Playing ball in the cold

Playing ball in the cold

As you can see, this is just the start for this – a quick (or slow) sketch of my daughter holding a pink ball in our garden. It was a cold day, chilly and fresh, and she really wanted to play in the garden so we wrapped up and went out for some playtime. How blessed I am to have time to spend with my children and to have such wonderful children to spend time with. Paintings or sketches like this are to me like a diary of memories. I hope to do a larger scale version of this once I’ve a few more trial sketches done – it is too hard to get the detail I want on such a small scale (the pad is smaller than A4).

The challenge in this is to get the wall not to take over – being the darkest part it draws itself forward, where I want it to be very much in the background. I will finish this version, ┬ábut in the next sketch I think the right thing to do will be to use far more soft grey as it is here in the parts of the wall not fully painted. For the grass I thing the best thing will be areas of green without detail, and just in the foreground define the actual blades of grass. Here the definition I thought would work is really just creating a scene where there is too much going on and the figure is sort of lost in the mix, only drawn forward by the contrast in colours. Still, when I look at it myself I am back there hearing her call to me to catch the ball, so it works on that front anyhow!

Diamond hill, Connemara, Galway in watercol

Diamond Hill, Connemara

 

This landscape is for me a step outside my comfort zone. I tend to do landscapes in black and white using a pen – rarely in watercolour. One of my workmates Aoife was on this lovely hill and took some amazing photos I was surprised to hear were with a phone. I wanted to try painting them and to be honest I don’t do them any justice. But as you know for this site I post all the bad and the good, as it’s all about what we learn on the journey not just the end result.

I have to admit, I am not done justice myself in my photo of the sketch – this was taken with my own phone in artificial light. I’ll add a better quality photo to this post at some stage when I get some time in daylight. Ahead of┬ápainting it I was thinking greens and browns, with a little blue for the further back bits, but I was surprised as I get into it the whole range of colours in the Irish landscape. Everything from red to yellow to blue and pretty much everything in between. I’m blessed living is such a wonderfully vibrant country.

Little girl holding balloon drawing

Young girl with a balloon

 

 

This sketch is of my daughter, with a different angle to usual – I naturally am mostly drawing faces but with this she had her back turned and was lit from the opposite side – I was facing the light. I drew the balloon in negative space as it was a more dramatic aspect, and allowed for the lightness of the balloon to be conveyed also.

It is a sketch that was meant to be a few second rough to paint from later, but as happens to me so often I ended up spending longer and longer building it up. I do still hope to paint it at some point. Time will tell if I ever get around to that. For now at least I have this sketch to remember the moment.

 

Boy playing on floor in watercolor

Boy playing with cars

 

In this watercolour sketch I was painting one of my sons while he played with some cars while laying on the floor of our home. He was happily engrossed in the play and I enjoyed the challenge of the rather awkward angle to paint at. I have not added the cars – they should be just below his hairline – roughly where his eyes are focused. I was using a mixture of green, orange and payne’s gray. I find this mix gives a nice pallette to work from, allowing for softness of edge through colour as well as how diluted the paint is.

As I often state here – I post my mistakes as often (or more often) as successes. This is actually badly painted – if you turn your head so that you are looking at his head the right way up you will see the positioning of the features are all wrong. Amazingly I never noticed while I was doing it. A lesson learnt there: turn your head when painting to see the ‘right way up’ as easy to notice mistakes that way which are not so easy to notice when at a strange angle.

 

Wathercolor sketch of boy playing

Ashford Castle

Getting started – Ashford Castle

I am just getting going on a new picture of Ashford Castle up the road from me in Cong. It reminds me of mechanical drawing back in secondary school trying to get all the proportions right. I hope this one works out – I’ve tried drawing the castle a number of times but none have worked too well. Naturally, I’ll be posting more as I go along. Fingers crossed.

Ashford Castle