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Inca Tern

Inca Tern. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Inca Tern. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Feels a bit strange going back to the birds. I’ve been doing so many tightly composed city and landscape scenes that a single bird on the page feels like something is missing. That’s not to say that it’s easier though. Getting the pose right and tying the body to the plain(ish) background still take quite a bit of thought.

He came out rather handsomely though I think.

Edit: Forgot an intermediate photo.

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This was after the drawing and the first wash being careful to brush through the outlines to create some fuzziness in the edges and to tie the bird to the white background.

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 20:39:51 +0000


Chinese Golden Pheasant

Chinese golden pheasant.  Michele Clamp.  Watercolor. 11”x14”

Chinese golden pheasant. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Why not do a bird I thought. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a bird and they’re so much easier than complicated city scenes. Well I was wrong on the last part. This gave me all sorts of trouble but a lot of it came together at the end.

Sun, 18 Aug 2019 19:12:16 +0000


Mystic Bridge

Mystic Bridge.   Michele Clamp.  Watercolor. 19”x13”

Mystic Bridge. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 19”x13”

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 23:00:10 +0000


Logan Airport

Logan airport, Boston.  Michele Clamp.  Watercolor.  13”x19”

Logan airport, Boston. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 13”x19”

I often have time to sketch in airports. It passes the time and the planes are lovely shapes to draw. The extra gubbins around them is also interesting. Even though this was an overcast day the contrast of the gray tarmac really shows off the shape of the plane.

Wed, 14 Aug 2019 21:26:29 +0000


Redbones in Davis Square

Redbone, Davis Square.  Michele Clamp.  Watercolor.  14”x11”

Redbone, Davis Square. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”

Stylistically something different. Much tighter than usual and it gave me all sorts of trouble. I had one of those - ‘it’s ruined so I can’t make it any worse’ moments yesterday. But I soldiered on and it came together quite well.

James and I have spent many evenings in the basement of Redbones. Brisket and enormous beers - happy days.

Just one intermediate today: This was at the end of the first session and I was somewhat glum

Mon, 05 Aug 2019 22:33:07 +0000


Orchard Beach, Maine

Orchard Beach, Maine.   Michele Clamp.  Watercolor.  11”x14”

Orchard Beach, Maine. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Still in Orchard Beach and a snowy picture of the ferris wheel. I wanted this to be somewhat subdued but maybe dialed it back too much. Has a nice touch to it though.

Some intermediates :

The drawing. Oh the ellipses! And the perspective! Thankfully everything meshes together in the painting if painted loosely enough.

Next the initial washes. A light sky and fairly grayed out tones for the buildings. The wheel is lightly touched in leaving areas of white to break up the lines.

More darks to add some solidity to the structures and more detail in the wheel. Still keeping a light touch.

The final thing. A little more detail on the fence and some loose work to define the foreground and we’re done. In hindsight I would probably have punched up the color a little more but I’m happy as is.

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The original photo. I remember it being extremely cold.

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Thu, 01 Aug 2019 22:14:54 +0000


Motif #1, Rockport

Motif #1, Rockport. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Motif #1, Rockport. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Motif #1, Rockport 250.00 Add To Cart

This scene is almost too familiar to paint and I’ve avoided it until now. Apart from the familiarity of the subject I’ve also avoided it because it didn’t really grab me compositionally. It is just a big red shed after all.

Yesterday, however I thought ‘why not?’ and set to work from a shot I took about 5 years ago. After much cropping I settled on what I thought was a simple arrangement. In practice, however, this turned out to be pretty complicated and ended up being a two day affair.

I started with hot press paper which had worked out so well with the Orchard Beach painting. The drawing went well - kept things pretty loose and undefined :

Next comes the hard bit - initial washes. I’m keeping away from the darks right now and wanted to keep the values close together. I especially didn’t want to overdo the shadow on the red building. Just dark enough to show it’s in sunlight but not so dark it ruins the effect. I was also trying hard to get some texture and variation into the broad areas of color. Spraying with water and some judicious light glazing kept these areas interesting.

Putting the windows in is always tricky. It never ceases to amaze me how little detail you need for an area to say ‘I’m a window’. In fact if you get too accurate it looks odd and pasted on. Pretty happy all round at this point.

Next was going in with the darker areas around the waterline. This is always tricky and it could go horribly wrong at this point.

Phew. Got away with it. It’s starting to come together now. There was a sticky moment when the boat wasn’t tied into the water and had that painted on look. Some carefully placed darks and blending of color between boat and water saved the day.

At this point as long as I don’t do anything really stupid I should be ok.

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Almost home here. The boat is in with just enough detail and contrast to be interesting but not overdefined. The stone wall is suggested with a few lines. Just some touching up and we’re done.

The final thing. I think I’m ok with it. As always it’ll take a couple of days to reveal the stuff I really like and also the stuff I hate. Fingers crossed.

The original photo (heavily cropped).

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Tue, 30 Jul 2019 19:27:24 +0000


The Pier at Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Pier at Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”

Pier at Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”

Old Orchard Beach, Maine 250.00 Add To Cart

I treated myself to some hot press paper and this is its first outing. We spent the New Year at Old Orchard Beach a couple of years ago and I snapped the pier which turned out to be a pretty nice composition.


For a first outing I’m pretty happy. No blending on the paper with hot press and with the fans and the heat the paint dries pretty much immediately. Some nice effects though.


