PDA

View Full Version : Seejay's January challenge - watercolours


seejay
01-04-2011, 06:49 PM
Decided to do a month of watercolour sketching, hopefully mostly outdoors, but if it gets too hot or too rainy or too whatever I will have to do still life / interior scenes since I want to do the from life.

Book details - my rough-as sketchbook is made (by moi :cat:) from a large sheet of Arches 300gsm coldpress paper, cut into 8 pieces, each one folded in two, put into signatures, sewn together etc....to give a total of 16 leaves / 32 pages of approx. 19 x 14 cm in size. The cover is made from corrugated cardboard painted white, a bit of velcro to hold it shut etc, it looks ugly, but works well and is rugged.

Using a Winsor & Newton / Cotman portable wc set (12 pans???) which I am refilling with tube paint as the pans run out.

I'll post some pics real soon.

RainySea
01-04-2011, 07:00 PM
cool. . . post of pict of the book itself, too, Chris. I want to see the homemade journal! I want to attempt that one day.

seejay
01-04-2011, 07:05 PM
1) a bad photo of the book (note use of masking tape, cloth tape, velcro bits etc, very professional! :D)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2011/6409-wcsketchbook.resized.jpg

2) and 3) a couple of "old" sketches done in the book back in September, a local river mouth / beach

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2011/6409-hc_janwc1.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2011/6409-hc_janwc2.resized.jpg

3) and 4) done this morning at another local beach...did these sitting in the car, a seagull sat outside for a while hoping I would throw him something to eat. Using a limited palette of ultra. blue and burnt sienna, plus a small amount of some orange-red hue for the bird's bill. Lots more practice required with moving wildlife I think, i'm having enough trouble capturing the landscape.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2011/6409-hc_janwc3.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2011/6409-hc_janwc4.resized.jpg

Cheers

seejay
01-04-2011, 07:15 PM
cool. . . post of pict of the book itself, too, Chris. I want to see the homemade journal! I want to attempt that one day.

Rainy, we cross-posted - as you can see my book is special :wink2:. I like it tho', at least it lies flat.

Cheers

DrDebby
01-04-2011, 09:19 PM
Making your own sketchbook is super. If it works, doesn't matter how it looks. And this way you get exactly the paper you want to work on. The landscapes look great. I see John is infecting people to draw birds from life. :lol: It is difficult and you've done well.

virgo68
01-05-2011, 05:24 AM
Good stuff Chris - I wasn't aware you worked in watercolours to that extent. Looking forward to seeing more ;)

mhimeswc
01-05-2011, 09:20 AM
Good idea for making your own watercolor book, Chris. I like your beach scenes, and I'm sorry that your gull didn't stay long enough. They never do. LOL

RainySea
01-05-2011, 09:22 AM
Chris, it may not be considered pretty by all standards but its unique and handmade and functional and best of all and has your paper so I think its great!

Nice watercolors. . . the landscape if very pretty but I like the one with the bird above best I think. And how cool that you were using only two colors.

vhere
01-05-2011, 10:31 AM
good stuff - and you can always cover the card later with fabric or paper to make it more special

Joan T
01-05-2011, 12:13 PM
I love the look of your sketchbook! It is what is inside that counts!!! Great beach sketches!!! I especially like the one with the palm trees. You did a good job on the seagull's head. They dont' like to pose for long. lol Nice start!!

seejay
01-05-2011, 05:03 PM
Thanks for the nice comments everyone.

Debby - If it works, doesn't matter how it looks. It works quite well, I'm happy.

Jackie - I wasn't aware you worked in watercolours to that extent. Nor was I.:wink2: It's rare that I play with wcs, usually just adding some washes to ink. This is my second book like this, the first one took me seven years to finish! If I fill my book this January it might be a record amount of wc action for me.:lol:

Michelle - Good idea for making your own watercolor book If I remember correctly there is a project on WC that I used for the first one I made - since then I have taught myself how to sew together the pages. One day I'll move on to doing better covers....

Rainy - how cool that you were using only two colors. I often get myself into a mess with colours. I have a copy of a really old book about outdoor wc sketching that I'm finding helpful - the limited palette is a suggested starting point - as you gain experience you add more colours.

