Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lilacs, Sunday Morning Update

This is where the painting stands this Sunday morning.   The support is a quarter sheet Fabriano Aristico watercolor paper, painted to the edges.  The photo shows it cropped from 11" x 15" size to 9 1/2" x 12 1/2".   I am painting this with the easel raised to about a 60 degree angle so I have to watch for dripping paint if I go too wet.

The first leaf is painted using mixtures of Cobalt Blue, Azo Yellow, Undersea Green, Terra Verte and the purple mixes.  The leaf might be a bit small in relation to the size of the main lilac cluster so will have to look at that again.  There are more leafs to the right of the main lilac cluster with the light bouncing through the leafs. (Should that be leaves instead of leafs?)  Actually, even if it is wrong I prefer leafs lol.   Hope I can really portray the light and shadow play to create a nice flow through the painting.  All fun, all challenging, which is why I love to paint. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lilacs, An Update

Happily I got to paint a bit today.  I am still working the area on the viewer's left, try to untangle what my eyes see so the petals make sense.  You can see on the 2nd lilac on the left I began it with soft shapes because it is on the parameter of the center of interest. 

I know this is taking me a bit of time to paint and I hope you continue to visit when an update is posted.  I work on it in spurts as I have lots of interruptions and I wait for the paper to dry instead of using a hair dryer.   This gives me the opportunity to step back to see if the shapes and values are really working. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lilacs Comparison

The above photo shows the three stages this painting has gone through.  The first photo is the same photo that is posted below.  The second photo shows the areas that were lifted out today with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  I did my best not to scrub with the Magic Eraser because I wanted the paper to remain in decent condition.  The Eraser was dampened, blotted on the areas to be lifted - continuing to do this until it looked satisfactory for new shaping.  The third photo shows the reshaped upper area.  There is still more reshaping to do but now the shapes aren't quite as busy nor confusing. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lilacs Practice continued

Managed to paint a little more this evening.  Since I don't have a drawing, I am getting a bit confused with the petals.  I am basically painting wet on dry and I have to be pretty sure where the brush stroke should be placed and how light the color needs to be.  The colors can easily be darkened but it is much more difficult to lighten reds and purples.  This is going to be a painting that will take some time to complete so maybe I'll paint some pears too just so I can get a little crazy with the paint and not have to be so cautious. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lilacs Practice

Using basically the same techniques of the dots as that in the sunflowers below, this time I am painting lilacs using a little more control.  Notice that there is separation between the petals so they won't bleed into each other. The dark at the bottom of the top petal, upper right, was painted once the petals dried.  Painting these individual petals will take some time as there are lots of petals in the cluster(s).  What will be interesting is painting the large leaves that have a lovely hint of that purple in the shadows.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sunflower Dot to Dot

Here is the fun piece I did this afternoon using the technique Mollie shared with us at Painting Friends online art group.  It is painted on a quarter sheet of Fabriano Aristico watercolor paper.  The photo is showing a cropped viersion to 8" x 11". 

I did struggle with the technique of putting down dots and then adding clear water between the dots and then dragging the brush to meet the dots.  Doesn't sound difficult at all does it?  Well, I put down way to many dots so had to really hurry with the water and didn't leave enough wihite space.  So fun though and will try this again. 

Tulip Up Close and Background Videos

Here is a close up of the upper right tulips, photographed last night.  Yesterday was mostly spent editing and uploading two videos to  The videos are of the background being painted.  As you will see I just drop in paint and swirl it around. 

Tulips 4 - Background

Tulips 5 - Background continued 

I'm going to take a break from this painting and try a technique shared by Mollie at Painting Friends art group for painting loose looking subjects.  If it is halfway successful, I will post it here. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tulips, Stage 4

Over the weekend I did get to paint more on this painting.  Still need to put a little more definition between petals in the upper right larger tulip and separate more the two upper tulips on the left.  Then the center of the lower tulips needs to be formed to create a little more depth with some definition of shapes.  I have been video taping the continuation of the painting but it needs to be edited to get it to a manageable size. 

I received an e-mail from one of the artist viewer's of this blog about the saturation of the upper right tulip mentioned in the last post.  My apologies for not stating this clearer and I'm pleased she e-mailed me about it.  She wasn't sure what I meant about the saturation because she thought it looked fine.  If you look at the larger upper right tulip in the post below, you can see where the saturation and value of two of the petals are the same and have lost their form.  I should have included values when I was talking about this in the last post.  Hope it is more clear now and if any of you have questions or my comments are not clear, hope you ask.

I also want to thank again, all those that are following this blog.  I haven't mentioned you individually but I do take note and when time permits, visit the different blogs. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tulips, Stage 3

This is the next stage and one I think of as the good, the bad and the ugly.  The tulip on the upper right is too saturated and needs to be reshaped.  I hope this painting is salvageable.  You may not know this about me but when it comes to painting the individual leaves I have stage fright.  So I have to just dive in - if it works, great - if it doesn't then surely I will have learned something.  You will notice that I dropped in more yellow and some of the quin. violet into the background as an underpainting.  More tomorrow.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Tulips, Next Stage

Finally got to work on this for a little while last night.  The gray inside the lower flower is misket so the red wouldn't bleed into the white area.  Part of the drawing was lost and have to redraw some of the leaves.  Will be interesting to see what effect the background shapes and color will have on the leaves.

French Ultramarine Blue and Quin. Burnt Orange were mixed for a greenish-gray, then mixed French Ultramarine Blue and Sepia for a more neutral blue. Grays (neutrals) are great to use as resting places for the eyes, as a backdrop for more intense color and areas in the center of interest. The yellow is Holbein Lemon Yellow straight from the tube. 

The greens on my palette are Hookers Green, Undersea Green, Terra Verte, and Green Gold.  To these greens, French Ultramarine Blue, Quin. Violet, or one of the reds or yellows can be added to create darks or lean the greens to a certain color direction.  Most of the time, I mix greens from the blues and yellow and add just a tad of the third primary color to neutralize the green so they aren't so garish and intense. 

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tulips, The Beginning

The photo above shows the beginning stages of the larger upper left tulip and part of the smaller tulip on its right.  I didn't have time to paint yesterday so began this early this morning. 

The painting was video taped to the stage shown above.  The videos are mostly for my own edification to learn more about my painting habits but thought you might garner some information from them too. 
  • 1st segment - the video was broken into three segments with the first segment showing the start of the upper left tulip.  
  • 2nd part - The next two segments show a closer view but the camera has been placed behind the table so the view of the tulip will be upside down.  
  • 3rd part - The accompaniement for the video is traffic sounds along with me telling the colors of the paints being used.  At times, my voice is a bit difficult to hear or understand.  

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Tulip Sketch

I love the look of tulips in their simplicity and their graceful flow.  Sketched with an "H" graphite pencil overlaid with ink.  I will look at the tulips again as I think their needs to be more of a large, medium, small size gradation with the larger tulip being the focal point.  Painting the tulip leaves will be excellent practice too in the use of greens and gradation of values as well as warm/cool tones - lost/found edges.  Should be fun.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

4th of July & Sunflowers

Wishing each of you a safe and happy 4th of July as we continue to celebrate our freedom.

Happy Birthday to Marianne and hope she has a truly marvelous day.

The sunflowers are close to finished.  There may be a few tweaks but won't know for a day or so.