Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sanderling

Sanderling
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When I lived by the beach I would see sanderlings running back and forth picking in the wet sand for a tasty treat. This little guy is from a photo I took several years ago. As you might suspect he was running towards the water in search of his next meal.

Cheers!

Kelli

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper
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Even though the nights are getting colder our cayenne pepper plant is still going strong. We have about six peppers that will be ready to pick in the next day or so and many more green ones that should turn soon provided we don’t get a hard frost. It was hubby’s idea to plant peppers this year and it has been a huge success.

These little beauties pack quite a punch but it’s the their skin that intrigues me. All those wrinkles and shininess makes an excellent study for a colored pencil (and bonus, I get to try out a few new pencil colors that I just bought). I used black cherry, red-violet, and magenta in the darkest areas followed by crimson lake and crimson all over except for the highlights. I added scarlet lake and poppy red to give the skin some pop and then blended all the layers with my colorless blender. I added a touch of white in the brightest highlights to bring it all together. For the stem I first developed the form with warm gray 50% and grayed lavender then added moss green, olive green, and may green. I really like the way this study came out. At first I questioned whether the black cherry was a good choice for the darkest areas but as I layered the other colors over it everything came together.

Cheers!

Kelli

Fall Trees

Fall Trees
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I love everything about fall – the cooler weather, the leaves changing colors, harvesting the last of the garden veggies and flowers, it’s all good.

The cooler temperatures have also helped with the creative process. This painting started with my new favorite method – crinkled paper – then I splattered on watercolor with both an old toothbrush and a #6 round brush. I wanted to capture the colors I was seeing in my neighborhood so I chose lemon yellow, alizarin crimson, and sap green. Once the splatters were dry I added the tree trunks and branches. I held the brush further up the handle so the lines would be less controlled and softened the base of the trunk so that it would blend into the ground. Since the trees haven’t lost many leaves yet I added more color to the trees using a sumi brush. I like the way the bristles splay as the brush dries, it adds great texture. I added the sky and more color to the ground making sure to take advantage of how color settles into crinkles in the paper.

I am quite pleased with this painting. Typically I paint from either a still life or reference photos but this one just came together. I started with a basic idea and let the creative process take control. I think that is what makes this painting so special to me – I stopped trying to control the paint and just went along for the adventure.

Happy Fall!

Kelli

Fall Hydrangea

This summer was the first time in years that my hydrangea bloomed. I’m not sure what took it so long but I attribute it to my less than green thumb. One of the blooms in the back started to dry out and instead of turning brown like the ones in the front, these turned a soft yellow-green with maroon edging on the underside. It was such a pretty color combination that I had to capture it in color pencil. Since the flowers were so small both the top and underside views fit nicely on an 312” x 212” piece of lightweight vellum illustration board. Definitely a nice way to spend the morning.

Cheers!

Kelli

Fall Hydrangea