’tis the season

…for holiday cheer, the yuletide version. I made this portrait from a photograph that I took, and then copied using Caran d’Ache watercolor crayons. These are pretty versatile crayons; they’re hard enough to hold a nice line and soluble enough to draw a nice wash across the page using a brush loaded with water. 

Happy holidays to everyone, however you celebrate!

Sketchbook Studies

Earlier this year my sister gave me a sketchbook of handmade, cotton watercolor paper made by the Amatruda Company, based in Amalfi, Italy. It’s roughly 6″x9″, has four deckle edges and takes a wash beautifully, although the surface falls apart if it gets reworked while wet. So I decided to use it for fast studies – wet washes only, to avoid detailing anything. Two hold-out roses from the sunny side of my home; our pumpkin before carving; and a rogue spaghetti squash from my garden.

Fall Color

Here’s a tree I spotted at a pumpkin patch that we visited with the grandkids. What caught my attention was the way the outer leaves turned color while the center remained green.

This painting is an exercise in value, also known as rhythm. An academic teacher that I knew described value as the lifeblood of a drawing or painting – light values support dark values support light values, etc., across the entire work. It’s a tricky thing to accomplish when using color, so I limited my palette and spent a month on and off tweaking it until I got it right.

Poppies

The universal symbol for Veterans Day is the subject of this post. This is a wet-on-wet effort to keep everything looking loose and free.  I used white space to keep the colors from bleeding into each other and muddying up the composition.

Weird Things

Another year on and our morbid merrymakers are at it again. This time it looks like they’ve decided to carry on closer to home. Weird things happen on All Hallows Eve, so take care if you decide to pass through a graveyard tonight. And, if by chance, you like that sort of thing, bring your dancing shoes.

Male Model Monday

This is a ten minute sketch of a guy who used to model for us a few years back. I’ve been posting a majority of female figure drawings on this site, so here’s a male for a change. I made two puddles of color and splashed them onto rough paper.

After the Storm

This is the view from the back door of our son’s shore rental after a short but intense rainstorm came through, the same storm mentioned in my July 20th, 2017 post titled “Another Sunset”. What struck me was the contrast between the gray sky and the orange, alien monster-looking water tower. If I had any imagination I would have tried to make this an H.G. Wells-type illustration, with laser beams streaming from the tower and buildings catching on fire.