September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 16

So here’s that background I posted yesterday, finished with some retro circles in purple and crimson.  I just felt like doing something simple so I got out the circle template and had some fun.  Along with my trusty crow quill pen, this is the result.

Day 17 – “Bubbles”
Watercolor on paper
4″ x 6″

Bubbles (Day 17)

Bubbles | Watercolor on paper | 4″ x 6″ | 2015


September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 15

I love this piece.  No, I mean I really, really love it.  It turned out much better than I could have hoped when I started working on it.  Another in the Flow series, I felt like using purples (as you can see from yesterday’s piece) and since the only one I own is way more reddish than I preferred, I mixed up my own using True Blue and Crimson pigments.  Oh, yes!  Then I got out my iridescent watercolors and added some silvery blue and orange, which looks coppery on the page.  They flowed just as beautifully as I could have imagined and give the whole painting some gorgeous shine.  And that shine shows up in the photo so well, too!

Day 15 – “Copper (Flow 4)”
Watercolor on paper
5″ x 7″

Copper - Flow IV (Day 15)

Copper – Flow IV |Watercolor on paper | 5″ x 7″ | 2015

Fun tidbit – I don’t change my rinse waters until they start getting really murky and bad, so when I was doing some preliminary washes for day 16’s painting, I used the same water I’d rinsed out the iridescent colors.  That ended up giving day 16’s painting a touch of iridescence of its own, which amused me.

You probably can’t see it in this photo, but it’s there.  Here’s a teaser for tomorrow’s painting.

Day 16 Preview

Day 16 Preview

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 14

Today’s piece highlighted some of the disadvantages of working with very wet washes, especially if you aren’t careful to make sure the edge of your tape is sealed down properly.  And since it takes longer for the paper to dry under the paint, something like this will happen :

Flow III (Day 14) - WIP #2

Flow III (Day 14) – WIP #2

The painting itself isn’t damaged, just the edge that I leave for the tape.  And you can see where the color has bled under the edges of the tape.  In fact, when I’m either really working an area of the paper or the water has pooled there because of the warping, I get spots like this on the back of the page:

Flow III (Day 14) - WIP #1

Flow III (Day 14) – WIP #1

It doesn’t harm the piece at all, just gives an idea of just how wet my washes can be.  Still, the piece itself turned out very interesting to me.  I’ve named this series “Flow” based on how I work the paint in relation to the water.  Now, since I work with watercolors, I’m sure someone is saying that previous sentence makes no sense, but it does.  I use the water not just as part of the paint, but as a component of the painting itself.  I add it, spray it on, use it to manipulate the color even further.  In this case, I sprayed water onto a background and then daubed the paint into those droplets, letting them blend and flow together as the water decided.  It makes an interesting effect, IMO and I love the final colors.

Day 14 – “Flow III”
Watercolor on paper
4″ x 6″

Flow III (Day 14)

Flow III | Watercolor on paper | 4″ x 6″ | 2015


September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 13

And here is today’s piece.  I did it at the same time as “Flow” from day 12 but I added lavender bath salts to create a larger texture on the page (and make it smell like lavender!).  I then decided to outline those areas and fill in the background space with lines, using white ink.  I let myself not be perfect here since usually I’d be trying my hardest to make sure all those lines were as straight as possible.  The piece reminds me of lily pads on water.  I really like how this turned out, especially with the addition of the ink.

Day 13 – “Flow II”
Watercolor and white ink on paper
4″ x 6″

Flow II (Day 13)

Flow II | Watercolor and white ink on paper | 4″ x 6″ | 2015

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Days 11 and 12

So I’m posting late today, mostly because I had to get a good photo of day 11 and finish day 12 first.  I actually had other things to do around the house, hence the not posting until after 9pm my time.  Day 11 took me longer to complete than my usual abstracts, mostly because it’s not an abstract.  It’s a tree.  A friend posted a photo of a Japanese Maple and it just screamed “PAINT ME” in my head.  So I tried to.  Other than looking at the photo while doing basic lines, I pretty much ignored it thereafter, so there.  I like how it turned out, although the ground is kind of neon-y looking.