Vivien - you can always cover the card later with fabric or paper Good ideas, thanks.

Joan - I especially like the one with the palm trees. After I did my initial pencil sketch, I said 'what are you doing?' or words to that effect.:evil: It looked a bit complicated for my first wc sketch in over two months. Anyway, I think I like it too, glad I persisted. Now I just need to learn when to stop fiddling...

Cheers

Davkin
01-05-2011, 07:06 PM
Very nice small WC sketches Chris. For some reason I haven't been able to do a decent WC sketch without pen.

David

seejay
01-07-2011, 12:28 AM
Thanks David. Maybe these are a touch too small, I'm fiddling - I should make the next book a bit larger, perhaps.

Crazy weather is kicking again, more heavy rain periods, thunderstorms; just what we need (NOT).

Decided to stay home today, did a simple still life this afternoon. It was an educational experience (not necessarily a learning one tho':wink2:) Used some white gouache at the end for lost highlights etc.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2011/6409-hc_janwc5.resized.jpg

:( Better go (try) calm the dogs, they have heard some thunder.

Cheers

DrDebby
01-07-2011, 12:42 AM
Poor dogs. I had one years ago that didn't like loud noises. Even the vacuum cleaner scared him.

Your still life is great.

seejay
01-07-2011, 05:47 AM
Thanks Debby, all is quiet now.

eyepaint
01-07-2011, 06:28 PM
Wonderful project, Chris. I like that the humble book cover contains such gems inside. I, too, enjoy working with limited colours. I hope your dogs settle soon and you can paint some more treasures. Do you plan to (try to) finish the pages in this book during the month?

JTMB
01-08-2011, 09:27 PM
Nice start on the watercolor journal, Chris! I like the still life in particular (and of course the bird!). We had one dog who didn't like loud noises - he would have to sleep right by our bed (and still trembled) during thunderstorms. His worst freakout was when a hot air balloon came over the house very low. When he heard the loud WHOOOOSSSHHH! of the burner, he went nutso.

Jakesgram
01-09-2011, 12:07 AM
Love your sketches Seejay! I especially like the colors in the first two - that beautiful lagoon. Those soft peachy / sandy colors and the blue-green water - that suits my taste!

Nice job.

RainySea
01-09-2011, 09:50 AM
Really nice still life, Chris. Gouache is great for that finding of lost highlights! I like your shadow colors especially.

seejay
01-09-2011, 11:16 PM
Thanks everyone.

EP - Do you plan to (try to) finish the pages in this book during the month? I hope I can get through it - things are a bit slow at the moment, but will get moving again soon I'm sure.:crossfingers:

Here is an uninspired attempt from today.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jan-2011/6409-hc_10jan_wc.resized.jpg

Cheers

RainySea
01-09-2011, 11:42 PM
Is that your manniquin? looks nicely drawn to me and cool monochrome colored

seejay
01-10-2011, 04:48 AM
Is that your manniquin? looks nicely drawn to me and cool monochrome colored

Thanks Rainy. Yes, that is my little mannequin (quite small, 5in / 13cm tall). I've sketched it quite a few times now, maybe not the most exciting subject.

cheers

eyepaint
01-10-2011, 11:38 AM
Nice job :)

poochemio
01-10-2011, 12:00 PM
I love you sketchbook! Looks sturdy enough to toss in a backpack and not worry about it. Love that palm tree sketch.

seejay
01-10-2011, 06:31 PM
Thanks EP, Margo.

Yes, it is sturdy, probably the best description. Or rugged.:D

cheers

DrDebby
01-10-2011, 07:45 PM
Wonderful job on that manikin. Mine often looks like that with the arms and legs in slightly unnatural positions. :lol:

dianapotts
01-11-2011, 12:27 AM
The manniqin is fun looking. I came here to make sure you posted today. The video I just saw reminds me of the videos of the tsunami. I'm glad you are safe.

Keep making art. I'll art with you on my thread.

Those seaside paintings. Those scenes must be so different now. The paintings are now treasures; I think.

