Saturday, April 18, 2015

Piles of FUN in your journal!

Helen Brown here. It's April and my turn to write on the High Desert Art League blog! I hope you have been following this interesting blog as there are 12 different artists writing on it. You never know what will appear next!

I love making these little accordian-fold sketchbooks using watercolor paper, matboard covered with decorative paper, a ribbon, a bone folder and a glue stick. Once I finish the book, I can’t wait to fill it up with something…paintings in a theme….paintings from a trip or whatever comes to mind!

I started out painting in this particular book with my watercolor students. We painted a pile of fall leaves using a layering technique as we gradually got darker and darker in the negative area on each consecutive painting layer. We then added a droplet of dew on several of the leaves. Here are examples of some of our class paintings. I thought they did a great job!

The above two paintings are those of Marlene Guasco.

This one is by Michal Haller

Yours truly did this one.

OK, so back to the sketchbook idea.....,  I decided to fill up my little folding sketchbook with "Paintings of Piles" so to speak starting with a leaf painting.

Page one of my folding sketchbook

What else can I make a "pile" of?  My sister Mary sent me a photo of a pile of moose dung!!!! as a suggestion for a painting, but it lacked color and value contrast, so I chose to paint plastic silverware instead:

Page two

My family catches crawdads at our cabin in Montana during the summer. Here is a pile of them on a platter. As you can see, I stretch my paintings over two pages of the book, but you wouldn't have to. You could paint tiny paintings on each individual page.

Page three

If you've read all the way down to here, you are a patient person! Thank you. I will stop for now and continue in a day or two with the next "piles." The book has seven pages so I'm looking for more piles to fill my book. Next I will explain the layering glaze technique in more detail. I find it a fun and relaxing way to paint.

Helen Brown
Sunriver, Oregon

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