Most of the time when I paint I have a plan or at least a really good idea of the direction the project is headed in. Not so with this piece. I started at the center of the paper and just kept adding patterns as I went along. When I got to the leaves and berries it seemed like a natural stopping point in the composition. Once all the lines were inked and dry I added the shading. I like how the vibrant colors pop off the page adding a fun element to the piece and who couldn’t use a little extra fun in their day every now and then.
There is something about seeing pink and chartreuse in nature that inspires me to draw. The tulips, roses, and apple blossoms in my yard display this lovely color combination each spring and while spring may be a long way off (the wind chill is holding the temperature in my corner of the world at a balmy 0°) I can still experiment with one of my favorite color palettes.
I always like to begin any art project with a sketch that way I can work out any problems with composition and proportion before I add color. Even for a simple study like this lotus I like to at least do a contour drawing. This painting was done in my Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook with Neocolor II water soluble pastels and my favorite happy dot brush which is a Chinese painting brush. I like using this brush because it forms a nice sharp point and holds plenty of water and paint better than my watercolor brushes.
I used a limited color palette to keep things from getting overly fussy. The colors I used are from the Neocolor II collection so the names may seem a bit out of the norm. I chose purplish red for the bud’s local color and added ruby red in the shadow areas. The green in the bud was primarily light olive with olive added to create volume. The stem used the same greens as the flower with the addition of olive black in the darkest areas. The large green mass behind the stem is a leaf painted with light olive to give some depth to the composition. The splattering was added to the background to loosen the painting and keep it from being stiff.
I may have to wait a long while for the temperatures to herald in spring but I will see spring every time I look at this piece…cheers!
This is so exciting – I mailed my contribution to the Twitter Art Exhibit today. I like creating art and sharing it with others so painting a piece that will benefit a charity seemed like a perfect fit. All the art created for this exhibition will help the special needs classes at The Center for Contemporary Dance in Orlando.
I spent quite a long time experimenting with different styles and designs that would work within the specifications of 6 x 4 inches. I had planned from the beginning to do some sort of botanical piece and after many thumbnail sketches I selected the apple blossom with honey bee. I do hope the person who buys this enjoys it as much as I did painting it.
It’s not too late to submit your own work of art, you can find all the details at #twitterartexhibit.
Watercolor is a medium that I love and yet I constantly struggle with it. I am always on the quest to create paintings that have movement. I like the softness and translucency of watercolor yet I find that I fuss too much with my pieces and as a result they feel stiff and overworked. I decided to see if I could make some changes and took a Skillshare class with Angela Fehr. Her work is beautiful and inspiring.
The focus of the class is on creating watercolor paintings that are full of color and movement. The first project was to paint an apple. I had a few false starts as I once again discovered that old habits die really hard. Letting the paint and water run and mix is not something I am comfortable with but on the third try I was starting to get the hang of it. Then it was on to the next step, painting a more complicated scene. Angela did a demonstration of an old truck in a field but being more of a botanical artist I chose to create a composition from some photos I had taken of crocuses in bloom (see photo at top of page). I tried to keep things simple by eliminating a lot of details and focused on capturing the feeling of the flower. It was quite difficult to resist the urge to keep playing with this piece but I forced myself to stop. As with any artistic adventure there will be plenty of practice in my future.
Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of sketches of flamingos. I don’t know if the cold weather has us dreaming of warmer temperatures or if we just need a splash of color to brighten the overcast days of winter. Whatever the reason the flamingo trend has gotten to me too.
These birds are just great to paint, their dark beaks contrast so well with their brightly colored feathers and their long skinny legs can be depicted with just a few simple strokes. For this sketch I used Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels in a Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook. I used purple (which is really closer to pink) for the bodies, yellow and emerald green for the eye, and black for the beak and legs. Rather than use the Neocolor II’s directly on the paper I picked up the pigment with a damp Chinese painting brush and applied the color to the paper like regular paint. Once the body was dry the feather detail was added with a barely damp brush. The water was added by creating a light wash of turquoise blue and cobalt blue. I liked painting the flamingos so much that I may have to do a more polished piece in the future.