Sunday, October 27, 2013

Obviously...


Sometimes it takes an example of the obvious for me to "get it".

This week I have been working on this small sunflower painting...


So far there's a little masking fluid (the green dots and lines) to preserve some white paper and a little bit of paint on the petals.

But something isn't quite right. Time to take a close look at my reference photograph (one my watercolor teacher, Caroline Linscott, loaned me).


Ummm. What's wrong with this picture?

Could I please be excused from this blog post? Really. I do not want to confess that I seriously did not notice *ahem* the placement *cough* of the... stems.  Oops...

Upon turning the painting right side up, I did noticed two things.


  • The placement of the shadows that I had deleted from my sketch now made perfect sense.
  • And, the basic sketch was in major need of a drawing overhaul.

My own words came back to haunt me: "Your painting will only be as good as your drawing." "Your sketch is the foundation to your painting." "Make sure your 'map' is accurate before you pick up a brush."

Never mind that I have said that many times. Never mind that I have had instructors tell me the same thing. Never mind that, in the back of my mind, I hear that when I start a painting. Never mind that I have previously regretted putting brush to paper before pencil had finished it's job.

Never mind that it will take way longer to fix my hasty painting start that it would have taken for me to do a good sketch in the first place.

How embarrassing.


I repeat: Sometimes it takes an example of the obvious for me to "get it".

To do something right, I have to start right. I have to follow my reference photo and make sure that I am accurately recording not only where each petal is, but where each highlight and shadow is on each petal.

And I'm pretty sure that it helps to have the stems heading towards the ground, too. Obviously!

Oh, and I'm also pretty sure that life is a lot like that, too.

 
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish;
and no one will snatch then out of My hand.
 
John 10:27-28

Following the Lord Jesus,
Kathy


16 comments:

  1. I didn't notice the stems until you pointed them out, either... ;)

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    1. haha! Of course I noticed them in the middle of watercolor class... LOL and I am so quiet about discoveries like this! It was definitely good for a comic interlude. ;-)

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  2. The wonderful thing about being an artist is - the license you get :)
    I find your alternate view quite appealing! (and would have done a landscape format myself)
    Coming along beautifully!

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    1. I really thought about keeping it horizontal, but the shadows do make a lot more sense in the vertical view. lol - less confusion could be a good thing! Thank you! I am enjoying painting flowers with Caroline as they are a specialty of hers.

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  3. I think your painting is wonderful so far! Maybe some unintentional things are happening. However, who knows, maybe it will be even more beautiful than the original plan.
    I like what you've said about the pencil lines being a map and will now use that when teaching art to kids.

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    1. Thank you! I did keep some of the extra flourishes that I added to the petals. Sunflowers always seem like they are exploding joy to me, so I did get a bit exuberant in some areas. =)
      I have used that illustration when teaching and doing demonstrations - I think it is something that almost everyone can understand.

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  4. LOL! I think it looks great turned on its side :) I didn't notice the stems until you pointed them out either. I say go with the flow and make it work sideways :)

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  5. Hahaha! I thought the sunflowers looked odd pointing up! Glad you figured it out and your painting is looking lovely!

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  6. Wow - interesting. Ahem. So, check out my favorite painting of your Mom's - you know the one I mean! LOL!! Hey, flowers grow weird sometimes, right?

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    1. LOL - yes, I should have just copied hers in watercolor! haha

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  7. Since I cannot sketch or paint, I couldn't tell there were any mistakes.

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    1. Well, hopefully when it's all done they won't show too bad! lol

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  8. lol Glad you got it figured out. I bet it will be beautiful!

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    1. Awww - thanks! It's a fun one to paint even if it doesn't turn out right. lol

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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