Tag Archives: #saguaro

Cactus True, Or Cactus Cool?

Saguaro, 5.5 x 8.5, watercolor on paper, © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Saguaro, 5.5 x 8.5, watercolor on paper, © 2020 Sheila Delgado.

I sat down to clean my palette, but instead, I started to paint. I used long strokes on the Saguaro, instead of blending patches of color. I used a blue Le Pen to define. Looking at the scan, I noticed that the cactus and the foreground were too much the same.

I left it overnight and then added blue Posca. Now it’s a bit too much like the sky. Haha. That is what learning looks like. Sometimes.

Had fun in the process, more fun making the animation. FUN!

Saguaro, revised, 5.5 x 8.5, watercolor on paper, © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Saguaro, revised, 5.5 x 8.5, watercolor on paper, © 2020 Sheila Delgado.

Loved this true cerulean blue sky with a swish of puffy white clouds.

Mingus 3.27.20
Mingus 3.27.20

One clean palette, empties refilled.

Mijello Palette, 18-Well.
Mijello Palette, 18-Well.

New palette filled and ready to go. I bought this palette months ago, 40 or 50% off. Room for six more colors. I sorted my colors before I started filling the wells. I still goofed somehow and ended up with two empty slots. But that gives me room for new colors. My list of wanna try hues is long. Naturally.

I probably shouldn’t have included the two orange colors. I rarely use them. I’ll have to think of something fun to use them for. “Think. Think. Think.” As Pooh would say.

It’s still a wonky collection. But I do have warm and cool hues of the primaries. I’m working on the color chart next. If anyone is interested, I can share that in the next post.

Martin Palette, 24 well.
Martin Palette, 24 well.

I’ve only wanted paper and beautiful colors.
It was my dream, and it still is my dream.
And books.
They’re all I need, and the rest I can do without.
Karl Lagerfeld

Be well. Stay Safe.

The February 2020 30-Day Creative Gathering, Day 27

Day 27, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 27, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.

I had fun with this piece. I’ll be honest and tell you, the cliff was a complete accident. After the first drip, I just went with it. I used Yellow ochre at the top, and it is very sedimentary. I went over it with some Burnt sienna, that is why it appears more orange than ochre.

The cacti I painted with gouache. I did enjoy the fact that I did not need to plan their location first. It gave me the opportunity to place them, so they did not hide the best parts of the rough stone.

The slideshow below shows some of the Saguaro cacti that can be seen while driving south on the 17. The images are borrowed from Google Maps. Thank you, Google! They really are more noticeable as you are driving. It’s hard to miss them, there are so many! Zoom in to see them better.

The barrel cactus is a friend for lost travelers in the desert. It grows tilted to the southwest. One type of barrel is in fact named Compass Barrel Cactus! Here are some photos I took at the Mayo’s Cacti garden while Pete was having his treatments.

Red Barrel
Red Barrel
Barrel Cactus
Barrel Cactus
Barrel-Assortment
Barrel-Assortment

In the desert a fountain is springing,
In the wide waste there still is a tree,
And a bird in the solitude singing,
Which speaks to my spirit of thee.
LORD BYRON

Day 8 And Revisions

Day 8, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 8, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.

For day 8, a Saguaro. Sentinel and symbol of the southwest. They grow taller than many trees, up to 40 feet. They are strictly protected in Arizona.

About a year ago I purchased a pad of inexpensive paper to use for watercolor. I knew it was not good quality, but I thought it would be good for practice. I also used it with acrylics, and it worked pretty well.

I really fell in love with the texture, and I used the whole pad. I have been trying to find more since then. Haha. Thought I did, and I bought two pads when they were 50% off. This paper is slightly different. The texture before was straight horizontal lines. Now it looks like there are two patterns, one straight, and one sort of wavy. Here’s an example of what I remember.

Turquoise Dream. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2018 Sheila Delgado
Turquoise Dream. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2018 Sheila Delgado

Maybe this paper is the same. I had fun working on today’s piece. It started loose and fast. I worked really wet, puddles, and the paper held up, not warped. This is Hobby Lobby’s Master’s Touch brand. 140 lb., premium watercolor pad. I also have a pad of their regular watercolor paper, I’ll try that next. The textures are different.

Day 8 WIP
Day 8 close-up
Day 8 close-up

I revisited two previous works. For the aloe, I used a digital edit. The original is still intact. I like both versions, but I do think the drips competed for attention. I also shortened the small dark leaf. For me, the edit wins.

Day 7 revised, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 7 revised, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 7, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 7, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.

I had so much fun with the Paddle Plant. Three cheers for Arches paper, and its ability to take a good scrubbing. I left some of the Indigo, I was afraid to get to close, and ruin a leaf. It acts as a shadow, and I really like that. I do see one area, above the right, top leaf, where I could go back in and soften a little more.

I LOVE the way this turned out. I love the hints of dark beneath. The softness of the wash. It was a fairly thick wash, but it looks translucent. LOVE this!

Day 4, new background, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 4, new background, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.

Below is what was left after I scrubbed the indigo off. I also used some Winsor & Newton Turquoise in areas, and the variation in the stain is interesting. I LOVE this one as well! Crazy right? The neutrals really allow the other colors to pop. It makes me think of a tablecloth in shadow, low light.

Day 4 color removed, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 4 color removed, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 4, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 4, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.

The original has my loyalty as well. I love the dark. And the almost abstract shapes. I really appreciate everyone’s comments in the group. Thank you!

If you never change your mind,
why have one?
Edward de Bono

Every time I’ve made a radical change
it’s helped me feel buoyant as an artist.
David Bowie