Sun, 28 Jul 2019 20:49:01 +0000


Singing Beach, Manchester-by-the-Sea

Singing Beach, Manchester by the Sea.  Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11x14”

Singing Beach, Manchester by the Sea.  Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11x14”

Thu, 25 Jul 2019 22:21:22 +0000


Southend at Dusk

Southend at dusk. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 13”x19”

Southend at dusk. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 13”x19”

I’ve been wanting to do a dusk painting for a while. I snapped this scene on my phone back in November. Even though it was raining and the shot was rainy and out of focus it caught something of that magical time where the sky has wonderful color and the buildings are muted and shadowy. Not perfect by any means but I’m pretty happy for a first shot.

Wed, 24 Jul 2019 19:50:28 +0000


Mystic Sketch

Mystic CT Sketch.   Michele Clamp.  Watercolor

Mystic CT Sketch. Michele Clamp. Watercolor

We were all sitting down by the dock on our Mystic, CT visit. What a good time to get out the sketchbook I thought. Just a small sketch but very enjoyable to do and I like the close crop that doesn’t quite reveal what’s going on immediately.


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 15:53:50 +0000


Life Class - Incremental Gains

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A good session at Post Road Art last week with Andrew Cefalu in charge and keeping us all in order. Unusually this short 5 minute pose was my favorite of the night. In previous sessions I take about 2 hours to warm up and the last poses are my best and frankly I prefer it that way.

For the record here’s the evening’s work in its entirety, warts and all.

First the two minute poses :

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Some nice stuff here. We had a great model with expressive poses and it really does help.

Next the 5 minuters :

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Not too bad. I seem to have concentrated on the head and hands which is fine by me. Heads, hands and feet are hard.

Finally the 15 minuters. Not my best of the night but they were fun. Good times.

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Fri, 19 Jul 2019 15:57:37 +0000


Southwick Camel

Southwick Camel. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 13”x19”

Southwick Camel. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 13”x19”

Another from our trip to Southwick’s zoo. You can’t really go wrong with a camel as a subject. They have wonderfully shaped heads and bodies and a very characteristic posture. I’m leaving this for today as I’m not sure it’s finished but, apart from a few touches, I think I’m pretty happy with it.

(James says I should do more detail in the fur but I’m not convinced).

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:55:49 +0000


Shelburne from the Flower Bridge

Shelburne from the flower bridge. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”

Shelburne from the flower bridge. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”

I’m getting behind with the blogs. There’s some stuff I need to put on that I’ve been procrastinating over but that can wait.

I painted this before. We’d visited Shelburne which is well worth a visit - especially for the flower bridge. This is a view from there which I’d always liked the composition of so why not give it another go?

As usual I’m in two minds about this. It was a bit of a struggle and I think the first version shown below was better. Darn.

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Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:48:47 +0000


Morgan Point Take Two

Morgan Point Light.   Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11“X14”

Morgan Point Light.   Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11“X14”

Another go at this with a different composition and more muted colors.

Fri, 12 Jul 2019 18:33:54 +0000


Morgan Point Lighthouse, Noank, CT

Morgan Point Lighthouse, Noank, CT. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Morgan Point Lighthouse, Noank, CT. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

I can’t usually resist painting a lighthouse and this is from our recent trip to Mystic, CT with some friends. We tried to walk down to see the lighthouse but couldn’t quite get there so this is from a photo taken by the ever lovely Heather Longden from the water.

Lots to like here. Great sense of sun and light and some nice subtle shadows. There will probably be more to come in this vein.

Mon, 08 Jul 2019 21:47:54 +0000


Southwick’s Macaws

Two Macaws.  Michele Clamp.  Watercolor.  11”x14”

Two Macaws. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Two Macaws 250.00 Add To Cart

This is the first chance I’ve had to paint something from our trip to Southwick’s Zoo. You see these wonderful macaws when entering the zoo. They are magnificent and posed obligingly for photos.

Wed, 03 Jul 2019 19:07:29 +0000


Life Class Drawings

Figure Drawing at  Post Road Art

Figure Drawing at Post Road Art

Some good and bad this week. And, boy, does 3 hours of drawing take it out of you. As is common the later drawings were more successful and the final 30 minute one above actually has hands and feet that are recognisable. No real tricks here - just improvement based on practice and observation.

So let’s have a run through. First the quick 2 minute sketches.

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It’s surprising how much you can get down in two minutes. A lot of these have the general pose captured which is good to see. However if it starts out wrong all is lost and two minutes is too short to recover.

Next the 5 minuters:

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Apparently there was only one of these which may mean I misannotated the drawings but anyway - I had trouble from the outset here and didn’t manage to get much down. Never say I only show the good stuff.

Now the 10 and 15 minuters :


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Not too bad. A little stilted and I’m struggling with proportions still but I’m fairly pleased.

And the final 30 minute one.

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All in all a good night’s work and some time after for some wine.

Mon, 29 Apr 2019 15:49:50 +0000


Tulips Revisited

Tulips.  Watercolor.  Michele Clamp.  14”x11”

Tulips. Watercolor. Michele Clamp. 14”x11”

Another go at the tulips. Greens are always tricky so I calmed them down quite a bit on this one.

Wed, 24 Apr 2019 20:23:55 +0000


Tulips

Tulips.   Michele Clamp.  Watercolor.  14”x11”

Tulips. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”

Somehow this one got away from me. All went well until I tried to beef up the background to make the flowers pop and it lost something. Lots I like in here though - the lushness of the foliage and the delicate yellows of the flowers. And especially that wonderful blue on the vase.

This was intended for a show and I think I’ll have to give it another shot. Many thanks to Elizabeth Leake for her kind permission to use her photo.

Some intermediates :

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Mon, 22 Apr 2019 21:41:50 +0000


Page created: Mon, Aug 19, 2019 - 09:05 PM GMT