Snow Slump

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Ever since our wintery winter turned into saggy spring we’ve been watching this layer of snow slide off a woodpile just down the alley.  You can see all the layers of the snowfalls and how they have slid over each other to varying degrees.  Fascinating!

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Painting Cards by the Dozen

The Pleasant View Painters have been at it again: painting beautiful cards to send to grandchildren and other special people.  They always amaze us with their ability to follow our instructions – even when the ideas seem pretty wild – and to come up with beautiful work each week.  They smile and laugh and we enjoy the hours very much.

Lighthouse Scene

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Our adult class had a chance to play around with the water soluble pencils and find out how they work before jumping right in to working out a lighthouse scene.  This one has a lot of technique involved: drawing a lighthouse and shading it; a wet in wet sky; “growing” trees; dry brush rocks; rolling in some crashing waves.  It was a major lesson in water media and was handled very well by all.

Mucking About in Water Soluble Pencil

I like monochromes and I like minimal art supplies… at least, I like minimal art supplies for each project coming out of a huge pile of neat stuff.  Anyway, water soluble pencils fit the bill for monochrome and minimal.  All you need is a brush, pencil, paper and some water and you can create an entire painting using graphite.  Yes, pencil lead can be activated into a fascinating, flowing medium just like watercolour.  Pencil sketches come alive;  watercolour sketches are a lovely soft black and white value study.  It is a striking medium because it is not well known as a painting medium.  Judy and I mucked about a bit with our pencils and brushes before class:

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The photos are not great, but you can still see the techniques.

The white of the paper shines through in the top right picture and different values give the snow a nice glow.  Layering the graphite is not a problem.  This was done entirely by touching the brush to the pencil tip to load the graphite.

In the middle picture, Judy filed some graphite off the pencil using sandpaper.  Then she drew the tree with the brush and clear water.  Wherever the graphite was activated it spread into the water to make the random patterns that look like bark.  Extra black in the brush was used to sketch in lighter background trees.  Finally, a spray bottle activated the remaining powdered graphite to make leaves.

Top left is a simple wash.  My pencil was gobbed with moist graphite after painting another picture so I wiped it on the paper, then spread the graphite upwards into a lot of water.  With my loaded brush I switched to a horizontal stroke and filled in some water or snow in the foreground.

At the bottom are some thumbnails showing the fading off technique and also testing values.  What a great medium for a quick sketch wherever you happen to be.

Painting Christmas Cards

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When the boxes of Christmas decorations pile up so high at the Lodge we can’t see our paintings bulletin board, it is time to start painting Christmas cards!  If the ladies want to send them, they must be painted.  These are all Carolyn’s demos because the Lodge painters took theirs home.

Just outside the windows where we paint at the lodge there is a mountain ash tree.  In the fall and early winter it is covered in bright red berries (and sometimes gobs of snow).  Then two weeks ago a hoard of waxwings came and took all the berries.  Gone are the bright berries… except for the ones captured forever in our paintings, ha ha!