Sunday, February 27, 2011

Back to pencil

Several of my pottery buddies went to see Takashi Nakazoto at a workshop held at Mesa Arts Center.  

One of them took a huge amount of photos of the process, and I fell in love with the man's face.  

Wouldn't this make a great drawing?  So I asked my friend for permission to use this photo as a basis for a drawing.

I started it this week, and will show you how it looks when I'm done. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

All duck.

When my kids were little, I think it was my oldest son who used to say "all duck" when something was all done.  Funny, the silly things you remember.  

I toned down the rose by going over it with a light wash of alizarin crimson and opera pink.  I didn't bring it to red, but I did manage to tone down the orange a bit. That little trick works with acrylic too.  You just put a lot of liquid in the paint and wash it over an existing area to tone that area down or put it in shadow.  

My husband says this one is his favorite.  I took a picture of all three together last night.  I still like the pink one the best. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm having doubts

So I worked on my rose a little more yesterday, and put in the first layer of background because I had a sneaking suspicion that my red rose had turned into an orange one.

Yep, it did.  Now the question is, how do I fix it?  I have an idea, which I'll show you after I try it.  If it fails, so be it, and I'll start over.  If not, then it'll be a red rose again and we'll move on and the trilogy will be complete.  Oh, the suspense, the drama! Will the test succeed? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I finally got to start my last rose:  the red one.  

This is the first pass at it.  I haven't quite decided whether my lightest areas will be peach, pink or orange.  Maybe it will be all three, depending on where the light source is.  

One of the most difficult things about watercolor is that you have to paint in the reverse order of other media.  In oil and acrylic you paint from dark to light.  In watercolor it's from light to dark.  

 And here's step 2.  It was a slow day yesterday. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

How I spent my weekend

My husband put together the table for me and cut a piece of wood for the base of the tile.  Then he screwed it in place and painted the wood with a sealer.  

I placed the tile on the table and after I was happy with the placement, glued the tile in place.  

Wednesday I mixed the grout, and grouted the tiles.  Later that evening I cleaned up the messy parts and this morning sealed the grout.  I think it looks pretty good for a first effort.  

What I would change?  I would make the framing tiles a bit wider, so my grout lines wouldn't be so thick.  They should only be about 1/4 inch and mine are about a 1/2 inch.  But it's still better than having to cut tile that turned out too big.  Now that would not be good!  Tomorrow I'll start back on my rose.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moving forward

No pictures today.  I went through my entire stack of photos, and it is many years worth and huge.  No red roses.  

So I went to Jackson and Perkins online and picked out a red rose to emulate.  It printed up so poorly that I'll just be using it mostly for reference for light and shadow.

I'll show you when I have something.  Off to buy pottery today for the yard.  Why don't I make my own, you ask?  Because I can't throw anything as big as what I need.  We're replacing our many little pots in the front with three big ones.  More impact.  And it's all about presentation, doncha know!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

It worked!

This time was much better.  The colors were richer, and I simplified the design a bit, so that it wouldn't be as difficult to get a finished product.

Here's what I learned:

1.  You HAVE TO put on three coats of underglaze.  If you don't your colors will be too transparent and "painterly".
2.  You HAVE TO put on three coats of clear glaze.  Just trust me on this one.
3.  Violet (in the center of the orange petals) doesn't work at Cone 10.
4.  Rose (all the white parts) doesn't work at Cone 10.  
5.  Believe the glaze charts when you buy your underglazes.  If it says it will fade in a high firing, believe it.  

Now I have to put together the table, and get a piece of masonite to glue the tile to and get grout and do that part.  I wonder if I can get all of that done today.... 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Two down, one to go.

 This one doesn't have the punch that the first one did.  There's not as much contrast as I would like, but I don't want to go any darker, or it won't be a white rose any more.  It's OK, but not exactly what I was going for.  

We're now pressing on to #3.  Have to look through my photos, because I don't actually have something ready for the third one.  I'll let you know.

I am excited about the kiln this week.  Hopefully the tiles for my table got in, and hopefully they come out gorgeous.  I'll let you know about that one too.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Step 2

I wasn't getting a feel for how the lighting was working for the white rose, and thinking that I was getting it a little too dark.

So what I did was add some of the background black to see if it would help illustrate the balance I needed to obtain.

Normally I don't add the dark background until I feel that the subject is pretty much completed.  

I can see now that I haven't really lost my whites  on the left and I definitely need to add more shading on the right.  I think I'm going to do some more blues and purples.  Then I'll finish the background and look at it again for adjustments.  

Friday, February 4, 2011


This is the rose I've decided to do next.  It's from my buddy's back yard in Tucson.

I've got the drawing done, and the first wash of color.  And I'm already afraid that it's too dark.

I love painting white flowers, because there's so much color in the shadows, but I'm afraid I've already overdone.  

Just have to wait and see how it turns out when I'm done....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


So, what do you think?

Do you see now what I was trying to describe about the dry edge?  Using the acrylic on the edge after the watercolor was tricky, so I practiced it on a scrap sheet first.

I'm trying to decide about the framing.  I want to do something different, so one of the things I'm considering is sandwiching the painting  between two sheets of glass, no frame, just bolted together, or something like that.  Any suggestions would be welcomed. Definitely will use the original white paper as my mat.  

Now it's on to the white rose.