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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 :-)

24 comments:

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Very nice little painting--I love the translucence of the petals. (I'm also an evening primrose/cottage garden sort of girl.) You seem to be learning so much from each of your paintings!

meera said...

Actually, I really like the flower --in doing its own thing, it looks very natural, and I don't really see the mistakes you mention :) I like how delicate it looks and how you have saved the whites!

newmexicomtngirl.com said...

You have totally captured the airy lightness of these wonderful sprite-like flowers. I'm like you and love everything everywhere. Great job and remember too that only you notices those little buggy details, where the rest of us see a beautiful flower we wish we would have taken the time to paint.
peace n abundance,
CheyAnne
http://cheyannesexton.etsy.com

newmexicomtngirl.com said...

pinned this over on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/cheyannesexton/links-to-artists-i-love/

Mermaid's Palette said...

Beautiful, Teresa- so delicate!

Candy said...

You're so funny! I love the painting. I also love your thoughts about what you're trying to do.

Dors said...

This is awesome Teresa. The veins in the petals look great. It looks so delicate. Love it. xx

martinealison said...

J'aime la légèreté de votre fleur... Vous avez su capturer cet effet... Il est aussi parfois nécessaire de se mettre presque dans la peau de votre sujet et en l'occurrence ici en une jolie fleur...
Bisous

Lynne said...

I think it's pretty. You've captured the delicate nature of the flower and I don't think that can be easy.
I like gardens where the flowers self seed.

Simone said...

It is beautiful and delicate Teresa. I especially like the transparency of the petals.

Jo Castillo said...

Teresa, you are way too hard on yourself. Anyone that has tried to paint a primrose will understand how beautiful this is. Also the folks that haven't will see it, too. Just amazing. Wow!

Your ATCs are so good. Aren't they fun and good for the soul. You learn a lot, too. I hope to get back into painting soon, need a good butt kicking from Maggie.

Sorry I haven't been around, I am slowly getting back in the grove with my studio at home again.

Hugs.

Joanna said...

Gorgeous primrose!

Kendra said...

The primrose is beautifully drawn and painted. I feel like I could reach out and pick it up off the paper!

padmaja said...

I loved the way you handled it very softly and subtly..the delicate veins on the petals are a challenge especially when there is no re doing.. you taught me well today T!

Cathyann said...

I thought it was a pressed flower from the thumbnail...that is how wonderful it is!!!!I like your thinking but for this one, you are way too critical...it is divine as is!:-)

IrinaSztukowski said...

Teresa,
Your Evening Primroses looks extremely lovely. If you didn't point out "mistakes" I wouldn't even notice them.. If you placed a little shadow next to the stem and right petal it would look like the real flower is resting against a paper, kind of botanical approach and would look even more real :)
Thank you,
Irina

Claire M said...

Fabulous Evening Primrose. I love it! Very delicate.

Jan said...

There's another rule you need to learn - don't point out any mistakes you THINK you've made as most people, even artists, won't see them!

This is beautiful - we have these flowers everywhere & I'm a fan. And I'm also a fan of this little painting.

Ann said...

I really like this painting - it's wonderful! And I never would have noticed the "imperfections" if you hadn't pointed them out. I like the 'paint the dog before the fleas' way of thinking. I should remember that because I am one who waits to have those conversations after I have already put paint on the paper and then it's too late!

knittingdragonflies said...

I love this painting! What! The paint won't automatically go where is it suppose to go? Well I guess that is my problem, LOL.
I really like the simplicity of this, It looks very real.
Vicki

Crystal Cook said...

I love this painting and am glad that I found your blog. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

hmuxo said...

I love this painting Teresa...delicate and beautiful.!

Katherine Thomas said...

Hm. Before I read goal #3, I was already going to comment about what amazing control you have with the watercolor! That is my big challenge with paint, not feeling in control of where it goes. I'd say you have mastered that! It's beautiful!

Annette said...

so delicate looking. I am the helter skelter type yard person also. We use to have tons of these pretty thigs blooming at our old home. Beautifully done and love the story also. :)

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