Archive for November, 2011

Beginning a Victorian House in Prismacolor Watercolor Pencil

November 14, 2011

Waxahachie Victorian Home begun in Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

After completing my first demonstration in the Prismacolor vendor booth at the conference in Galveston, I had about 20 minutes to begin another demonstration before the booths closed for the afternoon.  Here is a quick effort at a Victorian home in Waxahachie that I have admired for several years but had not gotten around to painting.  I drafted it quickly in pencil, and just had time to pencil down the basic wash under-paintings, and scribble out some foliage.  I really look forward to getting back to this one.  I like the freshness of the start, and think it will only improve as I re-work it in pencil and use a damp brush to spread some of the colors.  There are some good shadows on the reference photo I took of the subject.

The week promises to be busy at school, but I’ll try to find an afternoon or evening to force my way back into this composition.

Thanks for reading.

Recapping my Watercolor Adventures in Galveston, Texas

November 14, 2011

Tree Rendering in Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

I decided to take a break from grading papers so I could re-live some of the past four days spent in Galveston, Texas.  It was my privilege to demonstrate Prismacolor watercolor pencils in the vendor booth for Prismacolor, thanks to Shelley Minnis, a representative from that company.  I have posted the first sketch I did while visiting with art teachers from around the state.

This is the first time I pushed heavily on the Prismacolor products.  My own watercolor style is a considerably lighter touch, but I wanted to see how the D’Arches paper handled a heavy application of these pencils and a good amount of wash.  I’m not delighted with the outcome, but still want to continue experimenting with this media.  This is one of the few sketches I have done exclusively with the watercolor pencils, with no help from tubes or cakes at all.  I have not found a way to dissolve the pigments completely in water to create sky washes.  I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I will figure it out.  At any rate, I enjoyed the experiment and would not have traded this experience for anything.

Thanks, Shelley!  It was a real honor working beside you.

And thanks, all of you, for reading.  More to come .  .  .

The Return from Galveston

November 13, 2011

I have the privilege of sitting in the back of a Suburban full of art educators for the seven-hour return to Arington, Texas. Not having to drive (to me) is a luxury.

The Texas Art Educators Association annual conference was held at Moody Gardens in Galveston. I enjoyed the beach daily, the palm trees, and the numerous “plein air” watercolor opportunities. After I get home, I’ll gladly post my experiments on the blog. None of the watercolor sketches turned out a successful “frameable” piece of art, but what I learned in the attempts was immeasurable.

I do not wish to diminish the value of the workshops I attended; I found them indispensable for all the freshness and inspiration they offered up to an exhausted public school teacher. But the real highlight of my four-day conference was the invitation to spend Friday in the Prismacolor vendor booth, demonstrating their new watercolor pencils. I would not have traded that time exchanging ideas with, and answering questions from other art teachers, for anything. My heartfelt thanks goes out to representative Shelley Minnis for that privileged invitation. Very soon, I will post pictures of the paintings I did that day.

Thanks for reading.

A Day in the Prismacolor Booth, Texas Art Educators Association, Galveston, Texas

November 11, 2011

David Tripp and Shelley Minnis in the Prismacolor Booth

Today was a fabulous day at the Texas Art Educators Association annual convention.  I was invited to demonstrate in the Prismacolor booth, using the Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils.  Pictured with me is Shelley Minnis, the representative of this company who invited me to do the demonstration.  I found her an exceedingly gracious host as I spent the day there, working on watercolors and answering questions from the patrons who happened by and had questions about the product.

Tomorrow will be the last full day of the convention.  The art teachers from my group have been promised some time on the beach.  I have packed my watercolor supplies and hope to give it a good effort tomorrow en plein air.   I’ve never had an opportunity to paint the ocean in watercolor.

Thanks for reading.  More tomorrow . . .

Locomotives in Fall Colors, Grand Saline, Texas

November 7, 2011

Grand Saline UP and GATX in Fall Colors

One day after the Mineola Holiday Bazaar, I find myself decompressing (still pretty exhausted from the return trip and unloading all my freight late last night) and trying to finish this watercolor sketch I began yesterday afternoon.  The fall foliage back-dropping the bright road colors of this pair of diesels I found very striking on an early autumn morning last weekend.  I’m glad the fall finally has arrived (although a dreary one, color-wise–I made up some of the colors in this composition, recalling the vistas I enjoyed last year).  I hope to get in plenty of plein air activity this year.

Railroads have held my attention since childhood.  The bright color schemes fascinated me as a small boy.  They still do, of course, but I also find myself musing over where these huge diesels pull their freight daily, weekly, annually.  I always wondered about what the railroad crew got to see as they road the rails across this country.  I know there has to be the issue of boredom and bone-weary stretches of miles over time, but still, I would love to see American from the perspective of the rails.  And so, every time I’m driving in my Jeep and I look up to see a sight like this, I am filled with wonder and wanderlust.

