First of all, before we get to work today, I want to introduce you to Ferdinand and Nina, two of the cutest chickies we have ever seen. Their artist “Mom” is Janet Zeh, a wonderful watercolor artist who has invented Zehland (pronounced Zay-land). Ferdinand, Nina and their four chick friends live there at Tulipa Farm. For a newly hatched chick Ferdinand is a daring one. His impulsive nature prompts him to do the unexpected; one never knows where he will be or what he will do next. This keeps the other chicks at Tulipa Farm on their toes, especially Nina. She adores Ferdinand and follows him everywhere. When Ferdinand and Nina go missing……OOPS, I’m not going to reveal any more. Although I must admit they have been to Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, we have a delightful painting of them in Hilo Hattie’s Hawaiian duds. To find out more about The Adventures of Ferdinand and Nina CLICK HERE.
When Janet is not chasing Ferdinand and Nina all over Zehland she does the most elegant watercolors using only three colors. Janet says, “It’s amazing what one can do with cadmium red, cadmium yellow and French Ultramarine blue watercolor paint. Because they are primary colors, all the secondary colors can be mixed from them, such as green, orange and violet. Depending on how much of each color is used in the mix, one also gets blue-violet, red-violet, blue-green, yellow-green, red-orange and yellow-orange, the tertiary colors. And mixing the complements produces grays and browns.” I thought you would enjoy seeing what beauty Janet produces from the technique she uses. This would be great for sketching and painting outdoors. To learn more and see other samples of Janet Zeh’s work CLICK HERE.
Back to the easel. After painting the Sage lining the adobe wall the basic colors of the cobblestones are blocked in. The light and dark patterns are established first. Remember, to see any of the pictures larger, especially the chickies, just click on the pictures.
Crevices between the stones are indicated. This is done loosely, I don’t want to outline each individual stone. Just give a feeling of the rough cobbles.
The street is finished so I go ahead and sign the piece while the paint is still very wet. This allows me to make the fine lines of my signature smooth. I promised to tell you more about the “Threshold”. This is a shadow placed across the front of the painting. Think of being outside on a cloudy summer day. A fluffy cloud passes overhead throwing the meadow directly in front of you into shadow. The sunlight brightly illuminates the landscape in the background. Your eye is immediately drawn to the bright light, pulling your gaze “over the threshold” and into the distance. By putting a shadow, or “Threshold”, across the front of your painting you are giving the illusion of depth. The viewer’s gaze will go to the light beyond the dark foreground. Please feel free to ask questions if this is not clear. Hope you enjoyed Janet Zeh’s paintings. Have a great day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik