New watercolors and Tuesday sketches - floral of course.

My dear friend is on holiday, and I'm watching her orchids, a beautiful subject and a good occasion to do some sketching with my new set of watercolors.

 After many years of painting with just a few basic colors,  I finally decided for  a box with a set of many new colors. It was a very good buy, since the single colors would be much more expensive, and also I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with the new shades. 

I'm also experimenting with plastic wrap for textures. It's interesting with patterns and designs appearing so magically... Still want to do some more and decide where I can use it... This is a first layer I'm gonna continue with, either adding more watercolor or maybe with a pencil, since I do see many shapes inside it.

Flowerpot with succulent - playing with watercolors!

Due to the recent repeated earthquakes in this area I haven't been able to concentrate on painting, so this is from my small sketchbook some time ago - just playing around with watercolor... The subject is a small flower pot with a succulent that I got as a present. It was fun to try to capture the colors and shapes very quickly...

                                                    A closer detail  of the flowers.

Still life with fruit and doubts...

I find it's very difficult to take good photos of your paintings... In particular of watercolor paintings, I think.  They can change a lot - sometimes a boring painting gets life when looking at it in a good photo. Sometimes it gets duller, because you can't see the delicate layers... 

Sometimes you might want to 'improve' the contrasts or brightness - but it might be too much... Anyway, for a reproduction or a postcard this bright version might work better, what do you think?

Wintercolors from my sketchbook!

It's Tuesday again, and I'm opening my sketchbook to show a few different works. They are all fast sketches  - just for the joy of capturing what inspires me at the moment. This is a 'Il Duomo' a detail of the Dome of Florence. Pencil and watercolors. Very basic and fast sketching, but yet, easily recognizable...

This page - actually a double page, as so often in my sketchbooks - is a quite big sized (approx. 60 x 35 cm) mixed media painting featuring mainly watercolors - of cours  - but also oil pastels and chalk pastels.
I called it 'Winterberries' because of the frosty colors... And I enjoyed the painting process a lot!

Well, this was surprisingly fun! A leftover piece of wrapping paper inspired me. I glued it to the sides of my large sketchbook, and then I painted and copied the design freely, with no preliminary drawing 
in monochromatic watercolor (Payne's Grey).

Atmospheres from Chianti - and Sketchbook Tuesday!

These are some pictures from Sunday, that I already shared on Instagram. 
Just a few details. 
Such a lovely atmosphere in such a beautiful place...

To the end, since it's my Sketchbook Tuesday, a sketch in watercolor and colored pen from a view in Tuscany. It was a rainy and foggy day, you couldn't see far away, and again I just wanted to capture the atmosphere...

Painting the sea in the winter - on a Sketchbook Tuesday!

I was very inspired thinking of the colors, the smell of salt, splashes of water... and movements of the waves - the everchanging sea in November.

This time I used gouache and mixed media - paper scraps, glue and pencil for the first one, and then I painted the other ones very fast mostly with gouache, but one also with watercolors.
 Which one do you prefer?

Still life Challenge - Part 2 - loose watercolor painting!

The very first approach, this time I'm painting wet in wet. No drawing, just a light layer of color to mark the volumes and shapes.
What I adore most in this photo, is the blue shadow of the jar of water!

Usually I would have painted the light green tomatoe first, but since I had started with deepening the reds, I was obliged to let the greens wait a while, not to mix up everything. Since I couldn't keep my hands away, I went along with the browns of the jug meanwhile.

Here you can see the proceeding of the green color and the table. The background is still very light.
The result is fresh and loose and I left it aside to dry.

In fact, I wanted to paint a third one - THE painting, but because of my time restrictions painting was postponed ...

But, once this painting was dry, I went back on it with the finishing shadows and more details. I also painted the background darker, to make the objects stand out more.
I did enjoy the whole painting session a lot, especially sketching in a loose way!
You can click on the link of Paint and Draw Together to see the source photo and more paintings of the same subject, as I mentioned in my previous post.

Still life with tomatoes - a new Challenge!

This is my first painting  to participate in the latest Paint and Draw together Challenge. Click on the link to see the reference photo, and the other participants beautiful works.

Step 1 - first layer of color.

 Step 2 -adding more color, some details and structure to the table with salt.
Step 3 -was adding the background and more detail and contrast through shadows, for example.

Some details of the work in progress.
As usually, it's hard to know when to stop. I tend to overwork my paintings, losing the initial freshness. That's why, whenever I have time, I do one or two additional, fast paintings, which I personally like more. I will upload he pictures of the progress of my second painting very soon!
Hope to see you again!

Painting Cats with watercolor in my sketchbook!

It's a National Black Cat Day in Italy Today -
This is to get to know them better and stop superstition
That's a great occasion to make a few fast watercolor sketches of my black cat.
This means that this will be my Tuesday sketching-daily-post one day earlier.

Painting with masking fluid in my small sketchbook

Even if I don't have too much time to make full size finished paintings, I try to do daily painting in my sketchbook(s). I love to try different technics, and in my sketcbook it doesn't matter what the final result is, so I find that painting becomes free and more expressive. Often the subject is from my fantasy, as here.
 This time I started with painting directly with the masking fluid (that I usually don't use), and then added a few layers of colors...  
Some is wet-in-wet, some is wet-on-dry...
Finally I removed the masking fluid and added some more detail.

Working with the masking fluid allows you to paint very freely and that I like, even if the outlines of the white is quite hard, and you have to soften it either with color or water.
 Next time I want to do a larger painting, taking away and adding the masking fluid in different places while proceeding...

Still life with persimmons

When the weather is getting worse, flowers are sleeping and it gets dark early, you end up painting a lot of still lifes...

From my sketchbook - cats!

Some time ago my dear friend Laura brought me a new watersoluble graffiti pen. So I sketched cats, and then I used water to soften up the drawings. A funny mix of sketching and watercolors!

Not only watercolors!

From my sketchbook, mixed media, inspired by the girl filmed in NY while walking along the streets...

(watercolors, pencil, oil pastels and pastels)

This is the link

Negative painting with watercolors - Pomegranate

Now this one I painted a few years ago as a study in negative painting, which is one of the fundamental technichs of watercolor painting. Here I got inspiration from the blog of Brenda Swenson, that I can't find anymore - but if click on her name there is a link to her facebook page.

Today - fresh paint in my sketchbook onTuesday!

I really like to play around with my watercolors and my sketchbook - and this time no flowers!
You can tell it isn't watercolor paper, but it's BIG - 30x36 cm - and it was a present from a dear friend plus I didn't find such a large sketchbook with watercolor paper yet!
BUT - I found this wonderful idea:  make-your-own-watercolor-pad , just click on it!
It's VERY simple, and I'm definitely going to do it!!  
It's a pity I just torn all the extra paper into SMALL pieces, I was planning to do some sketchbooks for gifts...