And I even have a new favorite! This one was really a challenge because of the trees, the super-narrow power lines, and the birds. I’m least happy with the trees, but I’ve definitely made progress! I followed a speed painting by artbybee7, an amazing artist on YouTube. I thought it was way past my skill level, but I think I handled it pretty well. There is definite room for improvement, though. I really like the bright sky color and contrast with the deep purple (which probably looks black in the photo) of the trees and power lines.
Here’s the whole thing:
The lines aren’t perfect, but they’re a HUGE improvement over where I started. The trees are better, too, though those need major improvement. I was convinced I ruined the whole painting with the sky, as the lighting angles aren’t realistic at all, but I think it all works reasonably well together in the end.
No idea what I’ll start tomorrow.
For now, here’s a gif I made of Apple’s live version of the photo I posted yesterday. That extra disk space needs to make itself useful!
I’m not feeling very confident about this one. Tomorrow I’ll finish it with power lines. I’ll also touch up the trees some. The main point with this one was to learn how to paint pine trees like we have in Louisiana. That didn’t exactly happen, but I think I might have made progress? I really just need to sit down and practice them. Here’s the whole painting so far:
I guess the tree on the far right is the best one? Of course, that’s the one I did first. I need to play with them more. Here’s the demonstration I’m attempting to follow. See those trees? They’re perfect.
I didn’t like the clouds until I put the super dark purple trees in front of them. Now I think they’re pretty nice. We’ll see what I think after I add the power lines.
I’m currently covered in (big) dog, so I’ll try posting from my phone. We’ll see how this goes. Here’s a sunset background that I hopefully won’t mess up when I finish tomorrow. There is always time. Here’s the not-cut-off whole version:
I’m trying not to be skeptical.
In other artsy news, I finally went through my drawer of watercolor tubes and made little swatches. They’ll eventually have holes in the tops and be bound with a binder clip, but I couldn’t find a plain hole punch for the life of me.
There’s no significant puppy news today, but here’s a cute picture I took this morning:
Sooooo turns out I shouldn’t have been so skeptical. This watercolor turned out beautifully. My only issue is what to me looks like too much busyness near the bottom left. Even with that, though, I think it’s good enough to frame. Here it is in all its glory:
It’s from a tutorial by Ekaterina Smirnova, one of my favorite watercolor instructors on YouTube (and the reason I joined Skillshare). I’m soooo happy with this painting, especially since I was so skeptical at the beginning.
In Things I Want To Paint News (there are lots), here’s the sun hitting a tree (elm?) from the far side as I see it every morning. I’m determined to do this justice sometime in the near future:
A fun note: I subscribed to Foot Cardigan a few months ago. This month, I got pizza socks! I’m pretty sure that’s a thing I Totally Needed. Last month, it was an eye chart. $12 well spent.
And, finally, in all-important Puppy News, potty training is coming along surprisingly well. We’ve only had one accident in the house today, and that was when I was in the shower. I should note that I’m Helicopter Mummy, but still, she’s learning to paw at the baby gate toward the back yard, so we’re making serious progress. She also only wakes me up once per night, around 2am, for a potty break. Lucy is a pretty excellent puppy.
Soooo this painting is working out better than I thought it would. There is, of course, still time to ruin it, but I certainly have more hope than I did yesterday. Here’s another link to the tutorial. And here’s the whole painting, which gets cut off in the featured photo. I’ll probably finish it tomorrow, for better or for worse.
Fall finally arrived in Louisiana with a cold front yesterday afternoon. Instead of our usual nineties, the high temperature was somewhere in the seventies. Here’s a selfie I took wearing my first sweater of the season:
Fall is my favorite season. I guess that goes for Winter here, too, especially since last winter was essentially a long Fall. I think we got one hard freeze? I hope we have more of a Winter this year. Anyway, it was not only Fall but a super beautiful day, so Penny and I celebrated by going to Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. I’m pretty sure it has the closest hiking trails to my house. I’m also a huge fan of Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park, but it’s a bit of a trek to get there. We only hiked a little over a mile, or so, but it felt so good to be outside now that there’s less crushing heat and humidity.
We even saw an armadillo!
Here’s an even more impressive photo: Lucy is growing so fast! I’m pretty sure she’ll be as big as our house soon!
Oh so much skepticism. This is a work-in-progress from another YouTube tutorial, but I have roughly zero confidence that I’m going to like it once it’s done. There’s lots of details to add, though, so we’ll see. I’m not ready to toss it yet.
Since the featured image gets cropped, here it is in all its glory:
In Puppy News, I took Lucy to meet my grandmother in Minden today.