Diana

seejay
01-11-2011, 05:57 AM
Thanks Debby - I've never really worked out the idea behind the mannequins, I think someone gave me this one. It gets sketched now and then.

Diana - The video I just saw reminds me of the videos of the tsunami. I'm glad you are safe. Scarey scenes for sure - luckily I'm a few hundred kilometres from there. Ten people confirmed dead, dozens more missing. My sister lives down in the valley where houses and people washed away - we can't contact her, but I have heard she and her house are safe. Here's hoping that the rain stops soon. Thanks for your thoughts.

dianapotts
01-11-2011, 08:28 AM
You're welcome Chris. I hope it all works out for your sister.

Diana

mhimeswc
01-11-2011, 09:25 AM
I love it! Glad to see that mannequin man came in handy for you. I never had much success with mine either. He doesn't stay in position, and none of his positions look normal or natural.

Joan T
01-11-2011, 12:08 PM
I love the painting of the bottle!!! I'm always partial to those. lol The mannequin came out good. I don't have one, and have thought of getting one.

Sorry to hear about the storm's devastation. I hope you hear from your sister again soon, so you'll feel better, and that things are OK for her. Glad you are safe.

DrDebby
01-11-2011, 03:59 PM
Glad you continue to check in. Hope you have more than hearsay about your sister soon. Frightening. Stay safe.

Gloria P.
01-11-2011, 04:20 PM
Last summer I took a wc class in using just triads, and it totally changed how I look at colors when I paint. I am impressed that you used only two and got such great effects.

CandAlArt
01-11-2011, 07:56 PM
Chris I was worried about you-- so glad to "hear your voice" on the WC!!!!! Prayers for your sister and any other dear ones of yours in the floods.

seejay
01-12-2011, 01:57 AM
Thanks for your nice comments and kind thoughts everyone. Heard this morning that my sister has evacuated and is definitely safe. No additions to my sketchbook, been busy as a concerned parent today. Our (grownup) kids are in Brisbane (the state capital) which is flooding right now - they are safe and dry, so no real need to worry, but dammit I'm a parent, I'll worry if I want. :D

Back to sketching real soon.

cheers

dianapotts
01-12-2011, 07:49 PM
Thanks for your nice comments and kind thoughts everyone. Heard this morning that my sister has evacuated and is definitely safe. No additions to my sketchbook, been busy as a concerned parent today. Our (grownup) kids are in Brisbane (the state capital) which is flooding right now - they are safe and dry, so no real need to worry, but dammit I'm a parent, I'll worry if I want. :D

Back to sketching real soon.

cheers

Worry is natural. Praying for your loved ones. Keep in touch. Let us know if there is anything we can do.

Diana

DrDebby
01-12-2011, 09:59 PM
So glad to hear your kids are safe. And you go right ahead and worry, it's a parent's job.

CandAlArt
01-12-2011, 11:24 PM
Great news to hear that family is damp but safe!! Cheers, indeed!:clap:

poochemio
01-14-2011, 07:29 PM
Glad to hear all the family is safe.

I like that little mannikin Chris, and isn't that what they are for to be sketched multiple times in multiple poses.

Joan T
01-15-2011, 11:07 AM
I'm glad to hear that everyone is safe. I was watching the videos of the flooding and it is heartbreaking. Stay safe!

dianapotts
01-15-2011, 11:26 AM
Chris hasn't posted in a few days and she posts almost daily usually. I feel concerned.

I don't mean to hijack, but it hasn't been good over there. I hope she is simply busy helping people and her family. Crises do call people to action and she is nice and everything.

But I do find myself wondering...

Anybody heard from her personally?

Diana

seejay
01-15-2011, 07:39 PM
Chris hasn't posted in a few days and she posts almost daily usually. I feel concerned.

I don't mean to hijack, but it hasn't been good over there. I hope she is simply busy helping people and her family. Crises do call people to action and she is nice and everything.

But I do find myself wondering...

Anybody heard from her personally?

