Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Pink Tree

Another outdoor study done in Spring, a little tree with pink flowers - lots of them on the streets, especially in the University Campus here in Patras.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Outdoor studies - Tree #01

This year I managed to go outdoor for painting a bit more often than in the past, and I did quite a few tree and seascape studies in my Hahnemuhle watercolor block, with a newly setup palette. I got a metal little one from ebay (very cheap compared to the professional ones of same size), which is supposed to hold 12 half pans, but I manged to put inside 21 half pans! This was great, because I have now more many choices when outdoors, compared to the 13 paints I had in the Cotman field box I used in the past. Of course, most of the time I only use  5-6 colors in one painting, but I select which ones depending on the scene, light, etc.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Glass and fruits - small study

Trying to capture glass transparency and reflective properties in this small study. Based on a reference photo with the glass candle support, and with fruits added from imagination - thus reflections are not very realistic...

This small study is 5x7 inches. I must try on a larger size, and with a real life setup, to make sure shapes and reflections are correct.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

It takes three to break apart..

And the last one, larger size again (~10x10 inches), where my pears have gone dancing and breaking apart! :)
This one was very funny to paint, trying to go in a bit of an abstract direction, but keeping all the elements of the previous painting. Kind of a "three dancing tango" with all this red, what do you think?

I had to stop doing any pears for a while, otherwise they would have gone to space or something... LOL

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Larger version of the three pears

At the last workshop session we had at the Community Center, one of the ladies was concerned either it is ok or not to paint the same thing more than once. Another artist told her that she should not paint the same thing again and again. While I am not sure what was the reason for that comment, I did explain to the group that it is fine to make first your smaller studies and then go to the bigger painting, and that means that you actually paint the same thing more than once. Of course, except of changing the size, for sure there is a difference in detail and eventually other composition or palette changes between the studies and the final painting. Even when you paint the same size again, I assume you do it for a reason - you improve something, you want to explore another path, etc.
This brings me to my multiple paintings of the same subject. In the winter I have actually painted the "Three pears" 4 times: two small size studies (7x5 inches) which I have already shared in previous posts (I sent one of them to the TAE2017), and two larger paintings (10x10 inches) which I only managed to scan yesterday. The one bellow is the larger version of the yellow pears.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Policeman and Old Woman in Mexico

Two days ago I saw the reference photo shared by Doug on WetCanvas for the June 2017 watercolor challenge, and for some reason that I cannot figure out it just clicked to me, although I do not paint that much people or street scenes  in general. The photograph was taken in 2015 in San Miguel, Mexico, and it was shared by Doug as a reference image with kind permission of bumfuzzle (Ali and Pat) who are a family traveling the world together.

In this study (10x7 inches) I did a few composition changes, to make a better connection between the policeman (placed them closer such that the papers touch her, moved the window towards the left side, removed the heavy metal frame, etc), and the major scope was to capture the light on the policeman, which I think it worked fine.

I think it will make a beautiful larger painting, but I still need to workout some of the "story telling" details.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Another poppy study

It is just impossible to stop at only one study with poppies! Another small study, 7x5 inches.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Poppy study

One more poppy - trying to capture details of different blooming stages. A small study again, 7x5 inches.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The time I spend with painting...

One of the guys on WetCanvas was concerned about the time he has to practice watercolor, while trying hard to learn painting for many years now. This made me think how much time I actually spend these days with watercolor.

I started with my first pencil drawings back in 2000 (wow, it seems to be so long...), after a few years, on WetCanvas, I discovered watercolor and just love it! From time to time I try acrylics, watercolor pencils or pen and watercolor, but I am still learning watercolor. Each time I say about something "ok, I can master that now" I realize that there are so many other things I would love to be able to say I master them... so much more to learn! And the big problem is that painting is my hobby, so I spend about 50% of my time on the "bill paying job" (~8 to 9 hours a day, 6 days/week), another 40% with my kid and household tasks, about 10% with other obligations, about 5% on other things I like to do (e.g. reading, movies, etc), and it is only about 5% that is left for watercolor (maybe ~20 minutes/day). Out of these 20 minutes, I need to put together 2hours twice a month for the workshop that I volunteer to teach at the Community Center, about 1-2 hours per month which I spend to check WC (not much time to post anything), and in the end I have maybe about 2-3 hours per month which I use to actually practice and paint in watercolor - not that much, uh??? No surprise that I am so slow at finishing paintings...
The big questions is how can I change this, and find more time? Sleeping less is not really an option, because then I under-perform to all things, and I will need even more time for each... I need to figure this out!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

9th edition of Patras Summer Art Exhibit

Every Summer there is a rather small (mainly amateur artists) Art Exhibit, which still manages to gather a few good works - from time to time some of the city's professional artists join upon invitation. This is the second year I joined the group exhibition, and I am glad I did, because meeting a few fellows is always a pleasure! It was also impressive that so many people were there at the opening night - which I did not really expect.
This year I entered three paintings, which you can see bellow

There were only few watercolors, and I think you would like to see those exposed by my friend Marsha Gouveros (she is attending 2 years now the workshop I teach at the Community Center):

There were many oil paintings, acrylics, zentangles in pen and watercolor, and a few sculptures and ceramics. To give you an idea, a few more photos bellow

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Red poppy study

Spring colors always inspire me! Red poppies are one of my favorite subjects, and we had a session at the local Community Center dedicated to them, so I had to do a fast demo on small size paper (5x7 inches) while talking about how to simplify the background, while keeping color contrast.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Fishing again - two ACEO size tropical fish watercolors

From time to time I go back to these cute little fishes and paint a couple of them. These are quite funny with their stripes!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Another take on the three pears

Exploring another limited palette to achieve high color contrast, in this little watercolor (card size) I used some colors which are not on my usual palette: Sennelier Pthalo Turquoise, Camel Permanent Yellow Deep, and Rembrandt Transparent Red Oxide. I like the result very much, and I came to the conclusion that I love the Pthalo Turquoise. I am going to test the Permanent Yellow Deep other manufacturers (probably Sennelier and W&N) to add it to my extended palette (I got a new box which holds up to 48 half-pans - many colors to add). I am not so sure that I like or need the Transparent Red Oxide - maybe I just didn't exploit it at full potential. It is a nice earth red, but when it dries it is a bit dull, and without mixing it with the yellow I wouldn't like it for this still life. It might be a good choice for landscape paintings.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Poinsettia flower

I did this little painting back in December 2016, but I didn't had the chance to post it. It is only 7x5 inches, and it is painted on Arches 140lb Hot Pressed watercolor paper with my usual palette (a mixture of pigments from W&N, Daniel Smith, American Journey).

Monday, 10 April 2017

Tree exercises

Not having much time to paint lately, so only playing with the colors for fun.