Monday, July 31, 2017

ROSE CLASS (Painting Petals)


Still working on my class by Dianne Sutherland of ROSES.... my rose bushes are blooming beautifully right now although the leaves are looking fairly bad due to a probable disease (which is why I've never grown roses until now anyway..... always getting diseases.....) Ugh!

I've struggled with the inbetween veins on the petals... even though Dianne gives a couple of great videos showing just exactly how to accomplish this... sometimes the knowing and the doing don't come together for me!  That being said,... I am feeling more comfortable as I continue to paint more petals.  I'll continue practicing and with other flower petals even after I turn in this assignment..  I think it's been an amazing thing to make me slow down and  really really look at each little crook and cranny and fold and vein of each petal.  A truly great exercise! 


back on petal
front of petal

first petals painted and I learned a lot to move forward with on the next three....

This was the most beautiful rose!  Look how crazy interesting just one petal is (not to mentions tricky to paint)!

I haven't added drybrushing and details on the front side yet....

the back side I have begun to add some details... you can really loose yourself almost in a meditative way doing all these little lines....

Monday, July 10, 2017

I've been working like crazy in my flower gardens!  It takes me 1 1/2 hours every day after work to water my flowers if it hasn't rained!!! Talk about a job!  But there are flowers EVERYWHERE and it looks amazing!!! So many to choose from to paint.  I now have over 18,000 photos on my phone.....won't run out of reference material, huh?

"Giant" zinnias have been blooming gorgeously! All colors: pink, salmon, coral, reddish, purple, white, orange, etc.  They are wonderful in vases because they do last several days and the plants get happy and keep re-blooming after you cut a blossom.... I have a hundred maybe in my new "cutting" flower garden (new to this year, I revamped my veggie garden and thanks to Floret Farm I had the nerve and "excuse" to ditch the veggies and make the "cutting" garden.  Which is just rows and raised beds of plants and flower seeds!  I could go on and on about this....).  Anyway, the "Giant" zinnias are beautiful and have very detailed centers.  Note: Floret Farm is a gorgeous site with growing info and they have a wonderful book Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden which is just beautiful to look at!


(first base layers)
 I really enjoyed painting this... although the center yellow and pinkish part I'm not satisfied with.... hopefully practice will help with this.



Friday, July 7, 2017

ROSE CLASS

I'm taking Dianne Sutherland's new ROSE class!  I'm at the very beginning where she asks us to paint a rose with leaf.  I really enjoyed painting the rose,... took my time, did some drybrush work (which I'm still trying to get the hang of).... on the leaves, I just got off on the wrong colors and went downhill from there.  You can just feel when things aren't going right for unexplainable reasons!



 

Then the first assignment is to accurately measure and draw the front and back of at least four different rose petals.  Then transfer them to watercolor paper and paint them....easy, right? Nope, not for me.  At least not right now.  I can get the drawing down okay... but then painting them is somehow being very difficult to me.  How can painting one single little petal throw me into a tizzy?

Some petals I was going to practice on...

Terrible lighting but a close up....


zs




Then the first assignment is to accurately measure and draw the front and back of at least four different rose petals.  Then transfer them to watercolor paper and paint them....easy, right? Nope, not for me.  At least not right now.  I can get the drawing down okay... but then painting them is somehow being very difficult to me.  How can painting one single little petal throw me into a tizzy?
 I must practice and practice!

PROTEA

I fell in love with Proteas!  I found a place online (I'll look for it to share) that ships them from Hawaii and they were so healthy and vibrant and lasted about a week in vases!  I took a gazillion photos of them of course and allowed many of them to dry and keep...
I painted this in one of my Stillman and Birn larger notebooks.  It didn't allow me to "lift" color much and the paper didn't stay wet very long like "real" watercolor paper does.... I just like working in a notebook!  It took several days to paint and I'm happy in some places but not so much in others.  But it's a learning process, right?!


Monday, May 8, 2017

As part of my studies for Dianne Sutherland's classes, we have to make a chart with our greens.  I've been dreading it for some reason as I thought it was going to be mundane.  But, I actually really enjoyed it!  I've used the charts many times and want to do more charts with different colors... I don't know why I still have problems with figuring out if colors are cooler or warmer..... Maybe that comes with practice or I think I need to focus and learn more about colors.....   Many blogs have helped me with this... I'll add my favorites as soo as I can find the exact posts.


This white peony surpised me with a bloom within a month or so of planting it in a pot to get an early jump on the spring.  I didn't even think they would bloom the first year you plant them.  How awesome!

It's a frilly little guy.... I'm not that happy with the center.  This is the first study I painted in my new
handmade watercolor journal from Pfeiffer Art Supply.  It has cold press paper which didn't bother me on this study.  But I've tried two other paintings and I feel the paper isn't working for me personally.    So, I'm switching to my Stillman and Birn Zeta mixed media journal for the next work.  That paper agrees with my style more than any other.  I actually already ordered an entire huge sheet of that paper but it doesn't feel the same.  It's smoother than the paper in the actual journal... we'll see how it goes. 



This spring was alive with all the many varieties of daffodils and other bulb flowers I had planted earlier in the spring... the frilly ones were especially gorgeous.  Of course, I took many many photos to paint!

This was painted in my mixed media Stillman and Birn notebook.  I'd like to start doing more detailed "studies" like this as I get time....




Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I never realized how gorgeous seemingly simple zinnias are... They have such interesting centers and I love the darker back sides.  Last year all I grew was this red variety.  Now, this year, I have over 40 varieties of seeds!!! I can't wait to see them all and have lots of reference photos for the winter time painting! 
Zinnia painted last year in mixed media journal...

