Another plein air at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot, done mostly on site and another half hour in the studio adding the last few details. This one is on Twinrocker paper. I use Twinrocker a lot in the studio and have just started to use it more painting plein air. Love it for that purpose too! I love how this paper is sized and how the color seems to float more on the top instead of sinking in right away. It also lifts very will too.
Here is a small plein air painting of part of the Germany Pavilion at Epcot. This one was done in two sessions. I had most of it done on the first day and then returned to lay in the background trees and add the details. I like to plein air paint in my sketchbook ( Stillman & Birn Alpha Series) but lately I have been doing a few on paper taped to a board. I ordered a sample pack of a variety of watercolor papers from different manufacturers to try them out. I normally paint on Arches or Twinrocker. This one was done from an Arches watercolor block, 140 lb. I will be trying out some of the other papers in future paintings and let you know how I like them.
Check out my Travel Sketches and other Plein Air works:
This plein air painting was done at the China Pavilion at Epcot. I had all but the last few details done on site and then finished it in the studio. The challenge on this one was all the colorful ornamentation and details on the structure. Therefore, this was a great exercise in indication and not getting caught up on details. The paper on this one is one of my favorites, Twinrocker.
The day I painted this I was getting hungry I always keep a protein bar or some nuts in my bag for just such an occasion. I had a bowl of almonds with me that day and as soon as I took the lid off of them, I had a buddy! He was not shy in the least, as you can tell by these photos.
This was my sketch from last week. You never know when you work outside what you will encounter: can't find shade where you want to sketch, bugs, crowds, people wanting to chit chat right when you have started to lay a critical wash down, vehicles pulling up and blocking your view, and landscaping maintenance, just to name a few. The latter was what I encountered the day this sketch was done, hedge trimmers, cherry pickers beeping, pressure washing, etc. You get the idea. That's why this one was quick and loose! Share your stories in the comments of the craziest things you have run across while painting or sketching outside.
This past July I mentioned I was working on another Disney illustration project but I couldn’t say what it was. When it’s in the guest hands I can let the cat out of the bag! If your received my last newsletter, (you can subscribe here) you already know that Jock Lindsey from the Indiana Jones series is my alter ego!
One of the new attractions at Disney Springs, formerly knows as Downtown Disney, is Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar, themed after the infamous pilot in the Indiana Jones series. The story goes, Jock flew Indiana Jones to Florida in the late 1930's to search for the fountain of youth. He loved it so much he settled here in the 1940's on the waterfront and opened a bar in a deserted airplane hangar. As he was dreaming up cocktails to serve. He started sketching out ideas in watercolor. My (I mean Jock's) favorite cocktails and sketches are featured in the cocktail menu. They are: The Cool Headed Monkey, Reggie's Revenge, Hovito Mojito and Anything Goes. I didn't design the cocktails, Jock took care of that. But I did have a hand doing (I mean helping) him with the illustrations for the menu. I can't wait to try them!
If you visit Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar and try any of them let me know what you think!
I have been starting up again my once a week plein air watercolor sketch outing. My goal is to user a larger sketchbook and get quicker with the drawing and looser with the painting. I'm using a 9" x 11" Stillman & Birn, Alpha Series sketchbook. I am really liking this painting surface. A few of my other books have hand-made khadi paper which I also like, but I'm loving how the color is popping off the page with this smoother paper! The Alapha Series paper is thinner than their Beta Series paper. The advantage to that is you get more paper in the book and I'm able to watercolor sketch on both sides of the sheet with no bleed through. That's how nice this paper is. It's a little more like a hot press surface than a cold press paper, if you were to compare it to watercolor paper, but not as smooth and slick as some hot press papers are.
The main reason watercolor is my preferred medium at the moment is for my love of sketching in watercolor. Once I did this for a number of years I had the desire to try my hand at larger works! My sketchbooks are like my little children, complete treasures. I love looking through them to remind me of the memories of the places I have traveled.
