Poppy bought me tulips last week and I have been painting them everyday. I am still using the watercolour pens and have had a lot of fun experimenting with them. This time I did full sketches with the pens first, blocking in all the colours, and then went back in with a brush and water. The sketches look just like sharpie sketches so it feels like a natural next step from what I was doing with sharpies.
It actually reminded me of those “just add water” colouring books that I did as a child where the pigment was dotted on the picture and adding water turned them into watercolours. So much fun! I loved those books.
Here is the watercolour pen sketches pre-water, taken in not such great lighting but oh well, the sketches no longer exist so this is all I have.
At long last, a blog post! It seems that I took a month off from my blogging to do some gardening. I still haven’t bothered to fix my laptop, but It’s been fantastic; I might need to do this every spring. I had a garden to-do list for today too, but then I ended up just sitting and looking at the garden. I started taking some photos, and then thought that I really should be doing some sketching on a beautiful day like this.
The first sketch is the bouquet that Poppy made for me (with geranium flowers she collected off the ground at the greenhouse we went to on the weekend). The second sketch is the view from my shade garden in the backyard underneath the lilac–which is where I will be going right back to now :)
Another commission done for a friend at work. Now this one I did get done in a reasonable amount of time because when she asked for a painting of Irises, the Irises in my garden were in full bloom and I knew that they didn’t have many days left. And sure enough they were done only a few days after I finished this.
I was going to do a “quick” study in watercolour of this still life and then a second painting in oil, but the so-called “quick” study ended up taking me a few hours to do so I only have the one painting. I’ll have to see how long the flowers last so I could maybe do a second painting from them. I always feel satisfyingly thrifty when I get two paintings out of one bouquet — like I got a really good 2 for 1 deal — even when I get the flowers for free from my garden.
A lot of mucking around on this one–lots of “erasing” with water and layering back up again. A bit too much playing since the paper in the background started to get a bit fuzzy, but it was fun; I learned a couple new things about working with watercolour and just how much you can work and rework areas (which is quite a lot…).
After finishing the acrylic painting I did of these tulips (see the previous post here), they were still going strong so I decided to take them to the downtown studio on Sunday. However, the very warm day and very warm drive over to the studio proved to be a bit too much for them. By the time I got there the tulips looked ready to fall apart, but I decided to paint them anyway since they had very beautiful form in their bedraggled state. The funny thing is that now that they are back home they are once again standing up, and the dark orange veins that had appeared have lightened back to yellow. Fascinating.
My tulips are finally up! I actually painted this to submit for a show at the library where I work; this year the Calgary Public Library is celebrating its 100th birthday and they have invited staff members to submit art for display at the central branch for the month of June. I was planning to do this still life set up anyway, but then since it is (hopefully) going to be for the library show, I decided to add the paperback and coffee cup.
It is also an invented scene since the reflections on the curtains behind the tulips didn’t actually exist in the still life. When I thought I was finished the painting, I took it in the living room to look at it; and a reflection from the venetian blinds in that room was cast onto the painting. I thought it looked phenomenal so I decided to paint it into the painting. This is something I have been playing with for a while–photographing reflections that land on my finished paintings and then painting them–but this is the first (what I call “reflection painting”) that has been this successful.
A flower from my Valentine’s bouquet. There were burgundy and pale yellow carnations in the bouquet and I was in love with the yellow ones.
Though I had a terrible time trying to capture that pale yellow in my painting. It took me most of the afternoon and this was actually the third painting that I did. In the first two I kept killing the lovely lemon yellow colour with the white paint. In this one I used no white, just a lot of water to make it light and still keep the brightness of the yellow.