Wednesday, August 2, 2017

2017 Tour de France Watercolors (Overview)

Tour de France 2017 was awesome.  It was one of the closest Tours in history, and it was full of the spectacular scenery and compelling stories that make the TdF so special.

And because the Tour de France is so amazing, I once again accompanied my nightly television viewing with a TdF personal art project!

If you ask me why I feel compelled to do a creative project in addition to watching hours of the Tour each night on tv, I don't really have an answer for you.  It certainly makes for some late evenings.  There are times after a long day at work and then watching the Tour that I say to myself, "Oh no, now I have to do my project!"  But I really do say it with a laugh.  Maybe it's because the Tour de France is so overwhelmingly great that I feel I just have to do something to participate in all the excitement.

For the last two years, my project has been keeping a shorthand notebook for each stage, accompanied by small colored pencil or watercolor drawings.  I haven't posted many of those here, but it's on my to do list!  This year, I did a nightly watercolor for each stage.

Don't expect paintings that summarize the stage or depict the big news of the day.  My paintings are simply inspired by scenes that I liked from each day's stage, watching the Tour on the NBC Sports Network.  And remember, these are quick, daily paintings.  There's no time for perfectionism!  But it was fun doing them and that's all that counts.

I've gathered a nice set of painting supplies over the years.  Here's what I used for this project:
  • A old set of Winsor & Newton Travel Paints (you can see some mixing I did to try to get those reddish-orange rooftops and green trees and fields!).
  • Fluid 100 brand 6 X 8 smooth watercolor paper, in a block.  It's a perfect size for fast painting, and the block set-up keeps the paper nice and flat.  After your painting dries you simply (but carefully) cut it off the block with a dull knife.  Very handy.
  • A big set of Derwent watercolor pencils.  I especially like them for drawing trees and adding weathering to buildings.  Applying water with a brush over the these pencil marks creates a beautiful watercolor affect, but with more defined lines. 
  • My Pentel 0.7 GraphGear 500 pencil (which I use for pretty much everything), a fine-point Faber-Castell Artist Pen, and a Pentel waterbrush.  I could have used a regular brush, and I often dipped the waterbrush in a cup of water rather than use the reservoir, just like one would with a normal brush.  But I like the idea of the waterbrush.  It gives me the sense of dong a fast on-the-spot painting with very little clean-up.  I really enjoy using it.

So in the next 21 posts, I will put up pictures of my 2017 Tour de France paintings. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment