Monday, November 21, 2011

I have found I really enjoy working in a series.  When I find an image I love, I want to play with it in all different media and see where it goes.  With my Patara Rose series (see previous post "Some New Art"), I worked in all different sizes in pencil, watercolor and colored pencil sketches. With this series, I did all three in 9"x12" format. 
This little series comes from a small flower my boyfriend picked and put in my hair while we were in Alicante, Spain, a year and a half ago.  When we got back to our hotel in the evening, I took the flower out of my hair and saw it had started to wilt in the most fascinating way. It wasn't drooping like a sad little thing, it was closing in on itself. I took several pictures right away, because I knew I'd want to draw it later :)

The first image I did was a detailed pencil drawing. Drawing with pencil (not charcoal, although I like that too) is really my favorite medium. I love how you can get such delicate detail with a pencil.  It caters to my artistic OCD ;-)  Again with this pencil drawing, I didn't blend. I just built up the image using light pencil strokes, almost like sketching. You build up the layers slowly with sketchy hatch marks. The pencil does the blending for you. I don't usually like blending with fingers or tortillions very much because it makes the image look too flat. You can get so many ranges of textures without blending. Doing it my way may be more time consuming, but it's really worth it.  For this picture, I used mostly my H pencil with an HB for the very dark areas.  
After I did this pencil version, I decided to do the next one in colored pencil, since I had never really worked in colored pencil before.  I have a gorgeous set of 96 Prismacolors in a nice box and when the new colors came out, I bought those little sets too. I figured it's time to use them!

( I just love those adorable little tins of pencils! God I am such an art supply nerd...) Anyway, this is my first ever colored pencil art. I used a colorless blender a little (only a little) with this one, because I wasn't used to colored pencils yet and I think blending them looks better than blending with graphite pencils. Maybe once I get a better feel for them I won't need to blend so much. I used a variety of blues and purples on the petals. I wasn't worried about being so exact with the colors, I only wanted to have fun with it. For the green parts and the stem was another variety of greens, browns, yellows and blues. I kind of go about my color art like I do cooking. I don't follow the recipe exactly and I don't care what the exact colors are. I get the general idea and just go from there with what I feel like. 
After doing these two versions, I wanted to do one in acrylic paint and loosen up a bit. The first two were very precise and I wanted to do one that was more of a "free spirit" :) I use Liquitex acrylic paints. I used to paint with oils when I first started. (I really love the smell of oil paint. Is that weird?? Oh well, who cares.)  I was living at home still and painting in my bedroom, since college students don't usually have their own studios ;-)  I didn't like the solvents involved though, especially in the same room I have to sleep in, so I decided to switch to acrylic.  Acrylic paint doesn't smell as good as oil paint though...Anyway, I don't remember the exact color combinations I used but the background is Turquoise Deep. It's a very transparent color so you need several coats of it to get it dark, or add a little white to make it more opaque. The rest is a variety of purples, blues, greens, browns and yellows. I can't say I'm honestly in love with my acrylic version and I'd like to re-do it (someday...) but here it is anyway!
I love the colors I chose, especially the background turquoise. The petals are still a little too exact and the stem and green  leaves are too sloppy in my opinion. Loosening up is still hard for me, I'm not sure exactly how to let go of my art OCD. Whenever I try to just let go, it still looks too exact. I have to work on that...;-)

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