Since I only saw two hummingbirds this summer it took me awhile to get motivated to paint one. The bee balm flowers are from an old photo I took of my brother's bee balm flowers. His flowers always look so nice.
I used a reference photo from Kathy Patterson. Thanks Kathy for a great reference photo. I never can get clear photos of those little guys. Here is Kathy's photo below.
Here is a painting of things I collected on a nice autumn day. I threw in the bright red and green apples and orange paper to add geometric shapes to contrast the beautiful organic shape leaves and pine cone.
The red apple is the star of the show. It just glistens compared to the other objections. I guess I went a little crazy polishing that red apple.
This is a photo of my still life I was working with.
Below is a list of steps for this painting and a little about the thought process I go though.
I start with a simple sketch and then block in the color shapes.
This is fun, seeing how the colors and shapes work together. I am trying to play complimentary colors off each other: blue glass and orange carrots, yellow sunflower and purple turnip / red onion and background reds and greens. My goal is to make this painting very dramatic and powerful.
Blending the whole thing together with a fan brush helps to pull it together. I usually tone my surface first but with this I just jumped in. I little pre-planning was missed but it all worked out in the end.
I start adding detail with the blue glass first and moving to the flower next. I use pre- mix colors for things like the glass and onion. It makes it easier to concentrate on the placement and shape of the color with that done first. Taking breaks every 30 minutes to 40 minutes is very important to keep my energy up and concentration sharp. If I try to rush and push through with out breaks things become muddy and I loose my focus.
Most of the detail is in. Now is the time to really look things over. This is the most challenging part of my process. Right away I am not pleased with the top of the onion blending into the background and the sunflowers look too fake. I need to solve some problems. This is where Corel Paint Shop Pro on the computer helps.
I took a photo of the last step I was on and up- loaded it to Paint Shop Pro. I played with ideas I think might work. I like the way I can try things first on the computer. I save it and use it as a reference. This saves me tons of time and it is fun. We are so lucking to have computers to help with your art. I bet if Rembrandt, Monet or Leonardo could time travel, they would of thought: these kids have it so easy!
Well here is the final painting. The last step is to check everything. I look at every brush stroke. If I do not like it or it looks too muddy I will put a fresh stroke on. I also added glazes if needed. Unfortunately with this painting dog hair was the main problem. I messed up the background trying to get a piece of dog hair off, yikes. So the next day when I was calm and the dog was at the groomer I repainted the whole background. What do you think??
I am on a strawberry roll. Here is another painting from my studio still life(s) using my California Yummy Strawberries! They are being protected my the other fruit but as usual one tries to roll away.
It has been awhile since my last post. I haven't been able to get myself to pick up a brush. That happens from time to time. So I spent my time surfing the net and looking at all the beautiful art work. Usually that gets me going but this time it did not work. Then I started to gather things from the refrigerator and garden arranging some still life(s) and photographing them. I would take maybe 72 pictures to find one or two I liked. I find still life arrangements a lot of work. It is not easy to create compositions that work plus adjusting lighting and strawberries rolling the wrong way.
Well today I started this small one. Tomorrow I hope to added the finishing details: checking the colors and fixing any color that looks muddy and brightening the highlights. It is always easier to do this when the paint is dryer.
Ok, the struggle continues. This morning I spent a couple more hours. I just could not let this painting stay the way it was. Yes the shadow work I did yesterday was better but now the background needed more contrast and the flower's highlights needed to be lighten.
The brightening of the pieces of blue in the upper part of the background really made the whole thing pop. Now I think I can go on but I thought that yesterday too. So you know I am not kidding, I am posting it to Daily Paintworks today if my computer will let me. Computers can be finicky just like artist. Sorry for the long post but I thought you might what to know what goes on in my crazy art world.
I have not done a waterfall in awhile. I forgot how much I love painting waterfalls. I really enjoy the challenge it is to create a wide variety of brush strokes, splashes of opaque color and streams of transparency in the water. Just what I needed to loosen up. This was inspired by a photo by Cindy Crooks from a Facebook page: Photos for Artist. Thanks Cindy for the wonderful photo. I posted Cindy's photo below.
Worked on my painting some more. I used a photo from Jacqueline Francis a photographer who donates photos to be painted. I thought it was a seagull but found out it is a tern. Terns look like seagulls so you can see why I thought this was a photo of one. So now the title is: Your tern to be Life Guard or Tern?
I also noticed last night that I did not lighten up the dark hues. When a camera takes a photo it has the tendency to make all the dark hues the same value. The shadow on the back of the bird of the birds head was the same value as the dark grey on the wing in the photo. It just did not look right. It looked more like a spot of color instead of a shadow. I posted Jacqueline's photo below.
If you are wondering why I flipped it, I just thought it looked better having the focal point ( the tern's head) in a better position in the composition. I wanted the viewer to enjoy all the grass colors before leaving the painting.
Here is a question for everyone: Should I change the title to just Tern?
I took some photos before devouring this sweet treat. I had to swipe a cherry from my husband's eclair to balance the composition and it was well worth it. I think all eclairs should come with two cherries, don't you? Yummy to eat and fun to paint.
I found this little, lovely by the pond. I love how it was basking in the warm, sunlight. The top of the iris was a very peachy, pink while the bottom petals were a soft, light violet. It had such stark contrast of light and dark that I was afraid I might over state it. I will think on this and come back to it tomorrow.
I could not wait until tomorrow. I took a two hour break and I was back at it again. I added a little more contrast to the background to balance the strong contrasting values in the iris. Then I checked all my colors one more time looking for any muddy shades and adding more color to my hues. Increasing the saturation of color in the iris helped warm it up and made it less washed out. The photo below is what I posted first. I hope you can see the difference.
I found this copper kettle at the local antique shop. I am starting to become a pack rat when it comes to still life objects. I hate dusting so they stay in the basement on shelves until I need them. I wonder what other artists do with all the still life objects. Do they eventually end up at Goodwill or in a rummage sale? Maybe I should look into antique shops that rent objects. Well for now this copper kettle was painted once and will probably be painted again. Thanks for viewing my Copper Kettle painting!
I painted this from a photo I took of a tulip in the shadows but captured by a spot of light filtering through the tree buds above. As the wind blew the tulip went from sun to shadow. Since I first saw it in the shadows I decided to call it Shadow Tulip. It was luck that I captured the tulip when the light was hitting it. Thanks for viewing my Spring Tulip of 2017!
This was HARD!!! It took longer and a lot of adjusting. Today I put the finishing glazes on. I used a linseed medium to apply them and opening windows is a must. I do not know what I hate more the odor of varnish or mediums. I tried to use walnut oil but it didn't quite work as smooth as the mediums.
Glazes are made with lots of medium and a little oil paint so they are transparent. Glazes can be used to unify areas where there are lots of color changes in them like the cloth. I used a low key warm violet glazes on the shadows of the cloth. That way they still have color changes in them but they do not stand out as the highlighted areas do. I also use glazes to push areas back. The background color has a white glaze over it. The glaze dulls and lightens the dark color making it recede. So now I am going to take a long walk and breath in some fresh air. Thanks for viewing my painting: Veggies.
Here is my blue bird of happiness figurine again. This time I painted it with some spring blossoms from the tree outside my window. I never get tried of painting this little figurine. Happy Spring Everyone!!