Posts Tagged ‘watercolor’

Art Project: Plant Life

I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is no longer a “weekly” art project. Good news is I’m back, after a grueling semester, a rough bout with influenza (from which I’m still recuperating), and all around misery of graduate school applications (hello next year’s round of apps? Sigh.)

Finally done, this a scene from a garden in Sedona. I did not want this painting to be done with perfect realism, but something else. I’m not sure if I quite captured what I wanted. There’s something I really like about this and something not so much. This will leave me thinking… perhaps I’ll return to it whenever I figure out what it is that is bothering me.

Rana, this post is dedicated to you =)


Read Full Post »

I had not forgotten this blog nor did I stop painting.

I just seem to have taken on a slightly more time consuming and detailed painting than I had anticipated. Sometimes you never know just how much work a painting will require until you are half way through, and realize that it took you over 2 weeks to get there!

In the meantime, I thought it’d be nice if I just posted some pictures of my current painting at different steps along the way. I found it cool to see how the painting progresses and goes through different stages (some not so flattering) on the way to being complete.

I started by painting the brown base for the large pot in the background with burnt sienna, and using medium yellow to paint all the light green leaves and yellow highlights of the large bunch of small white flowers in the foreground.

I continued by painting a base for the red flowers and blue pot in the foreground. I used Prussian blue over the yellow to get green where needed. I also painted the base hues of the walkway to the side which is bluish white, but goes from a red/purple hue in the background to a darker shadowed one in the foreground. I then painted a layer of Prussian blue over the background pot.

This is my painting as it is right now. It’s finally starting to take shape. I added more yellow, blue, and green to the leaves, highlighting their veins and shadows. I also added little shadowing to the flowers while I figure out what my next move should be, along with a red layer for the background pot. I painted the darker side leaves with several layers of viridian hue (which is a bluish green color) and black. Plus a little more shadowing and random details all over.

I think the reason all of these take so long with me is I’m always uncertain how to proceed. I need to think a lot on it until I get a good idea and just do it.

Until next time when, hopefully, you’ll get to see this all done.

Read Full Post »

I was walking on campus in the rain a couple of weeks ago by some aloe plants (the exact species eludes me) that had recently flowered. Flowering in winter, the tall stalks end in a head with clusters of orange red flowers. I got pretty excited when I saw at least three or four humming birds flitting from flower to flower. Naturally I had to stop and take a picture. Let me tell you, balancing two bags, an umbrella, and a camera while trying to take a picture fast enough to catch the birds before they fly away to the next flower is no mean feat.

I’m starting to realize how much learning photography has helped in my artwork. Perhaps I’ll do a future post on that. For now, here is my second plant life painting: “Humming Bird and Aloe Flowers.”

Read Full Post »

Spending two weeks on a detailed painting is all good and well (which will be coming, hopefully!!). But, more importantly, I want to be able to just do a fun spur of the moment one-sitting-painting that just captures whatever it is I want to capture.

While watching the latest Epic Rap Battle of History on youtube, I found my way to marydoodles. Mary does watercolor, and doodles (as you may have guessed). She’s really good, fun, and instructive to watch (see video below). After watching a couple of her videos, I was just encouraged to go for it!

No fretting on subject matter! If you haven’t been inspired, just paint what is directly in front of you. And so here’s my one-sitting-painting doodle. Just picked up my brush and started.


Read Full Post »

This is my fourth and final still life, “Cup of Tea and Jewelry Box.”

Upon discovering a couple of painting books, one on watercolor and the other on oil, I discovered glazing. Apparently, the art of layering transparent washes of color to paint, rather than using opaque dabs of paint, is called glazing. It makes use of the bright white of the paper, and imparts its own quality and style to the painting, like what you usually think of when you think watercolor.

The painting was a little complex, and my technique is still under development at this point, which is why it took me two weeks to finish this. I really wasn’t sure what I was doing at first and spent the first week mystified, only to learn that my problem was that I was using too thin solutions of paint. That meant that to reach the right color I had to glaze a bunch of times, waiting for each wash to dry before the next. The second important thing that I learned, and I could’ve only learned this from experience, was that I should paint and glaze the backgrounds and shadows on everything first, making use of my newly purchased masking fluid and masking paper, then add the color and details. Finally, my watercolor wash skills could use improvement, and I did feel myself getting better the more washes I had to do.

All in all, I think I did well for my first time painting using only glazes, as watercoloring should be.

I’ve been thinking that next month’s theme should be “plant life.” Yup. I like it.


Read Full Post »

Lemons and a Mandarin

How do you finish a painting in one day?

With difficulty.

I actually finished this one at 11:57pm, and with 3 minutes to spare, took a photo while it was still wet (no mean task to get it without reflections too).

I was thinking of drawing a bowl of fruit, but I couldn’t find a bowl that I liked, and didn’t have enough fruit in the fridge anyway to fill a bowl. Being that it’s winter, the season of all things citrus, and Hala dared me to paint an orange, I grabbed the *last* mandarin in the fridge and a couple of lemons and placed them on a piece of cloth I dug up from the kitchen drawers. Took me a while to get the composition right, but that’s why a camera can come in so handy. It basically lets me visualize what I want before I paint.

I still suffer with fabric. I still haven’t figured out the trick. But, look at that gorgeous perfect leaf! And the lemons, both halved and whole!!
Very happy with this one.

Read Full Post »

I suppose it would be a cliche saying that I was nuts getting myself into this thing. I just finished this painting a couple of hours ago, and just under the wire on timing too. Considering I’ve got 50 something midterms to grade and research to work on, I was spending every spare minute I got painting to be able to finish this within a week.

I painted this from a picture I’d taken in Sedona, AZ on the way to the Grand Canyon, when I was in this artisan market and someone was selling sea shells. This project was, well, exhausting. The details, the frustration, the SHELLS!!! I think I was cursing all manner of shells in this universe while I painted this thing. At a few points I was very tempted to just quit, or resign myself to the fact that it will suck.

I think it’s obvious from the painting that the hardest part were the shells in the blue wood box. I will honestly say that at several points, I had no clue what I was doing. I was just slapping on paint as close as I can tell to the photo, and praying that it will work. I guess my right brain knows a thing or two, because I was pretty happy with the end result.

Does it perfectly match my vision of what I’d wanted it to be? No. But a few parts do and I’m satisfied with it. I feel tangible progress.

In the interests of full disclosure and my own sanity, in the future, at my discretion, I may give myself 2 weeks to finish paintings that are excessively detailed and larger in size than an A4 paper. Especially when I have midterms to grade!!!

Read Full Post »