Kakimori: Golf Palms at Night


Getting the hang of the Kakimori nib!

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Posies: Cherry Blossoms


“I cannot go out tonight.
Tonight everything scares me.
Blossoming insanely are cherry treees
and I don’t know how to blossom like that.”
~ Imants Ziedonis, Latvian Poet.

Watercolor of cherry blossoms in a Handbook Journal.

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VSW: IM Pei, Louvre, France


This was sketched quickly in waterproof inks.

A lot of controversy surrounded the Pyramid in front of the Louvre, by I.M.Pei.
I have some of those trepidations myself, but it has grown on me.
It was created to allow for a more gracious and less crowded
entry to the Louvre, and having waited to enter before the Pyramid was built,
I can see how this was a good idea.
Note; The link I gave you in Wikipedia compares this to
others created since, and I had to laugh when they
listed the hole in Portland.  NOT comparable.

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Kakimori: OM

I continue to play with my Kakimori nibbed pens.
I now have both the brass and the steel nibs.
I love being able to change ink colors quickly by dipping,
yet they hold more ink than a dip pen.

My Om stays on my bedside when I am not wearing it,
and I slip my wedding ring on it when I have to take it off (arthritis).

Writing and images done with the Kakimori nib.


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VSW: Oysterbeds, France

I rarely do a piece more than once…
But I so loved this image and my first try
I did not get the depth of color in my washes.
I am here to say, once that happens start over, do not try to “fix” it!

It isn’t that the first one is bad, just washed out color, and the image from
Aniko was brilliant bright oranges and yellow and just wow!

I am happier with the one below, though I had some funky things happen
with my washes when I changed colors.
I have so much to learn about getting things juicy enough and working fast!

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VSW: Corbusier in Ronchamp, France


Had to do one Corbusier, and what a history this architect has with me.
This is the Catholic Chapel in Ronchamp, France.

Drawing this brought up so many negative memories…
maybe I can begin to clear them out by getting this all down in my sketchbook.

USC School of Architecture had a few amazing instructors,
among them Ed Niles, Pierre Koenig and Stefanos Polyzoides.

But it was the first time I encountered male prejudice toward women,
as I’d been raised in a home with women who had careers,
and men who were not challenged by women with brains.


Unfortunately I had one horrid crappy teacher named Roger Sherwood.
the only good thing I can say is that I didn’t have him first year for design, or I’d have quit.
I did have him in some form every year for the first three years, because he taught theory.

Roger was rude, nasty toward me, and had only one thing that made him happy —
anything having to do with his idol, Corbusier.  Hence I hated Corb.
We called him the Corb Jock… he was a one note Charlie.

When I had him for design if I had a question he would be condescending and
ask me if I was too busy doing my nails to do my work…
And as I was one of 13 women in a man’s field I did not wear make-up,
pulled my hair back in a tight bun, and as a beach girl, had never “done my nails”.

I was a good student, and did my work… but architecture is not like other disciplines,
where there are right answers and wrong answers…  and it is not a linear process,
so I might be behind (technically), not showing a lot one day in a form he liked
because I had learned to do a lot of sketching from Niles and Keonig,
both award wining architects and excellent supportive instructors.

I was floored by the way he spoke to me — floored.
Public shitty humiliation was how he “inspired” and it did not work with me.
I was inspired, I loved architecture.

The year I had him for design he gave failing grades to over
half the students at the end of the first semester.  I was one.
We petitioned USC and they said that they could not change his grade.
Many students (I was not one) went to his home and
tossed Molotov cocktails on his lawn…
Finally grades were changed (I got a B), by him, and
USC began to understand there was a problem with his methods.


It took me years away from him and USC for me to come to love Corbusier,
to see Corb’s brilliance, grace, and as I’d found my own artistic interests,
the lovely sculptural aspects of his work.

Oddly, I’ve had Roger on my mind the last few weeks (I do not know why),
and just found out he died, literally in the last few weeks.
I am sure there are those that will feel badly,
but this is one man I will not grieve for in any way.

I didn’t post this on his Legacy page out of respect for his family…

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VSW: Berlin, 6, Eli

Berlin is our city this month, with contributions
from two photographers, Rich Matheson and Eli Weisz.
Eli is sketched below!

.

