Flowers in Oils and Acrylics

Pink rose study.
Pink rose study. Wanted to add more depth to the rose so here is my re-worked example.
Oil on 8x8 deep canvas
Oil on 8×8 deep canvas
Acrylic on 8x8 deep canvas
Acrylic on 8×8 deep canvas
Painting for a friend...
Painting for a friend…

As you can see I love flowers! One of my fondest memories was as a little girl helping my Mom plant and tend to her flower beds. One of my favorite flowers was her roses. She only had one rose-bush which she received from a neighbor. I can remember watching with great anticipation for the first blooms of the season to arrive. Still to this day the rose is my favorite flower. I have several different varieties in my garden each beautiful in their own unique way. I know I can never expect to capture its true beauty for God is the only one that can do that.
One of my other favorite flowers is the hydrangea. Hydrangea needs an acid well-drained soil and Corpus Christi is humid and the soil is mostly very dense clay. So it wasn’t until we moved to the Texas Hill country, which has a drier climate, that I first encounter the majestic hydrangea. I fell in love with the way the flower would change colors during its bloom cycle. But the most wonderful part was how well they dried. I have vase’s full of dried flowers that I enjoy all year-long. I hope my flowers give you the inspiration to try painting some of your favorite flowers as well.

Painting “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”

Living the good life!
Living the good life!

Thought I was finished with this painting “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”  till I got up the next morning and took another long look and realized I wasn’t. I haven’t painted much with acrylics, and didn’t know, as they dry they become darker. I soon recognized I no longer had enough contrast in my values which caused the painting to appear flat. I also saw I didn’t have the 3rd dimension represented either, so I added some distant trees and foliage. It is surprising what you can see after you get

lower left side
lower left side

away from a painting for a while. At this point I was sure I was ready to sign and frame, but I was wrong. After several more days of staring and tweaking I decided it was good?? That brings up a good question, how do you know when a painting is finished? One I have asked myself many times. There is no one answer for everyone but some of my favorite are: This one was surprising to me, “when it is no longer yours.” LOL! I guess that is one way to be finished.. Another good one is “when you can’t find anything that bothers you”. I suppose the best one for me is “it’s not finished till I say it is.” After all it is your decision, you created it and no one can tell you when it is finished… I know some of you are probably thinking, how did I come up with this subject and arrangement and why did I name it “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”? The truth is it started off as a field of wild flowers and slowly evolved into something totally different. I didn’t have a photo to use so I had to use my imagination. I knew I wanted some daisies as one of my main flowers. I have a lot of flowers on my Pinterest board so I went to it and found all of the flowers I needed. Pinterest is an excellent place to keep things you love and what a great place to save photos for inspiration. Then as I got busy painting flowers I knew I should be thinking of composition, which is not something I have much, if any, knowledge in. So I went to YouTube and searched composition videos. It seemed like the rule of thirds was the simplest so I went with that. After I figured out where the center of interest should be located I knew I needed a little bird to fill that position. As I stumbled thru my process the painting began to reveal its self to me and it’s story began to unravel. I learned a real important lesson in that moment. If you allow your imagination to take over your hand will manifest it in paint. This is what I saw in my mind, I was standing on the edge of a lush forested mountain overlooking a deep foggy valley. In the distance I observed a little bird who was taking a break, from sitting on her eggs, she was hungry and needed to grab a bite of breakfast. She flutters over to the nearest branch where she finds some very tasty ants. She thinks to her self, what a special place to live and raise a family. Life is good for her on Mount Tiffany. Yes now you know why I name this painting “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Well I can’t tell lie, my husband looked at the painting and said he had the perfect name for it. “And now you know the rest of the story.” Till next time, my wish for you is to find your Mount Tiffnay…XOXO’s Barbie

distant leaves and trees
distant leaves and trees
close-up
close-up

Study in Water-Color and Acrylics

Reverse painting technique

Reverse painting  technique
Reverse painting technique
Rose
8×8 Acrylic on primed panel

 

Decided to post both paintings a study in water-color and acrylics   at the same time.  On the water-color my goal was to  become familiar with mixing colors to keep the clean fresh look that makes water-color so beautiful.  It’s not easy and I find myself getting a little stressed over it all.  I know the more I practice the easier it will become, so plan on doing a lot of these little studies to help me with color mixing.

Water-color is fast becoming  my favorite medium.  It is also the most challenging medium for me.   With that being said I love a good challenge .  As I look at it I am thinking the pomegranate needs to be a shade or two darker to make it stand out from the rest of the painting. It helps to take a picture of your painting and study it, somehow it allows you to  see problem areas that you didn’t see before.  If I decide to make a change in the painting  I will post the two versions side by side so you can see the differences .

The second study was done in acrylics on a primed 8×8 board.  I have been trying to learn how to paint a rose for a while and I still don’t have it down but feel like I am making progress every time I try to paint one.   I am using the David Jansen, hope I spelled his name right, acrylics which has a long open time.  He worked with Chroma for 18 months developing  this product and mixing the colors.  If you are interested in learning more about his paints check out his videos on YouTube.

Stayed up too late last night so am not going to bore you with more of my babbling.  If you have any questions please contact me or post a comment.  If you would like to be notified when I post a new piece of art please sign up in the subscribe box.

 

 

Prairie Dog Love

Who knew Prairie Dogs were so loveable!
Who knew Prairie Dogs were so loveable!
Here is the picture of the frame I had such a hard time getting right.
Here is a picture of the frame I had such a hard time getting right.

?Why did I decide to paint Prairie Dogs

The answer is my sister had three Prairie Dogs she loved very much.  They have since gone to Prairie Dog heaven.  It was her birthday so I looked on the web to see if I could find some photos for reference and came across several cute ones capturing their loving personally.  I was inspired so I sent them to her and she picked this one.  I added the greenery and flowers which I found to be more challenging than painting the Prairie Dogs.  It has been a real labor of love and have learned a lot about mixing colors and values.  Each painting I do I learn so much about color.  Color mixing is certainly my greatest challenge and I am realizing I need to take time to just sit down and do a color chart using the three primary colors to become more familiar with how to combine them to get the colors I want.  It is not as much fun as painting but I think I would have more fun, as well as success, if I took the time to do it.  I used acrylic with a retarder and glazes to allow me the time to blend them like you would with oils.  I have found acrylics to be a very challenging medium for an old oil painter.  I love the fact you do not have to wait days to let your painting dry in-between layers and the toxic mediums you have to use but to get the effect of oils with acrylics is something I am working on.  I know you can do it but I have not perfected it yet.  I decided to use some 300 lb. cotton rag paper since I was having trouble using it for water colors.  It worked great!  My husband had made me some flat frames and it fit perfectly after I got my matte and glass cut to size.  I knew I wanted to paint the frame black, but was not sure what else I wanted to do, if anything.  Went to the craft store and got some black caulk paint, I knew it would be good choice for adding some flowers to my frame.  I had this idea in my mind I thought would work beautifully but when I finished I did not like it so back to square one. The painting and frame are finally done and I am happy with the results.  Hope it will make her smile every time she looks at it.