Friday, January 18, 2013


As I begin my Italy series, I of course went through all my photos from my trip to Rome and Tuscany last year.  We came across this young man while walking through the Forum.  Tourist everywhere but he never even picked up his head, so in the moment was he.  

I am now ready to put myself in that zone for the next few months.  But if you are expecting to see paintings of the Vatican or the Colosseum I'm afraid you may be dissapointed.  I am much more interested in the small side scenes.  I plan to focus the series on the activities in the streets, the people, wether local or tourists and the many contrasts of the modern world on this acient place.

I haven't drawn people or architecture in a very long time.  Which is one of the reasons I am so excited about this next batch of paintings.  I love the contrasts and meshing of todays world here in a place so filled with ancient history.  Here the mix of the British teenagers gathered around the balloon stand all the while a hundreds year old religious painting looks down on the scene from the corner of the building.
Drawing architecture brings me back to linear perspective drawing.  An old favorite of mine.  You can see the vanishing point and converging lines I used here on my street drawing. While in college in Philadelphia, I spend a lot of time drawing around the city, including one long day in the Cathedral drawing the inside of the cavernous space.  I wish I had kept those drawings but I remember it so clearly.

This is my name in 3 point perspective.  I had this posted on the door of my classroom for many years.
I loved teaching one and two perspective to my middle school students but, honestly, the kids hated it.  They complained that it was too much thinking for art class.  (sigh)

‎"Drawing is not a natural act. You've got this flatness and you have to learn to lie about it." 
Wayne Thiebaud 1920--

Well, time to paint!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Autumn's Last

I began putting this scene together last Fall.  I had this fun vase in my dining room and deceided to put it to work.  I had just visited our local dairy farm and picked up these little pumpkins for decoration, so they went in too.  And I had this fabric just waiting for a spot to use it in.  I was cleaning up the gardens  and these flowers were the last left standing.  
They served me well all summer and deserved a proper farewell.

First, a very detailed drawing.  I use both sketches made on site and the many photos I took at the scene.  I love to draw.  It's that simple.  And this kept me busy for a couple of days.  The flowers were easy but getting the roundness of the vase and all those flowing stripes to read as 3D on a 2D surface was challenging but awesome fun!

Color begins.  It's the reason I put all this together.  Lots of mixology here.  
Loved painting all those stripes!

Ok, that was fun but now it's time to slow down and access what I've done so far.  
I have this sitting in bright sunlight which means there are lots of deep shadows to come.
With this many colors you have to be sure not to loose your focus.  Here I mean the focus to be on the vase and three pumpkins.

Did I mention that the whole scene is sitting on my grass lawn?  
You may look at the grassy background and think I painstakingly laid in every blade.  But I actually cheated a little.  I first laid in a green wash, let it completely dry, and used my trusty Fineline Masquepen simulating blades of grass over the green wash.  I rubbed off the Masquepen the next morning and washed in more values of green in key areas to appear like grass in the sunshine.

"Autumn's Last", Watercolor, 18" x 24"
©Carmella Tuliszewski 2013

Shadows.  Always love this part.  I usually use the subject's complement to create an interesting dark.
But here with so many subjects, which complement to use?  I went with a bluish black with varying degrees of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna.  The danger of working from a photo is that you may end up putting too much in.  My reference had many more and darker shadows than appear here.  
I left them out and toned down some areas to keep the focus on the vase and pumpkins.

I have given myself a few deadlines to meet over the next few months of winter. 
I really would like to be juried into my local art league and a watercolor society show this spring.
There are also a few art festivals this sumer I'm hoping to be juried into where I can sell originals and prints.  Don't know if this one will make submission but, I'll see how some of my other ideas go the next few weeks.

Thank you so much for taking the time to view my work.
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