Painting number fifty in the Fifty at Fifty series. I did it!!!! Woo-hoo!!!! This is another rendering of the lovely tulips from my dear husband.
Working on this series of fifty paintings has been challenging, absorbing, educational, fun, and very very rewarding.
So here you are, painting #50 in the series, “Graceful Tulips.”
"Graceful Tulips," watercolor, 7x10"
Another play for the African violet plant. #40 in the Fifty at Fifty series.
African Violet No. 3, watercolor on paper, 6" x 6"
When you’re painting faux marble, granite, or other stone, you can try to go realistic: mimicking a “real” type of stone, or you can create “fantasy” stone, which suggests stone but is not based on any real sample.
The same goes with painting other subjects, like flowers. After struggling with the orchids for many days, I needed to loosen up again and went back to my wild geraniums. Yet it wasn’t working to try to duplicate the actual colors and shapes that I saw in nature. Thus, “fantasy flowers.”
Pink Flower, 2 1/2 x 3 1/2", watercolor and India ink on paper.
"Purple Flower," 2 1/4 x 2 1/4", watercolor and India ink on paper
I have been working on an orchid painting and it’s been a challenge. So much so, that I wanted to quit painting altogether! This is the first subject that I’ve tackled where I just cannot “get it” even after many tries. Thoughts:
My impulse is to paint it with technical accuracy, but with all the strange whorls and tiny details, I can’t quite wrap my mind around the shapes.
The color is a vivid, almost unnatural, blue, with white edges.
Usually I get a mental lock on a subject and then can run with it freely in the painting, which gives the painting a more natural, artistic feel. With this orchid, the shapes elude me so I keep trying to clunk it out and the resulting painting is less than artistic.
Here’s a photo.
Blue orchids cluster
A beautiful photograph, but for me, for painting? A visual mess.
The challenges here are many. Blue and yellow that must not combine to make green. A portion where you can see through the parts of the flower to the background. Delicate “whiskers.” Many exquisite curves.
I’ve decided to take a break from this subject and work on a few others — to get my confidence up again!
I promised a few larger paintings, and here’s the first. This scene is at Miller Mesa, just outside Ridgway, Colorado, the photograph taken by my dad. I’m pretty happy with the finished painting. I took my time and worked in sections: First I masked the fence, then worked foreground and sky, mountains, midrange, and finally foliage detail. I worked the fence in three or four sessions, letting the layers dry in between and letting it “rest” so I could see it better. This is Fifty at Fifty painting number 27.
The key learning experience in this painting was that I waited till the entire painting except the fence was finished before I removed the mask. The patience paid off because it left me a clean, clear surface to work on.
"Miller Mesa," watercolor, 8x10"