I’ve done this watercolor painting a while back – in November of 2014 together with Winter Landscape. I was trying the layering technique for the first time. You have to develop patience with watercolor in general and this technique especially. It is going to take many layers to get to the final result, but with this technique paintings are full of mystery and sensuality. They seem effortless and exquisite.
My second favorite media after oil paints are watercolors. Even though it is considered as one of the most difficult media, the lightness and washed out effects that you can achieve with watercolors are beyond beautiful.
I’ve done two landscape paintings inspired by the watercolors that my art teacher saw in her hotel room on one of her recent trips. This one is winter, another one is autumn landscape, which I’ll also post shortly.
I had to change my signature and you’ll notice that I only used my initials – NM – on the recent paintings – I didn’t want it to occupy too much space and distract from the painting.
Do you like this painting? I’m planning to explore more of this technique and I prepared a few photographs that I’ve taken during my walks around the town. I want to turn them into multilayer watercolor paintings. If you have any suggestions, or your own photos that you would like to provide to turn them into watercolor paintings, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve been long fascinated by public art. I love the concept of making something that will hopefully be seen by the future generations, the ability to make something that compliments the environment in a playful way and that public art is free for everyone to see.
One of my favorite pieces are by Amos Robinson. I love all of his works and hugely admire his talent. “My bike” is the first work of Amos’s that I came across and I fell in love with the idea and this kinetic sculpture.
I love this carefree bicyclist that cruises on Tidelands Park, Coronado, CA. I can imagine him whistling a song, while he enjoys the sun and the breeze in his face and I love how the wheels spin with the wind.
Amos’s skills with metal and mechanics come from a field unusual to an artist – he spent many years collecting and restoring old sports cars and motorcycles and his 30 year career in large-scale air pollution process equipment laid foundation for his artworks.
“Bring the metal to life. This is my mantra as an artist.” Amos Robinson
Amos tells an interesting story of when he had his ‘aha’ moment:
In 1964 while visiting our grandparents in New York City, my brothers and I were taken to the Calder exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum. To that point, whenever we entered a gallery, museum or antique shop, the words we heard were, “Boys, put your hands in your pockets and do not touch anything.”
Then came the Calder exhibit. As I stood before one of Calder’s sculptures, the docent said to me, “Go ahead, son, make it move; bring it to life.”
The docent’s invitation was both a delight and a revelation. In that moment the world of art expanded to include more than objects hanging on walls or sitting on shelves gathering dust and admiration.
That’s where it started for me as an artist. Bring the metal to life.
I also love what Amos told Pacific San Diego about “My Bike” because I think it goes well with the theme of One Happy Blog and the way I feel about art:
Amos Robinson knows about the impact public art can have. A local metal sculptor—he is a featured artist at this year’s Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy—Robinson was relaxing at home with his wife one Sunday when a woman visiting from Washington called.
“She was down at the (San Diego) Embarcadero with her girlfriends, and they called just to say how much they appreciated my work there. It’s stuff like that that makes me a big fan of public art and what it can do,” Robinson says.
The women were viewing “My Bike,” which depicts a bicyclist in mid-air, strands of stainless steel hair flying back in the San Diego Bay breeze. It’s one of five sculptures Robinson has created for the Port of San Diego’s rotating “Urban Trees” installation. Now in its seventh year, the annual exhibit includes 30 commissioned tree interpretations along Harbor Drive, from Hawthorn Street to the Cruise Ship Terminal.
“I want to bring something to the public that is positive,” says Robinson, a self-taught artist and former designer of industrial air pollution control equipment. “I don’t care for dark art; I want my art to be fun, put a smile on your face or bring back a memory from your youth.”
If you want to take a Public Art Walking Tour in Coronado, here’s the guide.
You might have also noticed that my inspiration posts turn into drawing / artwork of the day posts sooner or later 🙂
This time I was working with one of my favorite media – watercolors. The challenge was with using my paintbrushes. Apparently, I have either big ones that are great for the background, but not so good for smaller objects, or really thin one for the tiniest details. I had few in the middle, but they were synthetic brushes and while they’re great for acrylic paints, with watercolors they just don’t work the way I want them to work. I’ll need to buy few more kolinsky sable paintbrushes on my next trip to the art store.This time I tried to solve the problem by using only the tip of the brush for the faces and clothing.
I’m overall pleased with the result and I enjoyed painting this sketch. While it may not be a 100% photocopy and that wasn’t the point of this watercolor sketch anyway. The point was to show emotions, closeness, family ties and holding on to each other and to me that is a way to build a happy family.
I really wanted to do few pieces on Ateshgah ever since I visited it, which you can read about here. While I was brainstorming ideas and looking through different reference pictures, I came across one that was really blurry, but the colors in it fascinated me and I decided to do a sketch for practice and use my watercolor pencils, which I haven’t been using lately.
The drawing didn’t come out exactly how I envisioned it, but I decided some time ago to let go of judgement of my artworks and just focus on creating. So, looking at the positives, I love the washed effect on the sky, colors in general and the way the fire looks, especially in the well in the foreground.
“Sunset in Ateshgah”
Watercolor pencils, paper – A4
What I love about drawing with pastels is the softness of the material and easiness of mixing and shading. What I dislike about pastel drawings is that you have to be very careful with them and store it securely behind the glass because unlike oil paintings pastel drawing are very prone to damage.
Now here is the story of what happened to my drawing of a lovely lady in the hat. Some time ago I spilled some water on it by accident and I almost cried when I saw how much effort has been wasted.
But then I gathered myself together and decided to correct and cover all the spots that were left by the spilled water.
Moral #1: Always frame and store properly all the drawings and paintings right after I finish them.
Moral #2: Everything happens for a reason. While covering and reworking on damaged spots, I noticed few other things that could be corrected / done better, so there’s always a room for improvement! And if I see every situation as a challenge, not a problem, I can always find a blessing and get an awesome outcome!
Now, I like the corrected version of the drawing even better than the original. And what do you think? I’m posting before and after pictures for comparison. Please let me know your opinion in the comments below!
Have a happy day!