Sunday, April 13, 2014

Clay Water Pot - PADT challenge

Old Water Pot, watercolor, 22 x 28 cm
I love ceramics. A few years ago I even did a couple of pottery classes, which unfortunately showed me that I lack the required strength in the arms and hands for decent results on the pottery wheel. But I didn't stop being fascinated by the endless variety of rounded shapes of old ceramic vessels and the lovely natural colors that traditional glazes produce.

So when I saw the picture of an interesting clay pot in this month's challenge at Paint and Draw Together I had to give it a try. My focus were the colors of the glaze, so I painted only the pot for simplicity. Although, the carved wooden fragment and the shadow patterns on the floor are a composition each in itself too.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Daffodils, watercolor 28 x 38 cm
There was a pot of small daffodils on my table, waiting to be painted. I've always found it hard to paint yellow flowers. I had to exaggerate the orange of the little "trumpets" to give the flowers some dimension. I cannot wait for all the spring bulbs to start blooming in the yard...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring is here!

Robin, watrecolor sketch
I saw a couple of robins today! Here, robins are the sign of spring.

And talking about birds, recently I saw in National Geographic the most beautiful watercolors of birds. They were by an artist named Karl Martens. I looked him up and found that he paints exclusively birds. You can see some of his paintings here.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jamon Iberico

Cutting ham, watercolor 28 x 38 cm
One of my pleasures in Spain was tasting freshly sliced ham.
The challenge here was to simplify a very busy scene with many colors, objects and light sources. The obvious way to go was to use just a few colors. In this case:  ultramarine blue, yellow ocher, quinacridone red and burned sienna. I ignored the actual background and also tried to use only four or five values. A preliminary charcoal sketch helped me figure these out. I like the contrasts that this produced.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Memories from Madrid

Plaza Mayor, watercolor 38 x 28 cm
Boulevard in Madrid, watercolor 28 x 38 cm
Puerta del Sol, watercolor 56 x 38 cm

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Back to my dreams

Sea and sand, watercolor on Arches CP 140 lb, 38 x 28 cm
You must have guessed by my subject that it is snowing again... Everyone is tired of complaining about the weather and now it is a subject of constant jokes. "Marry Christmas!" has replaced "Good Morning!". We haven't seen the ground for four months now. I know that under the snow cover, there are snowdrops. Maybe we'll see them in April. In the mean time, this sunny painting is going on my wall.

Sea sunset, watercolor on Arches CP 140 lb, 38 x 28 cm

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A change of tactic

Winter Fields 1, watercolor 26 x 18 cm
Winter Fields 2, watercolor 26 x 18 cm
It occurred to me that maybe Winter would be more inclined to bow and leave the stage if I showed some respect. So, "Dear Winter, your performance this year was so exceptional, you managed to impress even the most indifferent observers! I admit that the snow-covered fields do have their charm."
These are two scenes from a little area on my daily commute to work that still resists the building sprawl.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Another beach scene

At the beach, watercolor  on Arches 300 g, 56 x 37 cm
We had a "heat-wave" yesterday, when the thermometer reached 0 C. Today it plunged back below -10 C and so this endless winter continues. And I continue to be in denial, imagining warm and happy times...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Simply sea

Sea, watercolor 38 x 28 cm
Beach and sea, watercolor 38 x 28 cm
I've been trying to simplify painting the sea. One fluid wash first, leaving some whites for the foam, and then using dry brush to add the shadows of the waves seems to work well. The sand is still giving me trouble though. Texture with salt would work well, if only I could get the right color consistency and amount of salt.

And a note on materials. I have been trying Fabriano Artistico 300g paper lately. I like its white surface and the way colors fuse on it. But I find that it buckles more than Arches so, if working with more water, I would prefer Arches.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The wet sand

The wet sand, watercolor on Fabriano artistico, 38 x 28 cm

The wet sand 2, watercolor on Fabriano artistico, 38 x 28 cm
There is a moment, right after the wave recedes and before the water gets absorbed in the sand, when the wet sand reflects, almost like a calm water surface... but not exactly like it...