Paris – Prep Sketches

I have a huge amount of photographs of Paris taken during a two months stay some years ago, but for my new series “On the road” I wanted something that spoke of its unique charm.

I started to get some prep sketches down this week and work on choosing a palette for the piece. This particular study was completed using Turquoise, Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow.

I will have to keep experimenting as this limited palette does not “feel” like Paris to me.

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Poinsettia

Every Christmas I buy one specimen of this beautiful plant because I just cannot resist those wonderful scarlet leaves. Every time I hope that I will be able to grow them and do them no harm… and every year I face the inevitable: they die on me!

This year, the beauty and lush of the plant I purchased this year was too overwhelming to allow it go without painting it, keeping at least a glimpse of her beauty with me.

So this is the subject of the last free inspirational painting before starting on the long stretch for the two themes that will go into my new show.

Here are the first stages.

 

Experiments

Busy holiday seasons don’t go along with creative studio time and it was sort of blessing for me as I have been feeling a bit “trapped” in watercolor lately.

It does happen when the perfectionist in me acts up: suddenly everything I do is not good enough and colors turn into shades of grey…

A few months ago I have found out a great way to free myself from this impasse is to just create whatever catches my imagination at a the time with a new medium. I think the reason it works so well for me is that, since it is not my medium of choice, I actually make allowances for myself to make mistakes and take it easy 🙂

Today I chose to work with acrylics on a painting of Koi Carps. I have always been fascinated by these animals and I found them mystical and romantic.

I started with the background. Acrylics are a lot more transparent than we actually think! But they are also very quick to dry so one has to work quite quickly to give the sfumato effect you see here as a transition between blue and purple.

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After the background had dried, I worked in the fish color and added some sculpting gel to give the effect of impasto to the tails.

This is still a work in progress, but I really like how it’s progressing. I’d love to hear if any of you has any suggestions or comments on improvements.

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Trying out

Life gets hectic around this time of the year and, as usual, my studio work suffers 😦 . To make up for the gaping hole my colors leave, I often look for and watch other artists demos. It’s a fun way to see how other creatives are using and bending the media and get a fresh perspective on it.

This is how I came about the exquisite work of French watercolorist Jacques Williet . Mister Williet use of traditional watercolor techniques, wet on wet, and striking palette really stroke a cord in my creative mind and his influence will felt in my upcoming collections.

I tried the technique from one of his demos and , although the results were far from being perfect, I thoroughly enjoyed the process.fullsizerender-6

The blue dress

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The blue dress – watercolor on paper

My love for wet in wet work truly shows in this piece. I started with a loose sketch of the figure and I was not quite sure of how I would proceed from there. I just loved the pose.

This sketch sat, propped on the board, against my studio wall for over 2 months. After viewing some demo by Jacques Williet and Viktoria Prischedko, inspiration struck.

I wanted to work with contrasting colors but also colors that would work well together and create a timeless romantic atmosphere.

 

Sunsets experiments

This small little study attempts to recreate that magic effect of bright light bordering the clouds while the sun hides behind them at sunset.

I am hoping to perfect and use this technique in my Sunset series 🙂

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Sunset clouds study – watercolor paper

Into the mist

This piece is dear to me in many ways. The subject, a cold morning walk in the mist,is particularly moving for me but the most important thing about this piece is actually how it developed.

I had given it some thought and planned carefully the washes, but then something happened… I lost my plan in the mists of colors and the painting played out sort of on his own… just like the character in a novel does for a writer. Really fascinating.

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Into the mist – watercolor on paper