September 30-in-30 Challenge – Days 18 through 25

So I disappeared for a few (okay, several) days there.  I was still painting, but not with the verve that I started the month off with.  Not sure what happened.  I did have a bit of an art block but it wasn’t much of one.  I’d fallen far enough behind that I ended up only completing 25 paintings total, which is fine in the long run.  I’ve also created a collage image of those 25 paintings but I’ll post that as part of a summary post wrapping up the challenge.

Without any further ado, here’s the paintings for days 18 through 25!  Continue reading

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 17

Today’s painting was actually inspired by a photograph posted on a forum I frequent.  I just really liked the look and feel of the image and asked permission to try doing an abstract version.  Mine has a far different atmosphere than his image does, mostly because it’s brighter looking rather than a moody evening long-exposure shot along a road.  Plus my perspective is off, especially on the light trails, which is actually kind of okay because it fits better into that unnamed series I have going.

On a different note, this was the last page of a pack of 8×6 paper I had which was bound on two edges to make it easier to paint straight on the pad instead of needing to mount the paper somehow to prevent buckling.  I guess this means I have to stop by the art store to look for a new one.

Day 17 – “Ethereal Lights”
Watercolor on paper
8″ x 6″

Ethereal Lights (Day 17)

Ethereal Lights | Watercolor on paper | 8″ x 6″ | 2015


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