Blocks and sunsets. Getting back in the groove.


Trying to get back in the groove after teaching. It’s proving to be hard – the mindset to teach is very different from painting my own stuff. I need to get out of the tram lines and trust myself to experiment a bit more. Even though I’ve been doing demo paintings each week I’ve held back a lot to keep to the principles we work on. It’s tough and makes the paintings a bit of a chore as I can’t experiment on the fly. And now I have the freedom to do what I want I can’t remember how it works.

So today is another wet canvas.com challenge as subject matter is eluding me.

And some blocks just for a warm up.


I made a yellow block as yellow shadows are tough. It doesn’t go with the pink of my studio walls (which I will get round to painting someday) but the colors are pretty close to life.

Wet Canvas December Challenge


Well it’s another month and another
WetCanvas

challenge. These are often extremely challenging for me and this month was no different. I tried hard to hit the right colors and values with some success. The figure and dog are in shadow which made it harder. The skin tones are definitely too pink and the less said about the background trees the better but on the whole the struggle was worth it.

Some intermediates. This was at the end of the first session (about an hour).


I knew that I was too light in value on most of this and was intending to go back in and darken things up. Before doing that, however, I played around on the ipad trying some stuff out. Here’s the result :


I grayed off and darkened the skin tones a little which worked well. The dog’s white fur really surprised me in how dark it was. I didn’t manage to hit that in the final version but I think it worked well nonetheless. It was definitely a help being able to try things out without having to worry about ruining everything.

Poppies


Poppies. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”. For Sale.

Poppies. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”. For Sale.


Poppies


250.00

11”x14”/16”x20” with archival mat.

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I have a love hate relationship with painting flowers. As I’ve said countless times before they seem as though they’ll be enjoyable and relatively easy to paint. Bright colors, loose forms, doesn’t matter too much if you draw the leaves slightly off. And I’m wrong every time.

The thing about flowers is that their beauty has a lot of subtlety to it. The variation of color and value in the petals is key to capturing that and that is where a lot of us lack the required skills. If the delicate modeling of the curve of a petal is slightly off — slightly too dark in the shadows, slightly too abrupt in the change of tone — you lose the effect.

So considering what I was up against these poppies came out really quite well. Fresh colors – just enough change in the color to suggest petal shape. Not bad at all. Plenty to improve upon of course but isn’t there always?

Some intermediates :


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These were the first washes. As you can see I’d been trying to match colors on a separate piece of paper and I
thought

I’d gone plenty dark enough in the flowers. I was completely wrong.

Second layer :


I’d been wrestling with the flowers for a while here. The left hand one I did first and it has slightly too much value difference in the petals. The large one on the right came out much better.

The final thing :


I had quite a lot of fun painting the innards of the vase. Water is always fun to paint – you can be quite loosey goosey with it and it will still read well. And, for some reason, people are really impressed with it.

I did a little beefing up of the color in the left hand flower but left most alone. Pretty happy.

The struggle continues…

Two versions of the March wetcanvas watercolor challenge. And boy was it a challenge. One step forward and then two back.

Cheeky Giraffe

Cheeky giraffe.   Michele Clamp watercolor.   11″x14″

I had a new batch of Fabriano Artistico paper delivered today which I’ve been waiting for as paper supplies have run low.    After unpacking the goodies, however, I was sitting around procrastinating and being indecisive about what to paint.    I couldn’t face yet another Lake Bled fiasco (I have yet another one that I couldn’t face posting) but then remembered it is the start of a new month and wetcanvas.com would have a new challenge.

And a rather fine challenge it was.   Enormous fun to paint this.    Lots of lovely purples in the shadows which you wouldn’t expect at first sight.   Turns out giraffes have very strange faces but it came out extremely well.   Hooray for Fabriano Artistico and wetcanvas.com

Cold Comfort Farm


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Actually I don’t know where this is.     Definitely cold comfort though.    It’s another wetcanvas.com challenge and very challenging it was too.   Sometimes I wonder whether I’m going in the right direction.    This should be one where I try it again and again until I get it right but I’m not enamoured of the subject so may just put it down to experience.

The sketch looks pretty good though.


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