Art, equipment, Sketching, watercolor

Blue Chair – watercolor

I took a break from oil painting yesterday but I did this little ink and watercolor sketch. I also added a little bit of gouache. I’ve tried to paint this scene in oil with no success.

Gouache is something I think I’d like to try more. I only have a limited number of colors now so am not able to do work in gouache alone.

Blue Patio Chair

ink watercolor and gouache in moleskine

I referred once before to some of my feelings about having worked full time as an artist. I came across an excellent blog yesterday by a woman sharing about the process of establishing herself as an artist after having completed her Fine Art degree after the age of 50. It’s very insightful and I recommend it. Her name is
Sue Favinger Smith.

I have occasionally had trouble photographing my oil paintings, particularly when they’re still wet, without a glare. While reading one of my absolute favorite painting blogs by Carol Marine, I found her reference to another blog (that’s why they call it the web), Strobist, with a description of an inexpensive light box.

Here’s my adaptation of it using a simple wooden frame and tracing paper.

Light Box

After making 3 frames, I attached tracing paper with a stapler and use clamps to hold the 3 frames together. I place a piece of white foam core over the top and clip a lamp on each side pointing them through the paper at the painting.

22 thoughts on “Blue Chair – watercolor”

  1. Very beautiful work on your blog.
    Incredible watercolor sketches- very loose
    well composed, filled with wonderful bits of texture and pattern

    really inspiring!


  2. Hey Bill,

    This photo Box is a great idea! Before blogging I only took photos so I could keep track of what galleries had. Now I find myself unhappy with the image and have been thinking of ways to improve my photos. Think this would work on a large scale? Say 30×40’s?



  3. Hi Elio,
    I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on a larger scale. If you get too big, you’ll probably need stronger lights. Check out the link in my post for more information from the Strobist site. There’s a movie there where someone uses a similar light box and a camera connected to a computer using a remote capture program. I’ve done it that way but find that it works just as well if I just put the camera on a tripod and bracket the shots. I just have an inexpensive Cannon Powershot A40 and it does ok. I do wish I could manually focus it though.


  4. Brian, I appreciate your kind words. It’s always nice to get feedback, positive or critical.
    – Bill


  5. Thanks so much Lin, I appreciate your encouragement.

    Swee, Thanks very much. You have some very interesting articles on your blog. I’ve enjoyed your work as well.


  6. Beautiful work Bill. The watercolor is just perfect–so fresh and bright. Have you used the box yet to photograph oils? I might have to build one too, though my overhead flourescent seems to not create too much glare.


  7. Jeff and Mike, Thanks for the suggestion about the polarizing filter, I’ll keep that in mind but this setup works well enough for me and it was free!


  8. Photo Buffet and Microdesign Websight, thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment. I’m glad you liked my work.


  9. Hi Martha, Thanks for the compliment. It’s especially nice coming from someone whose work I admire so much.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s