There were a lot of Monarch Butterflies around this summer. There is a field nearby full of milkweed and whenever I passed I paused and spent some time watching the Monarchs flutter from plant to plant.
Closer to home, I found this butterfly on a milkweed beside my driveway. I had to look it up to discover that it is a Pearly Eye Butterfly. I took a photograph of it and used that to sketch it using pen and ink and watercolour pencils.
I had taken lots of photographs of the Monarchs and milkweed on my walks but hadn’t yet tried to paint them when I found a dead butterfly on the road. I picked it up and took it home to sketch.
Next I tackled a Monarch from one of my photos. I did the background wet in wet first and added the butterfly afterwards.
I carry my fountain pen filled with waterproof ink and my homemade sketchbook with me on my morning walks. When I do an ink sketch I also take a photograph, usually with my cell phone and use watercolours later when I’m home to finish them. I also take photos with my camera to paint later.
The two watercolour sketches above were done from photographs taken about 30 minutes apart. One facing east, the other west.
These are some recent watercolour sketches I did from photographs taken on my early morning walks.
The ospreys are not always at their nest. If they are, as soon as I appear around the corner, they usually take flight and cry alerting me to the fact that they are there. They fly out over the road and then circle back and away from view.
The picture I based this painting on was taken on a sunny morning. The light made the reeds glow.
Here are some very loose ink sketches done during my recent trip to San Francisco. My idea was to sketch these buildings using pen and ink on location and then paint them later with watercolours.
One of the Painted Ladies. The trees have grown up so you can only see the upper parts of the building. This was the only brightly coloured one. I sketched it in pen on location and coloured it later with watercolour pencils.
Here are some watercolour sketches I did on my recent trip to California. I was there for the NIADA doll conference. We stayed at the Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California.
Early each morning during the conference I went down to the beach with my watercolours to sketch.
I had just started this sketch when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. There were seals on the rocks to my left. I didn’t sketch them as they were difficult to see in the shadows on the rocks. I do have other sketches of seals and sea lions in my sketchbook form other locations.
For my third sketch, I did most of it on location on one morning and finished it in my room later.
I was in the middle of the sketch when I looked up and saw off to the side a deer and her fawn just a feet feet away. The mother was waking away but the fawn had its back to me and I was able to grab my camera and get a few shots of it before it went off to join its mother.
All of the watercolour sketches were done with no preliminary drawing.
My latest fabric sculpture is an Earth Goddess. She is inspired by the colours and shapes of the ochre quarries of Rousillon, France which I visited several years ago. There is no mining of the ochre now but you can visit an old quarry.
I took this doll to the NIADA Conference in Asilomar, Pacific Grove, California, where I had a great time and met some wonderful doll artists.
In order to facilitate packing and transportation I used magnets to join the legs to the torso.
I painted her with watercolours before adding the face features with pastel pencils. I painted absorbant ground on the base before painting it with the same watercolours.
I spun the yarn for the hair on a drop spindle before sewing it to the head.
I randomly beaded the light parts of her torso, arms and legs.
She is named Poly because she has 6 fingers on each of her hands.
I signed up to do the #30x30DirectWatercolor2018 challenge issued by Marc Taro Holmes. I was inspired by all those who posted their practice/preparatory pieces to do one of my own in May.
This is a direct watercolour done from a photo of myself and three friends. I wasn’t going for a likeness; my aim was to have them look like people.
Once June started I was in the midst of another art project with a deadline coming soon so I haven’t been doing much of anything else. However, I did another direct watercolour of one of my friends from the same photograph trying to get a likeness this time. I hope to get time to do the other and maybe myself as well.
This is a great exercise and I hope I get time to do some more before the month is up. In any case I am really enjoying the challenge of not drawing with a pencil first and I plan to do more of this.
This crab apple tree is located between 2 large pine trees in my front yard in Ottawa. This year it was visited by a Pileated Woodpecker who worked on a couple of the branches. One of the branches came down in the last wind storm. Every year I expect it to die but it’s still surviving. I have painted it in bloom and in the fall and decided this time to concentrate on the bark.
I was raking leaves that didn’t get cleaned up last fall and noticed that the rhubarb was up.
I took a break to take a photo of the rhubarb which I used the next day to do a quick watercolour sketch.
I did a wet in wet under painting and then played with what was there to make it look like flowers. I don’t know of any flowers that look like the blue ones I painted. They may only exist in my imagination.
Spring has finally arrived. There are buds on the trees and the grass is green. The change in the weather inspired me to paint the following watercolours.
I decided to play with paint and chose for the first painting a limited palette of turquoise, yellow, and green.
After the first layer dried I painted in the grasses and added some purple for contrast.
For the second painting I used more colours.
I wasn’t very imaginative with what I added after the first layer dried. Maybe it isn’t finished yet.
Anyway, I did have fun and that’s the main thing.