Experimenting with pencil and white on blue paper

I’ve been looking at Turner and Hercules Brabazon Brabazon sketches on toned paper and wanted to give something simple a try, so I made up this tree. Just wanted to see how some white highlights would look. This is something I will do more often. Palomino Blackwing 602 + titanium white watercolor on Tiziano blue paper.

Backyard Drawing

Nice weather today, so while my kids were playing I brought out some pencils and drew this 5×7 study of an interesting tree trunk next to the kids’ playset. I need to do more of this sort of this sort of drawing. Definitely inspired by David Tripp’s tree drawings.  Generic HB, 6B, and a dry ballpoint pen to carve out the white marks. 

Old barn


There are a bunch of old barns in the area where I live. I liked the width of this one contrasted with the verticality of the deteriorating silo and utility pole. Mainly three colors-Prussian blue, brown madder, and nickel azo yellow, though I mixed cerulean blue and brown madder for a subtle late day sky.

Messing around with some sunset colors


For a while when I didn’t know what to paint I would play around mixing colors in a sketchbook. I’ve found it’s more fun to experiment in the context of loosely structured studies, especially with skies. I observe a lot when driving or waking the dog, but can’t sit out and paint them during those times, so am trying to transfer those observations into experiments–not so much for accuracy as for impression. Tonight I had a few minutes, and wanted to do some more wet into wet practice, seeing what could be done with a really cheap 3/4 inch flat brush and a few colors– yellow ochre, permanent alizarin crimaon, ultramarine blue, burnt umber, and hookers green. I just played around with the sky then added what seemed like a reasonable ground and horizon. This one is really about the sky.