flowers and leaves« Previous Entries
Flamboyant Tree flowers and seed pods (Chapala, Mexico), 9 x 12 inches oil pastels on paper. I started this before ‘Deciduous Forest’, posted previously, so finished it while the resist medium dried.
Transplanting Daisies, 36W x 12L x 3D inches graphite and acrylics on canvas
Work in progress
The idea here was to do a painting similar to “Chrysanthemums”, where one color is hlighted amongst monotones of black and white. Here, green was to be outstanding. Starting the work on a Hansa Yellow Deep background dictated the results though, and at this point it’s not really what I had envisioned. A period of study will help show the direction; either a) it’s finished b) I go with the flow of a full color piece, or c) completely paint over the yellows, outline with black to make greens dominant as initially planned.
Tree fern shadows cast across garden rocks in Chapala, Mexico
I’ve been in Mexico for the past two weeks, so I’ll be contributing more images to the True Colors website (www.trucolors.info), created in 2007 as tribute to the colorful landscapes and cultures here. Developed separately from the other chapters of nikkiartwork.com, True Colors is considered as one complete and independent project. I’ve posted a few more of the recent pieces in this series on nikkiphotography.com
May 18th added a little more permanent green and raw sienna to deepen tones and finish Seasonal, 36 x 24 x 2 inches acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides painted
Process May 12th – 17th images below: 1) May 12th: in progress after 90 minutes. 2) Worked a few hours more. The lower quarter of the painting will be a fairly detailed Lilac, and am leaving the blurry, semi-impressionistic background. 3) May 13th: blocked out shapes and lighting. Now jots of pure color will be added to the main flower to make it stand out from the rest. Tones need some correcting also. 4) May 17th: After 4 days more, the work needs studying before painting anything else. Past the point of no return, meaning: I had hoped to keep this one simple with few brushstrokes and limited palette, but it didn’t work out that way. One stroke over the line! Almost finished…working on the more contrast because the painting is overall flat now.
Detail, left: a damp cloth is used to remove areas of wet paint to soften and create texture, also dripping water over damp paint and scratching with fingernail under a cloth. The painting can hang horizontally or vertically.
Angels Trumpet (Brugmansias) San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas - 14 x 22 inches Watercolors in progress Nov.7, 8, 9th: 1) Upper left detail 2) Upper right detail 3) Lower right detail 4) below, today’s work
I definitely pushed the work too far and am not pleased with today’s results, but on this blog I think it’s really important to show that failures are part of the learning process. Sometimes things turn out to be purely study. I didn’t trust my intuition this time and leave the painting when it was bright and fresh with lots of white paper showing through. While attempting to be bolder than usual with color – recognizing that as a positive step forward here - reworking the surface just made it muddier. I’m more familiar with acrylics properties and having a longer window of time to fix things. Now onto another version of this painting, or another subject, but still in watercolors because it’s time for a success after learning so much with this one.
Trumpet Flowers, San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas -12 x 16 inches value study in progress, Tombo pen wash on 140 lb. WC paper.
The Tombo pen is a two-in-one water-soluble marker available in colors as well as black. One tip is medium-fine and the other looks and behaves like a Chinese paintbrush, where thickness of lines can be controlled. What’s more difficult to control is that black once it’s on the page! The edge of the ledges on the bridge here were much brighter, but I couldn’t lighten them without making a mess of the surrounding areas, so they are OK. It’s something to pay attention to when painting the colored version.
Not much artwork to be posted this past week or for the next two weeks because of all the printing and finalizing details for The Majesty of Trees, so I might as well post another link to the website and promote the show one more time.
Meanwhile, taking photos is still a daily activity because there’s always something beautiful somewhere, and it sure is a nice way to take a break..
The Fourth of July, central detail of 36 x 48 x 2 inches Acrylics on wrapped canvas
Sept 26: Yesterday as I added a few final brushstrokes a blue streak showed up unintentionally from some color left in the center of the brush. It was one of those rare details that happen accidentally to change the course of the entire painting. There are similar angular strokes that were starting to build up from color washes, but that tiny spark of blue brought all the others to attention, so today I added a few more in different colors. It was exactly what I was searching for. It is now indeed The Fourth Of July. Over the course of time I may see areas where more tiny streaks need to be added to balance out the composition, but it’s otherwise finished.
Sept 28: Alright, maybe it isn’t finished after all, but this is the stage where the painter needs to step back, set it aside and start another. Finishing a painting is like a drive through the mountains; you see the enormous mountain before you…seems that you’re so close but because they are so large, as you watch the mountain the illusion is that you are not getting closer. It seems to take forever to reach it, as if you’re on a tread mill.
Finishing is the stage where every single tiny mark makes a difference. You’ll want to rush and make the call, but those final marks can make or break your painting. I was so excited about the sparks of color last night — interesting how you can’t see the field for the flowers if you’re working up close to the canvas too long!
This morning after a bit of study I’m thinking maybe the buds, central foreground, are too defined. I also see too much division over-all, and there’s not as much flow as is possible. I played with some possibilities digitally, right thumbnail.Here is where I will use any feedback and criticism anyone has. Extra eyes are really helpful at this point, so fire away if you have any suggestions!
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