Sunday, February 07, 2010

feb. virtual paint out: san francisco

(Fabriano 7x10)
Close-up of a San Francisco building from Google Street View.
I couldn't sort out, even looking at the photograph (I took a photo of the computer screen since I haven't figured out how capture a page in Street View), the shadows from the fire escape and tried not to angst over making it accurate (if I had I never would have finishesd, or even attempted, it). I just liked the lines and busyness of one side against the blank balance of the other side.
I think now I could have simplified and unified the right side with a wash--not over the whole thing; maybe just the top half ... it's a bit too crazy! I may give it another go.

(where I stopped last night)

The view from my studio today. It's sunny and calm out, but I haven't gone walking; I spent a couple of exhausting sessions trying to dig out my car: the snow's up to the handles, and, under the soft top layer, is hard and densely packed, making for some futile banging away with my plastic "back-saver" (ha) shovel. I wonder how many days it'll take me--at this rate, I'd say four!

I ordered these waterbrushes from Amazon because, unlike the Niji waterbrushes, which are all synthetic, these are a mix of synthetic and natural hairs, so I thought I'd try them out. Unfortunately, and this is embarrassing to admit, but I can't figure out how to open them to get the water in! The three places where I think the barrel may open are tightly sealed. I'm baffled ... and the instructions are in Chinese.
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10 comments:

Barbra Joan said...

How I wish I could help you Laura, I've had the same thing happen to me with good mechanical pencils... can't put the new lead in... Is that not frustrating? I hope you figure it out and I'd love to order them too, but we need to get the water in there!
and you'll get better with the 'driving ' on the V.P. It took me a while too. It's hard to capture the photo. I've also taken a pic of the screen (distortion) and have printed too. But not easy to do.. See you there.

Charlene Brown said...

This is a beautiful design, and I think you've done a great job of capturing details and implying them when it's not possible to sort everything out. Working from a photo of what's on the screen might be better than a screen capture, which would give way too much information. However, if you want to try a screen capture... When you have the picture you want on the screen, press PrintScrn (in the top row of keys to the right of F12) then open Word (or Photoshop, if you have it) File>New, Edit>Paste, and crop.

annie said...

I just bought some , too, Laura. The button at the end of the brush is supposed to turn. It is a piston and the piston sucks water up. Your button must be stuck or covered with a plastic. Or broken. I would write Amazon and complain if you can't make it work. I haven't tried my brushes--got them for the reasons you did-- but the piston works on mine.Russ Stutler and others discuss them on his The Sketching Forum.

Good luck,and let us all know what happened. I bought directly from Henry Li on You Tube.

annie

A Brush with Color said...

OMG, I wish I could help--I don't know how to use them either. They look cool--do they screw open somehow? or just pop off?

Love your painting--this is cool!

Susan said...

I have been enjoying your paintings for some time, but haven't left a comment yet. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work. I have these brushes too. The top does turn to work the piston, as Annie said, but it sounds like the confusion you have is thinking that you should detach something (like you do with Niji brushes) before using the piston to fill them. Not necessary. Just put the brush head in a jar of water and turn the knob to make the piston go up and down: when it goes up it will draw in water. At least that's how I do it!

annie said...

Suzanne, that button at the end turns and the piston opens, then you turn it back and it sucks up the water.

Details on Russ Stutler's The Sketching Forum.

annie

annie said...

Ooops,whire I was writing my post, Susan's post came in.. Thank you, Susan. I hope, Laura, that your pistons loosen up. If not, Amazon should send you other brushes.

annie

Cristina said...

I have found these instructions:
http://www.blueheronarts.com/article_info.php?articles_id=5
I hope they may be useful.
I love your paintings!
Ciao!
Cristina from Italy

AutumnLeaves said...

I think the fire escape shadows are wonderful, Laura! I too like the busy vs. calm balance of this piece! The view from your home is exquisite (and exemplifies why I so love winter scenes). Afraid I am zero help on the brush pens, though...

Gillian said...

I love your VP entry - so loose and pretty. Your watercolours are beautiful.

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