Saturday, October 18, 2014

Another Small Floral

While others were taking a 30-day painting challenge in September, I felt like I needed to have something to paint.  I started this 6” x 6” watercolor from a photo of a potted hydrangea that was taken inside a store.  It was lit well enough to give me the needed light and shadow.  Having put it aside many times, I would go back to it building up many wet layers.  Cobalt Blue and Permanent Rose are the primary colors used along with some New Gamboge Yellow.  I enjoy doing these small florals in between larger pieces to keep me in practice.

Blue Hydrangea, 6” x 6” Watercolor, ©Johanna Cellucci

Friday, August 29, 2014

Santa Fe Shadows and Colors

Not knowing what to paint next, I decided to work on this subject which I had originally prepared for a workshop but never used.  It is from a photo taken in Santa Fe quite a few years ago.  The colorful door and the shadows are what appealed to me.  For the most part, Holbein colors were used with some being opaque.  Relying heavily on masking made for much edge cleanup.  The reds in the image appear more saturated than they are on the painting.  The detail at the top of the door was a challenge to do, as well as the reflections in the windows.  I’m not sure of the merits of this painting, but at least it kept me painting on and off as I usually do.

Shadow Play, 14 x 10, Watercolor, ©J. Cellucci

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Acceptance for Poured Watercolor

Today, I was happy to receive notice that my poured watercolor floral, “Water Lily II,” was accepted by juror, Birgit O’Connor, into the Aquarius National Watermedia Exhibition 2014.  This national exhibition, sponsored by the Southern Colorado Watercolor Society, is held biennially at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo, Colorado.  Exhibition opens September 27, 2014, and runs until January 3, 2015.

Water Lily II, 11 x 11, Poured Watercolor, ©J. Cellucci

It was my intention not to enter any competitions this year, but try to concentrate on painting.  This is the only exhibition entered, mainly to show support for the SCWS.  With two entries, this poured watercolor was chosen over another more tightly rendered floral.  It does validate this work with its first acceptance into a national juried exhibition and that I haven’t completely lost touch with entering competitions.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Keeping Me Going

Saw this white dahlia outside of a store under a canopy of soft light unfurling into a perfect bloom.  Not having a sunny spot in the garden to plant it, I settled for a picture.  Felt it was perfect for a small painting.  I enjoy painting white flowers, which was done first.  After putting in the dark background, the shadows certainly needed to be deepened.  I’m finding that doing these small 6” x 6” pieces keeps me going in between finding inspiration for larger paintings.

White Dahlia, 6” x 6” Watercolor, ©Johanna Cellucci

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A New Inspiration

Recently, I was given farm-fresh eggs by a fellow watercolor society member.  In the dozen, were a few green eggs.  That amazed me as I had never seen green eggs, and it gave me the inspiration to use them for a painting.  Even though eggs are a common subject, I had never attempted them before.  So, this simple still life became a challenge, not only in the composition to which a salt shaker was added, but also in painting the smooth transitions of light and shadow on the eggs.  I also found the shadows to be interesting.  This image tends to separate the colors on the eggs and in the shadows more than appears on the painting itself.  It is painted on my usual 200 lb. CP Saunders Waterford paper, but now feel a smoother paper could have been used.  Colors consist of cool and warm yellows, thalo turquoise, ultramarine blue, with quinacridone gold and sienna, some permanent rose, quinacridone violet and Winsor violet.  I always try to get that elusive perfection but, am for the most part, satisfied with the results.

Green Eggs with Salt, 10” x 14” Watercolor, ©Johanna Cellucci

Monday, June 9, 2014

Whiter Than the Paper

This past Easter I bought a lily for the first time and took some pictures of it.  White is a challenge to paint.  After laying in the dark background, the flower appeared pure white even though the Saunders Waterford 200 lb. CP paper used is more of a natural white.  This is done in a small 6” x 6” square format, which I’ve come to like as it can be completed quicker than a larger painting.  I’m never sure if a painting will work out, but feel this small piece captures the essence of a white lily.

Easter Lily, 6” x 6” watercolor, ©Johanna Cellucci

Monday, May 19, 2014

Something Different

I had taken a picture of goldfish in a pond a few years ago and liked the colors and movement in it.  This is different subject matter for me, having never painted water and fish before.  As detailed as I am, it is impossible to get every nuance of the water and its reflections.  And, as is often said, working from a photo also has its limitations.

I used the sedimentary color of cerulean blue for the water at the bottom to give the effect of sediment at the bottom of the pond.  It is a heavy paint and sinks into the valleys of the paper.  To paint the reflections on the left side, I masked the water "holes,” wet that side and dropped in dark color from the top fish lightening it toward the bottom.

However, there was a problem removing the frisket, which had never happened before.  For some unknown reason, in some small areas and one larger area, it would not come off.  I tried scrubbers and a “magic eraser” to no avail.  The only way to remove it was to scrape it off with an X-Acto knife, which of course damages the paper’s surface.  That spot took the paint and somehow seems to blend in, but it bothers me because I know it is there.  I do not have the patience to do it over, but perhaps will try a similar composition.

Overall, the resulting painting is decent, but not good enough as an exhibition entry.  At least, I am painting and learning.

Golden Pond, Watercolor, 14” x 10”, ©Johanna Cellucci

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Another Opaque Watercolor Attempt

This small piece was started almost a year ago in a workshop with Martha Mans ( using her palette of transparent and opaque watercolors.  With nothing else planned, why not play with it.  Again, not considering myself much of a landscapist, I try to get too detailed for this type of subject.  This was worked on Arches 300 lb. rough.  It is not the type of paper I’m used to working on and found it to be heavily sized as colors seemed to lift readily.  Another observation is that this paper does not lend itself to my preferred wet-in-wet technique, and the opaque paints do not flow readily.  My favorite part of this painting is the road leading in.  Mountains and sky weren’t too difficult to achieve, but trees and grasses have always been problematic.  I’m hesitant to post this, but why not.  It is all a learning experience!

Florissant Fall, 7 1/8” x 10” watercolor, ©Johanna Cellucci

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Just to Get My Brushes Wet

Having not painted in a while, I decided to try this rose in a small 6” x 6” square format just to get my brushes wet again.  This was done on my usual Saunders Waterford 200 lb. paper working wet-in-wet with mostly the Quinacridone watercolors of Coral, Pink, Rose, Magenta, Violet and Gold.  It accomplished my goal, and I am pleased with the result.

Quinacridone Rose, 6” x 6” watercolor, ©Johanna Cellucci