Round Top, TX. With a population of only 94, the town features multiple B&B choices, a concert hall featuring solo, chamber, and orchestral music, antique and boutique shops galore, a theatre barn featuring Shakespeare, and great restaurants! We indulged in pie for lunch --- mine was a savory margarita chicken; Bill had "Texas Trash".
This wee chapel is located in the town square, where there were tons of butterflies and flowers.
26 August 2014
19 August 2014
Recently I caught this baby fox squirrel cooling his tummy. He had casually wandered from the back of the Adirondack chair to the large covered crock where we keep birdseed, finally ending up on the cool cement floor of our covered patio. I began taking photos from inside through a window. He soon noticed me, gave me a worried look, and then vamoosed.
15 August 2014
I've put together many palettes based on a warm and a cool of each primary. But how about one based on a warm and cool of each secondary color as well? Using the paints I have, I tried this in a classic color wheel. (Actually I only have a sample of the permanent orange but am definitely buying a tube of it --- It makes gorgeous clean greens when mixed with phthalo blue!)
This exercise called for painting a simple apple form using the whole spectrum of color, from yellows to greens. Of course, I couldn't leave it at that --- I added some detailing after the paint dried.
But I jotted down a few pointers from the book to have a record of it.
My favorite black mix is still ultramarine blue and burnt umber, but it's good to know a few more in case a painting calls for something else.
11 August 2014
So I now have a few of my own.
The rocks are from Loch Ness and the Black Isle in Scotland. Our daughter brought them back with her last year.
07 August 2014
Today is my mom's birthday. This is the card I painted for her this year. Our daughter introduced me to an incredibly detailed series of historical fiction by Diana Gabaldon and I in turn introduced my mother to them. The first book has been made into a TV series that premiers this week. Doune Castle in Scotland is standing in for Castle Leoch in the series; I thought Mom might enjoy a sketch of it.
We are really enjoying our church and the people there. Awesome place to worship our Lord.
02 August 2014
This past week was mostly humid . . . the kind that makes it hard to breathe. We have managed to take our early morning walks but after that, I have avoided going outside much. (Also, the intense brightness hurts my eyes -- I currently have 3 cataracts as well as glaucoma). So I've been sketching a few silly things inside. This Doctor Who version of Yahtzee was a birthday gift.
This sketch of a prickly pear cactus growing in one corner of our lot is from a photo I took in June. In all those past visits to Arizona, I never saw the desert blooming. My mother-in-law kept telling me how beautiful it was but I always missed it. So I made sure to take photos of this one. This one was probably planted on purpose but prickly pear grows abundantly in the wild around here.
Speaking of toys (as in the game above?), I always wanted Legos as a kid but never had any. So I have now collected a few of my own. Including this wee artist dude.
I was NOT happy with how this sketch turned out.
So I drew it again. A bit better this time maybe?
25 July 2014
One of our new neighbors is celebrating a birthday in a few days. I once sketched an owl house in one of his trees while visiting on his patio and he couldn't believe I was drawing on-the-spot like that. So I later shared some of my sketchbooks with him, which he loved.
I painted a card for him this week. He and his wife, recently deceased, made many lovely memories fishing together on Lake Somerville.
We went there for ice cream on Wednesday. Normally I try to match exact colors of things but this time I used the muted granulating palette I recently put together.
After ice cream, we drove around the small town . . . and saw two young deer feeding in someone's front yard. Not afraid of the car at all.
23 July 2014
Since I was first introduced to watercolors about 9 years ago, I have arranged my colors in a "rainbow" order from cool reds to warm blues or purples, followed by neutrals from light to dark. This order just made sense to me. Maybe being related to Sir Isaac Newton who studied prismatic colors influenced me?
But ever since studying Jane Blundell's excellent pigment information, I have been rethinking how I order my palettes. For limited or warm-and-cool palettes, I still go with the rainbow arrangement. But in palettes holding 20 colors, I'm now arranging them according to color and whether they are cool, warm, earthy or dark.This has been very helpful in quickly working in an all-cool or all-earthy color theme.
I keep the above chart pinned to the wall in my "studio" space (in the loft of our log cabin) to remind me of each pigment's properties. The colors in the top row are "extras" that I just happen to have --- Some I will definitely keep (love the potter's pink!") but I won't be replacing all of them when I run out of what's on hand. The blue apatite or lunar blue are very similar --- I'll probably keep the blue apatite, being a single pigment rather than a mix. That's the reason I finally gave up my favorite sap green from Daniel Smith, replacing it with green apatite genuine. Nearly the same color in a single pigment.
UPDATE: I'm getting rid of the sepia but adding Daniel Smith's permanent orange to the "extras" --- When mixed with phthalo blue, it makes amazing clean greens!