You know when you have an idea and you’re like, “This is such a great idea.” But then you don’t get it done in time? Well last March I had the idea to create a paper quilt printable kit. The idea was based on a paper quilt I created back in the early days of my blog. I designed the paper quilt to look St. Patrick’s Day-ish, with shades of green and shamrocks. Every year before St. Patrick’s Day this post is popular. A paper quilt is a fun project, especially for non-sewers like me!
This year I thought wouldn’t it be fun if I designed four patterned papers, created a template, and instructions and added this digital paper quilt kit to my Etsy shop. Unfortunately St. Patrick’s Day came and went. Then I thought, “How about an Easter quilt?” Then Easter passed. “How about a Spring paper quilt?” I think you get the idea here.
I completed enough of the work with creating the template, etc. that I couldn’t let the idea die. Plus, I really think it’s a fun project for kids and adults, especially for kids with the component of matching the correct pattern with the correct letter on the template. And it looks good! A fun project that can be used for decoration or as a background in scrapbooking or matting a photo. I really believe in the idea.
I’m happy with the results of the sky above, which is ironic because I thought this painting was a lost cause. This is what it looked like:
In an effort to capture the saturated blue of the sky (with a hint of purple), I had previously used several colors (including cadmium red and ultramarine) and the above was the result. It was too purple, and too dark. It looked like a cloudy day.
I didn’t give up. I removed a lot of the paint by wetting it and soaking it up with the brush, and also blotting with a paper towel. Then I added cerulean blue on top. It was this layering of the colors that helped achieve the blue I was looking for. I don’t think the cerulean alone would have worked as well.
I also painted clouds and highlights with white gouache. I’ve been using white gouache for the foam of the ocean for a while but only recently have I been using it in my skies. I’m loving the results. Just shows that you gotta push through the ugly stage!
When I first started painting my seascapes, the skies were simple blue gradations, with the lightest blue closest to the horizon. With each seascape painting I started playing a bit more with the sky – trying to achieve the perfect sky blue, adding other colors as a glow on the horizon, adding a bit of texture for clouds.
Then I did two painting with gray cloudy skies, which were a lot of fun.
Now more often than not, I’m adding colors and texture to my skies, like in these recent paintings.
I’m still striving to find the perfect mix of blue for “sky blue,” especially to capture those bright blue sky, summer days.
I even searched online for “best watercolor blue for the sky” and found a great post on Scratchmade Journal by Tonya, who experimented and discovered, “almost any combination of blues can be used to create a realistic sky in watercolor, but no single blue worked well alone.”
See all my seascape paintings and compare the skies at shop.eileenmckenna.com.Prints of my seascapes are available on watercolor paper or canvas, in many sizes including the new “mini” canvas 11″ x 14.”