Sunday, February 2, 2014

More Stuff, This Time from Home (Steve Reddy Workshop, Day 2)

2/2/14 Platinum Carbon ink, India ink grisaille, watercolor, Canson mixed-media paper (second painting)

At the end of class yesterday, we were told to bring in 10 to 12 objects that were unified by some kind of theme – color, shape, symbolic meaning, whatever. Since I was already planning to do some still lifes this winter of my parents’ belongings (you already saw my mom’s teapot last week), my theme was easy to identify. The pile I brought in looked very much like the pile of thrift store stuff we had sketched the previous day – except these were all things I grew up seeing at home.

2/2/14 Platinum Carbon ink, India ink grisaille, watercolor, Canson mixed-media paper
(first painting) 
As before, we applied a diluted India ink grisaille to our drawings first to establish all the values, then we painted with watercolor. This time I remembered to photograph the drawing with the grisaille applied but before I added color (below). The values in my first painting (at right) got a little too dark, and I lost some details. So I tried a second painting (above) with a new composition of fewer objects. This time I had better control of the values as well as of the whites that I reserved for shiny reflections, and the colors came out better, too.

Drawing with grisaille applied before painting.
(In case you’re curious, I’ll tell you about the objects in the composition at the top of the post. Clockwise from top: A vase painted with a haiku that my mother wrote; my father’s wristwatch; the monkey teapot; a wooden Daruma figurine, a hand-carved jewelry box [under the teapot and Daruma]; a burro flower pot; my mom’s prayer beads [on the burro’s ear].)

I spent nearly two hours on each of these paintings today – way more time than I ever spend on a still life! (Exhausted when I finished, I took a break by doing a quick sketch of my classmates busily at work (below).) It was an excellent workshop that taught me a lot about composition, values and “letting black do the work” while color takes the credit.

2/2/14 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, Sailor pen, Canson mixed media paper


  1. I really like these. I would never have thought about using black under my watercolor, but it gives it a nice bit of shading of color...sort of like neutral tint seems to do. I love how you saved whites (something I have such difficulty doing). Very nice work on these!

    1. Thank you, Joan! I learned a lot in the workshop.

  2. Tina!! You are shining!! You have a unique, almost "quirky"(in the best sense!) way of drawing and now with the shading and color, your post today is FANTASTIC!! I'll be anxious to see more of your work using this method. Your people drawing you did as a "reward" to yourself is hmmm, good, but to my eyes, it doesn't hold a candle to your still life!!!!!

    1. Thanks, Peggy! I'm happy with the way these still lifes came out. I'm looking forward to applying what I learned to urban sketching. Although I enjoyed learning this way, painting still lifes is not really my thing. . . I like to keep moving! ;-)


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