Diana

Everything is fine, thanks Diana. I'm away from the latest crisis area, just been distracted because of family in that area, and life in general. Hopefully I'll be sketching / posting again soon, I've been neglecting (and missing) those activities.

PS I'm actually a Mr. Chris. :D But I am still nice and everything. Thanks again

Cheers

dianapotts
01-15-2011, 11:02 PM
I guess you always give me compliments when the ladies are so I just bunch you in with them. :)

I'm glad you are fine and your family, too. You are lucky.

Looking forward to your art.

Mine's coming.

seejay
01-16-2011, 08:37 PM
Hi Diana, keep posting, I'm sure I have a few compliments left somewhere!:D

Actually got back to the sketchbook this morning, at least it is a start - time to get back into the habit, it's been a slow start to the year.

I like to sketch early morning if possible, the light and shadows are better, it's cooler, and I don't get sunburnt (UV levels are at extreme levels this time of the year). Of to a slow start today, instead of going out looking for a subject I attempted a view out my front door.

After taking the white off most of the page with a light wash of yellow ochre, I finished with just ultra blue and burnt sienna.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jan-2011/6409-hc_17jan_wc.resized.jpg

Cheers

RainySea
01-16-2011, 08:54 PM
Wow, that is a very nice painting with only three colors! I really, really admire that. . . I like the scene out your front door or at least, I like how you depicted it for us!

I love seeing paintings with limited palettes and I also love paintings of streets, paths, anything like that as they all seem to be leading to new adventures and explorations.

seejay
01-16-2011, 10:26 PM
Thanks Rainy. The street is a dead-end so not a lot to explore, but the light caught my eye - plenty more practice needed, but there is something I like about the sketch.

Cheers

DrDebby
01-17-2011, 06:58 PM
I like this. Nice little street scene. I like the limited palette you are using.

seejay
01-17-2011, 07:12 PM
Thanks Debby.

Just back from a sketching trip to the coast. I tried to keep this simple, left a bit of stuff out, but maybe I shouldn't have because it looks boring to me now. Oh well, it was an enjoyable experience, which makes it more likely I'll get back to my book sooner.

Burnt sienna and ultra. blue.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jan-2011/6409-hc_18jan2011_wc.resized.jpg

Cheers

dianapotts
01-17-2011, 10:55 PM
Hi Diana, keep posting, I'm sure I have a few compliments left somewhere!:D

Actually got back to the sketchbook this morning, at least it is a start - time to get back into the habit, it's been a slow start to the year.

I like to sketch early morning if possible, the light and shadows are better, it's cooler, and I don't get sunburnt (UV levels are at extreme levels this time of the year). Of to a slow start today, instead of going out looking for a subject I attempted a view out my front door.

After taking the white off most of the page with a light wash of yellow ochre, I finished with just ultra blue and burnt sienna.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jan-2011/6409-hc_17jan_wc.resized.jpg

Cheers

Street scenes are very difficult. I don't think I have ever tried one. This is very pleasant to look at.

I like the beach scen with the trees you did on the next page.

Diana

poochemio
01-18-2011, 12:11 AM
Chris, these limited palette sketches are fabulous! It's one of those things everyone always tells you to do but it is really hard. You are doing it, big huge pat on the back!

DrDebby
01-18-2011, 09:36 PM
Interesting beach scene. Again amazing to me what you are doing with only a few colors.

Joan T
01-19-2011, 11:28 AM
I love the street scene. Amazing what you are doing with just a few colors. The beach scene is far from boring. I love the tree trunk and the palm fronds peeking in at the top.

seejay
01-19-2011, 08:33 PM
Thanks everyone.:thumbsup: The limited pallette is helpful for me while I get experience with handling wcs, I can recommend it.

Feeling a bit slack with this book so far, but there is still a little bit of the month to go. I took the book with me this morning, but with the rainy weather I didn't use it, the paper wouldn't have dried well at all.

RainySea
01-19-2011, 10:28 PM
I'm loving your limited palette. . . I have to try that with a few colors myself. Its inspiring me. I don't think the beach scene is boring. . . what kind of tree is that? Its interesting!

