Category Archives: Watercolor

June Sunset

 

 

June Sunset, Mingus Mountain SMD

June Sunset, Mingus Mountain

 

Recent Mingus sunset. Hope you can see the warm hue that blanketed the hills. Subtle, but caught my eye. The next view is of shapes usually unseen. This section is to the right in the photo above. Most often it is a long stretch of blue or green, one solid “piece”. I love how the shadows brought out the shapes. I see a painting there.

 

Hillside shadows

Hillside shadows

Started with a little spackle…

Ended up tearing down walls and laying a new foundation. Prior to last month’s design frenzy, my Spoonflower patterns were at about 85 total. I now have 128, and about 40 more to add. I knew when I started, that this re-design, clean up project would take longer than a week. Still, that was my goal. Could have been done days ago, if I didn’t add new to-do’s to my list as soon as I cross items off.

The project will be complete today. I am on the last two design redo’s.  Wooo – Whoo!  I will share those with you soon.

Your comments on my last post made me aware of my terrible explaining skills. So here is an explanation of one part of making a repeating pattern. Hiding your seams. The edges of your design.

One task was to create more complete collections. Some are just the same design in different colorways, others have a main pattern with coördinates. Both of the samples below are part of the Farmers Market collection.

I took the lemon from Bountiful, and made a quick toss pattern. There are only nine lemons in the design. Below you can see two sets of lemons. (For this design, I only used one painted lemon, very simple.)  I place one element on the edge of the design. Make a copy, and with the help of Photoshops design guides, line them up to match top to bottom, and side to side.

 

Start of a repeating pattern.

 

Object guides.

Object guides.

Sometimes you can “cut” the element in directly half, and then matching them on the edge is quick and painless. Often that does not work with the overall pattern, (and you can’t have all the elements line upon a seam). The guides are a frame around the object. The edges are clearly marked, and the center is marked as well. And when you have copies of the same element centered, highlighted lines appear to let you know you have a perfect match. You get top and bottom, and center lines in bright pink.

 

Elements are centered.

Elements are centered.

 

When I am trying to match up two uneven halves, I look for a mark I can use to measure. A leaf, a spot. On the left and right lemons above, I used the end of a line detail. Got lucky on the first try, without even having to zoom in. What makes it so precarious, is that you will see the matching point on one half only. On the other half, that point is past the edge, off the canvas and invisible. So zooming in is essential, and you get really good at counting pixels.

Once you have your edges, disguised, it is a matter of placement. Fussing and fidgeting. You save the pattern (define), open a new doc where you can see it as a full repeat, and zoom in to check your edges. You also zoom way out to see it smaller, and that is when you will start to notice a different set of mistakes. You might define your pattern 20 times or more on a complex design, before you get it all right. I work in Photoshop CS5, and I am sure this part is quicker in newer versions.

So, after quickly finishing the lemons, I came up with the brilliant idea you see below. (Brilliant Sheila, make more work for yourself! LOL) I have never done a pattern like this before. But there seem to be quite a few on Spoonflower, so I thought why not give it a try. Not as difficult as I had thought, just time-consuming because there are so many elements.

Pears pattern edges.

Pears pattern edges.

There are seven rows, of seven pears. SEVENTEEN sets of pears to be matched. I first lined up the top and bottom edges, and left and right. Lucky score on the sides, three pairs matched right off. Hands in the air! None of the top and bottom matched. As expected.

I learned, that I should have just started at the top, and worked my way down. I was working in reverse. Big mistake. Oh well, one thing I won’t forget soon.

 

 

When I reached the end, the top, the last layer covered up the edge. My previous matching was under new pears. Another lesson learned. One of the things I love about designing and Photoshop, always learning!! Click here to see the finished pattern. On that page you can click on the test swatch drop down to see it in “yard” view.

All designs for sale, were revamped, or copy was edited. The same is true for Designs not for sale, 41 of which are new additions from this week. I also have private designs that will be edited and posted later today. So blessed to have had the energy to focus on this much-needed project. I will explain more about that soon.

I usually take anywhere from a day, to three days to complete a design from scratch. That includes researching the theme, choosing a palette, creating the elements digitally or by hand. And finally, creating the pattern.

I am floored by how much I have managed to work through. But my new normal is, that this burst of energy will be followed by a need for rest. Another reason I am so focused on completing the work before I move on. As it is, when I finish list one tomorrow, I have an additional dozen items that I need to address. But I will take a week or two to get through those.

Whew! Hope that answered some of your questions. I appreciate your interest and support!

 

Blessings-shiraz

 

 

 

 

 

Better

 

Trees. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Trees. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

It’s all about the light. I reclaimed light by dabbing a damp paper towel into the treetops. Also found a bit in the first, large trunk. I dipped my rubber comb into clean water, and scraped the paint in the foreground. I love that those marks remained subtle after drying.

To the treetops I added more yellow, some orange and Shiraz in selective areas. Seeing it here, I feel like I need to add some shadow at the base of the trees. What do you think? Not going for realism, just think a little more contrast would be good.

