Santa Cat came to visit today as I was trying to get back into the swing of things after Thanksgiving. watercolor and gouache.
And time spent wondering why gouache turns so muddy when blending ‘primaries’. Could be a sure sign that my ‘starter’ kit was just that: a starter. I should probably toss the remainder and upgrade to a full set of the luscious paints by M Graham Wonder if Santa Cat might drop something beneath the tree? Hmmmmm
As I’m working on this cat series, I’ve been viewing cat photos from the local animal shelters, which is a dangerous pastime. There are so many beautiful cats out there, needing good homes. But I am resisting visiting them and adopting them Painting only!
It’s Caturday just a little early, and I’m continuing my circus cat series. Here’s #5. The background was selected for this week’s #colour_collective challenge, in brilliant gold; gouache and watercolor.
The gold watercolor from a jar of old, now discontinued, watercolor pigment that was made by Daniel Smith. Sadly, they appear to no longer sell the pigments or the metallic dry powder. I will have to use the remaining 18 grams wisely – of find a new source.
The cat is watercolor. I was asked on the previous cat painting how I got the fur strokes. Those are done with a rigger (or liner) brush. There’s a bit of ink around the eyes and the nice flat background is done with gouache.
Since I am still struggling with Papier-mâché, but in love with circus performing dogs, I decided to just paint some of my dogs-in-mind. The problems with paper mache is both the tools – Papier-mâché is inherently lumpy and the artist – I was working too small, so the lumps look like craters and mountains (see photo
below). Hence I decided to commit some of the animals that I am thinking of to the painted page. #5 is my first shot. The painting is a mixture of watercolor paint and pencils, then covered with ink and acrylic paints.
For the final day of the bird drawing class, we were lucky enough to have access to mounted birds from the collection of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Some of these were absolutely gorgeous. A few were moth eaten or had been passed around to a few too many people. The dates on these specimens went back decades. But having a bird that will sit still while you draw is a real thrill.
Look at the back claws on this baby! The name, meadowlark, sounds so pastoral, but those claws bring to mind cockfighting. Perhaps the birds just need a really strong anchor on a branch on windy days?
The course was drawing, not painting. Imagine how much fun this would be in full color. I took several snapshots and am hoping to move on to the watercolors of him/her soon.
Building tiny armatures of wire, tin foil and masking tape for papier-mâché circus dogs.
This new found passion began a few weeks back when I discovered myself without power during Hurricane Matthew, but recalling directions on how to cover plastic and styrofoam Dollar Store pumpkins with papier-mâché, I started wrapping some old pumpkins and cats’ heads in papier-mâché. That was the most fun that I have had in ages.
For the past few weeks, I have been taking a bird drawing class at our local botanical Gardens. I have never taken a botanical class before. Back when I got my degree in art ed, the focus was on abstract. Being figurative was regarded as a sure sign of repressed creativity. I recall one painting professor who would hold all night painting sessions so that we could learn to ‘paint loose’. His true preferred painting technique was to throw paint at the canvas.
It has been a huge surprise to find myself in a drawing course where the focus is on being really, really really tight. Last week we focused on wings and feet. Below is one of my wings. We were encouraged to count and number the feather so that we got each one correct and in the right place. All that I can say is that there are a boatload of feathers just on one wing!
It’s a late start to #inktober this year. I did a bit of playing with vectorizing the image, which lets me play with the line quality on the computer! It’s also the only time that I’ve used Adobe Illustrator and not wanted to slap the computer.