Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I am having a hard time generating any enthusiasm for working on this painting because I am not too happy with it at this point and haven't decided how to resolve the thing.  I am determined not to add any collage.  The changes from the last post are:  I scrubbed off the blotchy skin color and then put in cool shadows.  I added warm skin tones over the entire face and hands, including the shadows.  I think I will give it one more pass to punch up some areas.  The backgrounds are really bothering me.  I may have to scrub them out.  I wanted to work in some lettering.  This may totally ruin the piece but when you don't like something, it is the perfect opportunity to go for broke.  After all, this is where I learn the  most.  If I was a formula painter, I could guarantee a decent outcome every time, but where's the fun in that?

I am giving a afternoon class for 26 teachers at the Gallery Concord as part of the California Watercolor Association outreach program.  We will be making Tyvek Envelope Wallets.  This is going to be a fun afternoon.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I didn't like the drawing I had on this painting, so I took all the divisional tape off and put it under water to wash everything off.  I was very surprised that there was very little color lifting!  I thought everything would wash off the gessoed surface.  Fortunately, the walnut ink drawing did completely disappear.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that I had been developing the center top square to a much more finished state, didn't like it and now it didn't match the other eight.  Fortunately, the Mr. Clean magic white foam cleaning square scrubbed off the extra paint and I was able to get that section to look like the others.  I redrew the images with a dip pen and acrylic ink.  I decided not to re-tape the sections and painted them in with the acrylic ink instead.  Now I have to neutralize the backgrounds a bit and subdue the pattern so it is more subtle.  I am really feeling my way along with this painting.  I'm not sure I will like it when I am done but we'll see how things go.  One thing I re-learned is to work all the panels at the same time so they stay related.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


This iPad drawing was done sitting on the patio of the beautiful Four Seasons hotel in Santa Barbara.  My oldest grandson graduated this past weekend from UCSB and we were going to have a celebratory dinner at this elegant place.  

While we were gone, we had to have the house tented and fumigated to get rid of termites.  I spent two days putting vulnerable food stuffs in large double plastic bags, moving house plants out and then another day unpacking everything and putting it away!  Naturally, there was extra cleaning when the shelves are bare and the refrigerator is empty.  No way around this drudge work but everything looks great now except the plants.  I think we will have to start over and replace most of them.  Oh well, they are just plants.  So far we haven't keeled over so I guess our bagged food was safe!  Needless to say, I have not done much art work at all this past week, but I am excited to get back into the studio again.

I have not received my copy of Splash 12Splash 12 The Best of Watercolor: Celebrating Artistic Vision but someone sent me a lovely note and told me my painting is on page 60!

I also received a note from the editor of a new gorgeous watercolor magazine from France, L'Art de l'Aquarelle, that the latest issue is on the news stands now and I am in this issue.  Barnes and Noble does not carry this magazine but I think Borders does.  Unfortunately, they closed the Borders near my home, so I will have to hunt one down!  He will be sending me a complimentary copy.  

On a down note, I did not get into the San Diego Watercolor Society International Show this year.  I share this because it is important to know that there are no guarantees and life is full of ups and downs.  

Sunday, June 5, 2011


This is my next version of this charming young man.  Fortunately the drawing is done with walnut ink which is very water soluble so I am hoping I will be able to dissolve the brown "dots" once I start adding color.  Some of the  drawings are less than ideal but I should be able to make some corrections along the way.  This one may not come out the way I hope, but it's just a piece of paper.  Tomorrow I will start adding color.  I hope to have it finished in a few days.  Planning takes the longest but it pays off in the end. There are still plenty of decisions to be made .

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I ordered a new tool for the iPad, called a Nomad Brush.  It is a special brush that has bristles that activate the screen.  This is my first painting totally using the Nomad Brush.  I used the Sketch Club app.  The brush works on all of the art programs, so lots of opportunity to experiment. 

I have been working on a major painting but nothing to show yet.  Perhaps tomorrow.

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