Monday, May 28, 2007

Catching up with Tasha


Tasha No. 2, 12"x16" ink and watercolor on paper


I'm putting this painting, Tasha No. 2, to rest. I last posted the original line drawing and the first stage of watercolor. I wasn't quite happy with where it was going, the color harmony seemed all wrong to me.

I've darkened the overall appearance, taken a step away from my usual bright and vivid colors. I think perhaps the expression on her face is more suited to somber colors.

Here's a look at the progression:





However................

I had drawn another version of Tasha and so I decided to begin another painting, using the complete opposite range of colors. This is just beginning so I've no idea where this one will end up.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Watercolor Workshop - Negril, Jamaica

Come paint with me in Jamaica this summer-----



I have been invited to be The Artist in Residence at the lovely and lush Whistling Bird resort cottages in Negril Jamaica this summer. During our month-long stay at Whistling Bird, I will be offering two Watercolor Workshop sessions, geared toward Absolute Beginners, and invite you to attend.

If you've never picked up a paint brush but have always dreamed of giving watercolor a try, this workshop is for you. While geared toward the absolute beginner, I also welcome anyone who would like to join us for 5 days of painting in a most beautiful Caribbean setting.
Nestled in a beautifully landscaped beach front garden of palms, seagrape, almond and mango trees, the Whistling Bird is just steps away from the acclaimed 7-mile, white sand Negril Beach. There is simply no shortage of subjects for our paintings - the turquoise sea, the white sandy beach, the brilliant greens and gem-colored florals of our surroundings will relax and inspire you.


We will meet each morning at Whistling Bird for a 2-3 hour session of demonstrations, techniques and exercises. After a break for lunch and free time, we will reconvene in the afternoon and explore another locale in Negril to sketch and paint en plein air.
My husband was born and raised in the parish of Westmoreland and knows all of Negril's vistas and views and will share his intimate knowledge of the area as we explore for the perfect setting to paint.

We may visit the cliffs of the West End or the charming winding roads of Orange Hill or visit The Royal Palm reserve. After each day's excursion, we will reconvene at Whistling Bird to share and critique our work. Our final day will consist of a day-long excursion well beyond Negril to sketch and paint at one of the many beautiful attractions inland, such as YS Falls or The Blue Hole and Benji's Paradise.


The two Monday-Friday sessions will be offered as follows:

Session I: August 13 - August 17, 2007
Session 2: August 20 - August 24, 2007

Cost Per Session is $425 pp, plus materials. Transportation and admission to all excursions is included. Class sizes are limited to 10.

Airfare and accommodations are not included.

Secure your position in the class of your choice -- click one of the two buttons to the top right of this page to sign up now and pay with PayPal.

Any questions? Email me for more information and the materials list:

info@vhmckenzie.com

I encourage you to book a room at Whistling Bird,our home away from home when we make our annual visits to Jamaica. Located a quarter of the way along Negril's 7-mile beach, Whistling Bird offers privacy and serenity but also easy access to the many shops, restaurants and nightspots that dot the beach. The cottages include one or two bedroom, open suite or 1 room bungalows with oversize private bathrooms.



See you in Jamaica!


Click here to download Workshop Registration Form


Pay by check/M.O. or click on Session Buttons on the home pageto pay via Paypal. Deadline to enroll: July 15, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

So I think Shara is done -- but Tasha is not....

This is another 12"x15" ink line drawing of a young girl, Tasha. I used a bamboo pen with india ink to draw the preliminary lines.



Now here is the first result of my adding watercolor washes to the ink. I'm not so certain about the harmony of the colors. I've used blues and purples in the shadow areas but may be adding more warm washes over her face to bring all the colors together. Not sure. And I don't know about that lime green for her shirt. Hmmm. Going to sit on this for a bit and get back to you!




Monday, May 07, 2007

Another step closer



Hmmm, think I'm almost there -- as I planned, I darkened the area behind her head and back, desaturated the bright yellow highlight on her face, taking out some of the yellow, darkened more of the verticals to the left of her face, more work on her face and arm....not sure what else I will do.

Knowing how to paint also entails knowing when to stop. I'm stopping. Shara No. 2 is complete.

Shara No. 2, 12"x16" ink and watercolor on paper

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A work in progress

As you've proably noticed, I've been taking a break from the smaller daily paintings and focusing on larger pieces. One reader suggested I take the time with these pieces to post some images of them in stages. I was spoiled by the immediacy of the 4"x6" portraits, as I was always able to finish them in a single sitting.

But there is so much more surface area on the larger sheets -- I have to stop, let portions dry, take a step back. I think it will be beneficial to me, as well as any interested viewer, to see how a painting changes, how we have to take advantage of "happy accidents" which are the calling card of watercolor, and see that where we end up may never have been where we thought we were going when we begin.

So -- here goes.

This is the preliminary line drawing, using india ink on watercolor paper. I was very happy with the expression and almost left it as is. But I was too tempted to liven her up with color.





My first effort was a disaster. I'd used my usual palette of bright, saturated colors but it just wasn't working. Wish I'd taken a pic. I was so disappointed that I ran the entire sheet of paper under the faucet and let it soak in the tub. When most of the color drained from the paper, I took it out let it dry and began again.

There were very pale, pastel colored washes over the surface of the paper, the remains of my first attempt, but I just began painting again, and chose an entirely different, more muted, earthy palette. The next stage, still unfinished, is below.



She still needs more work on the face/cheekbones and also her arm. I love the colors in the wall behind her, but I think it needs to be pushed further into the darks.

Watercolor always dries a few shades lighter than when you put it down -- the wet paint always seems dark and saturated, so it's often best just to let it dry periodically and take a break. Once fully dry, the painting presents an entirely different course of action. To be continued.............