Sketching an Alaska Winter Moon

Winter in Alaska is so unique. It isn’t dark all the time, just most of the time. For a few hours the sun drags itself from southeast to southwest and we see a glow, but not direct sunshine. It isn’t awful and it isn’t miserable; it’s just a little pathetic. I noticed at noon right now it is as light as it is at midnight in June. That’s pretty pathetic.

I stopped to sketch this at about four o’clock in the afternoon facing southeast from Eureka Summit, Alaska. It was -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Lots of blues and purples with an orange glow in the sky.

Winter Eureka Moon at Four O'Clock

Alaska Winter Moon at Four O’Clock/Eureka

Along with many other people, I’ve been thinking about goals and direction at this beginning of a new year. My favorite thing to do is to teach in a way that encourages students. I love to see people “get it”. I want to get some watercolor demonstrations on this blog and I’ll get around to it. I also want to teach more workshops.

I want to use art to help you to encourage others and this is what I have in mind: I’m going to give twenty-five of my art prints away to your friends!  The only charge will be for shipping: $5.00 in the USA./$7.00 everywhere else. (I also had to charge 1% to make it show up as an item)

Here are the rules:

1) I will ship one print to your friend and charge you only shipping, but remember, it is a gift to your friend. You only get one (one print, not one friend). The site will allow you to order more than one, but I’ll only give one print for this offer.

2) You have to tell me something encouraging to write on your choice of print (ie: “To my amazing Cindy from your ever-loving Tom”, “Thank you for being a friend”,  etc)

3) I’m offering this to my blog readers first(that would be you), then over to my Facebook page in a couple of days, but I’m limiting it to twenty-five of my thirteen prints.

Here is the link.  At checkout, use the code: MyFriend for this offer. You will see where to apply it on the right, near the credit card icons in a blue font. Let me know if you can’t find it by making a comment.

Painting Facebook Photos 6

"Friendly Feet" 9.5" x 15" watercolor

Kendra, who is a friend on Facebook, is a delightful combination of brilliance and fun. She took this photo and posted it on her wall in black and white. This image is the sixth of ten in my “Painting Facebook Photos” series. Because I know some of these colorful characters who are wearing these shoes, I wanted this painting to have fresh, clean colors. I chose to use only three tubes of watercolor; Pthalo Blue, Red Rose Deep, and Hansa Yellow Light.

I wanted the shoes to sparkle against neutral  pavers so I started with a little color sketch. The terra-cotta pavers in the top sketch are warm and sunny, but I wanted the warmth to come from the shoes and feet, so in the bottom sketch I tried a gray-blue with the clean colors coming from the shoes.  The result was sparkling shoes and clean colors.

An interesting thing to note is while the sun is coming from one direction, creating the main shadows, there is a bright window creating another subtle light source seen mostly on the boots. Am I an artist or a detective?

Painting Facebook Photos 5

"Ladies" 11" x 11" watercolor

I have a friend who travels extensively, purchasing materials for her Rain stores in South Africa, Amsterdam, and New York.  She creates bath and body products that pamper all of your senses.  On top of being amazingly creative, she is generous and kind, employing as many people as she can in a country with high unemployment.

On a trip to Croatia, she took this photo and posted it on Facebook. I had to include it in this “Painting Facebook Photos” series. What are these ladies discussing? I would be so happy to have your help naming this painting. Please post something in the comments or on my Facebook page. This is going to be good!

Ladies