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Category: Peeking Behind the Easel

Iris Painting Update

Posted in Art Work, and Peeking Behind the Easel

Iris Painting Update

The Iris painting is coming along.  The second step of painting after the background color, was to block in the shape of the irises with white gesso. That creates a clean white for the flower color to show up unaffected by the background color. When painting with acrylic paint, the mid tone colors are applied first, then I work towards the darks and back up to the lights. It is a different way of applying colors than oils or watercolors.

The leaves were based with a variety of light and dark greens, the combination of light and dark leaves create depth in the painting.   I chose a maroon red for the flowers because I love red and  I love the way the complimentary red  pops off of a green background.  I've started working towards the dark colors and shadows – take a peek

Meduim tones blocked in, and first shadows applied

Laying in the shadows on the irises help create the wrinkles and ruffles of the flower. The first layer of shadows on the leaves helps to define their depth and movement.  Stay tuned for the next update form behind my easel.

If you missed the beginning of the painting, you can see where it started from here:

Starting A New Painting

Posted in Art Work, and Peeking Behind the Easel

Starting A New Painting

I've started a new painting and thought you might like to follow along from start to finish.  The first thing I do after deciding what I want to paint is think about the composition and mull over colors. Sometimes, I'll sketch out an idea to help refine what I want to do.

Once I have a mental picture of the painting, the next step is gather up the photos, sketches, and other reference material. These help me see the shapes of what I am painting.  Some artist project their references and trace the shapes. I haven't tried that –  I like the process of drawing out the picture. For this painting I am using photos I've taken of irises and relying on years of observing irises up close in my yard.

Yellow Iris

The next step is choosing the size canvas and base coating the background color. I like to paint the whole background to get rid of the white and to help balance colors and tones from the start.  I chose a dark green that will help create depth later in the painting.  After the base coat is dried, I begin sketching right on to the canvas.  I use a pastel pencil or chalk because I can wipe away it away with a wet towel.  This way I can redraw as much as I need to until the composition and the shapes are to my satisfaction.  Here's the start of the painting:

Start of painting on 9 x 12 canvas

Now comes the best parts – painting! Stayed tuned for the next step and a further peek behind my easel.  : )

Moo Business Cards

Posted in Art Work, and Peeking Behind the Easel

Moo Business Cards

I love Moo cards!  I'm not an affiliate nor do I get money from them.  I just love their business cards!  Why? Because you can put a different photo on each card – as many or as few photos are you would like.  They are also  reasonably priced, good quality, and fast.  You can purchase as few as 50 cards or as many as you would like. They also print postcards, stickers, and minicards.

I like being able to quickly show my art work by pulling out my business cards when talking to people. I also think it's fun for my customers to have business cards with my artwork right on the card. If you are an Etsy shop owner, they made it really, really easy to quickly upload photos right from your shop to your cards. If you haven't heard of them – here's a link to take a look:   Moo Cards     This my  new set of cards that arrived this week.

Business cards from MOO

Behind The Easel look at Monarch and Butterfly Bush Painting

Posted in Peeking Behind the Easel

 Behind The  Easel look at  Monarch and Butterfly Bush Painting

My newest painting is finished and matted. I've painted a number of small Monarch butterfly paintings recently. They are such fun to paint.  This time I wanted to paint the monarch on the butterfly bush, with all the wing detail on display,  the way they look in the summer  when they show up in my yard.  The butterfly bushes are not in bloom here and this is where the reference photos and sketch book come into play.

I've taken a zillions photos of the butterfly bush over time. I pulled a few that  showed a single stem up close  to use for this painting. 

Butterfly bush photos

I also pulled out my sketch book that I have detailed the butterfly bush during the summer  for a larger unfinished  painting.   I've seen some artist's "rough" sketches that  are gorgeous  and look ready to matt and sell for a premium price. Mine are not…… not at all.  However, they provide the mechanics of what the flower and stem look like for me. I rough sketch each, and then detail the colors and where the colors are on the flower and how the leaves grow off the stem. These are the finer details that I can't always see in a photo.

Butterfly bush flowers and leaves

Here is the finished painting:

Monarch butterfly on butterfly bush

You can find this painting at my Etsy shop.  And that is a peek behind the easel.