Tag: abstract painting

Watercolors: from an ember

Watercolors: from an ember

Cobalt teal blue works its magic once more, whispering in the skies as the inferno below scorches the land.

 

watercolor abstract, cobalt teal blue, fires in watercolor, passion in painting, debiriley.com
Watercolor Inferno, from an ember

 

Inspiration: sparks from just an ember

Its simple really.

Being inspired.

 

If you think about it.

 

 

 

 

Burning Drive

How would I explain this term, “inspiration?”

To be inspired  –  filled with a burning drive to express the message compelling me to do so.

 

 

Using moods, colors, events, strolls, people and ideas to create the image.

Then, Infusing each art movement and action with thoughtfull intent and purpose.

 

Stopping.

Way before you begin to imagine being even close,  to done.

Perhaps, about 20 brushstrokes …. before you think you are finished.

 

Yes, still Half done.

 

 

what…?

Its not going anywhere,  is it?

 

 

 

Let go.   Move on.  Return later.

Resolutions, fixing, finishing…. all can be more successful… done later with a fresh, unfrustrated eye and mind.

 

 

Art Ideas that Inspired:

fluidity

powerful

peace

balance

discipline

awareness

economy of movement

 

 

 

 

Ideas to Share

  • Build … an intensity of connectedness between the subject and myself   (the artist)
  • Create…. a strong,  multilayered bridge of depth  – shallowness, defeats inspiration
  • Study ….. Tony Smibert   watercolors  & acrylic paintings –  swift clarity, certainty of intent
  • Listen ….. Marconi Union  ‘Weightless’    a calm, zen,  musical piece lovely to listen to in the studio sipping some jasmine tea….

 

 

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Hints, of blue….. its ‘key’

Hints, of blue….. its ‘key’

Four acrylic mixed media abstracts; all with the power of blue.

Harnessed together with opposing forces of tonal values.

Discover how you can effectively use these intriguing differences: high key and low key.

 

 

 

Light and Shade

Light and shade, or as I term it, Tonal Values.

 

 

High Key

With a “high key” painting, the prevailing dominant ratio of tones will be on the Lighter end of the scale.

Perhaps, about   75% – 80% Light Tones.

 

Tips for  High Key Watercolor: you would use more water with your paints and, leave a lot more of your paper – White.

High Key Acrylics and Oils:  you would increase the amount of white to all the paints you use, and in many places use nearly straight White out of the tube.

 

Second Tip:

when we are trying to learn and cement a specific skill, we really will learn it faster, if we focus on that skill.

And lessen the pressure to ‘do well’  with the all  rest of the skills.

 

By limiting my colors ie to blue and focusing on the Key, I’ll increase my speed of learning and proficiency.

And thats what we all want to see.

Evidence… of Progress!

 

 

 

A High Key painting creates the feeling of space.

Of Freedom, movement, breath, light, air, action.

 

It is lighter, breezier, cheerier.

It uplifts, and is much more joyous.

 

hints of blue, high key painting, bleu ocean beach abstract acrylics, debiriley.com
High Key, hints of the blue

 

 

high key blue abstract painting, using texture tone and color in art, debiriley.com
High Key, in blue

 

In both of the above images, the Light and Mid tone percentages are greater than the much smaller percentage of Darker tones.

This is what gives the paintings the ‘airier’ lighter feel compared to the paintings below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low Key

These paintings below, have a higher percentage of darker and mid tones.

The mid tones and dark tones dominate the image.

Rough estimate 75% or so.   Give or take.

 

The Low Key paintings create a more somber feeling to viewers.

There is a sensation of being more contained,  but it also can have nuances of foreboding at times as well.

 

abstract acrylic on board, low key painting, diagonal patterns, debiriley.com
Low Key painting, Cerulean with black,  abstract on board panel

 

 

 

blue abstract on board, heavy texture, darkness to light painting, debiriley.com
Illusion of the darkness of space, A low key painting  in blue

 

 

 

When you wish to convey summer, celebrations, joy, movement, spaciousness, etc.  you now have a definite tool to rely on.

Simply ‘High Key.’

 

Same thing when painting to express the opposite.   Use,  ‘Low Key.’

 

Awareness of our options, gives us the strategies and the power to execute them –  as the subject and mood dictates.

 

 

 

 

High Key  –  Watercolor Mountain

This is my rough estimate of  the painting’s tonal value ratios….

