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Autumn landscape

autumn landscape

Maybe it´s the bleak weather we had here for the past few days that inspired me to do an autumn landscape, even tough it´s spring right now. At least that´s what I´m told… Or maybe it´s just the fact that I recently got myself a few new paints. My old ones did pretty well, but i was concerned with the lightfastness for some of them. I only got three primaries this time, in addition to the lightfast earth tones I already had.

So in order to get familiar with the paints, I used a limited palette for this one. To be precise cadmium yellow, cadmium red, ultramarine and yellow ochre. But mixed in different ways of course. I found that my greens mostly came out as olives. But I do enjoy olives, and maybe it´s just the way I mixed them. Tough I´m thinking it´s one of the properties of the pigments.

I tried to use a more loose style for this, with more wet washes. Most of it was done during breaks while i was studying, which means i never worked on it for very long at once. Maybe that was a good thing, since it forced me to allow the water to dry properly. I also found that I could find mistakes in it easier. But of course many of them still sneaked past me.

There was some trouble with getting the colors right when I photographed this one. I did my best to get it somewhat right, but a lot of the more subtle shades are not really visible. I find this to often be the case with watercolors. Anyone got any hints for getting it right?

Watercolor once more

I spent some time with my watercolor today. After finishing an abstract piece, I wanted to do something different.

Sometimes, it´s very easy to just keep doing things the way you normally do. And I normally don´t make portraits and things like that in watercolor. Most of my work tend to be either landscapes or abstracts. And I normally do landscapes and plants in oil pastel. Portraits, of both people and animals, are made in charcoal and graphite is used for quick sketches.

So this is basically a try at breaking the habit. I tried to work pretty fast and loosely with this, since I tend to obsess about detail.  This was made without any reference, since it was a fast and spontaneous thing. So there´s about a million anatomical mistakes and other fails in there. But at least it allowed me to see the potential watercolor has for portraits. It´s a nice medium, looks so alive.

This might not be the nicest piece, but I consider it to be an important step down the road.

I actually feel a bit guilty about neglecting my other mediums, but I think there will be more time for them when autumn arrives. And I plan to explore more subjects in all of them. Some of it might turn out well, other things are likely to fail. But I will be sure to learn from all of it.

What´s your favorite medium? And what are your usual subjects?

Some abstract watercolor

I received a small amount of money as a gift for my graduation, and decided to treat myself to some new watercolors with it. Been quite obsessed with watercolors lately, I tend to obsess about things quite often. But there´s something about them that just feels right, and they “feel like summer” to me. And oil pastels are more like winter. Or maybe I´m just crazy. I do love the look of watercolors however, especially for illustrations.

This picture is what was created yesterday evening, to try those colors out. I wanted to keep the number of colors fairly low, but still be able to try them out properly. So only using primaries seemed like a good choice. Realism didn´t feel very tempting at the time. There´s something about just playing with different shapes that´s very enjoyable. And it´s easier to get some variation in the picture this way. When you´re bored, just turn it upside down or something 😛 I have a landscape planned for tonight though, because I want to use some green.

The set of watercolor I got for myself  was Winsor & Newton Cotman, a set of 12 half pans. Student grade paint, but still a big step up from the stuff I used before. And the set was cheap and small, very convenient to bring along. Especially when you have a water brush. I also got myself some watercolor paper, Canson Montval,  wich is nice to have. Not the best stuff, but great for practicing on. And cheaper than the slightly obscure store brands.


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