Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Evening Primrose, or - Paint the Dog Before the Fleas!

 Watercolor, 5 x 9

Now that the ATC's are all finished up, I'm back to goal-oriented painting. In other words, it's not so much about the subject, but painting regularly in order to build up a variety of techniques so that one day (hopefully!) I'll be able to paint without so much conversation in my head about how to accomplish this or that particular effect.

Course, it does help if you like your subject. I have Evening Primroses growing in lovely wild abandon around my house and I love 'em! I have a friend who considers them more of a nuisance than a thing of beauty (they're prolific), but being of the cottage garden persuasion myself, I take delight in finding masses of flowers springing up pretty much wherever they please. I'm not a neatly manicured yard/garden person- give me the cottage garden/woodland look.

Back to painting. The goals with this little painting:

1. No re-doing (remember that one from my previous posts? I'm still working on it!)
2. Keep the paint in light layers so as not to lose the white/light spaces. Easier to add paint than to take it away.
3. Think about what I'm doing so that when I put brush to paper I know the effect I'm going after. The Teresa of Old would sometimes put brush to paper and then apparently hope - usually in vain - that the paint somehow knew where it was supposed to go and how saturated/unsaturated it was supposed to appear. Guess what? It didn't. Turns out it needs a little more input from me.

But while I was focusing on these goals, I didn't pay enough attention to the drawing. And after I'm almost finished painting (that would be the time to notice glaring errors, wouldn't it?) I saw that I had forgotten a cardinal rule: Paint the dog before the fleas. In other words, get the basic structure of the drawing down - correctly! - before you start adding details.

While finishing up I noticed that: 1) the right side of the top left petal curves down to ... where? The curve of the petal should end/begin in the center of the flower from whence all petals spring instead of doing its own thing in a short curve off to the left; and, 2) the stigma and the stamens also don't grow from the center as they should. I was able to do some correcting with the stigma and stamens since the area around them is very light so I aligned them with the flower center as much as I could. The incorrect curve of the petal will have to stand as a lesson to take first things first (because I don't want to re-do - see goal #1) .... get the drawing right before getting the paints out!

But, mistakes aside, it was a delight to draw and paint and I thoroughly enjoyed my painting time :-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ATC's.... last of the batch

Here's the last of the ATC's. Color is not quite true due to the late afternoon light when photos were taken. All these are 3.5 x 2.5.

I think there's a book called something along the lines of "Paint Small, Learn Big" and there's a lot to be said for that.

These mini paintings are wonderful for trying out techniques and subjects you might not be ready to tackle in a larger work. All in all, lots of fun!

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