Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October Marigolds

Hey all!
just a quick update before I get back to painting. (I have A LOT of work to do).
Here is the painting for October of my calendar. Marigolds are the flower for October, and we happen to have a lot of lovely marigolds in our yard, so I was able to get lots of great reference. The birthstone for October is opal, which I ran into problems with. Since I have been painting SO graphically, I wasn't sure how to do opal, since it is iridescent. However, after talking to my sister who happens to have an October birthday, she said a lot of people use rose quartz as the birthstone for October. Because opal does have some pink in it, I thought this was a good compromise for the painting.
What do you think?
 Now on to August!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Illustration Friday: Mirror

I took a break from what I should be doing (my calendar) to illustrate this week's Illustration Friday topic since I really REALLY wanted to. This is an illustration of me and my sister (much younger of course!) I tried adding a little colored pencil to the illustration this time as opposed to only using gouache. Let me know what you think! (I, of course, am the left handed one, and in yellow)
"Elizabeth and Anne had always been told they were mirror-image twins. They, however, didn't really care as long as it meant they always had someone to play with"

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

March Daffodils

It's been a long time since i posted anything here. I have been in a creative funk for awhile, feeling uninspired, and unmotivated. Finally, I felt the need to do something creative again and was able to get a painting done. Somehow, I need to find a way to push through these funks when they happen so I can still paint. Really, once I start, I remember how much I really do love this, no matter how frustrating or tedious a painting can be.
Anyway, I decided to steal an idea from one of my good friends and do a calendar for 2013. (my friend Paule, you can see her awesome work here) . In many google searches, I found lists in various places of monthly flowers. Similar to birthstones, there is apparently a flower for each month. No site seems to agree on what they are, so I just picked my favorite ones for each month.
Every spring I am a maniac with a camera and take tons of pictures of flowers when they first bloom. Because of this I had some great photographs of daffodils. Therefore, for March, I went with daffodils. The birthstone for March is aquamarine so I went with a blue background for the piece.
Here is an abbreviated overview of my process for this painting.
First I picked the photographs.  I like to use reference when working on a flower painting so I used this photograph combined with another. I played with moving the flowers closer and flipping them around and came up with a composition

Then I do a rendered drawing to understand shadows and highlights.
Then I trace the drawing making the shadows and everything into shapes.
From here I do a color comp in photoshop. It's fun because it is kind of like coloring in a coloring book. I usually simplify the shapes at this point of the project. When I am satisfied with the colors, I transfer the drawing to a piece of hot-pressed watercolor paper and start painting.
painting the background first
progress report

And here is the finished product
The scan came out a bit brighter than the actually painting, but I kind of liked it. Daffodils are such bright cheerful flowers it made sense. I realized while painting that my process has become like a paint by number I create for myself. It was a fun realization, and makes me think that those years of doing paint by numbers did not go to waste (just kidding). Sometimes, it does get a little tedious, and I do need to figure out a faster process, but for now, it does work for me so maybe I will just try to get faster.