Sunday, July 12, 2009

Painting 13 - Magpie

You may have noticed a lack of posts this past week. Paul and I met up with our dear friends Denise and her hubby for some R&R on the Oregon coast. Doing a few posts ahead of time and then scheduling them to publish while I was away was on my to-do list, but I only managed to get one ready. Pre-trip insanity reigned supreme. The kind that makes you wonder why you bother going away in the first place because it is so stressful trying to get everything taken care of for while you are away. And this thought runs through your head at 1 am as you lay wide awake knowing you have to get up in 4 hours to start a 10 hour drive so you really, really need to get some shut-eye or you'll fall asleep at the wheel and truly ruin your vacation, but you also know you just aren't going to be able to relax enough to get any sleep. But of course it was worth it in the end, and the post-trip insanity was thankfully at a minimum (although I haven't been back to work, so maybe I shouldn't say anything yet...) I will post about some of our seaside adventures once I sort through the photos.

Anyway, I am very proud that I've been home for less than 24 hours and I've already managed to complete another painting in between loads of laundry, grocery shopping, and gently prying the cat off of me while reassuring her that we did not abandon her and that we love her and remain her devoted servants.

I did this one on a brand new block of Arches hot pressed watercolor paper that my wonderful husband picked up for me. I've been working on Canson cold pressed for most of the paintings I've done so far in the 100 Painting challenge, and the difference between the two surfaces is amazing. I much prefer the smooth surface of the hot pressed. I feel like I can control the paint, and it dries so fast that I can do layers of color in half the time. I don't tend to work very wet anyway, so a rough surface doesn't really contribute to my painting technique. Arches is much more expensive than Canson, but is probably worth it.

I really wanted to avoid using pure black on the magpie and instead just have it read as black against that background. The black is made up of a mixture of the orange background color (grumbacher red and cadmium yellow pale hue, with just a touch of paynes grey) and ultramarine blue. I'm very pleased with the results.


Vickie said...

Love those brilliant colors! Not only did you paint during all that coming back activity, but you posted too! Its as much fun to settle back into the things we know and love as the adventure of something new.

Heather said...

Oooooo, this is one eye-catching painting! And you did this right after returning from a trip?! Impressive. I really like the contrast of the black against the red/orange, and the details on the bird are great. For some reason I especially like its legs. Welcome home!

Katherine Kean said...

Beautiful painting! Love the red and your rich dark color.

I like Arches Hot Press too when I do any watercolor.

Laure Ferlita said...

Welcome back! Love the painting. Very contemporary!

Looking forward to the next one!