Friday, December 19, 2014

Double Posting

So I’ve started another blog which I’ve designated as my “writing” blog. It’s called Through the Looking Glass: My Life as a Mystery School. I’ve been writing a multi-part faerie tale in drabble format, which means that each part is done in a one hundred word segment. Although I’m going to keep my two blogs distinct (this being the ART blog, and that the WRITING blog) there is some overlap when it comes to artwork. I thought Flying Pony Studios fans might like to see my newest pieces, illustrations that go with parts II and III of the story, called “A Patchwork Tale.” You can read the entire thing (without the pictures) here.

“The Faerie-Knoll,” watercolor & gouache on paper,
8″ x 10″.  Copyright, Sara Light-Waller, 2014.

"The Elfin-Knight's Mount," pen & ink.
Copyright, Sara Light-Waller, 2014.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Two more studies

Seattle view, two studies, watercolor
...showing the same location as the studies done yesterday. I am exploring different methods of laying down paint. The two studies today, and the two yesterday, used two colors of paint: Ultramarine Blue and Orange, either Cadmium Orange or Permanent Orange. It's amazing how much you can do with only two colors. And you learn so much in the process!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A couple of landscape studies

What I'm doing this afternoon. Two landscape studies handled differently but both using only two colors: orange and blue.

A scene from Seattle looking at Lake Washington, watercolor.

Friday, December 5, 2014

How Color Affects Color

As I get back to painting after nearly a month off (NaNoWriMo month) I wanted to start with something simple, an exercise showing how complementary colors affect each other.

Here’s what I did:

I drew six large boxes with a smaller box inside the first. I chose two paint colors, red and green, which are direct complements, directly across from each other on the color wheel. (For those of you who are interested I used Quinacridone Rose and Cobalt Green watercolor.)

 Here’s the key for what I did and the results I saw.
(Descriptions are from top row left to right, then bottom row left to right.)
  1. Neutral gray box painted around an inner red box. The red box is activated and “pops” forward.
  2.  Black outer box with the inner red box (I got the black by mixing the red and green together.) The red box looks bigger and brighter.
  3. White outer box with inner red box. The red box looks duller and smaller.
  4. Green outer box and inner red box. The two colors compete to come forward, creating an interesting vibration for the viewer.
  5. A red outer box with a neutral gray inner box. Because your eye seeks balance the inner gray box looks cooler and more green.
  6. A green outer box with a neutral gray inner box. The inner gray box looks warmer and reddish, reflecting the missing complementary red color.
Aren’t optical illusions fascinating? More than that, they’re useful. By understanding how one color affects another, a painter can better plan their paintings leading to more frequent successes. Sure it takes practice, but the results are well worth it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Painting of the Day

"Fall at Blackman's Lake" 10" x 13" watercolor
I'm doing NaNoWriMo this month and with all the creative outpouring of words, I've had little chance to paint. And so, after nearly three weeks of no-painting I just had to get out my brushes and paint something.

I've been watching the trees for weeks, trying to remember the process of color in transition from Summer to Fall. We had several strong wind storms early on that tore the leaves from the trees. But a few in sheltered areas kept their leaves for a bit longer. One morning at dawn I looked out my window and saw one tree still dressed in golden leaves catching the morning sun. I did a quick sketch in colored pencil and took some color notes. Then I left the sketch on my desk for nearly two weeks. Tonight. I decided to try and capture the image in watercolor.

I like the result. I think it suggests the trees in the marshland behind my house pretty well. It's also nice to know that I haven't forgotten EVERYTHING I've ever learned about painting after all that time off. ;-)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

#SOCIALMEDIUM at the Frye Museum in Seattle


Today, I went to a  “crowdsourced” exhibit at the Frye Museum in Seattle. It was called #SOCIALMEDIUM.

A few months ago people were asked to vote online for their favorites from the Frye’s 232 late 19th- and early 20th-century European painting collection. The vote was taken over a two week period in the form of “Likes” in social media. 17,000 votes were cast from 500 cities world-wide and the most popular paintings chosen for the exhibit. It wasn’t just votes the museum was tallying, but also the comments associated with the paintings. Some of these comments were later added to the descriptive labels posted in the exhibit.
The walls were filled with the names of people who voted
It was an unusual and exciting show combining old ideas and new. The comments added a dynamic touch - modern voices, some knowledgeable about art, some not, “voicing” their opinions about the European masterpieces. To me, the interplay of words and art felt like having a conversation with friends in my living room. Very engaging.
"Woman in Costume" (1910) by Leopold Schmutzler
Social media comments for "Woman in Costume"
 My favorite comment above was made by Lindsey Rae Gjording who said - "Eyebrows for days."

According to the Frye staff #SOCIALMEDIUM is a hit with visitors. It’s helped people engage with the art in new ways. Here are some of the paintings I liked from the exhibit with the associated comments:

"The Birch Grove" (1900) by Ludwig Dill
Comments on "The Birch Grove"

"Landscape with Church Towers" (1912) by Franz-Xaver Hoch

Comments on "Landscape with Church Towers"
The Frye is among the first museums in the country to try crowdcurating. Good for them! If you're in Seattle, I’d encourage you to check out #SOCIALMEDIUM. It runs until January 4, 2015. It’s definitely worth the visit.   

Obligatory Selfie

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sketch of the day

"Paddocks with Buster" graphite, Sara Light-Waller, 2014

I took advantage of the break in the weather (after ten days of down-pouring rain!!) by doing some outdoor sketching this afternoon. This is one of the paddocks at Chez Jacroux, the farm where I keep my horse. The horse in the paddock is named Buster and he posed for me briefly before heading into the shelter.

Next time, I might sketch some of the farm's chickens, who were quite ready to act as artist models today.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

“Mrs. Bellweather inquired of Lucy”

This is my newest pen & ink composition, an illustration for a story yet to be written. Although it’s usually the story that comes first, sometimes things go the other way around. Especially when characters call out from the aethers, impatient for their moment on stage. Apparently, Lucy and Mrs. Bellweather are two of these characters, ready and eager to appear, even before their story is written.