Eileen McKenna Art & Design

Watercolor Art | Creative Inspiration to help you be creative on a regular basis


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I Recall Central Park in Fall

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Flipping through a magazine looking for something to draw, I came across a couple strolling with their dog. I drew them, added a tree, and had to pull out my watercolors and add some leaves.

That illustration reminded me of walking with my husband through Central Park in New York City. Having just watched “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” the lyrics “I recall Central Park in Fall” were in my head while I searched for an image of a couple in Central Park. I found a Getty Images photo to use as reference. It’s the lamppost that makes it Central Park.

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I’m always amazed how one idea or spark of inspiration can lead you down a path. Actually this was the topic of one of my early posts: The paths our art projects take us on:

“It’s funny, how a project can start us on a path. A path similar to the branches of a tree. The path may be fairly straight – projects similar to one another. Or the path may be twisty – each project taking a unique turn. The path can be long – each project sparking the idea for the next one. Or the path may be short – as we experiment with something that doesn’t work out or fails to inspire us any longer.
We follow a path until it ends. Until we have reached the end of that train of thought. At that point, we forge a new path, based on something different that inspires us. But each path we take, is related to the others, just like the branches of a tree.”


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Results of my “Assembly Line Painting” experiment. {Please vote for your favorite!}

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I finished the four paintings that I working on in “assembly line” fashion. Click here to read more about how I approached working on these paintings.

Results: The results of the experiment are best described by this analogy: It’s like raising kids. You raise them in the same way – same environment, same food, activities, etc. but they all require different special attention and they all turn out different. And with each kid, you are a bit wiser (and more tired) so you do things differently each time – but maybe not better.

This is the inspiration painting:
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The four painting above are numbered. Some of them were “worked” on more. For # 1-3 I used white gouache. As I worked I wasn’t sure what methods would be most successful – more details? more shadows? more white? more variation in color?

I’d love to hear what you have to say! Leave a comment and answer my poll below.

 

 

Conclusion: (Don’t all experiments have a conclusion?) Working this way, really allowed me to explore this type of painting and subject matter in more and more depth. If I had only painted one beach landscape, I wouldn’t have had the chance to try different techniques.

TRY IT! and let me know your results (and thoughts). Link to this post or if you’re on Instagram use #assemblylinepainting. Can’t wait to see! 🙂


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Artist’s Setup

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Very quickly into my creative resolution, without really thinking about it, I started setting up my paints and supplies a certain way. A few brushes on a paper towel to the right (I’m right handed), water and cup of brushes above that. Paper or sketchbook in front of me. Above the paper is my watercolor palette. To the left of the palette is the mixing tray. If the table is smaller (like in the illustration) the mixing tray is to the left of the paper. Above the brushes and water is my bin of paint tubes, markers, watercolored pencils, scrap paper, etc. Pretty much anything else I may need. A coffee cup is usually placed near the water, which often leads to mix ups. Fortunately the mix up is I clean the brush in the coffee, not that I drink the dirty water.

Do you have a certain way you set up your painting supplies?

 

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