162. On the Forest Floor

A few goals for this mornings painting.  First, keeping the white flowers white.  Outlines helped here!  Second, wet-in-wet painting.  That worked well, too.  As an afterthought, I worked on the shape of the vignette within the frame.  Top, bottom, sides.  The far right could run off the page a bit more – I could crop it, if I wanted, but I rather like the reminder of the flaws I see, too.

 

154. Dreaming of Tulips

It’s the dead of winter in sunny old California, but tulips are not to be found even here until the spring.  The beauty of tulips, especially the pale ones, is the vast and subtle array of colors found within a single blossom.  As a kid in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, I loved the arrival of the tulips through the snow.

 

115. Crepe Myrtle

For the first time in weeks, I have had the wherewithal to paint.  These past few months have been rather nuts, and the mental space to focus on the simple pleasure of painting has not been mine to enjoy.

This morning, I sat down under the big umbrella in the back yard, pulled out my iPad, and took a few pictures of some low-growing crepe myrtle branches and flowers.  A water brush, a sketch book, and no expectations.

Parts are good – parts not so good – contrast is lacking – but I am feeling pleasantly surprised about this small sketch.

More tomorrow!

102. Birds Above the Fields

I am sort of fascinated by flower farms at present, whether it is bulb flowers or lavender or other types, such as daisies for bouquets.  The lines of color and how to represent them is a challenge.  Here, we are looking across the fields – the rows are running parallel to the horizon.  Still, there is depth here, and I would think the rows would be evident, however subtly.  Well, I didn’t accomplish what I wanted, but decided to add ink and some white to it, along with a lot of birds.  In looking at it, I realize the foreground needs to simplified and in my mind’s eye, I have some ideas.

99. Carnations & Chamomile

The other day at the store I picked up small, individual bouquets of chamomile and red carnations (probably really dianthus, a member of the same flower group).  The leaves of each are vastly different, with the chamomile more “leafy” and the carnation’s longer and pointy.  I took my time with this painting this morning – took a photograph of the flowers – and studied things a bit before diving in.  I didn’t do a value study, but tried to determine value from the photo.

I began with an overall wash for most of the areas with color – greens, reds, and yellow dots.  From there, negative painting and deepening colors in an attempt to show depth.  Not quite there – a bit too tight for my tastes – but I do feel it was a moderately successful study.  Waiting between the washes was a bit trying on my patience!

98. Yellow + Red = Orange

Yesterday’s tulips were accompanied by red and yellow flowers, some negative painting, and color combining. I used reds and yellows (which ones, I forget) and some Pyrrol Orange to make the flowers. Thinking of black-eyed Susans, I used black for the flowers’ centers on the daisy-like ones. What are the red ones? Good question!

What I did here was try to work from large masses of color to details, top to bottom, and having things dry to a certain point before adding more color unless I wanted them to bleed.  White space, too, was thought about.  Near and far, even with a rather shallow depth of field, was pondered, and the idea was to use cold colors – such a cold yellow or green – to make something recede – and warm colors to bring things forward.  Light and dark were also used in an attempt to achieve this effect.

16.5. Holiday Cards: Fence & Flowers

One thing I have always loved is the countryside.  Open spaces.  Wild flowers.  Weeds.  Where I live, you can find them, but they are the dry places of the West.  I have a longing for the plains and grasses, green trees and rain.  Peter Sheeler’s video catches a glimpse of this.

Here is my version below.  Part of me wants to paint the flowers, but thought it best to stop here.  I like the feeling that you have just climbed a hill, and there this scene is at the top, and you look way beyond . . .