Danny's truck

My sore back has kept me inside during the gorgeous spring weather here, but today I could no longer resist, and I gingerly set up my easel on my front yard and painted this truck, using mostly gouache — transparent watercolor. I haven’t touched my gouache in a while, and my blue and red tubes were caked dry, so I had to improvise to get the colors you see here. Time to buy some new paint!

The underlying drawing is better than the finished painting. I did a very careful and accurate pencil drawing, but I chose brushes that were too large. Artists always say use the largest brush possible, but I think I took that principle too far here. Still, it was great to get outside and paint again.

Geoff Watson, “Sketch of Danny’s truck,” gouache, watercolor & graphite on paper, 5” x 7,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Sketch of Danny’s truck,” gouache, watercolor & graphite on paper, 5” x 7,” 2019.

Snowy road

I did a pencil sketch of this snowy road a couple of weeks ago, after a light dusting of snow, and finally got around to developing the sketch into a little studio watercolor. I’m afraid I haven’t photographed it very well; the original is somewhat cooler and whiter.

Geoff Watson, “Snowy road,” watercolor and gouache on paper, 5” x 8,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Snowy road,” watercolor and gouache on paper, 5” x 8,” 2019.

Here’s an earlier version, photographed in cooler light. The colors are closer to the original. There’s not much color in the painting, to be honest, as the scene was mostly grey and white. Still, I need to add more color to my watercolor. :)

Geoff Watson, “Snowy road (in progress),” watercolor and gouache on paper, 5” x 8,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Snowy road (in progress),” watercolor and gouache on paper, 5” x 8,” 2019.

Stars and stripes

This is too late for Memorial Day, so we'll consider it a warm-up for Independence Day!  I just felt like painting the U.S. flag today, so I did.  I had to wait for the breeze to die down so that I could draw it correctly. I used ink and gouache -- opaque watercolor.

Geoff Watson, "Stars and Stripes," gouache and ink on paper, about 4" x 4," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Stars and Stripes," gouache and ink on paper, about 4" x 4," 2018.

Bethesda sketches

I took my sketchbook, fountain pens, gouache and water brushes to Bethesda Row today to sketch for a couple hours. I did this first drawing mostly with water-soluble ink and water, though I did add a little background greenery in gouache.  I could have added much more detail everywhere, but I decided to leave it as is.

Geoff Watson, "Bethesda Row," ink wash and gouache on paper, about 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Bethesda Row," ink wash and gouache on paper, about 5" x 8," 2018.

I then wandered over to the pedestrian mall across the street, which looks through an arch at the Apple store on Bethesda Avenue. I've always wanted to draw this arch! I drew the outlines with water-proof ink in a fountain pen with a fine nib, and I added color with gouache (opaque watercolor). Fun!

Geoff Watson, "Bethesda Pedestrian Mall," ink and gouache on paper, about 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Bethesda Pedestrian Mall," ink and gouache on paper, about 5" x 8," 2018.

James Gurney's portrait demo

James Gurney has posted the portrait he painted for us this past weekend.  You can find the whole post at his blog here: https://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2018/04/portrait-demo-at-yellow-barn-workshop.html .  He did this picture in half an hour, maybe less, from life.  Pretty amazing.  If you like this, you should take some time to read the rest of his blog.  I think it's the best art blog on the internet.

James Gurney, "Portrait Demo at the Yellow Barn Workshop," gouache, watercolor pencil, and white pencil on paper, 2018.

James Gurney, "Portrait Demo at the Yellow Barn Workshop," gouache, watercolor pencil, and white pencil on paper, 2018.

Watercolor week!

I usually paint in oils, but when I'm traveling, as I am this week, I grab my watercolors and gouache. I'm taking a watercolor sketch book, as usual, but I may also bring a couple of Ampersand Aquabord panels. I'm still debating about whether they're worth the added weight.

On the one hand, there's an irrational part of me that seems to concentrate more when painting on a rigid support.  It's as if a panel is Art, and paper is a mere sketch.  On the other hand, there's a very rational part of me (my hernia scar!) that prefers to travel very light, which argues for paper. Plus, we all know from "rock paper scissors" that paper covers masonite, not the other way around.  (Ha!)

Anyway, if I produce anything of note, I'll post it in this space. At the very least, I hope to attend a figure-drawing session, so I may have a few gesture drawings to show off.