CandAlArt
01-19-2011, 11:36 PM
I like your limited pallette work! Maybe this will help me- I am rather hesitant to experiment with some gouache I bought- what colors go where. Starting with 2 might be a huge help! Keep up the good work!

seejay
01-20-2011, 03:21 AM
Thanks Rainy and Candace.

The tree is some species of pandanus - not sure which one. I tried looking for a photo, but didn't find one that looked right - I'll keep looking. They are common along the coast here.

cheers

PS - found one of my photos of a pandanus tree, posted it in my 'Refilled sketchbook' thread. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=846662)

seejay
01-23-2011, 06:46 PM
Jumped on my bicycle and went for a little ride early this morning - I just had to do something. :wink2: Not sure what I got...sticking with the ultra blue and burnt sienna.

#1
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jan-2011/6409-hc_24jan2011wc_1.resized.jpg

#2
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jan-2011/6409-hc_24jan2011wc_2.resized.jpg

Cheers

eyepaint
01-23-2011, 09:32 PM
Love the street scene in post 44. :)

DrDebby
01-23-2011, 09:44 PM
You are doing some marvelous stuff with your limited pallet.

JTMB
01-25-2011, 01:41 AM
Great job with the very limited palette!

seejay
01-25-2011, 06:28 AM
Thanks everyone.

Boy, where is the time going???? Hopefully I can get sketching again tomorrow.

seejay
02-11-2011, 04:16 AM
I got out on Thursday, managed a quick wc. Tried for a bit more abstract view of a big old house in the local botanic gardens. I suppose it could be described as a plantation house, moved from near a local sugar mill a few years ago. Now used for tourist type stuff, weddings, music performances etc.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Feb-2011/6409-10feb2011_wc.resized.jpg

DrDebby
02-11-2011, 09:02 PM
Ah ha! I recognize this from the other sketch. Really nice . I like the highlights and shadows on the porch columns.

JTMB
02-12-2011, 12:24 AM
Very nice graphic quality to this one, Chris! Nicely done indeed.

seejay
02-13-2011, 03:09 AM
Thanks for stopping by...

Debby, well spotted!

John, I tried to keep it graphic, maybe did a bit too much fiddling at the end!:D

Cheers

RainySea
02-13-2011, 10:41 AM
love how you used the watercolor on this. . . great weathered old building textures/look

seejay
02-14-2011, 02:01 AM
Thanks Rainy, now I just need to do some more (half of Feb is gone already!).

poochemio
02-14-2011, 11:21 AM
This is lovely Chris. I think a lot of us have slowed down for one reason or other since the first of the year. Some of us are cold, you have too much heat! And maybe our muses just went on musey vacation.

Jakesgram
02-14-2011, 12:01 PM
Hi Chris! :wave:

I like your early morning. limited palette sketches, especially the street scene. That's an interesting way to work - I need to try it some time. (add that to the long list of "I gotta try that" things!):lol:

But I REALLY like the suger mill! What a wonderful, abstract-looking composition and you handled the values beautifully. Nice work. :clap:

seejay
02-14-2011, 06:56 PM
Thanks Margo. Definitely a bit hot and humid here, but I also have some sort of cold which is unusual for me this time of the year - hopefully it will toughen me up for winter. :D

Jean, thanks also. Don't lose that list!

Cheers

seejay
02-16-2011, 09:45 PM
Thursday morning sketchgroup at a local beach ... managed two wc sketches, a strong breeze and warm air dried things quickly for me, which helped.

Lots of room for improvement, but I see things I like....just need to do these everyday instead of once a week or so.:wink2:

Using about four or five colours today...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Feb-2011/6409-hc_17feb2011_wc1.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Feb-2011/6409-hc_17feb2011_wc2.resized.jpg

Cheers

RainySea
02-16-2011, 10:59 PM
nice beach scenes, Chris. Some very cool elements in the first one especially, love the technique on that one tree at the side, so understated but very cool. Lovely modeling on the rocks

seejay
02-16-2011, 11:16 PM
Thanks Rainy - I think you mean the bits I was happy with. Understated may be the key; I haven't got the hang of that yet, it's a bit hit or miss at the moment. If I do a hundred more and my average hasn't improved then I'll get concerned. For now I laugh in the face of failure!:D

cheers

poochemio
02-17-2011, 10:04 AM
I like the shape and the brush strokes on the tree in the second painting. I can feel the windy day looking at it.

