I painted again this morning at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and got a good block in and will go back next week to work on it again. Here is the finished painting from my November 25, post. This is the area that overlooks the Siamang Gibbon exhibit. I'm very happy with this one. Since there was a lot of green area in this composition, my goal was to pay attention to color temperature and value to have variety.
I apologize to my loyal blog followers! I haven't been very active on here lately. I have a full plate of teaching workshops, private students, demos, shows, painting for upcoming shows, and a kitchen remodel that is still in the works! Therefore, I've been limiting my time on social media and writing blog posts. I'm looking forward to things slowing down over the holidays. This morning my husband and I went back out to Animal Kingdom to paint. I had started this one in an earlier session, and finished it today. We have a little less than a 2 hour window to paint each time.
I like how Violet is patting my shadow shoulder.
I had the Saimang Monkeys that are native to Southeast Asia keeping me company today. Since the weather has cooled off a bit they are a lot more active. Violet and Veruka are five-year old twin sisters.
The group I have been painting with at Epcot on Fridays has now moved to Animal Kingdom. We are so psyched! I was on the design team for this park and have loved it from day one. We traveled to many places in Asia during the concept and design phase and spending time in the Asia area of Animal Kingdom brings back so many great memories.
One of my favorite things about plein air painting is the ambiance surrounding you. At the location today, I thought I would share with you some of my surroundings. Just behind where I was painting was the home of the White Cheeked Gibbons. One of the females just had a baby, and here is a video of her with her mom and a few of the males. The female is a brown color and the males are dark. The baby's name is Harper named after Harper Lee.
Every morning around 8:00 they start this ritual where they screech, or sing if you will, to mark their territory. It is an unbelievable sound and the first time you hear it you think they are electronic sirens or alarms! Here is a sound snippet of their songs! Stick with it they really get going about half way through this one minute audio.
Price Includes Shipping
Limited Edition Archival Giclée Print Signed and Numbered, Edition of 300
Original Painting is SOLD.
Image Size: 10" x 14", 25.4 cm x 35.5 cm
Paper Size: 16" x 20" , 40.6 cm x 51 cm
Image Size: 7" x 5,” (17 .7 cm x 12.7 cm)
Paper Size: 10” x 8,” (25.4 cm x 20.3 cm)
I was planning on painting plein air at Disney's Animal Kingdom today but the weather put a kibosh on that! Hurricane Matthew is howling outside as I'm posting this. I feel extremely blessed, It doesn't seem to be as bad here as what was predicted yesterday but the coasts are getting the worst of it. I hope all my friends on the coasts are weathering the storm OK. Everybody stay safe!!
This is a plein air piece I started a few weeks ago and put the finishing touches on in the studio, I'm really happy with the light quality and contrast on this one. I feel it has good lights and darks. It's kind of tricky painting a white structure and maintaining a nice value plan.
My workshop, "Photoshop as a Tool for Artists," is coming up at the Winter Garden Art Association/SoBo Gallery, on October 20. This is a one day workshop to help artists learn all the different ways they can use Photoshop for their artwork, to marketing to entering shows.
I have a work in progress painting from my outing today. I went across Lake Butler to the other side from my community and started a painting of the boat houses. I was in a relaxing mood this morning and took my time. I will go back to the same location to finish it another day. This is about 2 hours scoping location, drawing and painting.
I was anxious to try my new toys I got at the Florida Watercolor Society Convention & Trade Show last week. I've always wanted a travel brush set. At some point, I will condense my kit even more to have a small one that just fits in my purse, I can use on occasion, instead of carrying a separate bag. They just happen to be the same brush type I use all the time plein air painting. I love the Escoda Perla series. In addition to the #14, I now have a #10, #6 and a #2, in the travel kit! The extra bonus is I can use them in the studio too! The smaller brush came in really handy on the spanish moss. It doesn't show up very well in the photo, they came in a black leather case.
I also bought a #16 Escoda Versatil. I had a #14 and found it to be a bit small for what I wanted. This is a synthetic sable brush. I like to have a bigger sable like brush to lay in large washes and skies. This worked out really well!!
To quote Tom Haverford on the TV series, Parks & Recreation, "Treat yo-self!"
