Sunday, April 6, 2014

Exuberance in the Studio

So glad that you are visiting my blog; if you haven't been here in the last few days, please scroll down a few screens to see the first steps in the process of creating the painting "Exuberance" which is one of two paintings that has moved to the third level of judging in the World Watercolour Competition sponsored by The Art of Watercolour magazine published in France.

So to continue:

7th Step Tulips 
 Painting the Tulips Reflected in the Mirros

I decided that I would paint the reflected tulips first so that I could better judge how saturated and warm the "live" tulips would need to be. And also, I couldn't wait to paint them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  At last - the darks! I love painting the darks, especially when I know that this will really make the tulips more three-dimensional. I painted this wash in one step. I mixed alizarin crimson, phthalo blue red-shade and phthalo green to make a deep black. 


 Am I Done Yet!

I liked the abstract shapes under the tulips but the color combination just did not work, even though in theory (and planning) it sounded good. So I made the decision to change the gold on the right corner to dark red, and add a dark red strip to the gold band on the left.
Much better!



Not the end of the story, though. The day this painting arrived back at my studio from the Rhode Island Watercolor Society's National Exhibition, I took one look and removed it from the frame. I spent a few hours removing the white line that you see to the middle left of the painting. It was the edge of the mirror and it had seemed like a good idea to include it. But there is nothing like a fresh eye to make an error pop out at  you. The line drew the eye right to it, which was definitely not good design.
It wasn't just a case of painting over the white line. I softened each edge, and then repainted each shape in the mixture of colors that I had originally used. 

Here's the final painting:


It is never too late to make a change! I hope that you agree that the painting was improved with the loss of the line.

Next time I'll show you the process of creating "Tea and Sushi", the other painting that is continuing in the World of Watercolour Competition. 
Hope you'll come back, and please do leave comments or questions. I'd love to hear from you! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Great News! The World of Watercolour Competition

I am so excited to learn that two of my paintings have moved to the third level of judging in the World Watercolor Competition sponsored by "The Art of Watercolour", the watercolor magazine published in France. I wanted to share this with you, and so I thought that it may be interesting to you to see the steps in the creation of these paintings.  

My First Reference Photograph
I decided to put the set-up on a mirror. These are the two photos that I used for my composition.

   I began the drawing with the central tulip. I knew that if I got the size of it correctly, I would be able to relate all of the others to it.
I decided to paint the colorful facets of the vase and the fabrics around the vase and tulips first. This would frame the tulips and I thought it would be helpful in judging where to go next in the painting.
Green was introduced into the negative spaces around the subject. I knew that using the complement of the rose and reds of the tulips would set up a "color interaction" between the reds and the green.

I continued with the patterns on the fabric. Perhaps you can see the value changes in the folds of the fabric. I painted the shadows in the folds using a wet in wet technique, and after that was dry, the stripes and flowers, and also the geometric patterns were added;
I was also careful to change the colors and values of the strips as they moved from the light into the shadowed areas.



I'll continue this demonstration tomorrow. Please leave me a comment if you have thoughts about it.