Michele Clamp Art

Still Life

Fruit Demo 2

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Fruit Still Life. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

As it was still early and I had a fistful of reference photos I thought I’d have another go at a fruit still life. I haven’t done one of these in a long time and I was interested to see if I could still remember how to do things.

First the photo. A little more complicated than the previous one and I’ve always dreaded doing grapes.

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Drawing and first washes in. Not particularly confident at this point and I’d been a little tentative with the first washes so everything’s looking a bit washed out.

Next stage and things are looking a little better. Still not really very confident but at least the grapes aren’t giving me as much trouble as I’d thought.

Final version. To be honest I quit while I was ahead here. I could have gone back in and darkened up some of the grapes but felt the risk of ruining it was too great. Pretty happy with this to be honest.

And of course an easel shot.

Fruit Demo 1

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Fruit Still Life. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

I’m starting teaching on October 21st so I’ve been thinking about lesson plans and the like. I thought we’d start off with something simple to get people used to handling the paint and mixing colors.

I thought this would be much more straightforward than it was. Turns out that when you’re trying to think through what you’re going to say and paint at the same time everything gets more complicated. Added to that is that I was trying not to paint on automatic but only do things that I could clearly articulate. Easier said than done.

So here was the initial photo :

Nice basic shapes, good colors and distinct patterns of light and shade.

Drawing is fairly straightforward I hope. Concentrating on angles and junctions and negative spaces. I marked in the shadow areas and highlights more than I usually would for emphasis.

First layer with the midtones and some darks. My shadow on the lemon fell off but that’s ok.

final image with the darkest darks put in and some details in the stalks. I hope this isn’t either too simple or too complicated for people to follow along with.

And a nice easel shot. Always good to have one of those.

Tulips Revisited

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Tulips. Watercolor. Michele Clamp. 14”x11”

Another go at the tulips. Greens are always tricky so I calmed them down quite a bit on this one.

Still Life - WetCanvas Wedgewood Tea Set Challenge

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Wedgewood tea set. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 8”x10”

They’re coming thick and fast today. This is my stab at the wetcanvas February watercolor challenge. A pretty tricky subject with all those ellipses but came out well.

Here’s the original image


Sunflowers - First Prize Winner!

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Sunflowers. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

After something clicking with the irises last week I thought I’d try my old nemesis - sunflowers. All that yellow can be overwhelming and it’s really hard to get the petals without them looking extremely rigid. In this case I think the balance between definition and looseness is just about right. One for the win column.

Sunflowers
250.00

11”x14”/16”x20” matted.

Very excited to learn that this won first prize at the Boston Post Road Art Center still life exhibition!

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The Moleskine Journey - A step forward and some shameless pandering.

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I've been wanting to do a lobster for a while and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.    We don't often get the chance to use a lot of red so I made the most of this one.

This was an absolute joy to paint.   All Moleskine lessons learned were applied.   Plenty of water and plenty of paint.  Let the stuff puddle on the surface, keep painting quickly and don't expect much blending.  In fact this one was more like drawing with paint than anything else.

So the shameless pandering?   Well this was painted to be part of World Watercolor Month on facebook.    I've noticed that the paintings that get the most attention are :

  - brightly colored

 -  have a lot of contrast

 -  are not too detailed (phone screens are small).

 -  have an immediate impact (no fussiness).

Think I've covered all bases there.

And of course the gratuitous action shot.

The Moleskine Journey - Vegetables

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I started off painting the scissorwing in my A4 (roughly 8x11") Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.    This turned out well and so I came back to it for my next assignment - vegetables.

I've often complained about the paper in the Moleskine sketchbooks because, although the paper is thicker than standard, it isn't really watercolor paper at all.     Proper watercolor paper has some absorbency to it and once the paint is down it will carry on blending with whatever is around it.  This is a large part of the charm and challenge of watercolor - the damn stuff has a mind of its own.   This paper though - you put the paint down it basically stays there unless you go in immediately and coax it around.   And you have to do this quick as the paint dried almost instantaneously.

So it's frustrating.   But I've decided to go with the flow and work with it rather than against it.    And this sketch came out quite well considering I was trying many different things in various parts.   The garlic and the onions were the most satisfactory - simple glazes of color with a few darks drawn in with paint at the end.   The left hand tomato is as close as I get to overworked but I was pretty happy with it.  The stalks in the top right were great fun.   Put in very quickly and almost drawing with the paint here.


Charles Reid Workshop 2015 - Day 7 Painting 2

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This one was a 'throw caution to the wind' affair.   After the first rather tight rendition of the flowers I wanted to see if I could inject a bit more energy into things.   It was *really* tough and I didn't know what the hell I was doing most of the time.   It's not perfect but I'm definitely moving the dial a little.