Here are the steps I took to paint my crab:
1. After sketching the crab, I wet the background and added paint. I really love doing the background first. I think I feel more free to play with the watercolor, adding splotchy areas and even flicking spots on it. I tried hard to make it look like sand.
I was inspired by fellow blogger, Sara Gourley’s painting of a blue crab. I decided to paint one that looks like the kind of crabs we see at the beaches around here.
I’ve been looking forward to this for a while – painting outside! We finally got a huge umbrella to cover the patio, so the other day, when the weather was beautiful, I grabbed my stuff and set up outside. Being outside gives me the opportunity to paint “live,” as opposed to from a picture, which is what I usually do. I think it’s harder and I need the practice.
I’d like to know which one YOU like better. This second attempt at a bird’s nest or the one I posted the other day and labeled “overworked.” When I was done the second painting, I pulled out the original one and guess what? I thought it was better! I ended up adding more to the background of the new one. I’m curious what you think? Please let me know. 🙂
I overworked my bird’s nest painting. It’s sad to say. I thought, “Post or not?” Aww, why not? I should have stopped touching the background several steps back, but it is what it is. Lesson learned for next time – I hope. Looking back, I think the problem from the beginning was the background was so loose and the nest so tight. Without realizing it, I think I was trying to reconcile that. I also struggled with giving the nest depth. And I didn’t have the right robin’s egg color, so the color of the eggs is washed out. I would have loved a bright pop for the eggs.
I like the background below.
I started with a quick warm up sketch. Then, I started playing with the pansies in watercolor. I kept finding excuses not to start with the acrylics – breakfast, more coffee, stripping the sheets off the beds – lol! Finally I forced myself into my studio and started painting.
First I started adding branches to my “sunrise trees” painting. (Inspired by my other tree painting.)
Why was it so hard to get into the “acrylic groove?” Watercolors are easy to pull out and work on (and easy to put away). Acrylics require more setup and clean up. Is it that? Or is it that I’m not that inspired by the ones I’m working on? Or maybe I’m more confident with the watercolor? And somewhat intimidated by the acrylics? Whatever it is, I plan on pushing through.
This week I painted a sea turtle. No not another bird! I’ve been starting with the background first (since I watched that video). Here are my steps. I painted a lighter green before the blue, which shows in some areas.
Another watercolor bird! The other day I was trying to decide what paint, when I heard the woodpecker in the yard. Since finishing my daisy, I’ve haven’t felt very motivated. I’ve had a similar feeling to when you finish a good book and need a break before starting the next one.
A couple of years I go I did this sketch of a girl (my daughter) at the beach. I love how loose it is. I love the movement. I aspire to be a children’s book illustrator, or at least develop a children’s book style, and I think this sketch is a step towards my style. I want to fully develop this beach girl character.
Here are sketches of my sons (also from a couple of years ago).
A year or so prior to this, I worked on developing an illustration style for I book I had written, “The Claddagh Fairy.” Although it was a great exercise and experience, I don’t think the illustration style is fully “me.” It isn’t loose enough, too much computer. But maybe it was me at the time, just not now.
I did this sketch this week. Definitely needs work, but I’m excited to play and work on developing my characters. I’ve watched some great videos and now have concrete ways to go about it.
I decided to try and paint another bird. We watched the cardinals all winter, so it was an obvious choice. I placed the cardinal in our birch, which has a pinkish tone. I had a lot of fun painting very wet, letting things happen without a lot of control.
I started by painting the background, which is what I did when I painted the Blue Jay. Painting the background first is very different for me. It was a fun project and I am happy with the results.