Berlin walk to date:

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©D. Katie Powell.
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VSW: Berlin Wall, 5, Crayons

Berlin is our city this month, with contributions from
two photographers, Rich Matheson and Eli Weisz.

(Note: For regular followers, I have been busy working on our
business website and then got the flu… Dastardly flu bug but I did
get a little sketching done on the last days… So catching up with posts!)


Okay, not really crayons, but Caran D’Ache watercolor crayons…
I’ve had them forever and every so often I pull them out and give them another go and
then remember why I really don’t like them… Little to no control.  I like watercolor pencils and
use them a lot but these drive me batty and I can’t see how others have success with them!
Of course they look better below after being hit with water.

Anyone else have a love of or a hate for these crayons?

Berlin walk to date:

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©D. Katie Powell.
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Chinese Lion Guard


We get such interesting projects in the studio.
These pocket-sized Chinese Lion Guards were beautiful after being cleaned and oiled.


I drew her in De Atramentis Document Brown ink.

After grisaille work in Lexington Grey ink, I began layering Robert Oster inks.


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Sharada Navratri Goddess, 2

Sharada Navratri, nine nights (ten days) which celebrates the many faces of the goddess, is a post monsoon season autumn Hindu festival which often falls in the Western calendar months of September-October.  MahaDurgha is honored in the Durgha puja, and stories of the battles are told and of course, the victory of good over evil is celebrated.
I took liberties to honor the Goddess in any form, not just the Hindu manifestations.

I am working slow due to this depression, but finishing these goddesses helped a little.

Venus of Willendorf is a four-inch, palm-sized, figure carved from oolitic limestone, tinted with red ochre, and I have a lovely replica of her that I found in a museum shop years ago.  Archaeologists estimate her to be 30,000 years old. She was found near Willendorf in Austria, hence her name.

I have painted her many times, and have scribbled her ion paper at least one other time (see below).  and once I painted her HUGE, and that is the purple painting below which hangs outside my studio door.  I also think of her as the bee-headed goddess, though I have never read anything like that.

I idolized the Virgin Mary growing up.  Not much else stuck from the catholic church, but my love for the Madonna stayed, and I always lit candles under her statue in the mission.  I have a Lalique statue of her given to me at my first communion; this was my model!

I painted her one other time, right, early on when I was learning watercolors, overlayering them on water-soluble pencils on the worst card stock ever!  I’ve learned so much!

I call this one Lady Madonna, and heard the Beatles song in my head when I was sketching her, over and over… I wasn’t that fond of it but the refrain stuck!

Navratri may be spelled in other forms, as it is a transliteration: Nauratri, Navarathri, Navaratra, Navratam, Nauratam or Naraate.  It literally translates as “nine days”.

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Street Scene


I wish I knew where I obtained this image…
I know it is a friend’s but I just don’t know whose!
Bad on me for not labeling!
Direct watercolor, done quickly.

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 ©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.
    

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Tools: New Watercolor Palette Arrangements

I’ve been a little depressed lately. Okay, a LOT depressed, some for “good” reasons (family issues) but some because I-don’t-know.

I cleaned my palettes, and finally added a couple of new colors.  Left, in my primary palette, and I added Sennelier Transparent Brown and Daniel Smith Perylene Maroon… I don’t remember what I dropped but it became part of my secondary palette, below.

I LOVE Sennelier Transparent Brown!

Note two of Daniel Smith Primateks are in this palette, as I use them every day: Amazonite (a turquoise mineral) and Diopside (a green mineral).  If you want to try a Primatek, try one of these!  More Primateks are in another palette, below.

I sent away for new
palettes in the longer
shape, which I like
better than the square shape
shown right, because of how it
sits on the side of my bed
— where I do more painting
middle-of-the-night.

I’ll fill this smaller palette to slip into my purse for sketching outside.

I’m a watercolor junkie, I love trying new colors.  Premixed greens are a favorite.

I used to buy new paints because I didn’t know what I liked.  Now I know a lot more about what I prefer (transparent colors) and about brands (favorites are Daniel Smith, Holbein, and Sennelier).  I sometimes try small maker brands, like JazperStardust or Greenleaf & Blueberry, though I have had bad experiences.