Light tones 40%

Mid tones  50%

Dark tones 10%

 

Additionally…. with a Vertical, format rather than a traditional horizontal, it provides us with an increased sensation of movement, of implied action.

Of Space and of Depth.

 

Staining watercolor paints, prussian blue pb27, Impressionist watercolor landscape mountain, granulating paint manganese blue, cerulean blue, debi riley watercolor, debiriley.com
Mountain Prussian Blue watercolors, full sheet 22×30 

 

I included this at the last minute, because it illustrates nicely the ‘sensation’ of high key using vertical format.

And to show you how you can ADD Light Tones (white,)  by using light white matts to increase the light ratios, if, that is what is required.

 

 

 

 

Playing around with foliage greens: Watercolor

Playing around with foliage greens: Watercolor

Watercolor Discoveries –  Fun and loose, playing around.

No stress. No schedules. No rules.

Today, it does Not matter –  what happens, as long as the painting time is enjoyable!

This,  is one of the best painting mottos I have.

 

 

Watercolors

A few parameters, not rules.

 

The Parameters: watercolors, greens, not working from photos.

Just using my zen stroll inspirations.

Memory of places I’ve been to.

That, should keep things…. light and easy.

Free and loose.

 

 

Techniques to try out

I planned to explore some different ways with foliage greens.

Painting direct, fast. Right onto dry paper.

Not watercolor paper, its cartridge paper.

Its pretty unforgiving.

So every brush stroke must be considered in advance, then executed boldly.

Meaningfully.

 

And,  then the challenge

to leave it ALONE.

A ‘must’ with cartridge paper with watercolor.

 

It absolutely will not, put up with a fiddler.

This, is a beautiful lesson and exercise for all of us.

Beginners, to advanced.

We all will reap rewards.

 

watercolor greens, mixing foliage greens watercolours, debiriley.com
greens on cartridge paper

 

Plastic wrap with watercolors

The next technique to explore, is to play with glad wrap.

 

Trying out the perfect, timing of when to pull the plastic off, for the edges to be …. medium firm.

With watercolors, the timing is critical.  For many different aspects and techniques.

Success hinges on learning how to time the stages of watercolor, down to the minute.

It comes.

With Time!

 

What I wanted in this experiment, was a medium watercolor edge.

Not a hard, crisp edge.

Nor merging all over the place, utterly undefined.

I needed to take the wrap off, just before, it went Dry.

 

 

 

watercolor foliage greens, creative watercolor techniques for foliage, debiriley.com
Foliage, inspired by nature

 

Burnt sienna, terracotta, the shadowed indigo, lime yellows, with pale buff titanium here and there…….  my zen stroll from a few months back.

The glorious tendrils of light red transitioning to gold in the sunlight, captured my eye then – and remained in my memory banks.

 

I didn’t want to duplicate the subject.

I just wanted to reenact the Colors and how they made me feel.

zen strolls in nature, foliage green to paint watercolors, debiriley.com
zen stroll inspirations

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colors of a blue blood Moon

Colors of a blue blood Moon

March 31, 1866 was the last time North America saw this eclipse, known as the blue blood moon.

The Southern Hemisphere has a more recent viewing: December 30 1982.

Still, that is a long wait either way!

 

2018 eclipse, blue blood moon Australia, moon night sky, debiriley.com
Blue Blood Moon, eclipse

 

Moon Inspired

 

Colors…. check.

Details….check.

My television, the Southern Sky.

 

Inked blue, the night sky glittered.

It was magical to watch.

 

My photography skills…. not quite so enchanting.

But, the job got done.

 

It was recorded, and so there were a couple of shots that were editable.

I’m certain many of you have already seen the thousands of breathtaking photographs on the web, I have.

They’re so ….. Inspiring!

 

 

colors of the eclipse, rare blue moon, inspires art, debiriley.com
Colors of the Eclipse

 

Details in the Eclipse

The moon’s details were incredible, even looking through the old binoculars and my basic telephoto lens.

Watching as the shadows, the eclipse –  minute by minute crept over the face of the moon.

 

Especially the finish, I thought,  was most fascinating to the eye.

There were bands that seemed to appear in a wonderful abstracted pattern where the moon had been.

 

Sadly, my lens failed to show those small changes!

But,  its worth hunting down the professional’s shots to try to see this.

