from a dad's view

Cottonwood flies-watercolor

This was a lunchtime plus a few breaks watercolor experiment. Why experiment, to keep it loose and have the light wipe out completely some of the objects.  I have never painted a watercolor similar to this and wanted to do it with some speed and not over do it.  I’m fairly happy with the results, but I haven’t mastered the color combinations like some of my wonderful blog friends.

I have named this painting “Cottonwood Flies” because of the floating white spots representing cottonwood balls.  In Indiana these little fuzzy balls float around in the air as though a feather or a light snowflake and then swirl around on the ground as though dancing with the wind.  The beautiful old house is a house similar to the place where I went turkey hunting this weekend, I know your getting tired of old things, but I have such wonderful memories and wonder about these places.  I love to explore the insides of them and find old toys, news papers and any other item that peek my interest.  Anyway, some of you experienced landscapers and artist drop me some hints on colors to use and avoid… I need the help!  Thanks

13 responses

  1. This has a nostalgic washed out (in a good way) look. The deeper blue of the sky brings it to life. This is an interesting challenge you’ve set for yourself. It is so difficult to make a painting with washed out areas look alive.

    May 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm

  2. I like the whole feel of this, Ryan. What do you mean you need color help? This looks soft and colorful enough to walk right into. I don’t know about other landscape artists, but I use diox violet in some of my darks when there is green foliage. I will use a red to warm up my wood tones but make light washes of it or resort to burnt sienna. I am horrible at fading things out, so I’m in awe of this. Love it, as always!

    May 10, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    • Thank you Leslie, your color choices help me a lot. Not being a schooled artist, I make mistakes all the time with color combinations, experience is helping, but I need pro’s like yourself to throw me a bone every once in awhile. Thank you again!

      May 11, 2010 at 4:50 am

  3. This is beautiful, Ryan! I’m not a landscape artist, but I really love the way you left a lot of white and the way you have just a hint of blue sky! Good job!!

    I had to giggle about the cottonwood flies, because we have them here in Oklahoma, too. My husband loves to see the cottonwood fluff floating about because his ex-wife is allergic to them. He is evil sometimes. 🙂

    May 11, 2010 at 5:32 am

    • Your to funny Beth and your husband is just a little evil, but not to evil. We hate it around here because it clogs up air conditioners and you have to rinse or power wash it out.
      Thanks for your comment, and may the cotton wood swirl in a cloud of horror around the ex!

      May 11, 2010 at 5:59 am

      • Laughing out loud!!!!!!! 😀

        May 12, 2010 at 4:54 am

  4. If I could only get my watercolours looking half as good I’d be happy, its really lovely. LOVE your trees especially.

    May 11, 2010 at 6:32 am

  5. metaphase

    I like this one because I like a little bit of brightness that makes things kinda’ washed out. When I take pictures, I often go a stop overexposed to get this feel. I

    May 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm

  6. metaphase

    oops. wasn’t done! tee-hee. was gonna’ say I think you did a great job. 😉

    May 11, 2010 at 6:11 pm

  7. The fading to white is drool-worthy, Ryan! And the foliage is beautifully executed! And I love the wistful feeling in the painting. A complete beginner myself, I cannot offer color advice – sorry.

    May 11, 2010 at 7:36 pm

  8. There is a great feeling to this. It feels like its a hot summer day in the old south. I love the use of white and hint of colour.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    • Thank you Richard.
      I was trying to capture that brilliant bright light that so many artist including yourself seem to capture so well. It’s not exactly what I was going for but I was fairly pleased. Thanks again!

      May 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

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