The biggest aha for me was finding Handprint several years ago (more specific page links at bottom).  I was overwhelmed at first, but I wanted the information so began reading and paying attention.  Bruce MacEvoy’s articles helped me to understand Color Indexing, which is a nomenclature you see on the tubes, such as PY108 or PR122, pigments, and how watercolors were made.  Now I can choose when to buy the same color in a different brand under a different name, if, for instance, I like a color but not the brand, examples below.

Also, two interesting diagrams from Bruce MacEvoy (below) which took me awhile to understand but then became invaluable when I was buying paint online.  To get a large pdf version of the color wheel, left, go here.  For the large pdf of the value diagram, right, click here.


For example, above, three brands using the name “Indian Yellow” — all different in color.  Notice the Daniel Smith and M.Graham versions are single pigment colors, while DaVinci’s version has four pigments in the mix.  (Why?  I don’t know!)  In this case I personally like the M.Graham color best, though typically they are not my favorite brand.  I purchase the color I like visually.  Before I purchase a $10-25 tube in a color now, I put the name into the internet and search for images from artists.  In this instance I prefer M.Graham, a single pigment hue I like a lot created from Isoindolinone Yellow, over the other two Indian Yellows.  (PS: Daniel Smith’s new Indian Yellow is quite different.)

Color indexing is usually written on the paint tubes backside, where you will often see the pigment names (like Quinacridone Magenta on the “Opera Pink” above), the color index (such as PR 122 on the Opera Pink above), the vehicle (gum arabic), and more.  Also, I like it best when paint companies use the actual pigment names for single pigment paints, so I prefer Quinacridone Magenta over Opera Pink.

Above I’ve shown you six tubes of watercolor paint and the flip sides, above, where most have their information listed.  Don’t buy brands that don’t list the info — they are likely student brands and not what you want.  Also, spend the extra $ to buy professional not student paint whenever possible.   It is discouraging not to work with deep juicy washes, and often it comes down to cheaper student paints.

Exceptions are made for
specialty paints like
Daniel Smith’s Primateks,
as these are ground from
stones, like Piemonite,
shown above.

I have three more palettes
that sit by the bed now.
Left, most of this palette are Primateks.  I love these
colors — I use them in so
many applications.

Right, I built this palette because I find myself painting the cats so often.  I placed all the the colors I reach for when painting the: Yaman, “black” (not quite); Savitri, Siamese; and Gibbs and Izzee, both grey tabbies.  Pink noses, greenish eyes can be mixed, and with white and a rotating color the palette is perfect!  (See below.)
Left, a catchall palette of colors I love but don’t reach for all the time.

I hope I didn’t bore you… there is so much more but this is a post about my new palettes, remember, so I tried to keep the digressions to a minimum!

References or good reads:

https://www.handprint.com/  (So many topics to explore!)
https://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/water.html   (Watercolors)
https://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/pigmt1.html#pigmenttypes  (How watercolors are made)
https://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color11.html  (tonal values)

I subscribe to the “Just Paint” (https://justpaint.org/) from Golden Artists Colors.  I luckily found golden early in my acrylics career and they are hands-down the best acrylic paints.  SUBSCRIBE!  https://www.printfriendly.com/p/g/raLjqF  is an example of a page worth reading….

The Society of Dyers and Colourists (UK) serves as the international clearing house for commercial pigment information, as publisher of the standard pigment color index names, and as a registry for commercial pigment manufacturers of every pigment or dye.  Prepare to be overwhelmed…  Seriously.

The Color Online Course, very interesting lists, but overwhelming.

Daniel Smith Primateks, a page with videos on the entire line.

WoodwardAndFather Pan Packs:  I love these mixing areas.  I started with the Limited Palette Pan Pack, shown right (sold without the container), and after using them asked if they would do a set of the sizes I actually wanted.  I like the larger pans which fit perfectly in the palettes I love the most.  I can create a large juicy mix that will cover a lot of pages in a journal.  They really came in handy when I was mixing colors for Luis Barragán.  I use the others for tiny mixes of which I won’t use as much, and you can see them in use in the images above.

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Sharada Navratri, 1

Sharada Navratri, nine nights (ten days) which celebrates the many faces of the goddess, is a post monsoon season autumn Hindu festival which often falls in the Western calendar months of September-October.  I take liberties to honor the Goddess in any form, not just the Hindu manifestations.

