Today at my sketch group, our model worked hard. When it was time for her last pose, her tiredness showed and I was reminded of a woman I see occasionally at an underpass near our home. The woman has companions and they seem to take turns panhandling and resting. I notice her but have never spoken to her. I don’t know if she is homeless, but to me she represents homelessness. When we drove to Texas recently, we saw so very many people along the way that may well have been homeless. It seemed like an epidemic of homelessness all across the Southwest.
I tried to evoke the woman’s body language in this sketch by accentuating her thinness, emphasizing her air of exhaustion, and including a suggestion of a roadside. I added the flower to symbolize hope and beauty.
My Wednesday sketching group met at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego this morning. It is a beautiful and busy complex with many tempting choices for interior and exterior scenes. And, with Easter in less than two weeks, people were bustling around, putting a polish across the facility.
My eye was caught by a worker on a ladder. I liked his focus on his work and the fact that the scale of the church contrasted so nicely against his figure up there on the ladder.
I vacillated a bit at first, torn between laying out the perspective with a vanishing point, and so on. As you can see, I decided to just go for a more organic approach.
This is a mix of casein and gouache paint on a sheet of 12 X 22-inch black paper.
I went over to a nearby park this afternoon, not expecting to see mounds of California sunflowers everywhere. I had some 6 X 12-inch paper with me which I had previously tinted with a rich blue-green casein. It was a perfect start for this composition.
I worked with gouache for the tree and flowers. Later at home I used Procreate on my iPad to add more orange, green, and the three large flowers. Finally, I copied and pasted some of the tree foliage over edge of sky beneath the tree.
I am back in San Diego after a trip to Texas for a family wedding. On the way out we drove and took our time. I was able to get quite a few paintings in, although I was not always able to post, due to time and connectivity. I felt kind of bad about the unposted paintings but today I was able to use one of them after all.
This morning I went to my sketching group and we had an amazing model whose long limbs seemed to form geometric shapes. This evening, with the help of my iPad, I superimposed one of today’s paintings over a sketch of a moonlit beach that I did on the Texas trip.
We spent the last two days at Padre Island in Texas. Our camping spot is right on the inter coastal waterway, at Bird Island Basin. There are lots of windsurfers of both varieties, birds and humans, and I had lots of fun painting them. The three sketches above are my favorites so far.
We spent the day at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and it was an incredible visual experience. It is unbelievable that so much beauty exists underground and is definitely a place that you have to see for yourself.
However, it turns out that you can’t take watercolors down into the caves so this sketch is of the buildings across the street from where we stopped for the night. I really liked the way the setting sun lit the hill and filled the sky with soft color.