Yes, half way through, but with only a week left in January, that’s not so good… But I’m doing the best I can and I will finish just as many paintings as possible! While they’re not all terrific, all artists know that practice is a good thing. From practice comes more knowledge in handling your media of choice and you are always learning something in the process!
This is actually a drawing/painting that I started during the summer. Then various situations kept me out of my studio, this work got somewhat buried and frankly, I had forgotten about it. When I started this challenge, I spent some time organizing in the studio and ran across this partially finished work. I have put it off for most of January and figured it was time, for good or bad, to finish it! I actually like the way this turned out- hope you do too!
As is obvious, I love flowers, so I guess it follows that I love painting florals! Hibiscus is one of my very favorite flowers. Not only are they delicate, beautiful and come in all kinds of color and shape combinations, but they also remind me so much of tropical places – another thing I love! This particular one is partly based on my own reference photo and partly artistic license, as I don’t think this coloring exists in nature (white with a golden center). Then, when all was finished except the stamens, I stood back and wondered how to make the flower stand out from the white-of-the-paper background, while keeping it simple. I was taught this light blue surrounding wash many years ago by a very talented local watercolor instructor and I sometimes fall back on it still. I think it works and, since I have the same blue in the leaves, that part works for me too.
Well, obviously there are not 30 paintings here, but I’m quite pleased with most of the 17 I got done. As I did in January, at the recommendation of Leslie Saeta, I used PicMonkey to make the collage, using their free option. They come out nice, are simple to do and there are a surprising number of arrangements and additions you can make there. It’s always fun for me to see a body of my work in one place!
Roses II-Less is More, attempts at looser painting
I can hardly believe it – I actually managed to finish my 17th painting! It was a work in progress for the past two days, I even went to the Spokane Sketchers Meetup Thursday and still I completed, photographed, cropped and got it posted with 3 minutes to spare! I am pleased that at least I got more than half done.
As for the rose painting, I had no reference and no guidance; still I think I did a decent job with the looser style on this. In addition, I had fun with it and feel like I learned a lot in the process.
This is a painting that I began a few months ago. I liked it as far as it went, but the composition was lacking, so I set it aside for a time. I picked it up a couple of weeks ago and knew what I needed to do to make it work better. I was able to alter and finish this work in just a couple of hours, but it took months for the inspiration and motivation to be there…as often happens with art! And I finally have the confidence to share it on the challenge and here!
This is finally my day 4 post in the challenge. It’s not very successful, but even when that happens, I post the painting and I always learn something whether great or not-so great! The point was strong light and shadow and I did get that at least. I find this creates quite an optical illusion; even though I know the bottom is straight and level, it looks to me like the right corner comes forward and is lower…interesting how those lines affect the appearance.
This painting is special to me because my Coneflowers, all the colors, were especially beautiful this year. They are in a back flower garden which is visible from our bedroom. I just loved standing there, even from inside, just watching the Fritillary Butterflies all over the blossoms! We had such a long, extremely hot and dry summer that, sadly, the Coneflowers are pretty much done blooming-and I see more honey bees on them now than butterflies. What a wonder and blessing-and artistic inspiration-it is to have numerous flower gardens and beautiful flowers all over the yard!
5 minute practice sketch of Daffodils from book reference
Again, a pen and ink page of sketches, this time referenced from my book, “20 Ways to Draw a Tulip and 44 Other Fabulous Flowers” by Lisa Congdon (http://www.amazon.com/Ways-Tulip-Other-Fabulous-Flowers/dp/159253886X). Daffodils are one of my very favorite flowers; they bring such sunny happiness to spring! Since my own daffodils are not in bloom yet – and it’s one flower that always gives me fits when attempting to draw/paint – I thought a little no-pre-drawing practice from this book was in order! Can you see the improvement happening as I work in this manner? I sure can! So, this is today’s sketchbook practice; not painted directly from live references, but still worthwhile practice!
I just had to do it again-paint another picture in the tiny format (3″x 4″) – and it’s another floral. And again I had a fun time with it. I finally have a better feel for drawing and painting that small; to me if feels very different from even a watercolor quarter-sheet, which isn’t a very large painting. The inspiration for this iris painting came from an iris picture I took in my yard two or three years ago. I have used it for a number of sketches, tried it with watercolor pencils and now I have painted a tiny watercolor version of it. Pretty much the only thing somewhat true to the photo is the flower shapes, but it has been great inspiration. I’m sure it is very obvious what joy and beauty I find in flowers and in painting them!
I was drawn back to the trading card mini painting size like I did a couple of weeks ago. I had a somewhat easier time getting the drawing to fit the format, maybe because it’s not the first one this time. This viola is from the April Plant Parade challenge on Wetcanvas: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1312900. There are several reference photos to choose from, but since I have grown this particular flower I was inspired to give it a try. In this challenge, you have most of the month to paint and then the pictures are posted on the 25th or after-so here’s the preview. Like with the other one, it was a fun challenge to paint this size!
As is obvious by my recent posts and paintings, I love florals. That’s partly why I have found the early spring Wetcanvas challenges fun and irresistible this year. This painting is based on the reference in the February 2013 Watercolor Challenge – http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1306333. Since Hibiscus is one of my favorite flowers, so beautiful and tropical, I just had to participate-even though I didn’t paint mine until March! I am also including two Hibiscus paintings I did several years ago, quite some time after taking a workshop from Terry Madden, but inspired by his style. For those, my references were my own photos, one taken while on a trip to Las Vegas and the other taken in my own yard.