I’m really excited to share this week’s Doodles. There are 9 in all; the first 8 were all done in preparation for the final Doodle of the week. It’s the biggest watercolor (both in size and in detail) I’ve ever done. In fact, the only time I’ve ever painted anything larger was this 2’x3′ acrylic on plywood painting I did for our backyard a couple years ago.
One of the problems I’ve encountered already in my Doodle project is that I’ll sit down to do a Doodle…and my mind goes blank and I can’t think of a single thing to draw. So I started a list of things to draw or paint – some quite simple, some more involved. As I worked on my list, it occurred to me that I have a ton of photos of pretty sites taken on vacations, so I looked through some of my scrapbooks and pulled out a small stack of photos I thought would be fun (and challenging!) to paint or draw over the next year.
The first of these to become a painting is one from our trip to New York City this past August, which you can read about here and here. Since that trip also reigniting my interest in watercolors, it seemed fitting that my first Paint My Vacation Doodle (as I’ve decided to call the images I paint from our travels) should be from that trip.
This picture was taken the day we rented bicycles and rode through Central Park. For a few minutes, we abandoned the bikes in order to stroll through a tiny bit of the Shakespeare Garden (a very tiny bit – apparently it covers four acres!), and I made the Mister stop so I could take way too many pictures of it. Those pictures proved to be helpful in my efforts this week, though!
|Ain’t it purty?|
In another area nearby, we found colorful flowers:
|I loved the fence and all the wildflowers.|
It was quite a lofty goal to think that I could paint this scene and make it look half good, and I knew I needed to practice painting wood, stone, shrubs, trees, and flowers to have a chance.
I started off the week by practicing some techniques using videos on YouTube to guide me.
I enjoyed this video, from his accent to the sound of waves in the background, bringing to mind a little cottage by the sea with an ocean breeze blowing through the open windows – far from the 58-degree office I was working in! View on Instagram.
Today, I focused on trees and also tried a flowering plant, along with some colorful shrubs. There is something that looks like a nandina in the inspiration photo, so I tried one version of creating a reddish plant using the same basic technique as I did for yesterday’s row of bushes. View on Instagram.
|This is the Mister’s favorite of this week’s practice Doodles.|
I practiced trees using two different techniques:
Layering from the bottom up, starting with light values and working toward darker values created this first tree and most of the trees in the final painting.
I practiced this paper towel technique on the second tree below and wound up using it in other areas of the final painting, mainly the stone path.
I didn’t practice a particular technique here on these dark pink wildflowers – just dabbed away with a paintbrush!
|This is my second favorite of the practice Doodles…|
|…And this one is my favorite!|
|Jerry Yarnell helped me out with my stone path
…and also provided a good reminder to step back every now and then to look at the whole picture instead of getting lost in the little details.
I remembered from the last art class I took the first semester of 9th grade that when drawing a small image onto a large piece of paper, we divided up our images into sections to make it easier draw them properly. So I started off by dividing both my 4×6 photo and 9×12 paper into 6 sections.
Then I drew the image, including the bits of branches I wanted to peek through the trees in the background.
|Calling it a day on day 2.|
A closer view:
Here’s a side-by-side view for you.
This week’s Doodle total: 9
Yearly Doodle total: 22
See more Doodles here!
As always, thanks for reading!