 

 

 

lunar eclipse, watercolor paintings of moon rising, debiriley.com
Big Moon Rising

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Fun Textures in Acrylics

3 Fun Textures in Acrylics

Texture and Color are always fun.

Relaxing and exciting, at the same time.

Gorgeous aquamarines with copper and gold and a deep prussian blue in the first image were beautiful to work with.  The Naples Yellow, Cobalt Teal Blue and the soft neutral greys  in the next two were ….. Super fun!

3 fun acrylics

blue shimmering pools in acrylics, abstract textures in paints, fun textures, debiriley.com
blue shimmering pools

 

 

crackle with cobalt teal blue acrylic, fun and easy abstract texture effects, debiriley.com
crackle and cobalt teal

 

 

naples yellow and cobalt teal blue crackle and torn, abstract landscape grey background, debiriley.com
boulders…torn edges naples yellow + cobalt teal

 

 

Textures #6 color filled textures 

Add Excitement with Texture 

Acrylic Ocean Blue 

Naples Yellow

Torn Paper – Tearing It Up  

Fun and Creative Techniques 

 

 

 

 

Angels, Feathers: Art Subjects….. open for interpretation

Angels, Feathers: Art Subjects….. open for interpretation

Silver glittering angel. Flecks of violet, jade, topaz sparkle.

Set against that dark rich and warm Light Red background.

The Photographer, Kelly Walker, was busy around here.

With her permission, I’ve used her images.

 

 

angel in the wings, silver holiday christmas angel, debiriley.com
Angel in the wings

 

 

The Art of the Holidays

Truly…. there isn’t much, in the way of drawing, painting, creating at the moment.

A tiny bit.  Some.

 

But truly,   the art of the holidays is to go with the flow.

 

 

A Tree

Plastic.

Artificial.

The white Christmas tree…. a reminder of snow that will never fall upon the hot sands of W.A.

Yet somehow,  the camera has caught a  loveliness of spirit  that sets it back to right.

Amazing.

 

white plastic tree, simplicity and minimal decor, christmas decorations minimalist, debiriley.com
White Tree

 

 

A fallen feather

A fallen feather; but from where we may wonder.

 

A mingling of purest white and ebony black; with all the subtle beautiful tones of greys that stirs my artist’s mind.

Leaping to thoughts of which paints and pigments might be used to create all these splendid variations.

 

The delicate blush of sandstone cream, soft and pale, blurred like a dream into the background – captivates doesn’t it?

 

Once again, the camera has captured something that is,  magical.

It pulls the eye, the heart, in.

 

I must say though….. Its not, the camera that did this magic.

No.  Rather it is the person behind the camera who created this. Who was able to capture and convey these feelings of magic.

 

fallen feather photo, soft grey and white tones, debiriley.com
a Fallen feather

 

 

 

And Lastly.

A monoprint.

Open for interpretation.

 

I have assembled and used as inspiration these holiday photographs taken by another, but from my home.

They have then been used to form to shape – first within my imagination and then with paper and paints, an image that I have interpreted from those photos.

 

 

The monoprint.

The outspread form. a tree shape?

Could it be an angel’s wing?

A feather?

Is that snow in the foreground?  A blizzard in the clouds?

Or perhaps it is the rays of the sun as it shimmers down right at dusk?

 

 

art needs to be open for interpretation, monoprint blue and light red, wing shapes, sun ray shapes, debiriley.com
Open… for interpretation

 

 

This is the pure beauty of the abstract: it is meant to engage.

It is open,  for interpretation. 

 

 

Walk on the Calm Side: 55 minutes

Walk on the Calm Side: 55 minutes

I pulled over into the nature reserve’s parking bay. Quickly glancing down at my watch, 7:08 am, (just double checking.)  Mentally going through my morning checklist.  Organising the sequence of events.

Wondering if I, really, should be taking this time.

Should I, be using this time to enjoy,  a short walk on the calm side.

 

 

 

The Walk Begins

The Walk begins with limitations,  with less than ideal circumstances.

 

I’m going to do it regardless.

And  make the most out of it.

 

 

I grabbed my camera, locked the car, stuffed the keys in my pocket.

Mind’s in overdrive.

Be in the car and back on the road, by 8 am.

Be at the first appointment at  8:15

Yes.  That is doable.

OK. I’m set.

Go.

 

Strange way to begin a walk meant to relax, meant to be restorative, meant to de-stress.

