mirror series. This time, we go back a few years, when we were gifted with another model who could really lock in a pose and hardly bat an eyelash for 45 minutes at a time. This gave me enough time to do a gesture sketch, and also to “ghost” her reflection. We’re still hoping she’ll return some day.

This is watercolor wash on rough paper.

Pelicans, Briefly

I’m not sure if they are regular visitors to the mid-New Jersey coastline, but I have rarely seen a pelican there, much less three at once. They flew over us, heading north. Later, while on a walk, we saw six of them floating among the breakers. They may have been resting, enjoying the fine weather, or perhaps bickering over their dinner choices.

Watercolors on Arches paper.