I went out plein air painting this friday and last, in the community of Windermere, where I live and got a couple of good starts. I will finish them on site or in the studio. Why didn't I finish on site? Last week it was still pretty hot and as the sun shifted onto me, with sweat dripping on my work, it was time to call it quits. Today, I brought the umbrella, and had a great shady peaceful spot, until about a dozen kids that are home schooled came to the adjacent park for recess! It became super hard to focus. Oh well, they were having a great time!
The top photo is one I did earlier this summer when the Flower & Garden Festival was on at Epcot. Every year, local residents loan their gorgeous bonsai, for the festival. Some are more than twenty years old! I always enjoy seeing them every year!
As Third Vice President for the Florida Watercolor Society, I will be at the annual convention all next week. However, I still get to paint plein air one day. I will be doing a one day plein air workshop with Steve Rogers! I can't wait! I am also the Social Media Chair for FWS. If you would like to see what goes on at the annual convention like the FWS Facebook page here.
Staying inside today while hurricane Hermine passes through Florida. The west coast and panhandle are getting it way worse than we are in central Florida. Everybody be safe! I thought I would post a plein air sketch I did earlier this summer at Epcot. This one is in the Japan Pavilion. I loved painting all the different color temperatures in the rocks. Plus, I also really like doing long vertical formats in my sketchbook.
Since I try weather permitting, to paint every Friday morning, most of the time with the folks at Walt Disney Imagineering at Epcot. I thought why not start a new series on my blog where I post the paintings and sketches! I have been pretty good about posting them on Facebook if you want to follow me there. This one was done in downtown historic Winter Garden, Florida. It was done in two sessions. It has been really hot here and I didn't have the drive or focus to finish it in one go.
I had a great time teaching my watercolor sketching workshop recently. I was telling my students how I got into the practice of sketching in watercolor which later led to watercolor being my primary media as a painter. Years ago I came upon the book, Sara Midda's South of France Sketchbook. I loved how she captured the quintessential elements of the South of France in sketches with watercolor. I then started collecting almost every book like it I could find. I have books by architects and artists who have sketched, Italy, France, China and other countries. This is way before the Urban Sketching movement. A lot of my books came from France where the practice of travel sketching is known as "Carnet de Voyage," a travel sketchbook. There were even dedicated sections in the bookstores in Paris to these type of books. When I lived there and went to these shops, I was like a kid in a candy store.
For me, getting really comfortable painting in watercolor is due to starting watercolor travel sketchbooks. When I moved to Honk Kong I met artist Lorette Roberts, who has done a whole series of books capturing various areas on Hong Kong with watercolor sketches. I have every single one and love them. Lorette and I still keep in touch through Facebook. She was a big inspiration for me to start and maintain a sketching practice.
As I told my students, if you have the slightest interest in learning to paint with watercolor start a sketchbook!!! You don't have to only do it when you travel. You can start with simple things or just do it in your own backyard. You will then be far more comfortable doing it when you do travel. For me it took the intimidation out of creating a "painting." It's only a sketch and it's only for me. I can choose to share with others or not.
Start a book and don't worry if some of the sketches suck or you think are failures. It doesn't matter! What does matter is that you enjoy doing it and by doing it on a regular basis you can't help but get better! Iain Stewart, is another artist friend who sketches a lot in Watercolor. He has a philosophy that I love. He says never tear out a page from your sketchbook! Whether its a "fail" or a "keeper," leave it in the book. Once you fill the book it's a great way to look back on your progression and how much you improved, because you will. :-) Plus, especially if you do them while you travel, they will become your most treasured possessions. No photo can take the place of a sketch. Looking at it will take you right back there.
If you are intimidated by going out on your own, ask some friends, or start a group. While in Hong Kong, I met a local artists and she and I would set a date to go out at least once a week somewhere. What is wonderful now is when I look at those sketches I have fond memories of the time we spent together!
Some of the biggest takeaways my students have expressed to me are, learning about perspective to sketch architecture, learning how to break a scene down into simple shapes and compose it how you like, and learning to use the pencil as a measuring stick and proportion while drawing so that what you want to express fits on the page.
If you are curious to start a sketching practice, what is your biggest fear or reason for not doing so? If you do have a practice, what do you love the most about it? Please leave a comment I would love to hear from you! If you are curious to see my watercolor travel sketches you can click here.
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.