Another floral study following a YouTube video. This one is by Lois Davidson, whose technique is much different than the “Bowl of Roses” video.
I rather liked this one. There were some little things in doing it that I hadn’t done before. I’ve sprinkled colors onto wet paint, but never dropped in sprinklings of water. That was fun. Also, the sheer joy in painting splotchy flowers is always a delight but I did have to think a lot more than it looks – working light to dark requires forethought and patience. To me, watercolor painting is like haiku – it takes a lot more work than it appears to need!
The above study was fun to do, but I had a lot of help in the form of (what else?) a YouTube video. Videos are such good ways to see what a person does, and how they paint. To me, watching the methods an artist goes about accomplishing something is one of the biggest ways to learn.
The video I used was one by a YouTuber called “Draw with Shiba.” There are a lot of good videos on his channel, and none of them are so difficult you cannot learn something. As my goal is flowers I found this video of his quite helpful.
Our images sort of match, sort of don’t. His paper seems to hold on to water more than mine does (Arches) so he can lift color from the sides of the roses. He also begins with a lot of wet-in-wet. In this video, he wets the paper entirely with a brush before he paints, and then drops in color so it blurs into all the major areas of the paintings. In other videos he simply drops water droplets onto his paper, thus controlling areas as he disperses the water with his brush. He paints, flat, too, from what I can see.
Overall, I enjoyed this video. The flowers are roses (thumbs up there!), the vase is simple, and the entire painting covers a lot of techniques. I liked the way in which he lifted the paint and painted the roses. I learned a bit and produced a painting that doesn’t make me cringe. I tried to apply a lot of the techniques here to my flower flop of yesterday, and some worked, some did not, but that is life. Live to paint another day!
I’ve been thinking about how I am developing a sort of painting style in gouache, as well as giving thought to the painters whose work I admire. It definitely falls in the impressionistic and expressionistic varieties. Gouache just seems to be made for exuberant color and enthusiastic brushwork.My colors are more subdued that I wanted – I wanted turquoise skies and pink flowers and a brilliant sunset. Instead, I have a rather northern European type of town scene, with a garden or flowering park in the middle. Summer’s abundance flourishes under the trees, but in the shade it seems. In doing this painting, I didn’t do much planning. I stuck to the prompt of “splashes of color” – and splash I did. The result was a serious loosening up of my style, and a letting go of “this is what I want it to be.” That is significant – I can be a real tight ass about painting, and in the end dislike the results. When I let go – let things splash – I am usually much, much happier with the results.
Regardless, both paintings appear muddy to me. I wonder if working with pure color – straight from the tube – would help. Practice certainly will. The flowers in the vase seem a bit overworked, too. Again, practice and experience.
So, lots of splashes of color for #WorldWatercolorMonth 2019 is producing some rather pleasing results and, more than anything, a daily involvement with painting.
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.
Yesterday was one of those days filled with things to do, with more things to do added last minute. Toward the end of the day, I really was not in the mood to do much more than veg out, be a blob, and sink into a stupor. Nonetheless, I girded up my proverbial loins, and sat down with an imaginary bouquet in my head and a reference picture for light and shadow to use with the imaginary bouquet.
I didn’t set out to do too much – but in the end, it worked out pretty good. I kept in mind light to dark. I also kept in mind working over the whole painting, shifting back and forth from one area to another, and applying a hairdryer when things needed to dry out a bit more than my patience was willing to wait for. All of a sudden, I swear, my mind said, “Hey, let’s paint around these flowers!” There were not any flowers in that area, but I did negative painting without too much thought. Wow! That was a big shift for me – I’m still quite the newby in this area.
So, here we are. Colors include sap and Hooker’s greens; Payne’s grey; ultramarine and cobalt blues; hansa yellow; quinacridone rose. There may be a few others. I used one brush, too. The paper is Fabriano’s 100% cotton Artistico, and that alone helped a great deal – evident as the other side of the paper was already used for a wash-heavy exercise!
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!
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.