The Royal Poinciana Tree is native to Madagascar, but because of its vibrant red flowers, it has been transplanted throughout the world. It prefers temperate to semi-tropical climates, so the heat and cold of where I live make it an unlikely candidate. However, we do enjoy the vibrant purple jacaranda tree!
That said, I gessoed Arches 140# CP paper and used acrylic paint this time. I spent hours on this painting, and attempted to do a rather more primitive approach, working for a type of simplicity I seldom employ. Not having painted for some time in acrylics, I needed to work at it. One thing I did do was not the default dabbing I seem to gravitate toward with acrylic. I saved that for the flowers and leaves, in the tree and on the ground.
I am so tired I have no idea if this is a “good” or “bad” or “mediocre” painting – but does it matter? This painting took a lot out of me. The scan, too, is poor – the colors are too extreme – the reds and oranges and greens dominating. Adjustments are not really successful in LR. So, here I think we are limited by the software and its interpretation of such colors in the scan. Still, it’s here for your perusal . . .
If you read my blog at all, you know I think that you can, and I do, learn a lot from watching “how to” videos. YouTube is my favorite resource. Today, an apple without a stem. The video I followed is by Chris Cheng, which you can see below.
This video is rather long, no sound, but references to Prismacolor pencils by their names and numbers. She used Strathmore colored pencil paper, which has a bit of tooth compared to the Canson XL bristol I used. My paper is very smooth, and the difference of tooth / no tooth becomes apparent by the end. I completed the shadow too soon, and think it would have been best completed closer to the end of the project. It would work better at grounding the apple.
I spent about 90 minutes doing this drawing. Altogether I am pleased with the results.
Let’s start with the flowers I did that I like. Spontaneous background, flat brush, working on edge of brush for dots and lines of stems and flowers. No pencil drawing. I liked painting this one a lot. Not so icky.
This one absolutely sucks. Pencil drawing. Overworked. I was ready to snap the brushes and burn down the house. I really hated doing this painting as it so uptight. Icky. Icky. Icky.
Another morning with sewing ahead of me – but not too much! Just a touch here and then, thread trimming, ironing, and finally wrapping.
To start my day – after coffee, breakfast, a review, and the news – I decided to use my watercolor pencils, InkTense blocks, and Neocolor II by Caran d’Arche to draw the classical Christmas / holiday poinsettia, and some permanent black ink.
Did you know the red is really the leaf and the little yellow dots in the center are the flowers? Poinsettias are not only crimson, but come in pale pinks and whites. And, they are easy to grow – just take a cutting, let it dry out until hollow, and stick in some dirt, and you may be ready for next year! I think they may also be poisonous . . .
I have been busy sewing for the holidays, as well as busy with appointments. Watercolor has fallen to the wayside – but not forgotten! Today, before I head out for a sewing class, I decided I wanted to work on white space, such as highlights, without using frisket. I took some tomatoes, set them on my desk (which has an acrylic protective surface), and painted. Here ya go!
Reds are actually a challenge as there are subtleties between the different areas. The same with the yellows of the cherry tomatoes. I decided to use the complimentary colors to create the shadows within the tomatoes themselves, but used blue for cast shadows in one, and tried to imitate the reflective cast shadows in the other painting, trying to replicate the tomatoes on the shiny acrylic surface.
Images of the Palouse or vast fields of crops, such as rape seed, extending to the horizon, provide an abstract element of design. Here, the colors and lines become the focal point, rather than the items themselves.
As I mentioned yesterday, simplification is something I want to work on. Here, simplicity and abstraction go a bit further than I want, so maybe I’ll find a happy medium in between the two!
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.
Having photography as a hobby sometimes yields pictures that can be used to create more pictures. I decided to give up the no-lines approach for now (though it is a great exercise to learn how to make shapes – I was just really frustrated by what I was doing), do some pencil roughing, and then work one color area at a time. First the tulips in shades of red, orange, and yellow, mixing some oranges as I went. Next, the greens of leaves and stems, consciously determining the areas to negative paint later on, as for the flower petals. Finally, the bowl. Before the whole was done, I went back to each area and tried to create a sense of depth by deepening other areas and being careful not to touch the areas I had left deliberately white.
This morning I wanted to work on the tree ferns, but for now, the jury is out on what to do. I ordered some watercolor marker / brushes from Amazon, as I don’t have any and the design element seems to warrant more control than a brush. So, I decided to use this photo I took over the weekend of a Toyon – also called Christmas Berry as it shows up Decemberish – for a quick morning paint. Below are the results using my palette with 5 greens (yay! green!) and a 1/2 inch flat brush. I painted directly, no lines.