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.


  1. Wow! So very Pretty! The colors are so nice together.
    question :) do you transfer your line art to the paper?

    1. Hi Nicole! Thank you! I was really happy about the colors too.
      There are a couple different ways I transfer my line art. The first way that I have been using for a long time, is by using a graphite transfer paper, like this you cut it to the size you want, tape it to your blank piece of paper, put your drawing on top, and trace your drawing. The force of the pencil on the drawing will cause the graphite to come off the transfer paper on to your blank paper. The great thing is, you can re-use the graphite paper several times. Now, I have a small light box that I use.

    2. ohhh yes, I remember that technique. thankyou ^.^
      Love it!

  2. LOVE IT!!!!! :)
    I'm quite honored I was a tiny inspiration in all of this! Keep at it, it looks just way too awesome not to see the 12 months.

    1. Thank you, Paule! I am hoping I can get them all done super fast :)
      And I always love your calendars, so I wanted to try it out myself. (actually, all your stuff inspires me :) )