In a few days, I’ll leave for Galveston, Texas for a four-day conference.  I’m not sure if I’ll have time or space to create art over that time span, but I’ll soon find out.  Meanwhile, I’ll try to push out another watercolor sketch or two in the next couple of days before I leave for that trip.  Incidentally, this watercolor sketch measures 12 x 16″, was done on a watercolor block (D’Arches 140-lb. cold press), using Winsor and Newton watercolors and Prismacolor watercolor pencils.  I’m enjoying this blend of materials for creating quick sketches.

Thanks for reading.

Grand Saline Railroad Painting (2nd day of Mineola Festival)

November 6, 2011

Grand Saline Union Pacific

The second day of the Mineola Holiday Bazaar was much busier than day one.  Therefore, painting time was at a premium.  As you can see, by show’s end, this is as far as I could get on a new watercolor.  I photographed this in Grand Saline on my way to Mineola for this Holiday Bazaar.  The Union Pacific and GATX colors against the fall foliage were so striking, that I had to pull the Jeep over and take photographs.  I thought seriously about painting this one yesterday, but opted for the New Mexico composition instead.  Alas, I had very little quality time to spend on this one, and now I have school beginning early tomorrow morning (after I load out this show and pack everything home, 2 hours away).  So . . . I’m not sure when I’ll get to finish this one.  Perhaps tomorrow after school (ack!  it’s that dreadful 4-class day!), perhaps later.  But I will finish it.

Thanks for reading.

Second Day of Mineola Holiday Bazaar Festival

November 6, 2011

Mineola Holiday Bazaar 2n Day

Sundays can be rather slow at a Texas art festival, especially if the Dallas Cowboys are kicking off at noon.  So . . . I just might have another painting in me, ready to be hatched.  We’ll see.  Meanwhile, I noticed that my BlackBerry failed to upload the photo of my booth with the Christmas trimmings.  I had photographed it from the day before the festival, when all was in place except the Christmas garland, lights and green table coverings.  So, I thought I would go ahead and toss this picture out there.  I’ll do my best to post a new painting, even if only “in progress,” before the festival closes this afternoon.

Thanks always for reading.

New Mexico Memories, painted during an Art Festival

November 5, 2011

New Mexico Wanderings

It has been a pretty good day for art sales at this Mineola Texas Holiday Bazaar.  We’re in the Civic Center all day Saturday and Sunday.  The crowds are rather sparse, but nevertheless, art is being sold, and I always delight in that.

I began this composition this morning, using a digital reference photo I took while traveling New Mexico about three summers back.  It looks like I just may finish it before we close at 5:00.  I took the photo when a storm was brewing, and loved the darkening sky and the cedars turning nearly black in the diminished light.  All of this made the stucco building glow all the more, and I’m trying to catch the reflective quality of the abandoned dwelling with this painting.

I have no idea where this dwelling rests in New Mexico today.  All I recall is that I stayed at the Peter Hurd Ranch, enjoying for a couple of days his paintings, along with those of Henriette, Andrew and N. C. Wyeth.  Driving to Lubbock from there, I came across this dwelling in the middle of a New Mexico wasteland.

It’s been a joy to paint today, and hopefully I’ll begin a second one early tomorrow.  I’m glad we get an extra hour to sleep tonight with the time change.

Thanks for reading.

Greetings from …

November 5, 2011

Mineola Holiday Bazaar, Mineola Civic Center

Greetings from Mineola, Texas. Today begins our Saturday-Sunday Holiday Bazaar at the Mineola Civic Center, 10:00-5:00.   I just finished setting up my booth space and am now open for business.   I would love to see you here.

I’ll try to post more information later.  The easel is set up and I’m ready to begin a new composition while the festival runs over the next two days.

Thanks for reading.  More later .  . .

Autumn Trees in the Western Sun

November 1, 2011

Autumn Trees in the Western Sun

Texas weather was again delicious for plein air experimentation.  After school let out, I immediately went out in search of autumn colors, and it didn’t take long to find them.  This time I layered Winsor & Newton watercolors with Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils, going back and forth between the media.  I found a happier balance this time, and believe I have come up with one of my better watercolor sketches of fall foliage.  It’s rather small (about 9 x 12″), but I think it will have  a smart appearance once matted and framed.

In looking at this pair of trees, I was surprised to find the one with the dead leaves still sporting its full headdress, while the tree of living leaves had already lost about half of them.  I found that strange, and wanted to try and sketch the pair accurately.  Fall is coming on.  Because of the dreadfully hot and dry summer, I’m afraid that Texas will see little-to-no color this season.  Nevertheless, I still like the looks of the trees as they begin casting their leaves, even if the colors range only from green-to-brown. All the same, I’ll try to capture some of them in watercolor sketches en plein air this time around.

Thanks for reading.