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step by step, how to

Rachel’s value study from the refrigerator

rachel-value studyA jug of maple syrup, a jar of capers and a fresh pear.

A value study using pencil sketch, neutral tint in light, medium and dark mixes.  Then a few touches of glazing with transparent colors once the preliminary was very dry.

Continue reading “Rachel’s value study from the refrigerator”

flora and fauna, Plein Aire Painting, step by step, how to

Coto pool and painting outside plein aire style

W-N-travel-paletteLovely sunny day. Quiet here and wanting to be outside, coto-pool-webmy friend and I set out to spend an hour with our mini palettes and brushes and small watercolor pads. This is the wading pool in my (coto) community. It is complete with great healthy palm trees and singing birds.
It is important and joyful to paint outside. It is a liberating experience. Tiny brush, tiny palette, tiny view of a huge scene. Plein aire paintings are super honest. Perhaps because you have to be quick before the moving sun changes your view.
  To purchase prints or textiles, click here

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Notes on Drawing from Life

   Here are a few notes given to my students from my watercolor class. I have started teaching here in my little Mexican community in San Antonio, Mexico. If you are interested in this series of “Painting from Life”, feel free to email me at paintsdaily@gmail.com.

simplify<study line art

check out Picasso early line drawings

Stay loose, don’t worry about details.

Speed draw whenever you can.

Use the timer on your cell phone.

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Bus Stop in a Little Town in Mexico

This is a scene from a sweet little town in Mexico and is  my newest watercolor.  The little plaza is a familiar and welcome place for these ladies who take the bus on most of their working days.  The huge trees provide shade and it’s a good place to start the day. 

As they sit and chat and compare notes, a young girl walks by with a youthful stride.  She revels in her youthful clothes of blue jeans and backpack.  Time changes everything as the days and years go by.

Click to purchase a print http://www.redbubble.com/people/naquaiya/works/35249693-bus-stop-in-mexico-watercolor
flora and fauna, Pen and Ink Drawing

Birdhouses

Birdhouses-WEB

These birdhouses are made of recycled materials found in anybody’s garden shed.  Whether wood or discarded metal fixtures or old roofing materials, the birds enjoy the shelter.

They are feeding on a gigantic sunflower center.  I took a little artistic license with the scale of the seed pod…because I can.  Moths and butterflies join in on the party.

The pen and ink is done in India Ink and an old fashioned crowquill pen nib.  The original is drawn on Bristol board paper, and has been sold but read on to purchase the image on various mediums.

This artwork is available on my Red Bubble POD site.  Click the picture to go there and purchase prints or accessories.

Birdhouses-WEB

flora and fauna

Finding White Lilies

white-lilies-cameoWalking in downtown Ajijic, along a small crowded street, a shock of white caught my eye.  It was coming from a dark doorway.  I couldn’t make out what it was exactly so I stepped closer to get a better look.  There were art objects in the doorway as well; a big earthenware bare brown jug with a minimum of decoration, as well as tables with sculptures and displayed paintings.

Then I saw the white of the lilies.  I snapped some shots and felt privileged.  I just loved them. They were dropping red pollen from their stamens onto the lower gigantic petals.  They were on their last leg as cut flowers.  I knew them as stargazer lilies.  I had grown them in Washington.  Mine were many colors of pinks, but I had never seen white ones like these.  I looked up and saw a woman staring at me and smiling.  Apparently I thought I was walking into an art gallery when in reality, I walked right into someone’s studio.  I was embarrassed and apologized and stepped back quickly.  She did not seem to mind.

I felt both silly and lucky at the same time.

Even though I have been in Mexico almost a year, I have not seen one calla lily yet.  I have seen only a few backyard versions while walking in my neighborhood.  They were shades of red and I noticed that they seemed happy in shady gardens.

Diego Rivera painted many works using the calla lily.  Even though we see these images over and over just about everywhere, I don’t get tired of them.  He also painted them so well that he transformed from the well known flower into abstract shapes molded around his figures as perfect adornments. He found a perfect prop for his figures and faces.

Read about this iconic Mexican artist here:

diego-rivera-calas

So lilies of all kinds have been on my painting list for a while.  Here is what I painted today from my photo.  The red grains are pollen.   Click the picture to purchase a print.

white-lilies-full.web

If you would like to grow some of your own calla lilies, this is a good site for information.

To learn more about stargazer lillies…

Here’s a lovely little video of a bee collecting pollen.  It’s relaxing and I’ve watched it a few times. Nature is amazing.