If you are interested in sketching in watercolor, documenting your travels or your daily life, I will be teaching a "Sketching in Watercolor: Plein Air" Workshop" at the Winter Garden Art Association. One this fall, November 14 & 15 and one this spring, April 11 & 12. Leave me a comment or send me an email if you would like to register for the spring class.
My complete workshop schedule is on my web site here.
There is a group of artists that goes out every Friday to paint at Epcot and I'm joining them to make it a "painting practice" similar to a yoga practice. Just like yoga, it clears the mind and you feel great after you do it! I'm really enjoying it because it reminds me of watercolor sketching on my travels, and since we are painting the countries in World Showcase at Epcot, it especially feels that way! This was my third time and already I can feel an improvement in drawing, painting and time management. (I have posted a number or my watercolor travel sketches you can see by clicking here. You can scroll through and look at a number of older posts.)
These sessions I'm painting a bit more in detail than what I normally do in my watercolor sketch book but I'm trying to stay loose and spontaneous as I do while sketching. It's hard not to get too caught up in the details.
I feel the key has been for me to take time with the drawing, site measuring and getting the proportions accurate. There is nothing more frustrating than to put a really loose drawing down, start to paint then realizing there is something way off, which is what happened to me a few weeks ago. I spent about an hour on this drawing, block in. Knowing I was going to paint, I wasn't too detailed with the pencil work. I'm drawing with a mechanical pencil and painting on a 9 x 12 Arches Watercolor Block.
The last couple of times I stayed for two hours, this time three. One hour dedicated to drawing and two for painting. Having more time for the painting allowed me to get closer to a finished painting, but I still feel I have a few areas and values I would like to tweak.
I'm also being more conscious of composition and editing out details, not wanting to paint an area just because it's there if I feel it won't work in the painting. You can see from the view that I edited out the white building on the left. I didn't want a big white block on one side of the painting.
If you paint plein air or sketch in watercolor, I wold love for you to make comments and share any tips!
Last Friday I painted with the Walt Disney Imagineers again from one of the bridges overlooking the lake and a view of the Japan Pavilion at Epcot. I am loving my en Plein Air Pro Easel the more I use it. It is so easy to set up and I find it very comfortable to work on. We had a bit of a cloudy over cast day and at one point it started to drizzle a bit, but not enough to pack up. I thought I would show bit of a progression. It took about 2 hours to draw and paint. I got it to a point I feel I can finish it in the studio. I'm working on an Arches Watercolor Block and a palette of various colors I'm experimenting with to determine a good plein air palette with the number of wells I have.
Last week I had the fortunate opportunity to plein air paint with some Walt Disney Imagineers in Italy, at Epcot. We arrived at sun up to have just shy of a couple of hours to paint. Instead of working in my sketch book I thought I would give the plein air easel a go and work on piece of paper. I don't know why but when I'm working in the sketch book I'm looser and don't focus on the details as much. I need to start applying that same mentality to the piece of paper! Maybe I should work smaller to have the same size surface as my sketchbook and I won't have the urge to be as detailed.
It was a glorious day and it's so magical being in the park before the guests arrive!
Next time I'm going to force myself to be quicker with the drawing/sketch so there is more time for painting.
It's been a busy few weeks. Where on earth did September go! I'm finally feeling a bit caught up from having been gone in September moving my daughter back to college and attending the Florida Watercolor Society convention. I was not able to attend the "An Affair of the Art," Disney Ryman Show out in Los Angeles, as it was going on the same time as the convention. However, my husband who was out there on business was able to go! He sent me photo updates throughout the evening and I was so happy to learn that "Balinese Lotus," sold!
I also had a painting Do You do Voodoo in the current exhibition, "The Edge of Night, " at the 127 SoBo Gallery and it sold at the opening reception last Thursday!
I hope everyone is having a nice fall season. We finally got some cool weather here in Florida last Sunday, so I have a bit of a pep in my step!