Archive for October, 2012

I don’t have a botanical garden with limitless variety, but nice all the same. There are many interesting things in the garden to paint; alive as well as dead. I find it handy to keep some dead things like twigs and snail shells in reserve. Or dried up rosebuds, wood chips, feathers, stones and such. I painted a few of those earlier this year and I today added some new things, fir cones and sand to my collection. When one takes a closer look at those dead things, it is fascinating to see how well all is build.

I have never looked this closely at snail shells and I find them beautiful to draw. It is also a good exercise in observing, looking closely and see how the windings go, and how the earth and the elements have worked on the color.snail shells and conifer buds, done in watercolor pencil

The very old (planted in 1935) rambler, the beautiful red rose that grows high up the front of the house, has bloomed twice. The last bloom was in september. I gathered the dead twigs, buds and a bud that had fallen of, to paint earlier this year. Also with water color pencils.from the rambler at the front of the house; water color pencil


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apples from the gardenWhen one paints nature, obviously there are enough flowers and such around. But it has to appeal to me. It’s no use taking a very complicated arrangement on, or a huge flower. Amaryllis is the largest I will paint. I try to capture the caracter of the plant or the leave; the impression I get from it. The veins of leaves are difficult to paint, as are the hues and shadows. I am trying different methods. The one I use now: I sketch the outline of the leaf and veins and give it it’s color. Then I paint the whole leave around and inside the outlines. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. Often there are several colors of green, brown and red on a leave and that is a nice challenge. A bit of a puzzle to figure out which colors to mix to get the exact shade. I have some books on color-mixing that I will consult. It will get better after some more experience. Another thing is highlights; the reflection of light in a object, an apple, cherry and so on. I have to look carefully where that will be and leave some white in my sketch. And there is depth. I try to give my paintings vitality by adding shadows. I mix paint for shadows by taking the colors that will be in the painting. Most of the time I start with prussian blue/ ochre and a tiny bit of olive-green. The shadows have to be sharper close to the leave.

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I always wanted to be able to draw something; especially as I’m travelling different parts of the world these days. In january 2012 I found someone to teach me the basics of drawing: in fact; to look at things from another point of view.P1090197

First thing I started with was Derwent watercolor pencils in a Moleskin note-book, especially made for watercolors with 160 gr. cold pressed paper, and a 5mm pencil. Later on I bought some Caran d’Ache watercolor pencils as well, which have a greater range in colors. The thing I missed most was a vibrant red for coloring roses. I found some excellent reds at Faber-Castel, but their colors tend to wash out and are a bit fat somehow.

Next I were the water color paint in pans; Schminck Horadam which is one of the best.The most difficult thing for me is water management. And very important, as I like to sketch tiny detailled flowers and I want to paint sharp, tiny lines.  I paint with good brushes, which hold water well and will last a long time: tiny pointed Kolinsky sable-hair brushes; nr. 00, 1,2 and 3 mostly. I ordered a larger watercolor sketchbook from Moleskin with somewhat thicker cold pressed paper, 200 gr.P1090404

Flowers and leaves are the things I like to paint. I sketched and painted some on my journey through Central Asia. It is a point of rest during a sometimes hectic day, especially when travelling.

The first journey I took my pencils along was on my trip through Central Asia.These are leaves from the mullberry at the Lyabi Hauz square in Bukhara(16th century), Uzbekistan, made with water color pencils.P1090125







Samarkand, Uzbekistan P1090128


Through trial and error I am learning to mix the colors. I have a paintbox with about 50 colors. A color-wheel is useful in determining which colors to use for mixing. This rose is the first flower I painted.Rose in my garden

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Hello world!

This is a place to relax and talk about watercolor-painting, life in general and other. You’re very welcome to stop by, introduce yourself in ‘who’s who?’,  and say hello!

For my travels, just click Travel journal desertblues

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