I think I'm finished with this second Oconneechee Pow Wow dancer. I like how his face came out - the clothes could have had a little sharper contrast between highlights and darkest areas, but that can only improve as I go forward! The third Indian dancer is just beginning. LOTS of fringe on him - and bells - he couldn't sneak up on anyone, that's for sure! He was very confident, and so serious!!!
I'm trying to be more careful about creating fabric with at least 3 shades/values and no harsh lines - an ongoing lesson for me. I'm anxious to do the skintones and start bringing him to life - will focus some more on the fabric first, though!
With such a large area of white, I wish I would have masked the pure whites and then wet the entire paper and dropped in the primary colors - and then gone for the shading with neutral colors. Next time! I loved his costume and his attitude! Such confidence and such grace. I hope I captured some of that:
These two pictures were taken at Epcot in Disney World. I'm not sure what kind of flowers they are, but I really liked them! I'm doing two at once so I can use the same colors and make more of a "set" - ya never, someone may have a place for 2! :-) I'm using Arches 140 lb. hot press paper and Susan Harrison-Tustain's techniques. Much slower process, but I love how flowers come out!
Slowly but surely, drop of paint by drop of paint.....doing the backgrounds first so I can really focus on making the flowers spectacular! That's my theory, anyway!!!
I avoided painting wet on wet my entire watercolor career! No control where it goes, bleeds where it isn't supposed to, vanishes in thin air! Well, with Susan's method of priming the paper with water, wait til it no longer shines, prime again and then drop in paint - you do have control - and you can make softer edges, and easily contour shapes. I like it very much! Now on the patience side....it's torture to work for so long and have so little to show for it, but in the end it will be worth it! And I'm loving painting with my old pals Pthalo Blue, Pthalo Green and Alizarin Crimson! They make such great colors! For what it's worth, here is today's progress:
This does not look like 6 hours of work, but it is! Getting closer to working on the actual focal point flowers and hopefully they will come to life!!
There is an old trick....placing red transparency paper over the original source photo and then placing it over your artwork, to see how you are doing on values. It's amazing! Ya stare at something for days on end and can't see the forest for the trees, so to speak! Anyway, I darkened the funky striped things and I think it will make the focal point pop better, once complete. I played with the first layer of reds - many more to go - and did base coat of yellow on the thingies! Technical term for the day.
We're to the half way mark - yay!!! Still fine-tuning the flower, but I'm loving how it's coming out! Another day or two and it will be finished and I will fine-tune and finish the other one. Already planning what to paint next - why can't I just slow down and be in the moment and appreciate each teeny tiny step...type A personality, perhaps?? :-) Here is today's progress:
I have to say this was really fun to paint - just cuz it's so funky! I have no idea what kind of flowers they are, just that they were on exhibit at Epcot during their International Flower and Garden Show! What do you think???
This method still feels like paint by number. I go back and forth, struggling with the pros and cons....look forward to the day when I get to the point that it all just comes together and I don't think about rules and which teacher I'm painting with - I just paint! It could happen in my lifetime!
More progress...still incredibly slow. Pros?? Cons??? If you look at my artwork under flowers, do you see a difference with this wet/lose shine/wet drop method???
Well, here are the two Epcot flower paintings completed. I'm still trying new techniques, and if you don't try something new, you never grow. These will NOT be the best paintings at the Prizery, but they are still fun and different. I will give them that!!!
It's coming along....but honestly not the way that I hoped it would be. Many years ago, I took private art lessons from Leia Thompson-Wood in Martinsburg, WV. She owned a gallery/art supply shop and had, at that time, a 2 year old little girl. We would paint while Abby would nap and my favorite part was if she would wake up and play with me! She'd sit on my lap and help me paint. But what I learned from her Mommy still holds true, and I'm finding myself leaning towards her methods after trying this dot by dot wet/wet stuff. Leia would start with the lights and then slowly build up on the outer edges - each time going further towards the outside and softening the edges of each layer. Serves the same purpose, but some how comes out much more clearer and with more depth.
Oh I feel so much happier painting this next series! I'm a big facebook fan and have a lot of fun with it since my real estate days and keeping up with my much younger than me clients. Now it's an art adventure with artists from all over the world, as well as family and friends. Our Chamber of Commerce posted a copy of one of my paintings that are proudly hanging in the new addition of our library - out of no where - and said folks could buy my art at The Galleria on the Lake. She talked about my Life on the Lake series of events from Clarksville area year round and it made me remember how much I enjoyed doing those. A bit of the historical buildings, and focus on people's expressions having fun.
