Tuesday, July 28, 2015

sketchbook :: our summer table

I have had a very productive month of July painting, yet I haven't allowed much time for sketching. Sooner or later that catches up with me and I find I need a little time, just me and my sketchbook. Here are two recent sketches where I did take a little time to record what's in front of me. The sunflowers were from the market, accompanied by a few flowers from our garden, sketched with watercolor only.
This eggplant and the tomatoes were for one of my favorite summer recipes, also sketched with watercolor only. I like going in with just paint although one of the drawbacks of this method is that you are committed even if the placement of a form inconveniently falls into the gutter of the sketchbook, as happened with the stem of the eggplant. But we did enjoy eating our eggplant tomato casserole.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Flowers

Lily
watercolor
6 x 6 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky
Geranium
watercolor
6 x 6 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I have been so busy exploring landscape painting that it did me good to interrupt that pursuit with a couple of flowers in watercolor in celebration of summer. The lily lives in our front bed and it is always so joyful to see those bright yellow flowers each summer. The geranium is in a pot on our back deck. It's such a pretty rosy pink I may try keeping it inside over the winter so I can enjoy its blooms next year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Up Hill Trail

Up Hill Trail
watercolor
8 x 12 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

What captured my interest most about this scene, besides that wonderful light, was the movement. The trail meandering upward, the foreground grasses leaning left, the small stand of trees leaning right, and then the clouds billowing left again. It's all those subtle indications of movement, always upward, that makes it seem that it will be well worth the climb to the summit of that hill in order to see what lies beyond.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tide Rising

Tide Rising
watercolor
12 x 12 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

This painting came about with the help of a happy accident. Wanting to work a little larger, I stretched a piece of watercolor paper. After I had sketched in my composition I decided to try masking out the whites with a Fineline Masquepen instead of my usual brush. Because I have only used it once or twice I first had to do some serious cleaning out of the tip before it would work for me. Well, the masking fluid came out really fast! I had to work quickly to lay it in everywhere I wanted it to go.
(these work-in-progress shots were taken with my ipad and are not acurate color, 
but you get the idea)

In some places it was so think it started to drip and run, so I grabbed an old piece of sponge and smeared and dabbed the masking fluid into place. Sometimes masking fluid is a really handy thing to use for saving whites in watercolor, but most of the time I am unhappy with the results from using it because of the hard edges it leaves. And now with this piece I would have hard edges everywhere! So I decided to go with that. I kept those hard edges in mind as I laid in color washes.
And you can see just how much masking fluid came off this painting. There's the big ball of it at the top of the picture. Once I had the masking removed, with a great deal of restraint I added a few more passes of color and very selectively softened just a few of those hard edges.
I am more than pleased with the result, despite my masking fluid mishap at the start. So now the challenge will be whether I can do a painting this way again, only on purpose next time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Calloway Gap

Calloway Gap
watercolor
8 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I spotted this scene while out shooting photo references and was taken with the upward view that expanded into that beautiful summer sky. The contrast of the white barn washed in sunlight with the green hills and bright blue sky was too good to pass by. Although I need to remember to keep better records of these locations. We had just exited the Blue Ridge Parkway near Calloway Gap, but what road we took back towards town, where this farm is located, I have no idea. So Calloway Gap it is.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

sketchbook : midsummer

On the summer solstice we took a drive north on the Blue Ridge Parkway instead of our usual southern route. It was a beautiful summer's day and we found wonderful views. This is one that I photographed and then sketched once home. The solstice was also time for a new sketchbook, so I have returned to a Strathmore Mixed Media sketch journal. I realized that with a 9 x 12 watercolor sketchbook I don't need to duplicate watercolor paper in a sketch/journal. And I do like this 500 series mixed media paper very much. I used watercolor pencils and washes of watercolor for this sketch. This is a scene I would like to make into a larger painting as well.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Some Days Are This

Some Days Are This
watercolor
11 x 14
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

That sky reflected on the wet beach was what inspired me to paint this scene. I love the way the ocean and shore is always changing, never the same almost from one moment to the next with changes in light, weather, wind, and tide. And sometimes it's like this, with so much happening on a short stretch of sandy beach.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bamboo and Brown's Chapel

Bamboo and Brown's Chapel
watercolor
8 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Sometimes we fail to notice the beauty in the most familiar places. This is a scene that I pass by often on my way to town and its beauty changes daily with the light and seasons. Here I enjoyed capturing those long, late summer afternoon shadows.

Monday, June 22, 2015

sketchbook :: peaches

It's that time of year. Yes, the peach truck is back in town. We have been enjoying peaches in fruit salads and I made a peach cobbler. I even found a recipe for a peach cake that sounds truly decadent but we'll need to buy more peaches to make that. This was sketched with pencil and watercolor in my hand made sketchbook.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Grackles on the Jetty

Grackles on the Jetty
watercolor
8 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Grackles are funny birds. This noisy little group was perched on the jetty as we strolled along the beach one afternoon. They were looking for tasty treats in the surf and using the rocks as their observation deck. Amused by their stance I decided to make this painting depicting the scene.

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