Lucy kissed Nunpoo, Nunpoo kissed Lucy. A good time was had by all. My uncle David pulled up as we were leaving, so he got to meet her too. Hopefully she’ll remember him next time she sees him – Penny is terrified of him.
Meanwhile, Palmer took Penny to Petsmart for a toy and to the dog park for the first time since well before we got Lucy. She had a good time and returned home for what might possibly have been the most thorough bath she’s ever gotten before Lucy and I got home. We’ll resume her usual daycare schedule this week. I’m sure she’ll enjoy spending some time with adult dogs every week.
It’s winter somewhere, right? It definitely isn’t in Louisiana, but it looks like we’ll get Fall tomorrow. That’s something.
This one’s from an Angela Fehr tutorial on YouTube. I’m really interested in learning to paint snow because I have a trip to South Dakota planned for early January (YAY!). I’ll be taking my watercolors up there, and I’d like to try my hand at some plein air in the cold – or at least through the windows at my dad’s house on the side of a mountain. In the middle of a national forest. Yep. It’s been too long since I’ve made it up there.
And this Arches business? It’s only one of the best watercolor papers you can buy. It’s also crazy expensive. Michaels, though, came through with a 60% off coupon, and I finally got a pack of this paper. The texture is different than the Canson I usually use, and it’s just better. The only issue is that it lifts terribly, which is bad when you’re painting a lifty painting (as in you want to paint a big part of the paper, then dab up parts of it with a paper towel, leaving near-white). This, of course, is a lifty painting: I attempted to lift the trees from the background, but it left lots of color. Good to know. Otherwise, I love this paper.
In Puppy News, we’ve started potty training Lucy in earnest. The puppy pads are gone. Palmer put up a bell by the baby gate to the kitchen that, in theory, she should ring when she needs to go out. We’ve been setting Alexa timers for every 30 minutes to remind us to take her out. The problem is that she can, but doesn’t really need to, pee every five minutes if she’s playing, which means that we’re still cleaning up a lot of pee. Hopefully she’ll realize pretty quickly that she needs to hold it for a few minutes. I know she can because she can go a whole night in her kennel without peeing. That’s a lot longer than five minutes.
Since Fall is apparently coming tomorrow, Penny and I celebrated with some Hose Time in the back yard while Lucy napped inside.
Bring on the cooler weather! PLEASE!
Yay! It’s done! And it’s reasonable. I can’t hold a candle to the magnificent sky in the demonstration, but I’ll call mine Not Too Shabby – especially with those tiny power lines.
In Puppy News, we had an adventure yesterday. Lucy got her mouth around about half a bowl of big dog food before Palmer got it away from her. She didn’t eat all of her breakfast (which is super weird for her). I didn’t realize she’d had so much until I came home from work to a puppy with a belly the size of a basketball! She would’ve ended up at the vet if she hadn’t almost immediately started…evacuating it…when I got home. Yurk! She’s fine and her tummy is back to normal today.
In even more interesting Puppy News, Penny and Lucy had a pretty epic Friday Rasslin’ Battle:
I’m trying to replicate this AMAAAAZING watercolor sky demonstration and failing. I’m not calling it a complete fail (there’s time!), but there’s no way I’m going to get the result I want. That’s mainly because the guy painting in the video is a professional and I’ve painted on roughly 15 bits of paper.
In Puppy News, Lucy apparently ate at least half a bowl of Penny’s Blue Wilderness Big Dog Food. It expands in liquid, so her stomach got all distended. She’s still emptying its contents (gross!), but it’s back to normal size. No permanent harm was done. We’ll have to be extra sure Penny’s food is up before Lucy gets near it in the mornings. Yay, puppy!
I’ve found my new favorite! This is definitely the most colorful and the least realistic watercolor I’ve done, and it’s also the first I’d frame (in fact, I think I might!). It reminds me of 1960s and ’70s illustrations.
All I did today was brighten the cloud colors, water down that shadow line, and add the trees.
It’s based on this tutorial by Angela Fehr on YouTube, but mine is totally different, and I like it more. Palmer likes the tutorial, and that’s entirely okay with me. I wanted the bright ridiculous sun in the middle of a rainbow instead of a more realistic rainstorm. Why? Because I CAN.
Which means I’ll probably be pulling out the bright colors more often. Now that I’ve found a style I like, I’ll try to branch off into my own stuff or just loosely base paintings on tutorials. God knows I have All the Photos Ever for reference (and I’m going to South Dakota in early January, so there’ll be more!).
This is the first time I’ve really felt excited about a painting.