people, Plein Aire Painting, street scenes

Calla Lilly seller

20200209_132234

We are finally having some sun here in Mexico.  It’s been really cold and I can’t get used to it.  So on my patio today I’ve been working on this large watercolor and intermittently putting the painting in the sun to dry.  While it’s drying, I catch as many warm rays as I can.  Boy, the sun feels great.  I have not picked this painting  up in a few months as I’ve been super busy with many things other than painting. So in a day or so, it should get finished if nothing else crazy happens.

Ajijic, people, step by step, how to, street scenes

Marketplace seller, WIP

This woman is a weaver and she was sitting in a dark corner of the marketplace.  The sun shone through the archways of the Mexico town plaza.  The cobblestone streets are a maze of patterns and colors.  Piece by piece, she is coming together.  I will add some cast shadows and some detailed drawing elements to help define her more.

This is large, a full sheet watercolor.  When you get away from working big, it is scarey to  pick it up again.  This painting will help me re-discover my old self, when I painted big all the time.

The pallette is my full plastic stephen quiller pallette, now a good 15 or 20 years old.  When I grow up, I will get the porcelain studio pallette.

people

First Snow in Pueblo

pueblo-first-snow

This watercolor is of a Navajo girl wrapped in a colorful blanket.  I am including it here so it does not get lost and I can keep some record of it.  It is in a private collection in Long beach, Washington.

I am including a link to my online store where I have put her on a few products.

animals, dogs, horses, cats, people

Horseshoeing Day

horseshoeing-day-web

When the farrier comes to the ranch, it’s a happy day.  This watercolor tells the story of one such hard working shoer who tends to his horses and does the job well.  The horses like the attention and very often, they seem to feel better with a nice trim.  The owners are happy because it’s the healthy thing to do and they know they are fending off problems with their animals and keeping them healthy and happy.
Drawing and painting horses and complete story-telling scenes is a lifelong challenge.  Whenever I do one, it feels good but at the same time it makes me a little tired.  Painting single images, like an apple or a tree is an exercise I view as a quick challenge to get the information down with feeling and as quickly as possible.  After it is done, I always ask myself, “was this a clear image?”  “could I have done this better,  and was it worth the effort, etc. etc.  Well, I think there is a little conclusion to this that makes sense to me and it’s this:   I think storytelling images need to be big.  I don’t think they read well when they are small and intimate.  Well, onward and I won’t belabor it.

 

 

 

fantasy illustration, fonts, people, simple photoshop, step by step, how to, thoughts behind the work

Farmers: An American Experience

farmers-pencil-sketchfarmers-full-text-th

This started out as a pencil doodle.  When I brought it into photoshop, I adjusted the levels to make the greys of the pencil as dark as I could, and the lights as white as I could. This gave me a little template to build the digital painting on.

There is a lot of painting involved here and a lot of colors and brushwork too.  It took a long time.  I am learning to navigate through my Wacom tablet which saves a lot of time. Learning shortcuts is amazing. I wanted the wife to have pears on her dress but they are not joyous colors.  Because of the situation farmers find themselves in, nothing here is joyous.  I hope their expressions reveal what is going on in their lives.

I usually don’t do political drawings but I thought I would have a little fun with this.  It was pretty easy choosing an appropriate font for a title.  I called it An American Experience because there was a PBS series with this name for a long time.  It was a documentary series about cultural phenomena. This font is Goudy Stout.  I love the name and think it’s sounds exactly what it looks like.

My favorite part of this piece are the two types of bodies.  She is a plump pear and he is a skinny dude.  They make a perfect couple that we see in real life just about every day.  Regarding the coloring; my favorite part is his blue jeans.  When jeans get old and worn, they look kind of yellowish/grey sometimes.  There are many layers and tones of the colors on everything here, and I sing the praise of “multiply” brush effects.  It adds so much depth and dimension, as it picks up the colors underneath with every stroke.

An additional treat is that it was saved for web as a png file and therefore it can be printed transparently on to different fabrics.  This piece ended up looking great on lots of textile products and it really surprised me.

Here is what it looks like on a grey sweatshirt product