Friday, July 31, 2009

High Humidity

Today is my first day to paint at the Cape on this trip. I always forget how humid it is here until I start to paint. We always have a nice breeze/wind and the temperature is so much cooler than in Dallas, it doesn't feel like that horrible oppressive humidity. But, now working on the painting above, I notice how wet my paper is staying. Even when trying to dry it with a blow dryer, there is still an overall dampness in the paper. My colors are bleeding into one another and it is hard to keep sharp edges where I want them. Since my paper is too wet, I moved onto the computer for now.
Above is a photo of where I am painting today. It is too windy to paint outside today. The painting is from a photo I took last evening. We were all sitting on a very calm, completely perfect beach at the end of the day waiting for the sunset. It was high tide, no wind, the flag hung down from the flagpole and there was not a ripple in the water. The boat that is in many of my paintings was coming in from a day out. The glow of an evening sun lit up the sail so beautifully. I took several photos as everyone watched the boat maneuver in to tie to it's mooring. Sailing is a lot of work, but, for the observer, relaxing.
We will see how this painting turns out. Believe it or not, it is still damp! I will start a couple of underpaintings and drawings while I wait for this painting.
I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Inspiration photos

Apologies for not writing in so long. I have been painting, painting, painting. However, I have been travelling a lot without my computer. I did want to post these photos to share with you. The sunset is from the bay side of Cape Cod. We have enjoyed many breathtaking sunsets. The second photo is of hydrangeas which cover the Cape right now. Although I take many photos of driveways, houses, walkways lined with hydrangea bushes at least 5 feet tall, sometimes taller, the photos do not do justice. The photo above, I put my hand in to try to show the scale of these blooms.
The bottom photo is from Red River, NM. Aren't the clouds amazing! In NM, I took zillions of photos of flowers. In fact, I went on a hike with my dear hostess, she made me laugh because after I interrupted our hike several times to take photos, even close up photos of twigs and bark, she asked if I was going to paint all of these photos. Like many artists, I have many photos that I keep on my computer. They are filed by nature, city, animals, people, flowers, beach, etc. Then when I am in my studio, looking for info on clouds, sunsets or just inspiration, I go back to my photos.
Sometimes a photo is good to use as the composition for a painting, sometimes just a part of the photo makes a painting and sometimes, it is just for reference on how the branch attaches to the tree or how the sun falls on the curve of a petal. Over the years, I have noticed how I have the perfect photo, but, it would be better as an oil vs. a watercolor.
In any event, when summer ends, I will have my photos to turn to for inspiration. Even now, I am so excited with the list of images I can't wait to start.
In the mean time, I will post some plein air paintings. These are fun because they are quick pictorial notes. They are loose and simple and done outside on site which is the best part. It is so relaxing and satisfying to be outside, hear the waves or the stream, feel the sun, just experience the whole scene. Sometimes these wonderful little paintings can capture the essence wonderfully that even in a studio painting, it is just not the same.

Thanks for stopping by. Please check back. As the fall resumes, I will post much more regularly.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Attempt or Beginner's Luck


Well, after my good luck with Mr. Parker's Challenge, I thought I would paint my great grandmother, Nana. I went from using a good photo of a man's face without glasses or teeth to trying to paint from a poor quality old photo with glasses and teeth! Plus, it is of someone I know and I have heard it is much harder to paint someone you know. I was so disappointed with this scary painting. I decided to do a second attempt on my great grandmother's painting. I took my time drawing it perfectly, but, as some of my fellow painter friends (i paint with a group on Fridays) mentioned and as I have experienced, the second painting never comes out any better. My second painting is unfinished. Despite the fact that I was so meticulous in gridding off the photo and my paper, once I put the paint on, it doesn't look like my great grandmother!!! What I have learned is that the second painting has made me think that the first painting (this one) captured my great grandmother's personality. The second one is so stiff like I have experienced when painting even a second floral. I just get tighter on the second attempt. So believe it or not, I am going to rest on this one for a while and try it again for a third attempt.

This painting became so overworked. (Note to self, put the brush down and walk away). It was amazing how I added a tad of green to the lips to shape them and it would literally become a smile or become just an open mouth. Or it would end up looking like an ad for teeth whitening. I learned so much how I could change the mouth by just the tiniest bit of paint. This is what I love about watercolor. It really is like magic. You can really make those cheeks pop off the page if you want. In the photo, Nana is smiling happily at my brother. Sometimes when I look at this painting, I see her soft smile, and other times it is just an open mouth. But, I do want to capture her smile so others can see what I remember.

Last side note, my great grandmother didn't need any botox!!! Her deep wrinkles are at her eyes and her mouth. She must have never frowned because her forehead is as smooth as a good bald head!

I hope this encourages you when you are not happy with your painting. All comments/advice to fix this painting welcome!

Thanks for stopping by!

11x14 original watercolor by Liana Yarckin

Thursday, July 2, 2009

4th of July

Cape Cod Charm
Bed and breakfast in Cape Cod. I love the cape. Old architecture, blue hydrangeas everywhere and a very laid back attitude.
Have a Happy 4th!
11x14 original watercolor by Liana Yarckin