We had rain for about 20 minutes today. Full sun, windy, light rain. Clear blue sky to the south. I kept hoping the sun would catch and really make this pop. Very dreamlike as it was though.

 

Rainbow

Rainbow

Was inspired by Sandrine Pelissier’s newsletter, as I always am. Dug out my travel Spirograph. Had a bit of a worry when I didn’t find it in the first two looks. The 4 x 6 paper did not fit, so most of my drawings ended up more centered, less random.  I filled the edges with doodles. I am going to try again. But maybe this lends itself to trees better.

Just FYI. If you ever buy a travel Spirograph, post-it notes fit perfectly!

Hot Mess. 4 x 6 mixed media on paper postcard. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Hot Mess. 4 x 6 mixed media on paper postcard. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

 

 

 

Trees W.I.P.

 

 

Trees WIP. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Trees WIP. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

Another attempt to paint a cactus. But From the beginning dripping layers, these trees made themselves known. They remind me of the tall palms that are such an iconic symbol of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.

Had the idea to add orange on top. To be a focal point. Or maybe I will add it to all the trees. Thinking of maybe going back in with a damp towel to bring back some of the lights in the first layers. Actually, most of the lights ended up between the trees. That is how I knew they were trees. Ha.

A few of my thoughts. Would love to hear what you think. I used a comb for detail in the foreground, I went back in with color that was not diluted as much as I thought it was. I may go back in and reclaim some of that texture as well.

 

 

 

 

Tree Wannabe

 

 

I want to be a tree. 5 x 5 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

I want to be a tree. 5 x 5 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Stain gessoed paper, drip by drip. White becomes yellow, then Shiraz and rust are added. Finally a dash or two of fuchsia. Let dry. Splatter more of each color. Splatter clean water. Get a wild hair, and scrape the entire piece. Think maybe that was a bad idea, but I continue to scratch into the paint. Let dry.

Add more layers of splattered color and water. Put paint on and take some off. The water allows the colors to mix. Dabbing with a damp paper towel reclaims some of the white. Reveals terrific texture.

My intention was to carve out a “Sunset cactus”. But as soon as I added a bit of white, it was there. A pretty little lolly of a tree.

So a tree it is. Heavy Burridge influence, but nowhere near as wonderful. He would call it  my “practice”. Computer was off for most of the day, and when I turned it on to post, there was a notice that Mr. Burridge added a new video on YouTube. Funny huh?!

 

Blessings-shiraz

 

 

 

 

 

From Chaos

 

 

Soul Art 2017. 12 x 12 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Soul Art 2017. 12 x 12 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

Hours filled with blessed creation. International Soul Art Day 2017 proved to be meaningful, mindful,  and mending. This was my fifth year participating. I always find it so hard to put into words.

I was in the moment. No plan. Feels like I have said that before about Laura Hollick’s Soul Art Day. Layer after layer, I continued to paint without a preconceived idea of where I wanted the work to go.

 

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.
Deepak Chopra

 

Not sure why the word chaos came to me when thinking of a title for this post. The only chaos was the unrestrained creative activity. The free-flowing mark making.

 

We live in a rainbow of chaos.
Paul Cezanne

 

 

First layers.

First layers.

 

Watercolor dripping and staining the paper. Wine, yellow, orange, fuchsia, rust. Acrylic stamping with wood and rubber. Stenciling gone wrong, paint too wet. Do more “wrong” stenciling in different areas. Use a dropper to add more yellow acrylic. Mist water on top and watch the paint spread in jagged blooming fingers. More yellow marks with a twig.

 

It seems like the chaos of this world is accelerating,
but so is the beauty
in the consciousness of more and more people.
Anthony Kiedis

 

 

Detail 1.

Detail 1.

White acrylic scribbles and swirls. Some of the watercolor mixes in and softens the bright here and there. White repeating texture. Some strong, some fading. Some becomes soft yellow when paint accidentally mixes.

Wine dipped dry brush tapped on the paper. Marks become like feathers. Thinking flight. Freedom. Spirit.  Jagged marks with watercolor pencil. Swirling scribble line to cover the page.

 

 

Detail 2.

Detail 2.

Dark splatters in watercolor and acrylic. Cover almost all with watery white acrylic. Layering in patches. Use the same square brush that made the feather marks.

Outline Seussical shapes with black marker until it runs dry. Continue with thick wine watercolor. Cover black marker with the same. Soft diluted splatters finish it off like sprinkles on frosting.

 

Art is the triumph over chaos.
John Cheever

 

A few tools.

A few tools.

 

When we submit our work to the Soul Art Gallery, Laura asks about our process, what the day means to us, and what insight we gained from taking part. The insight was slow in coming. Maybe I just was not focused on that.

That inner nagging voice told me that this wasn’t about creating a pretty picture. Maybe I took a wrong turn and missed the path to enlightenment. Maybe I was stupid for worrying and being too serious.

Maybe it did not HAVE to be deep, to be meaningful.

It wasn’t until the last layer of whitewash that it came to me. A single, simple thought. I know. Not very original or deep. But a message just the same.

 

Bloom where you are planted.