Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Travel Sketches - Kaua'i

Sketchbooks, pens, and paints came out with me on a trip to Kaua'i last week. In between swatting mosquitoes who decided that I was a sitting duck when painting (sitting tasty duck at that), I managed to do a few drawings and paintings while out and about.

Out at the beach while some clouds gather at the peak of the nearby mountain. Showers were on and off, but it was never very cold even when raining.

Even with mosquito repellant, they found me too tasty to resist. The price of this lower right sketch was 3 bites. 

Managed to find a spot up on a ridge where the windiness kept most of the bugs away. Only a few lone dragonflies winged about. Huge ones, 4 inches long.

Experimented with a quick brush pen sketch too.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wren and the Howlers

Size: 13x4 inches
Medium: Mixed (watercolor, ballpoint pen, india ink, gesso, pencil, the kitchen sink)
Prints, closeup detail images, and original painting available -here-

Wren woke.
It was dark outside, the middle of the night. But it was hardly quiet as such an hour should have been. The Howlers were out there in the darkness, separated from her only by thin rattling glass panes, and even thinner curtains. The filmy material trembled, even though no air passed through the tightly shut windows.
Wren shoved the curtains aside, pressed her nose up against the glass. It was cold, and made her scrunch up her face and almost sneeze. Beads of moisture condensed from her breath instantly, clouding her view. She settled back slightly, wiped the palm of one hand across the icy glass, then the now cold and wet palm across her nightgown.
“Yowly rowly Howlers,” she whispered quietly.
They heard her even so. Through the glass. A particularly naughty one hurled a dry branch against the panes, and the sudden SMACK of sound made her jump a bit.
“Go to bed,” she whispered fiercely.
Maybe they didn’t hear her.
Or maybe they just pretended not to hear her. They were like that.
The Howlers howled louder, and swirled the dry leaves she had spent all afternoon raking into a mad Autumn-colored confetti.

 * * *
Some in progress stages.

Early on, after splattering ink and medium and letting it dry. And then forgetting about it for several months in my drawers.  Pulled it out and started picking out fox-spirit-creatures.

Further development, using ballpoint pen, and white gel pen to push shadows and pull out highlights. 

Afterwards, glazed with light washes of watercolors, just to tint areas.

Added the girl towards the end on impulse.  Needed something to anchor all the amorphousness, and a touch of color. The puppy looks like my brother's border-collie-mix. :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fox Spirits

I had this particularly nifty piece of textured/painted board that I had prepared back in May when I was experimenting. It's been sitting in a pile of similar prepped pieces, waiting for me to figure out what image was hiding in it. Loved the swirls and patterns that the ink made as it dried on this piece so I didn't want to obliterate it behind too much thought!  Here's what emerged.

Size: 4x8 inches
Medium: ink, watercolor, gel pen, ballpoint pen.
For detail closeups, original painting ($300.00), and prints ($16.95), -click here-

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ships Passing in the Night

Size: 11x23 inches
Medium: Watercolors
Detail closeups, Original painting ($1500.00) and Prints ($16.95 & $26.50) -available here-

Lately, I've been fascinated by painting skies defined by inversion of negative space....

* * *
This was was sitting in the sketchbook as a thumbnail for a long time. Forgot about it, and then came across it the other day when I was flipping through wondering what to paint next.
 Fleshed out the dragon sketch.
 Digital composite of the thumbnail and the more detailed elements of the ship and the dragon. At this point I had the idea to turn the ship into a dragon-ship so that the juxtaposition to the dragon is all the more striking.
 Refined finalized sketch on the painting surface.
 Photoshopped color rough to use as a guideline when I started painting.
 In-progress scan. At this point, I compared it to the color rough and found that the water was much lighter than I wanted it to be. Sometimes it's hard to tell, comparing something on a lighted monitor, to the actual page. The light from the screen throws off your judgment of color and contrast, so it helps to see them both on the screen side by side instead, for a true comparison.
So, after that I went back and sprayed workable fixative on the bottom half of the painting and glazed some more greens and yellows and purples over the water to darken that whole area.