I’ve been very depressed lately…
I thought it might be good
for me to participate in Navratri…

I have painted goddess in
HUGE and small formats.
Sometimes creating the images
loosens whatever is in my head to
help me be more creative.

I chose to begin with one of
my favorite goddesses,
the ancient Bird-Goddess.
First sketch, right.
Not happy with it… it got very heavy
and messy, but I know what
I was going for…

Spiraling earthy colorful!

So I sketched the simplest shape,
with just a bit of texture, left,
to mimic the texture on my stone statue.

And I like this one better.

But I wasn’t completely satisfied.

A third, below.
I worked in inks, both waterproof and fluid…
At a middle point I didn’t like it at all,
then decided to paint with
waterproof yellow ink
and other soluble inks.

At this point I can’t even make a
decision about what I like because I
don’t like any of these
… nope, I changed
my mind, I am okay with them!

And I remain stuck as ever:

Bottom line, today I suck I thought I sucked,
but upon seeing them two days later,
I am okay with this effort,
and even a bit joyful about them..

Navratri in other forms, as it is a transliteration: Nauratri, Navarathri, Navaratra,
Navratam, Nauratam or Naraate.  It literally translates as “nine days”.

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Tools: Drywall Repair Tape

I was buying product for the business and found this Drywall Repair Tape.
(Image from their company, above; hopefully they will be okay with me using it.)
I had a thought that it might be a fun tool to lay with in watercolors, and picked it up.


It is extremely sticky and stays put — and can be lifted at least once and still be sticky!

In my first try I cut a piece (the part that still had their sticky protective tape on it), and made sure the tape was secured in my Nostalgie sketchbook.  I dipped a cotton swab into ink, and pushed it into the tape in some sort of tree-like imagery and multiple ink colors just to see how it worked.

I let it dry for a minute, lifted it, and placed it next to the image.  Still very sticky!

If you get the cotton swab saturated then it can run a bit, but for the most part the sticky grid held its own against the ink and so the pattern of the grid showed through.


Next I tried it with a Sharpie, and made a Yaman’s face for a purpose….
WHY? Because the Crow-Thief made off with my wet inky cotton swabs.  He apparently preferred the purple and so it is now FOREVER on our duvet, sheets, and was on his face.  Thankfully he did not die or get sick from wet ink but this is what prompted a need for a trash container for things like this next to the bed.  And that is why the Sharpie and this pattern went on an extra Tea Spot canister.

Can you see uses for this tape in your art?

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Ranunculus


Okay, the first hurdle was spelling it correctly —
I am dyslexic and oh-boy this one kept wanting to be turned around!

A mix of inks for shadows, and watercolor…
and I also removed watercolor from it.
I think because I am depressed I am struggling with all my images.

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 ©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.
    

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Got the Blues


Sketching to get out of my depression…
I really have the blues!  It doesn’t have to be good, just keep the pen moving….
When I’m depressed I struggle with all my images.

Cats never seem to get depressed!

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 ©D. Katie Powell.
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VSW: Rumpler Tropfenwagon, 4

Berlin is our city this month, with contributions from
two photographers, Rich Matheson and Eli Weisz.
The Rumpler Tropfenwagon is in the Duetsche Technikmuseum.
It was built between 1921-1925, but only 100 were made.


The Rumpler Tropfenwagon is SO OFF ON PROPORTIONS!!!
It needs to be about three feet longer, and so as it is it looks like a sister to the VW Bug! Very tough sketch with the various reflections and shadows… and I insanely tried to do them and got lost along the way.

This is the first time I’ve used Phthalo Blue straight, not in a mix.

Though my rendering of it is way off, it looks to be an early deco piece, as in Deco before it was known as Art Deco.  I really should give this crazy car another try!

Berlin walk to date:

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©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.
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VSW: Berlin, 4, Tiergarten Again

Berlin is our city this month, with contributions from
two photographers, Rich Matheson and Eli Weisz.


I gave the Tiergarten another try, on watercolor paper and taking the whole sketch much more seriously.   I got this far and Mitchell begged me to stop (he never does this) saying the shadow sketch alone was very good.  So this is my second take on the same image.

Berlin walk to date:

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©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.
Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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