DrDebby
02-17-2011, 08:58 PM
Margo took the words right out of my mouth. :lol: You definitely got the windy feeling on the second one.

eyepaint
02-18-2011, 12:58 AM
Great rooflines and tropical seashore sketches :)

JTMB
02-20-2011, 01:03 PM
Nicely done on the last two as well, Chris! Nice use of an understated (more neutral) pallette.

CandAlArt
02-20-2011, 10:37 PM
More bong trees on the beach- very nice! On #71 I like the color washes in the sky & sea!

vhere
02-21-2011, 03:20 AM
lucky you - a sketch group on the beach - I'm envious! nice work too

I live 100 miles from the beach :(

seejay
02-23-2011, 09:41 PM
Thanks everyone. After a week of not doing any sketching (I've been busy, not slack :D) I got out this morning, and tried some more wcs....local botanical gardens...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Feb-2011/6409-hc_24feb2011_wc1.resized.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Feb-2011/6409-hc_24feb2011_wc2.resized.jpg

Probably fiddled with the first one too much, and not enough on the second...but I had fun.

Cheers

RainySea
02-23-2011, 11:19 PM
Hi Chris. . . nice sketches. I esp. like the first one. The understated tree in that one is great and the form and perspective on the building

JTMB
02-23-2011, 11:56 PM
A couple of nice ones again, Chris!

Joan T
02-24-2011, 11:10 AM
Great beach sketches!!! You really got the feel of your surroundings. Good job on the buildings too.

DrDebby
02-24-2011, 10:06 PM
Great sketches. Are you avoiding flowers at the botanical gardens?

seejay
02-25-2011, 08:50 PM
Thanks everyone.

Debby asked Are you avoiding flowers at the botanical gardens?

Not deliberately - the gardens contain a lot of trees and palms, not a lot of flowers. The rose gardens weren't in bloom either, maybe all the rain over the last few months has affected them. I'm not a big flower type of person, but I'll see if I notice any next time we are there.:D

Cheers

poochemio
02-26-2011, 01:10 PM
Both of these are quite interesting, like the purple shadows on the second.

seejay
02-28-2011, 04:08 AM
Thanks Margo - I think the shadows are a bit too purple. Since I did the sketch I have seen the tip to add some yellow to the mix to knock it back a bit - I shall have to try next time I'm wc sketching for a comparison.

Cheers

seejay
03-02-2011, 08:45 PM
Tried to use wc at the beach this morning, but rainy weather made it slow drying - I need a lot more practice and patience to work wet.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2011/6409-3march2011_wc.resized.jpg

Cheers

DrDebby
03-02-2011, 09:45 PM
I like how you did the sky on this one. Sorry it was too damp.

RainySea
03-02-2011, 11:00 PM
I think its nice. . . working wet in wet watercolor is the hardest thing for me!! Like the sky and that tree.

poochemio
03-02-2011, 11:36 PM
Well the sky looks like it's rainy so I say success, also the last time I tried to paint with wc and it began to rain it washed my page practically clean before I could run for cover at least you still have yours!

JTMB
03-03-2011, 02:09 AM
The last one looks fine to me. Watercolor works great usually, but rain or damp makes it a real challenge!

seejay
03-03-2011, 06:49 PM
Thanks everyone. Still a few pages in this book, dare I aim to finish it this month???:D

Cheers

CandAlArt
03-03-2011, 10:52 PM
I agree your rainy painting is great, particularly the sky. Keep it up!

Artlike
03-04-2011, 12:20 AM
Chris.......the sketch book is great ....and so are your paintings!
Ed

Joan T
03-05-2011, 10:37 AM
The dampness from the rain makes the drying time even longer. That's the fun of plein air. Nice!!

seejay
03-05-2011, 10:26 PM
Thanks a lot Candace, Ed and Joan, your encouragement is appreciated.