Friday, August 29, 2008

Good News!!

The folks at Wingard's Nursery have asked to use my landscape in their advertising to be placed in two local magazines. Between the publications one or both end up in virtually every house in the Lexington/Richland County area! Of course I said YES!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mom's Tulip Progress

I am getting to the fun part, the petals with the detail and I am frustrated! I can't get those delicate little veins near the petal tips looking as lacy as I would like! grrr!

I guess I will have to play with it some more tomorrow.

I also think I may darken the blue/green background more as well. I think it is distracting right now. I will wait until this is done before I make that decision though.

I am using a lot of neon red, pink and orange and I really like the way it pops! Who knew I would EVER use those colors! I just told my class last month not to buy them! Now I think if you plan on doing florals you just may want them!

Stay tuned for the next installment of this project sometime this weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Floral on White Ampersand Pastel board

Being the glutton for punishment that I am I had to try another floral layout. AND because my family is loaded with gardeners and thus great floral photo ops I have tons of flowers to paint. This one is my Mom's tulip.

The top photo is my reference. I altered it in in Photoshop Elements by making a more pleasing background. Elements is a great way to find out what colors would work with my flower. I also deepened the red of the petal in the rear so the pink and yellow petal in the foreground would pop.

In the second photo you can see my background which I basically just scribbled in with WC pencils and then wet with clear water. I really liked the effect I achieved with these pencils. The secret of doing a background this way is to wet the lightest areas first and then the dark and let the darks bleed into the light. While it is still wet you can drag the darks into the lights and let them bleed a bit too. This gives some lovely soft edges and a feathery look to the background.

Once again I wanted a watercolor wash on the flower so I would not have so much white to cover up in the flower itself. What you can't see is that I outlined the red area with red CP before I wet the background WC pencil. I did it to keep the dark colors from running into those lighter areas. When the background was dry I added in the red. I followed the same steps in the pink area.

The CP worked fairly well as a resist to keep the water where I wanted it except where I got a little sloppy. I have to learn to let watercolor dry before painting a different color next to it. CP has me spoiled. No waiting for it to dry and it doesn't bleed into other areas if I goof.

You can see the CP I have laid down in the red areas. I used a lot of black cherry to create the shadows. It does not show well here. I am finding I really like to put in a layer of CP then smooth it with a brush into all the nooks and crannies of the Amapersand. By doing this the next layers of color go on smoother and blend better as the rest of layers are all laid down.

In the last photo the dark red area is done. I committed a big no no according to some CP artists and used neon red and pink in those areas where I want the light to appear to be shining through the petals. I really like the way it looks. The color really pops!

I laid the photo reference out yesterday afternoon but I didn't lay out the painting until late this morning. I had errands to run and really only spent about 3 hours working on this painting today. Very quick work for CP!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Yellow Rose Challenge


decided to challenge myself yesterday and see if I could do a painting in a day. This is on an 8" x 10"piece of white Ampersand pastel board.

The first photo is the watercolor under-painting. Because Ampersand is really grainy I figured the white would be sort of hard to cover with colored pencil and I wanted to get the white covered quickly without having to worry about having a lot of little white flecks showing through the colored pencil.

I laid down the watercolor in the morning and then took a couple hours to run errands while it dried. I started adding the CP around 2 PM. My husband was not home for dinner and it's good he was not. After a quick lunch break I worked pretty steady on it. When I looked at the clock again it was 7 PM and it was completed! That's an amazingly quick turn around for a CP painting!

I have to admit I did play a little bit with it today to tweak the darks and the veins in the outer petals but 99% of the work was done yesterday afternoon.

What I learned from this painting is when working on Ampersand you don't need as many color layers to get a good color mix and build up. I also like the way the pencil blends with a cut off bristle brush. It gives a smooth finish to the pencil. Also if you try to mix darker colors with a pencil that is too light you end up with a chalky look to the color. It’s best to blend with a darker value pencil of a similar hue.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wingard's Azaleas Colored Pencil on Stonehenge 8.5" x 27"

What a fun painting this has been! All those tiny flowers and leaves really appealed to my compulsive side. I am about done but may adjust a few tiny things, like those white spots in the trees where you can see the sky, they are distracting and look like flowers.

I added shadows in the parking lot that were not in my reference. But as my artist daughter says painters can do a painting any how they want! I had to take a couple shadow hunting trips to get the idea in my mind of how to render them. One thing I noticed is in summer when the light has warmer light cast shadows are more blue and the light they surround is warmer. So I laid my shadows on the parking lot in with cool grays and then blended them with blue violet. Then I went over the lights in the shadows with light peach. When there was enough color laid down I blended them again with a heavy hand using both the blue violet and the light peach. This softened the edges and made it all look more shadowy.

The Wingards are going to have an open house and arts event on October 10. I wish I could be there but I will be out of town. I had thought I would have this painting there but the State Fair will be on going then and I have entered this in the Fine Art Competition at the fair. Shucks!!! A giclee will just have to do!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Not enough hours in the day to paint!!!

Whew! Busy weekend and week and not much time to paint. I rotated out a show I had up at Continental American Insurance. I don't really know what happened to the rest of the time. I finally was able to get back to Wingard's today. I hate it when I can't work on a painting a little bit every day. I feel like I lose touch with the work and it feels like I am starting over when I don't paint daily.

The way I paint sort of helps when this happens. I tend to think of each area as a little painting unto itself. I started doing this when I was taking in one of Ann Kullberg's ( portrait classes. She pointed out that each part of a face has different colors in it so using the exact same colors on one side of the forehead would not necessarily be the ones used on the other side. This happens because the light is different in every area of the face (or anything else for that matter) and it's ok to work on one area at a time. I know this is sort of contrary to the way painting is taught formally but I have never been one to do things the way educators do it.

Everything seems to work and fit together in the end painting this way. With little extra adjustment when the work is done it seems to work just fine working on one area at a time. I actually find it pretty easy to lose my way in a painting when I try to work all over it instead of just working in one area. This may be unique to the CP medium.

I am getting really excited about Wingard's. I think it's going to be a fun landscape. I have already entered it in the SC State Fair. I have never entered a painting in a competition before it was actually done. This means I have got to stick with it and get'er done because I still need to mat and frame it as well!!! Entering an unfinished painting is probably not one of my brighter moves!