May Watercolors

This installment of watercolor sketches is a bit different from those of the previous months.  Due to extra time I spent on four paintings while on a trip to Hawaii, there are less sketches in total.

Scenic Paintings of Hawaii

These are more fully realized paintings done on an Arches 10″ X 14″ 300lb cold press watercolor block.  It’s my favorite painting paper because it’s sealed along the edges to other pieces on the block, so that warping is minimized, and it is sturdy enough to double as an easel.  While I’m pretty happy with these, I may go back over a few of them to add more contrast.

A painting of trees in Kona area done at sunrise, with the volcano in the background

This painting captures a few early morning kayakers getting their feet wet (Kona)

I really wanted to play with large, expansive areas of sky over beachgoers. Unfortunately, this particular paper had some issues with its fibers, which caused the cosmetic defects seen in the blue sky.

Another beachgoer enjoying a boardwalk chaise lounge. I want to go back over this one for additional shadows and cleanup.

Back to Sketches:  Basalt Columns

I took some interest in painting basalt columns (inspired a bit by some imagery I stumbled across when doing the volcano sketches from last month) because it was a fun break from the organic stuff I’d been doing.  I restricted myself to a flat brush in order to stay focused on hard edges and geometric shapes.


Dealing a bit with the basalt columns brought me around to thinking about geodes.  These 3 sketches get a tad more abstract towards the end.  I used a mixture of frisket and salt to get a crystalline effect.  It can’t really be seen in these scans, but the salt even left a sheen on the paper after it was removed.

Abstracted glasses

These are two more abstract sketches based on half-yard glasses of beer. I figured this was a good way to wrap things up!