Paintings for Fun (June 2020)
by Anne Kostecki
I really enjoy doing the quick 6x9 inch gouache sky paintings. So, I decided to paint a late evening deep blue sky with orange clouds. And, I wanted to add a bright white crescent moon. This was a fun one, and they’re getting quicker and easier as I keep painting them.
For Father’s Day, I wanted to paint a beer still life. I found a reference photo (which I know I shouldn’t do without the photographer’s permission…) and painted a detailed setup. It included a barrel, glass of beer, and sheaves of barley on a wooden table. I worked a few days on this one, and I’m happy with the turnout.
I’m still cranking on this iris painting. I decided to move away from it in early June to finish the commission.
For Juneteenth, I wanted to do some simple lettering in the holiday colors. I actually painted this three times, because it’s pretty easy to mess up lettering with a watercolor brush. Well, it is easy for me to mess it up! It was a fun exercise.
I have seen some amazing beach and shoreline paintings on Instagram from many talented artists, and I felt inspired to try one. To challenge myself (and because I’m not a huge fan of liquid mask), I decided to avoid white areas, and paint around the water foam.
The darkest blue areas were actually the easiest to paint. I layered light blue and green colors and built up to the darkest areas. It’s best for me to use my round Escoda brushes because of their fine point: you can get great details in the foam this way. Since it’s so hot, I did another quick beach painting on June 27; and it only took an hour and a half. I painted this gradient sunset view with palm trees. If only I could paint this way on larger paper!
This month, I painted my first insect: a blue butterfly. This was from another reference photo from my Facebook group. It’s only about 5.5 inches across, but this painting took a lot of my concentration. It took a few nap day’s worth (what I call my work days, because I work whenever my daughter naps) of work. I’m happy with the result: it’s very blue!
And, for some reason, I was inspired to paint a cupcake for my half birthday (June 26). Ok, painting white things on a white sheet of paper is TRICKY! This is a challenge to train your eyes to see colors for what they are, and not what you think them to be.
The shadows for white icing and white cake would look very flat if you painted with a Payne’s gray or any other gray-adjacent color. I saw warmer yellow ochre tones, mixed with violet to dull it, as well as some ultramarine blues mixed with orange. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that bleeding the bright colors of the sprinkles on the baked cake looked perfect. A cupcake painting would be perfect for a future tutorial!