I really enjoyed painting this one.  It was painted in my new Stillman and Burn mixed media journal. 



I'd like to add some drybrush work now at this time.... 

Painting leaves for Dianne Sutherland's leaf class...

I've been slacking behind on my art this past month... we got an order for 5,000 packs of our fishing lures (Stubby Steve's Fish Food Fishing Lure) so while working on that night and day and also working at our Veterinary Hospital full time I haven't had much time nor energy to paint a lot or blog at all....   plus planting about 400 pots of plants I've over wintered... ugh!!!!

Anyways,... here is the painting leaves assignment I've been working on for my class by Dianne Sutherland.  I never thought I'd enjoy painting leaves since I've been kind of scared of them all this time.  One main thing is finding the right shades of green... and I never realized so much the blues and yellows that can be in each leaf to portray warmth and coolness.    I have so much to learn about color mixing and color temperature,etc.   Dianne's classes have helped a ton with that.  As well as the many blogs of wonderfully talented botanical artists who share their theories and explanations on color matching.    In Anna Mason's newest tutorial Pink Magnolia she explains in more depth about how to color match.  I found it very helpful!

Here is some of my leaf studies in my mixed media journal.  I went back after several days and tried some "drybrush" work over the layers of paint already there. It was nerve wrecking but also exciting..... it's still going to take lots more practice to get that technique down. 
Gerbera Daisy leaves (not finished yet...)

A Peony leaf bud... I thought it looked so neat!



Hibiscus leaf... also, not finished....
Poppy leaves (not finished at all, yet)... These are kind of silvery greenish.  Really fun to paint!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

ONLINE BOTANICAL ART CLASSES

Dianne Sutherland is an amazing talented artist who teaches online botanical art classes throughout the year.  She also teaches hands on classes at different places and even in Portland, USA (which is as close to my neck of the woods as she's gotten so far). 

Right now I'm taking her Drawing and Painting Leaf course and Botanical Illustration course.  Both, I highly recommend.  I've learned a great deal about greens for leaves (which was a huge problem for me before I started the class) and will be learning about painting leaves of other colors like silvery, hairy leaves and autumn reddish leaves, etc.  

For the Botanical Art class she teaches studies pages in pencil and watercolor.  She has great videos demonstrating various techniques.  Teaches watercolor techniques, drybrushing (which I'm wanting to figure out so badly).....  She's wonderful to answer questions and gives truthful advice and commentary about her student's works.  There are dedicated Facebook groups where we all encourage each other and share our work.   It's been a very positive experience and I'm no where near completed.

(for leaf class: accurate measuring and drawing of leaves and then continuous tone shading - which I got some really good feedback from and need to do some work on)

(more accurate measuring and drawing of leaves... I tried to find different types of leaves to practice with)

(a candlestick flower leaf)

(Hydrangea leaf - the painted leaf isn't completed, I still want to add drybrushing to it)

Being on Instagram you find lots of cool stuff!  I came across these handmade watercolors.  There are three main ones as far as I can tell:  "Redwood Willow", "Greenleaf and Blueberry" then "Pfeiffer Art Supply".  You can usually buy from "Pfeiffer Art Supply" with no problem... I don't know if they have more staff and keep up with stock? "Redwood Willow" and "Greenleaf and Blueberry" watercolors are made by just one or so people.  It's plain luck if you get to pick up any of their paints.  They'll post when some will be available and then everyone all over the world at the same time try to snatch up the kits or singles.  I was fortunate to get two colors!
And then a few weeks later last Christmas I was watching and watching the time,... just hoping and praying I'd be lucky enough to get some more.  At the perfect second the products became available I was quick to get one of the kits and in my cart and paid for before the rush of everyone else!!!  An entire kit from "Redwood Willow"!  Whoo hooo!  The whole store was sold out in under three minutes. 

They seem to be more natural colors and as of yet I still haven't painted anything except for a color chart.... But just knowing I have them makes me happy!      As far as "Greenleaf and Blueberry"... no luck there.
I did order a kit from "Pfeiffer Art Supply".  They look like gorgeous colors and more bright.  Maybe better for my botanical art.  I still haven't even opened up the tiny little packages of each color.  I'm saving it for a special day. 


Friday, March 31, 2017

PLANT'S NAME?

Last autumn I was walking around my garden seeing what all was still blooming.  In a far corner under a tree I had planted some flowers a garden friend of mine had given me which I didn't have any idea what any of them were... at the time it was all just greenery.  Well, out of the blue, this little flower was in full bloom!  It has tight little flowers all clustered together .  It reminds me of a type of aster. 
 I painted this one in my Stillman and Birn zeta notebook which is just amazing as I've mentioned before.  I don't know why I don't use it for everything... it's like I hold out for really special things to put in it.   (I'm thinking about painting a protea in it this very day!)

(I paint from looking at photographs.  It's how I've always drawn... drawing from real life is something I should probably practice but with my life as crazy as it is I just can't sit down and have a completed drawing before having to stop and start a dozen times.  The blooms will have already dropped by the time I get done!  The "proper" botanical artists paint only by looking at the plant in real life.  Which I agree you can see much more detail or more 3-d detail than by looking at a photograph and you can get a "feel" of the plant's texture, etc by real life.  That being said, cameras have gotten so amazing in how they can capture the tiniest of details forever!  There is a conversation I started on Anna Mason's website/school about this topic.  She mostly paints from a photograph so she understands my point of view.   I DO like having the plant in front of me while I paint, when possible... just for good karma and it's there if I have a question the photograph doesn't answer for me.....  )

(Finished study of...?.....)