Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sunset on the Beach

I spent one evening on the beach watching the sunset. The colors were really incredible. I took probably 4 or 5 dozen photos trying out the various settings on my camera that I never use.

One of the settings uses a long exposure -- which I didn't know. I clicked the shutter, it opened, and didn't close. Thinking there was something wrong with the camera, I started shaking it. Then the shutter closed and I realized what had happened. Doofus.

My first reaction was to delete the photo. Instead, I thought it might be interesting to leave the shutter open, and shake the camera side-to-side (intentionally) just enough to blur the details. I got a bunch of photos with really luscious sunset colors in horizontal bands. Very abstract, very soft. They'd make great paintings.

This ACEO is based on that evening. I painted it the next day from memory of that great sunset. Painting on location is something new for me. I'm insecure about doing it yet but am working on it.

It's watercolor on woven paper which gives it that great texture.

Read about the supplies I took along.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Beach at Puerto Vallarta

Here's a quick ACEO of the beach in Puerto Vallarta. I spent a few days there earlier this month -- fantastic, lovely, warm (not snowing), relaxing. All the wonderful things I'd heard about it were true.

Breaking out of my comfort zone, I did some quick watercolor sketching on the trip. I admire people who do that, but never have myself. Really had to force myself to get over the nerves and do it, but it was fun. I'm glad I did.

This little card is watercolor on rice paper, which gives it that great texture.

I took along some new Bienfang watercolor brushes, which are hollow pens loaded with watercolor paint and a brush tip. One of the pens holds clear water. Squeeze the pen a little and the paint flows to the bristles. Just cap them when done. No cleanup, no mess, no spills. Very handy.

Security made me put them in my checked luggage during the flight, which worried me a little, but they arrived safely to PV. One of them leaked a little during the flight home, so I had a bit of cleanup to do, but better at the end of the trip than the beginning. Good thing I had them in a zip bag.

I hope to do more sketching in the days to come.