Ivy Contour Sketch

A Quick Contour Sketch with Watercolor
This is a very quick sketch done in class to demonstrate how little time and effort it takes to get something on a sketchbook page. Something to remind us of the lesson, the day, the people we were with . . .

We studied greens this week ~ greens made with blue and yellow, and greens made with green and other colors added. Greens, for some reason are difficult. I'm wondering if it is because we have very definite ideas about the greens we personally like, and then when we use them, we are a little insecure about using the correct greens for the subject. Just thinkin'.

It's been a good art week. I spent a few hours planning a workshop with a friend, and I started two new eight-week watercolor classes. Lots of great people!

Now I suppose it is back to working on the bathroom remodel. I had a friend say, "Don't stay home while they're remodeling your bathroom." Another friend said, "Whatever you do, don't go away while they remodel your bathroom." We are doing it ourselves ~ no one ever said anything about that. Stay tuned ~ I'll have a few things to say when we are finished.


annie said...

You may be onto something, Catherine, about our "definite ideas about the greens we personally like."

I've noticed, how many experienced artists-- as well as beginners like me-- talk about the frustrations of getting the green that they want. I've done several 2-3-page studies in my sketchbooks, using leaves that I collected outside, but when put next to the real leaves, my matches were quite off. I think, as you said, our memory is wrong. Adding some form of red has helped me, sometimes, but I also have trouble getting the greens dark enough.

Ronell in AFRICAN TAPESTRY mixes on her paper because she sees a breakdown of colors when she looks at her foliage-- so she just lets those colors flow in and they seem to blend into believable greens. Her results look great to me though they don't satisfy her. Unfortunately, I do not see those colors, myself, when I look at greens-- guess I will just have to KEEP LOOKING.


Artoholic said...

Catherine what a lovely lively sketch you've created - I think the greens are great.

Here in Australia we have especially formulated greens - Australian Leaf Green Light and Dark that we can use for foliage - think gum trees and you've got it. However, I also think you can use whatever green makes you happy!

Looking forward to seeing more of your work.



Catherine said...

Annie - mixing on the paper is so much more interesting. The pigment continues to move and separate as long as it is wet.

There is a lot less control when mixing on the paper, but the results are more satisfying.

When I paint something that someone else says they can't see (as you say with your greens), I must admit to them that I may not see it either, but I WANT to! So I paint it.

Cindy - how interesting that you have Australian colors! What brand are they? From what companies do you buy your paints? Do you have the same catalogs that we do - Daniel Smith, Cheap Joes, asw, Jerry's?

I'm sorry - I can't think gum trees :)

Artoholic said...

Hi Catherine,

I used to work in an Art Supplies store, so temptation was too great! I'm sure I spent more on supplies then I actually got paid.

Here's a rundown of my watercolour paints (Lets not even talk about my oils/acrylics/gouaches and pastel supply!)

ART SPECTRUM is the Aussie brand, which is also sold in the US. (I see their ads in the US mags). They have a huge range of Aussie colours suited to our landscape.

WINSOR & NEWTON is the UK brand which have some unique beautiful colours also.

DALER ROWNEY is another UK brand of which I have a few.

HOLBEIN is curiously enough a Japanese company, even the the name is derived form the Eurpean artist Hans Holbein. They have some excellent watercolours in the most unusal colours. They have released an antique range of watercolours called IRODORI in the palette colours used by Japanese & Chinese artists centuries ago. They are opaque, so I don't know why they are not gouache, technically speaking.

ROYAL TALENS are from Holland - I have the Van Gogh range of watercolours which also tend towards opaque.


A lot of the Art Stores here are family owned businesses, some with many branches across the country. WE don't have Cheap Joes etc, but I see a lot of their ads in the art/craft mags! Dick Blicks is one that we have been recommended to buy from if w need certain items that we can;t get here. Are they a good store to deal with you think?

Gum trees! I saw more Eucalytus trees in LA than back here! All they needed were koalas and kookaburras in them and it could've been a bit of bush in OZ.



Catherine said...

Cindy - I didn't realize that eucalyptus and gum trees were the same thing! We don't have eucalyptus here in Michigan, but I am familiar with them growing in northern California. I just love them - maybe because we don't have them here.

Thanks for sharing your line-up of paint brands. We live in a small resort town in northern Michigan with the closest place to find a variety of art supplies about four hours away. We all rely on catalogs, and I particularly like the Daniel Smith brand of watercolors. danielsmith.com.

Dick Blick is a very reputable co. Cheapjoes.com has great prices on name brand materials too.