October 23rd, 2015

Peonies and Grape Vines

Artist: Charley Parker, United States
Artist Statement: I’m frequently fascinated by contrasts of light and dark in the landscape. These peonies are in my own yard. I noticed they looked great at a certain time of day in the dappled shade of the grape vines growing on the chain link fence along our driveway. I set up my pochade box in the driveway and captured the fleeting effect in two sessions of similar light conditions. I luckily beat the rain that removed most of the petals from the flowers a day later.

I have a 5×7 board that I use to rough out a rectangle on the 7×10 paper, as I prefer not working to the edge. I did a very quick sketch in pencil, using the edge of the board to get my verticals true. I painted in the peonies and surrounding grass first to capture the light, and left finishing the less rapidly changing grape vines and fence for later in the sessions. My gouache palette (Winsor & Newton and Holbein) was Ultramarine Blue, Viridian, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Burnt Sienna and Permanent White.

I’ve used gouache in a Beta Series sketchbook before, but when I tried the Zeta Series it became my preference. Like the Beta Series, the Zeta paper is strong enough to stand up to the application of the paint, even in multiple layers. Since gouache sits on the surface of the paper rather than sinking in like watercolor, I find the smooth surface lets the gouache take on its own character more readily than a cold press texture. It also makes a great surface for the crisp detail that gouache so nicely allows. The wire binding lets me fold the sketchbook back for propping on the pochade box, and the hard covers hold up to being repeatedly shoved into a pack on the go.

MEDIA: Pencil and gouache
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Charley Parker is a painter and designer living in the Philadelphia area. He studied Painting at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His paintings can be found on his blog at http://www.charleyparker.com Charley is also the author of the popular arts blog, Lines and Colors. http://www.linesandcolors.com



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