Life Class

I almost didn’t go as I was so tired but I decided it was worth it at the last minute. Very glad I did – nice to do some charcoal work for a change.

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x11”

How about a Christmas wreath I thought. Shouldn’t be too tricky no? As it turned out it wasn’t too bad at all apart from one thing. I got about 2/3 of the way round and was extremely bored. It was about here:

But I soldiered on to the end and got a bit more splashy and am quite pleased with the results.

A little too tight in places but turned about pretty festive I thought.

Happy Holiday Snowman

Snowman.  Michele Clamp.  Watercolor 8”x10”
Snowman. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 8”x10”

Isn’t it always the way? You write a blog post on one day. You say how the preliminary sketches never come out right and it’s a really good way of working out problems. The next day you sit down and do the exact same thing and the sketch turns out to be the finished thing.

At the prompting of my CMO (i.e. James) a Christmassy painting was ordered. Apparently there had to be a snowman with a carrot nose, a tartan scarf and a robin perching on him. Well the tartan scarf wasn’t going to happen and since when do snowmen have tartan scarves anyway? But the rest seemed like a good idea so off I went. There wasn’t much reference material to be found so this is mostly from imagination but he came out well.

Happy Holidays to everyone – I will mostly be trying not to eat too much.

Spinafex Pigeon

Spinafex pigeon. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 10”x8”

I don’t usually do preparatory sketches for the birds. Most of the design work can be done just by making a good choice of pose. Something that’s characteristic of the bird but also makes a good shape and pattern of light and dark. This time I thought I’d try something different and start with a rough watercolor sketch=. This is what came out.

Yeah right. I mostly learned what not to do in the final painting but maybe that’s the point?

Anyway – after a rocky start I was very happy with the final painting.

Maine Lighthouse

Maine Lighthouse. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

Maine Lighthouse. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

Maine Lighthouse


11”x14”/16”x20” matted.

One of a series of lighthouses in a more naturalistic, subtle style.

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Another go attempting something with subdued color.   Maybe a little too tentative in places but hangs together well.

A couple of intermediate shots below. I decided to use masking fluid for the lighthouse so I could sweep the sky in wet in wet. In the end I’m not convinced it was worth the trouble.

Here is a shot after the sky went in and I’m half way through the rocks. Always a bit of a gamble rocks but they’re progressing well here. Part of the secret is to be confident, vary the colors but don’t delineate every rock outline.

Kittery Lighthouse – An Experiment

Kittery Lighthouse. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

I have a bit of a tendency to overdo the colors in my paintings. For this one I decided to try and mute back everything, gray out the blues and the greens etc. It didn’t turn out to be a beautiful painting but there’s lots here I like. The scrubby brushwork on the rocks came out well as did the partial wet in wet for the lighthouse itself. All in all I think it’s positive