Here are the first 2 of my next ventures - sketched, masked and underpainted:
First two have next coat of masking on them before I apply the thick backgrounds of prime colors and then use the automizer to turn the edges black. #3 is a day behind - and this time I gave the background a head start with blue on top, lifted a cloud, and then primary colors for the trees, people and grass. Skies come out funky when the primary colors show through them! And the pinks are pretty dark - may have to hit them with stiff brush before applying the next coat. All in a day's work!
Not all things work as planned....
I want a separation here of street, curb, grass and sky. It's going to take another layer or two of grass, curb and street before I can apply the atomizer to create night scene - and that's ok!!!
I didn't use enough water in the paints to keep them wet enough before blending with big brush - and that's OK! Most of the background will be sprayed with black atomizer and hopefully still have the same effect I am looking for.
Much happier with the next round of backgrounds! On the Native American Woman, my atomizer trick didn't do so well to cover the flaws of the first coat. So I did some pouring - learned thru Linda Baker a long time ago and don't do it very often! I wish it stayed as bold and beautiful as it was when it was wet, but it came out much better than previous attempt. I did come in at the end with atomizer on the corners. Second coat of atomizer on Santa's sleigh painting covered a lot more - had time to do shadow on the street and the street. And last but not least, I lifted the grass I painted yesterday, wet the entire painting again and added a little more color to the mid ground of trees/mountains and painted a little fence to divide foreground and mid ground. Not a lot of detail - just suggestion of them in field with hills and sky - much easier to paint than the photo that had hay stacks, trucks, and way too many people that would have all taken away from these four great Native Americans! I'm getting excited to remove the masking and paint the peeps - but truly must let the backgrounds dry completely.
Well, here they are with the masking off. I'm going to finish them separately at this point. The Indian Woman will need to have all her bells masked so I can effectively do the shadowing on her dress. Santa et al are going to be pretty easy to finish - AND I'll have this year's Christmas card done - yay! I'll begin with the flag ceremony from the Pow Wow.
Laid down some more masking and some of the basic colors. Will keep doing this until the colors are filled in and I can go back and work the detail. I'm working from dark to light on the clothes and flags - the skin tones I will come back in and lift and tweak til I think I have them right! This has been a fun painting to do and I look forward to continuing as time allows! I'm really happy with the background. I was able to lift the way too heavy green tone on the grass. Then I put on some sanded watercolor pencils and was able to lift them, too as they didn't have the effect I wanted. Did some sponging and that seemed to work the best - clouds came out kind of misty over my pretend mountains and I like it!
I love the process of masking the subjects and painting the backgrounds first! The downside is that when you lift the masking, most of the sketch marks come off - not good. Mental note - once sketching is done, go over it again with a heavier hand! I could also use masking tape and/or contact tape for the bulk of the subjects and then just mask the edges - but the creates a sharp line in the under painting and that's not good either!! So, doesn't look like I made much progress, but I did go ahead and redraw the main parts of the subjects. Stripes on US Flag needs a lot more contour with shading and lifting - easy enough to do!
Tomorrow is a Holiday - 4th of July - so I won't be painting as we have company and big plans for the day and night! I will get back on this Sunday and Monday and my desire is to have a finished painting of the opening procession of the Pow Wow!
Almost done - yay! And should definitely have it finished tomorrow for end of 30 day challenge. I toss back and forth about doing under painting on clothes or masking all of the subjects. I'm leaning more towards masking all of the subjects. Have two more in the works with under painting on clothes, next time around I'll mask them all. Anxious to work on their hands and faces and bring them to life.
First of all, I am very glad I did this. Tedious as it is, it makes me more accountable and I try to do a better job as if someone is watching! For those of you who followed me, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sometimes feels more like "Diary of a Mad Artist" than a 30 day challenge! As always, I continue to learn with each and every painting. I am grateful for all the teachers in my head that can help me when I get stuck. So many different techniques, and each serves a purpose.
In this 30 day stretch, a woman came into the Galleria and bought 3 - count them - 3 of my paintings and had Linda matt and frame them. Win win for both of us! And, hold onto your horses - she wants me to paint more historic buildings from Clarksville to also display in her husbands dentist office! Was just the boost I needed to keep it up!!! She will have Linda frame them, too, and I love it when we both win. She has been incredibly good to me and so very supportive of me and all her artists!!! Lucky woman, I am!!!
Here is the finished painting of the opening ceremonies of the Occoneechee Pow Wow in Chase City this year:
Andrea Burke, WVWS
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'This world is but a canvas to our imagination' - Henry David Thoreau