Spontaneous Ink

Watercolor Painting by Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey, Fulton Street Blues and Reds, Watercolor, 5″ x 5″, © 2015

I’m still finding a great deal of enjoyment from working with ink and watercolor.  The combination of the two just feels like it can capture a spontaneous moment. The faster the work develops and the more bold the lines, the better the work feels.  I’m still building on the idea of my last blog that each painting can be an experiment and the more freely the medium is handled the more it feels like tapping directly into someones vision.

As always, thank you for reading and I always appreciate your likes and comments.

On Etsy: Fulton Street Blues and Reds



Watercolor Painting, Overcast

Brian Bailey, Overcast, Watercolor, 8″ x 10″, © 2015

I started another painting outside today and finished it this evening.  It was a colder day and I used a lot of ultramarine blue and burnt umber to reflect the “greyness.”

A Car and Shadows

Parked Outside, Watercolor Painting

Brian Bailey, Parked Outside, Watercolor, 4″ x 4″, © 2015

While on a walk, I noticed an old car that looked right at home in front of a yellow house that might be around the same age.  I believe it was a Volvo and I was walking through the Richmond district of San Francisco where the houses are a bit newer than the Victorian style homes scattered around the city. It’s still intriguing to me how a slight change in lighting can dramatically change the appearance of a house or, really, anything.

It was my goal to make a blog post with a new watercolor painting every weekday for the rest of April.  I’d have to look back to find the exact day that I started, but I made it and now I’m diving into May.  I’m going to keep up with the postings and paintings for another month.   It’s been very rewarding and I truly appreciate all of the likes and comments from readers.

A quick reminder, all of the paintings from this blog are for sale in my Etsy store, ArtFromBrian.  If you have any questions about buying a painting, feel free to contact me here or through Etsy.  Thanks again!

I Can See The Light…

Watercolor Painting, Hayes Corner, Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey, Hayes Corner, Watercolor, 4″ x 4″, © 2015

When I walk around the city, my eyes seem to jump around to the hard cast shadows. It’s become a habit now that we are in the middle of spring. The sunlight and shadows make for interesting shapes and colors.  Visually, I’ve always been drawn to contrast and hard edges so I’m grateful for the sunshine while we have it. I’m still planning to make daily updates here and doing a new 4″ x 4″ watercolor painting each morning.   So far, it’s a nice routine and I really appreciate your views and comments.

Haight Adjacent

I painted a corner apartment building one block south of Haight-Ashbury today.  I find myself drawn to this neighborhood over and over again.  It has a feeling to it that’s hard to describe.  The hippies, artists, and musicians of the 60’s have mostly moved away but there is still a feeling that something important happened here and is, maybe, still happening. Artistic types and free spirits still wander along Haight Street and give off a strange vibration that they are a part of something or maybe they’re up to something.

Over and over, I walk along and turn the corner, drawn to the tree lined streets adjacent to Haight, and I feel something for the buildings and the sidewalks.  I feel like so much cultural history, art, and music came from people living behind these walls.  And it’s still alive, extending out into an unknown and unpredictable future. I’m going to keep making drawings and paintings of those streets and houses, so please check them out and let me know what you think.

Ashbury, 4"x4", Watercolor,  Brian Bailey © 2015

Brian Bailey, Ashbury, 4″x4″, Watercolor, © 2015

A Watercolor Journal Begins…

I’ve been playing around with different ideas of what I’d like to share in this space and it’s led me to a couple of thoughts.  First, posting on a daily basis is very rewarding.  I posted my drawings each day for a week a while back and felt good at the end of each day knowing that I finished what I set out to do. Knowing that the drawings would be online put a little pressure on the process, which also had a positive effect.

Secondly, daily posts make this more like a journal and tell a story over time.  This blog is a chance to share and get feedback from people around the world.  I hope that my drawings and paintings give an impression of the part of the world I live in and this is a way to share them.

As a result, I”m planning to post one of my 4″ x 4″ watercolor paintings here each weekday for the rest of April.  Some will surely be rough and less finished than others but I’m looking  forward to seeing how they evolve over time.  A lot of my focus is on painting the buildings and places around my neighborhood but I’ll be branching out to new subject matter as time passes.

Here is the first of what I hope to be many.

Watercolor Painting

The Search For More To Draw

Creativity is a challenge. An idea, even a tiny piece of a idea, can be very elusive. Sometimes sketches feel like having the right words on the tip of your tongue and being unable to grasp them.  So far, I’d say it’s best to keep moving forward, doing what I can to right the ship. It’s important to seek new information and be aware that at any moment, a piece can fall into place and your vision is back to making sense and feeling whole.  This morning I spent time looking through other artist’s websites and feel more focused. If anyone has ideas for creative or art based websites to check out, please share in the comments.

I spent quite a bit of time in my sketchbook this week with drawings of buildings in San Francisco’s Mission District, Cole Valley, and from around the house. Here are some of the results. I hope you enjoy them.


Weekly Sketchbook

I’ve decided that I am going to continue posting the drawings from my sketchbook..  I’m planning to make a new post at least once a week and include any new sketches.  I will also be putting up new paintings from time to time, so check back each week and feel free to leave comments.

Here is my sketchbook from last week.

Weekly Sketchbook3-24-15 3-25-15 3-28-15

Day 6: Around the Corner

Today I spent most of the day painting indoors but managed to do a quick sketch of a house just around the corner from where we live.  I really enjoy posting these drawings every day and I think it may extend beyond just this week.  Even if each one is done quickly, it’s satisfying to put it out there and I really appreciate the views, likes, and comments people have sent. Again, thank you to everyone for checking out my drawings.


A new year and new paintings.

It is a new year and I still want to paint everyday.  I’m hoping to branch out this year and get involved with the local art community.  This blog has been a good outlet for sharing my work and I really value the feedback that I’ve received. I’m hoping to find the same kind of outlet here in San Francisco.  Just this week, I entered two paintings into a local juried show and am hoping to meet some people at the opening if I’m accepted.  I’ve also found an open studio for life drawing and I’ve even started reading some art history, a task that, while always rewarding, often falls from the top of my list.  I’m optimistic for the year ahead and plan to continue updating what I learn along the way on this blog.

One major advancement in my painting is the use of Arches watercolor paper.  I’ve been using other papers that are acid free and meet archival standards but the Arches feels truly superior to me.  The paint clings to it and the colors look more rich and permanent. Figuring out my materials for watercolor painting has taken some time but I’m feeling much better about them.  Maybe, I’ll do a post about the materials I’m using and my process in the future.  In the meantime, here is a detail of a painting that I’m working on this week using Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour on Arches 140 lbs. cold press watercolor paper.