Monday, July 1, 2013

A Hint of Sun

I was a bit of a slacker this week as far as painting is concerned.  I'm taking a life drawing class that is 2 days each week from 8:30 to 4:30 and it's really killing me both mentally and physically.  I've never done anything that is so frustrating.  I'm one of the worst students in the class.  I've always had a mental block when it comes to drawing the human figure which I'm finding is very hard to overcome.  I am getting a little better though.  The first 3 classes, I was close to tears by about 2:00.  The latest class I actually saw a little (very little) improvement and wasn't quite so depressed.

Anyway, cutting 2 days out of my week has had an effect of how much I'm getting done around here.  I'm also working on the final details for a show that begins next week.  I'll tell you about that in my next post.

So today, I found myself with no painting to post.  I decided to paint some figs that I picked up that were really beautiful colors.  I spent an hour and a half working on it and it was going from bad to worse - probably because I wasn't motivated to paint and it is also really hot and humid here right now.  I wiped all of the paint off of the canvas and now have a nicely toned surface for my next painting but an hour and a half is a long time to end up with just a toned canvas.

The painting above started as a watercolor.  I found a piece of printmaking paper (no sizing) and wanted to see how it would accept the paint compared to the piece of watercolor paper that I painted on a couple of weeks ago that seemed to have no sizing.  It was even harder to build the darks on this paper.  It wasn't a successful painting so I decided to add some pastel and see what happened.

I'm actually pretty happy with the outcome.  Below is a picture of the watercolor painting before I added the pastel.  I had to blend a lot to hide the texture of the paper.
I think it has a completely different feeling than the pastel painting.  The pastel is much more dramatic. 
I hope you like the pastel better than the watercolor because the watercolor is now completely covered by the pastel. :)

A Hint of Sun
Image Size 4" x 6"
Pastel over watercolor


  1. Oh my goodness! It's gorgeous! Truly, those waves and the spray just seem to be in motion! And the piece just glows. I really liked reading your post about your trials and tribulations, because we all have them, and sometimes we don't share those disappointing projects with each other because we think we're the only ones who have those. I bet your figure drawing is not so bad. That's a really hard thing to do, especially with other people around you. But keep at it, it will really strengthen your knowledge of all aspects of artmaking, not just drawing. I like your giclee prints in the other post too. Wow!

  2. Thank you Katherine. My figure drawing really is bad but I appreciate the vote of confidence. I'll keep plugging along and hopefully I will get better at it.

  3. Nancy, I seriously doubt you are the worst in the class because I've seen your work, even though it be non-figurative. You have a skill that I envy! I agree with Katherine that this piece is gorgeous and I'm surprised you didn't have bleeding watercolors since the paper doesn't have sizing. I made some paper at a class a couple of weeks ago and I'm so sure it would just suck up watercolor and bleed out that I have decided to save it for if and when I can ever figure out a nice collage piece. Yes, that is my story and I am sticking to it.

  4. Thanks Sherry but I really am the worst in class. These young kids just learn so quickly and don't have decades of pre-conceived notions about how hard it is to draw a figure.
    It's weird that the watercolor doesn't bleed on this paper but maybe it's because I'm wetting it first that makes the paint stay in place. It's actually quite fun to work on but it dries so pale and that's a problem.

    Did you have fun making the paper? Was that in the class you were thinking of skipping? Get busy on that collage. I want to see it! : )

  5. I had joined a figure drawing class a few years back and did so bad that I didn't me it looked like stick figures and I was not happy...When I think back, I should never have quit.. anyway, I LOVE your looks so beautiful with the pastels...very realistic!!

  6. Thank you Hilda. I've felt like quitting every day that I've been in class. The last class day wasn't as bad as the first three. I have 6 to go. I hope that each day gets better but I can see that this is a skill that I'm going to have to work very hard to acquire. It is really torturous for me though.

  7. This is terrific Nancy... I'm in awe about how many different media you are managing!! Wow... I work in one and can't seem to get a good grip on that one.
    I agree... life drawing is really tough.

    Be well... Maybe I'll see you outside painting one of these days.

  8. Thank you Marian. I am starting to do more plein air so maybe I will see you out there.


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