Day 12 is the first of my just playing around with dripping color onto very wet paper and adding more water to get it to flow down the page.  Added more color, then more water, rinse, repeat.  It was messy and fun at the same time.  Part of what also makes it fun is the bleed from my tape.  I use blue painter’s tape to hold my paper to the backing “board” (for these smaller pieces, I use plastic mouse mats, tbh) and I tend to reuse them a few times when possible.  What that means is I end up with color dried on the tape and when wetting a new page, some of that can bleed out onto the paper.  I used to be all worried and tried to avoid it but now I just embrace that added bit of color.  It can make things interesting.

Day 11 – “Japanese Maple”
Watercolor on paper
4″ x 6″

Japanese Maple (Day 11)

Japanese Maple | Watercolor on paper | 4″ x 6″ | 2015


Day 12 – “Flow”
Watercolor on paper
5″ x 6″

Flow (Day 12)

Flow | Watercolor on paper | 5″ x 7″ | 2015

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 10

And shift in topic and I’m back to my blues and greens.  I’d initially intended something different for this piece.  I have some paper shapes that I wanted to use to absorb the color from a wash and then layer other more color down over that, but it wasn’t working at all.  It did give me a gorgeous base texture though so I tried to come up with a subject to use that.  Thus I ended up with what in my head is a mermaid, although there’s little to suggest that.  Still, it works for me.

I used a reference photo for general lines but that was it, everything else I made up as I went along so any thing odd looking is all on me.  I do very little representational art, partly because it takes effort (I’m lazy) and mostly because I never think it’s going to turn out well.  Still, this turned out a lot better than I expected, so I’m happy.  The green in the hair isn’t as liney looking as the scan makes it seem, the colors blend more.

Day 10 – “Blue Girl”
Watercolor on paper
4″ x 6″

Blue Girl (Day 10)

Blue Girl | Watercolor on paper | 6″ x 4″ | 2015


September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 9

Another piece based on yellows and oranges, but even still, I had to include some greens in there, too.  Couldn’t resist!  Part of my untitled landscapey series, which I’ve yet to find a name for.  I felt this one needed the addition of circles in yellow ink, but they aren’t quite so prominent as in the scanned image, plus the top section isn’t nearly so light and washed out in reality.

Day 9 – “Untitled Abstract #15″
Watercolor and ink on paper
5″ x 7”

Untitled Abstract #15 (Day 9)

Untitled Abstract #15 | Watercolor on paper | 5″ x 7″ | 2015


September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 8

I decided to switch from the blues and greens I’d been using and go with something more fall-like.  I had no plan in mind with this, so when I started adding the lines that became the flowers, it didn’t feel complete.  This time, adding the blue ink lines and dots fit perfectly and I really like how the piece turned out.  Now if I could only get my scanner to behave; everything ends up looking dull and washed out.

Day 8 – “Flower Power”
Watercolor and ink on paper
5″ x 7″

Flower Power (Day 8)

Flower Power | Watercolor and ink on paper | 5″ x 7″ | 2015


September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 7

After the disaster that was day 6, I’m happy with my experiments for day 7.  Another artist who’s work I really enjoy is Stephanie Law and she tends to incorporate spirals into her works in interesting ways.  I’d been wanting to try something like that out and ended up making an attempt for today’s piece.  It’s rough but I’m figuring things out as I go.  This time my blacks actually resemble black (well.. more grey but close!) and I had fun working on how to do the spirals without just drawing a line.  Plus, I got out my iridescent watercolors and added some bling to this piece.

Day 7 – “Midnight Sun”
Watercolor on paper
4″ x 6″

Midnight Sun (Day 7)

Midnight Sun | Watercolor on paper | 4″ x 6″ | 2015