Copyright April M Rimpo

Visit April's website www.amrart.org
Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Woman with a Wrapped Hat"

Woman with a Wrapped Hat,  20.5" X 28" watercolor by April M. Rimpo
Woman with a Wrapped Hat
watercolor
20.5" X 28" image
28" X 35.5" brushed silver frame
$1375 within the United States

"Woman with a Wrapped Hat" was selected by Paul Jackson for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's 33rd Juried Exhibition in 2012 ; was selected by judge Ratindra Das as recipient of the Excellence in Figurative award in The 29th National Exhibition 2013 of the Illinois Watercolor Society; and received the First Place award in the 45th Laurel Art Guild Juried Open. Thanks go to Lee Boynton who was the juror for the Laurel Art Guild exhibit. Below is a description of my inspiration and little about my painting process.

This woman from Santiago, Guatemala was rewrapping her hat which is made of a long belt about 15 feet in length.  This is a traditional hat in Santiago village, on Lake Atitlan.  She smiled for the camera then asked for a small payment, which I happily provided.  That smile and the colors in the hat cried out for me to paint them.  I wanted to emphasize the orange red color and use it throughout the painting as an integrating design element. As a result I decided to use one of my favorite color schemes, a triad that uses primarily blue and orange with smaller hints of green. 

I love having very wet runs and drips in my paintings, since they are so specific to watercolor paintings.  In contrast to these passages are the hard edges I used in her face.  I added horizontal and vertical stripes which also contrast with the organic runs and the diagonal shapes formed by the woman's arms.

I start most of my paintings of people by doing an initial drawing on tracing paper.  When drawing people I frequently shade portions of the face to ensure the contour lines are properly placed.  I frequently make adjustment to the drawing as a result.  I then use a fine tipped marker to emphasize the contour lines that I will then transfer to the watercolor paper.  This photo is of the tracing paper drawing, which I hang in my studio for reference while I paint.  Although I always hang these up, I almost never refer to them, but like knowing they are there in case I need them. 

The other photo below (right) shows a color grid I use to select which pigments to combine to get the desired flesh color.  A long time ago I created this flesh color grid.  The grid shows mixtures of different reds with a set of different greens.  Each combination was about a 50/50 blend of the red and green.

To see available prints check my store.
 
Drawing on Tracing Paper by April M. Rimpo

Flesh color chart












Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Hammocks" 24" X 22" watercolor by April M. Rimpo

Hammocks by April M. Rimpo
Hammocks
watercolor
24" X 22" image
31" X 29" brushed silver frame
$1250 when shipped within United States

Contact April Regarding Purchase

Sometimes it just clicks.  Everything about this painting clicked.  I remember taking the photograph in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.  I was cutting through the local market to get back to my group when I saw these hammocks.  Although in a hurry, I stopped in my tracks and took a few photos.  When reviewing these photos recently this memory and the feelings I had at the time immediately pop right back.

Chichi is known for its colorful native markets, which are held each Thursday and Sunday.  The ethereal patterns of the hammock netting against the sky and the bright colors of the hammock chair swings were a combination I couldn't resist.  The linear lines of the fabric that curved with the shape of the hammock contrasted with the straight diagonals of the dowels that held the hammocks. Making sense of these interesting patterns was the challenge, but one worth trying since I wanted to share the beauty if I succeeded.

Despite the apparent complexity of the hammocks this is one of those paintings that just worked.  Perhaps my love of the scene just took over.  I had considered this a test painting, to see if I could make sense of the netting, done in preparation for another painting.  I'm really happy with the results of the test and hope you like it too.

In case you are wondering, the brilliant reds, pinks, and oranges are thanks to Daniel Smith quinacridone pigments.


To see available prints check my store.

Friday, August 17, 2012

"The Dugouts", 10.5" X 28.5" watercolor and fluid acrylic

The Dugout by April M. Rimpo
The Dugouts
watercolor
10.5" X 28.5" image
16" X 35" brushed silver frame
$800 within the United States *


In case you have not read the other posts about the creation of this painting, here is a recap of the motivation followed by my thoughts on the last few steps of the painting process.

A beautiful beach at Santa Catarina Palopo, Guatemala was the inspiration for this painting. This was the first time I’d seen the dugouts used by the Guatemalan men to fish on Lake Atitlan.  Although much of the paint had faded and flaked from the hulls of these handmade boats, there was enough remaining to show the rainbow of their previous colors.  In the distance some modern boats were visible, which will allow me to emphasize the difference between modern influences caused by tourism and the indigenous traditions of the local population.

You may recall in my last post that I had completed the shadows under the boats and that they looked too dark against the white of the paper.  As I painted in the boats I found that the shadow right beneath the boat needed to be bluer and darker than the shadow further away from the boat, so I added some darker blues to these portions of the shadow.  Some yellower greens were added on the left to show they were closer.  The man and distant boats were also completed.  I feel the final result really captures the beauty of Lake Atitlan and dugouts in Santa Catarina Palopo.

To read more about the creations of this painting read my other two posts on this painting.
To see available prints check my store.

* Contact April regarding purchase outside the United States

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"The Dugouts" - continued

The Dugout - WIP#2 - Establishing the darks
Early in a painting I like to establish some dark colors so I have a range of comparison between the white of the paper and the darkest darks. While I am adding light and medium value passages, this range prevents me from being too dark or too light in other areas of the painting. Before I started to add the darks early I found much of my work ended up mid-range to dark in value with few lighter passages.  Basically, I got dark everywhere since I didn't know where I was headed.  By adding the shadows early they provide the reference point that I need.  At this stage the shadows under the boats appear almost too dark since they are adjacent to white paper, but as the painting develops they will appear much lighter.

You can see I have also added dark colors in the interior of the 3rd boat.  Since these areas are surrounded by some mid-value shades they don't seem as harsh as the shadows, but they are actually about the same in value. I've also added some color to the lake and some of the other dugouts.  It is always interesting to me to see how just a pale color (as in the lake) is enough to make the bow of some of the more distant dugouts stand out.  John Salminen commented in a workshop I took on how using a variety of pale colors in an area can be more effective than using wider value ranges.  I was surprised when he said this, but have found it to be very true.

In my last post, the 3rd dugout only had the rough edges of the pale green acrylic paint on the side.  I've now added tan and pale blues where the paint had worn off with use and time. Next time I'll post the completed painting.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"The Dugouts" - First steps

The Dugout - Work in progress by April M. Rimpo
A beautiful beach at Santa Catarina Palopo, Guatemala was the inspiration for this painting. This was the first time I’d seen the dugouts used by the Guatemalan men to fish on Lake Atitlan.  Although much of the paint had faded and flaked from the hulls of these handmade boats, there was enough remaining to show the rainbow of their previous colors.  In the distance some modern boats were visible, which will allow me to emphasize the difference between modern influences caused by tourism and the indigenous traditions of the local population.

Although this painting will be primarily watercolor, I felt fluid acylic would be helpful to achieve the look of the flaked paint on the boats. The acrylic is painted very wet and when partially dry (a hairdryer can be used to speed up and control the drying process) you use a spray bottle of water to remove the paint that is still wet.  The dry acrylic that is left on the paper has rough edges.  I first learned this technique form Nicholas Simmons to paint foliage since it leaves a random texture in the plants and leaves; I felt the same texture would work here.  This was done on the 2nd and 3rd boats from the front.  The 3rd boat shows the result of the acrylic. Once dry I used watercolor to add the other colors of faded wood and darker shadowed areas,  This is shown on the 2nd boat from the front.  

Stay tuned for future posts where I'll discuss other techniques used in this painting.

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