All the while, thinking:  stick to the plan, move in the ordered sequence.

Get all the items marked off,  finished.

 

At least today,  I allowed my self more than 7 minutes.

 

 

 

Does any of this, sound familiar?

Anyone else, ever ‘over structure’  their time to relax,  their zen time so   that it just might not be  so very zen after all?

 

Usually I approach my walks, well, more like Zen Strolls.

But. You know….. the holidays.

Then, there is the sun.

 

Early mornings are still around 80 degrees right now and nice.

5am would be ideal.

I just don’t want to get in the car then.

I need my coffee.

It IS  about priorities.

 

 

 

Continuing….  Back To The Walk

 

The target goal is back in the car in 45.

Hop to it.

My first pause was the bridge again.

 

You saw it differently in the last post.  Here, I am.

 

nature walk photography in the park, debiriley.com
Bridge and reflections

Today’s bridge photo features the cool calmness of green, the reflections rippling.

Advising me perhaps, to “slow down.”

 

 

Calm Cool Florals  by the wayside

Lovely lavender – blue agapanthas were scattered around the parkland reserve.

The morning light, was perfect.

I stopped.

A few minutes went by………….

I was enchanted by the colors, the soft light of morning.

 

I felt myself relaxing.

Breathing in nice, big,  deep breaths.

 

soft light in morning photography, flower agapantha, nature walks, debiriley.com
Soft Light, Agapantha

 

 

Sit, Reflect.  Meditations

A park bench was right alongside the footpath.

I glanced then kept walking.

Thinking,  “No Time.”

I reluctantly walked on by another 30 meters.

I turned around.

Back to the bench and sat myself down.

 

After all,  this,  is going to be A Walk on the Calm Side.

Right?

 

 

Time – Spent

Tick Tock.

Ten minutes went by.

It was calm, meditative.

I was enjoying this.

Blood pressure was going down, I was going to be refreshed, energized.

 

Time was being spent, wisely. 

Not wasted.  Not sliding, careening away, forgotten.

Each of the moments here, I will, remember.

 

I jotted down color notes.

I engaged all my senses.

I wrote notations on the flowers, trees, the wind, the sounds, the temperature, the shadows, the softness of light.

 

rough bark photograph, canon eos, debi riley art, art basics
Rough

Even how the bark would feel, and how the petals did feel.

 

color and raindrops on flower, debiriley.com
Soft as Silk the petals…..

 

I made these minutes relevant.

Valuable.

I spent my time. It definitely wasn’t wasted.

 

 

On The Way Back

I still had to make it around the small lake, though, back to my car.

 

The rust colored fence  with curved metal bars, intrigued me.

I loved the shapes, the tones, the forms.  I liked the depth of field.

 

 

light red iron fence in park, water fountain, nature photography, debiriley.com
Light Red, iron fence

 

I thought of how Light Red watercolor paint would be perfect for this fence.

I thought of how this image would be ideal for class interpretation.

How easily they could see the tonal values, light and shade in the shapes and forms.

 

 

 

Calmer Reflections

The next pause, was the quiet reflections.

Again, the hints of light red played a role, but it was softer in this.

Less dominating. Calmer.

 

calm gentle water reflections, debiriley.com
calm, gentle reflections

 

 

I’ve stepped up my pace marginally.

Not a brisk walk by any means.

No more sitting.

 

 

 

Abstractions on the Lake

Then my eyes caught the design,  the patterns, the light on the calm side of the lake.

I had to stop. 

 

The subject was right up my alley.

Abstract.

Swirling patterns, and so nearly monochromatic.

 

The most striking feature was the sense of peacefulness it seemed to evoke.

 

nature photography, water and shoreline, zen strolls in nature, debiriley.com
here.A  moment of Peace

 

Right Here.

I was here, for a much longer time.

 

The subject demanded it.

And who am I to refuse a subject, a Muse…. when she calls?

 

 

patterns close up, lake and water photos monochromatic and abstracted, debiriley.com
close up and abstracted

 

 

 

 

calm lake photography, debiriley.com
Serene Calm

 

Back on the road – 55 Minutes

Taking the last shot, I flipped the camera off,  put the lens cap on.

Grabbed my keys.

Glanced at my watch……..

 

8:03 am

55 minutes

 

In my car, on the road.

55  Memorable  Minutes.

 

A lovely Walk on the Calm Side.