I spent the most part of today slogging along in the Dog Free Zone. Emptying out old pots, refilling them, pruning, sweeping, sweeping, sweeping, planting bulbs, cutting back overgrown critters, toiling away in a sweltering 67F for 3 hours. Poor me, eh? But just imagine what I will see in a few months!! And I still have seeds to plant as well.
So, I was honestly too tired to focus on anything requiring logic. I needed to just paint. Flowers seem appropriate given all the gardening. And I also have a couple of dozen of dazzling orangy red tulips. Trust me, the real ones look far better than this painting!
And then there are those wonderful flowers – bulbs – which grow and bloom in winter, when all is drab and drear. Crocus anyone? Here, a bit of snow is all that is left.
Each of these paintings was done with a time limit of 30 minutes. You can make a lot of mistakes in 30 minutes and paint some truly awful stuff – that is why quick studies can be so educational. And you can paint some great stuff, and wonder, how the hell did you do that!?
This version of my tulips was done without any lines – just spontaneous painting with a bit of forethought.
I like this painting a lot more than yesterday’s. It is definitely more relaxed and painterly. The colors are better, too. Negative painting is a bit more successful as well.
More tulips to come!
Flower paintings are some of my favorite things, just because I like flowers. Painting them is another story. Tulips are such cheerful, seasonal flowers, appearing in the market for a short time; I always have to buy a bunch or two or three.
Determined to paint a vase and water with stems, to really look at them, I put the tulips in a rather coarse, rectangular glass vase. The edges of the vase are wavy, and it is far from perfect, which gives it a rather pleasant charm. It seems I rather avoided the stems – my picture got too big! I’ll give it another try later.
Parts of this painting work, but overall it feels rather labored in appearance. I’m not quite sure why – maybe too many glazes took away a sense of spontaneity as well as clumsy negative painting.
Today I had a morning appointment. After I came home, I had lunch, took a nap, and then migrated all sorts of toys to the patio. My neck got sunburned! Amongst the toys were a set of Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils by Caran D’Arche, a bowl of tulips, a brush pen, ink pen, and paper.
This is probably the third time I have used these pencils, and this time around I am happier with the results. I have watched a few videos from YouTube on using them, and the tips were worthwhile. For example, layering and laying down glazes to get better results. Being patient! My own painting skills are better than they used to be, so my sense of light / dark is not as klutzy as it was a few months ago. And, without having the need to produce some work of art, I was a lot more relaxed. Of course, sitting in the sun didn’t hurt any.
In general, my own experience with watercolor pencils is that they are not strong enough in color to produce the type of strong contrast I seem to prefer visually. Maybe it’s just my limited experience. Nonetheless, I am happy with the results demonstrated in this little study.
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.
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.
I should have done a value study here, but not in the mood, and not having a lot of time, I just decided to paint, hoping I “saw” the shadows enough. Pretty tulips turned into a rather ugly mess! Still, it is a learning experience, and the doing is often more important than the final results. I am quite sure my paintings will be gone and not found in a museum.
We had a leak in the house, and the result was scurrying around doing everything else but find time to even think or go to work. Finally, the leak was contained yesterday. Towels and such could be put away. Now we wait for insurance and contractors!
And finally, I can get back to drawing and painting. This morning, more tulips, done with iron gall ink, prior to applying some paint. Here ya go!
Today my Instagram account is making its debut! I uploaded a picture of this sketch by phone to Instagram, but a phone picture is not the same as a scan. My Instagram account is (what else): journeybypaper. Not sure how it works, but it is here, to the right.