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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beware The Ides Of April

Beware the Ides of April

Actually March was cold, rainy and mostly miserable except for some rare glimpses of spring-like days. But, good old April had way too many surprises to even come close to the title “spring.” In my last post (“ Moving On") I mentioned a wet rainer was coming. Well, it did! Then it was followed by high wind warnings (some parts of Charlotte actually suffered direct hits by tornados). Ouch! Up in the mountains we had rain and wind. The very next episode was a freeze warning, and as promised it was under 30° this morning.

After the freeze alert the day turned out sunny and a lot warmer – 60’s. We are all hoping that we have seen the last of winter weather.

I did get to the studio (15 paces from out cottage door) and started a new painting. I decided just to bypass the dummy stage and dive right in to the work. I’ve actually had the idea in my head since last month, but refused to think of details until yesterday. For me, that is sloppy work, but I think it will go well. Here a look at my initial start for “Forsythia.”

I usually begin my watercolors with some background glaze, for example, the sky. I don’t always start with the sky, but about 85% of my landscapes begin there. This sky is simple – one color and a fairly easy layout. I work on dry paper and layout where I want things to go with light pencil marks. Next, I wet the sky area with a 1” brush, being careful not to wet any other area at this point. In this way, I can get the paper pretty wet so that my sky will blend better with even strokes of light blue paint vertically across the paper. While the sky is still wet I use a balled up paper towel to lift up color to create interesting clouds.



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