Monday, February 25, 2008

Finished the Butterfly Drawing...

I was nervous about how the background was going to come out, but I went for it and I'm happy with it.
It's nice to have another piece I can call done! Now I just need to find a nice frame for it.

The palm tree painting is coming along, slowly but surely. I hate having a painting on the easel for months at a time, so I really would like to finish it soon. Seems like on the weekend I find myself saying "After I clean the kitchen, then I'll sit and relax and paint." or "After I'm done eating lunch, I'll get a chance to sit down and paint." or "After we clean the entire house, do the laundry, put away the filing/bills, sort the mail, frame these two prints, check the weather, sort the recycling... then I'll finally have some time when I can paint. Oh look, it's almost time to start dinner. Guess I'll wait till after we eat, and clean up......."

*Sigh.* Hopefully I will dedicate more time to it, especially seeing as how American Idol is now on for 16 or so hours a week, and only requires listening, not watching, to get the gist of what's going on.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Drawing!...

Since I'd like to do a little more with local subject matter, I decided to start a drawing yesterday that I had the idea for some time ago. Sadly, the area where I live doesn't much loan itself to tropical subject matter... Although tropical flowers are my favorite subject matter and I strive to share that with people- especially people who may not otherwise get to see such things (or think to look). But I would also like to be able to share things with people that they may see on a daily basis- and give them a chance to see those things in a new light.

So, here we have the Maryland state butterfly (a Baltimore Checkerspot) taking a sip of nectar from the Maryland state flower (a Black-Eyed Susan).

I don't really like it like this against the plain white background. But I'm also really happy with how the flowers and butterfly- the main focuses- look right now and I don't want to add in a background and mess the whole thing up. YUP, I'll admit it: I'm scared.

So I decided to blog instead of working on the background tonight.

I generally think my paintings come out infinitely better than my drawings. But drawings are nice to do once in a while, too. For one thing, colored pencils, paper, and reference photos are so very easy to pack up and carry with you somewhere- on an airplane, outdoors, work (in this case, at the craft store and not my "real job"). I also tend to draw smaller than I paint in most cases- I have a pack of 9" x 12" paper that I use for a lot of my drawings. This means I can finish one much faster than a painting. I can get a drawing done in 8-12 hours most of the time, so it's a good weekend project. I can also easily grab my stuff and sit down at the coffee table in front of the TV, which is sometimes a little easier than hovering over an easel in every position imaginable like I did most of the night on Thursday.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

There will be a treeeee...

On this canvas one day! It's slow going though, that's for sure. Although perhaps the palm fronds won't need as much detail as I'm anticipating putting into them.

I had to start off painting the sky and some clouds for the background.

Next, I painted all the parts of the tree white, so when I add the color- the blue in the background won't show through and make the colors look too dark. The white behind them will, hopefully, keep the colors bright.

I picked up some "hooker's green" (you laugh?)which is a really great color... except it's pretty transparent. That's frustrating because I've had to put multiple layers of it down on the green parts I've painted so that the fronds don't look like a complete mess! Then the green gets too dark. I'm going to have to go in and add some yellows and white and brighten it up now.


In this picture with some green added, you can see that the bottom branches are a lot darker than the ones above them. The bottom branches and fronds have 3 coats of green, while the others have only one. I like the color of the paint with just the one layer of it, so I'm going to keep that in mind. I like finding just the right color, then perfecting that color, so I can keep it consistent throughout the piece.

....Not that plants need consistency, of course.