I finished Michele's Bluebonnet and Indian Paintbrush today, and I love the way it turned out. I hope she does too. All it took was removing the masque from the bluebonnets and adding some small details.
Rather than finish the bluebonnet, I have moved to the tiny hot pink sections of the Indian Paintbrush. Watercolor must be VERY dry before you paint some more right next to it, so I use an every-other-petal pattern when I paint wildflowers. This keeps the colors from mixing or from creating a "blossom" or "cauliflower" where one color drifts into the same color next to it. I also like this method, because as I continue to mix up small batches of color, they all come out a little different, so there is great serendipitous variety in the petals.
I had a great Paint Day with my best Paint Friend yesterday, so made some good progress on Michele's commissioned Bluebonnet and Indian Paintbrush. A sketch, masque, dark green lower background, then a "wet" lighter mix of yellow and green for the upper background. Last photo shows some blues starting to fill in on the bluebonnet.
When someone commissions a painting based on an existing piece of art ("I want something like that") I still have to find a reference photo, because working from another painting is an invitation to lifelessness in art. But the Bluebonnet and Indian Paintbrush photo seems to be long gone. Or maybe it predates my digital files and I am unwilling to sift through boxes... So I hunted for a great new photo with both of those flowers and did not find one. If I can't take a really fabulous one in the next few days (thank goodness they are both in bloom!) then I will need to combine two shots. On the top are the current candidates. But one is more of a close-up than the other and the light comes from different directions. So on the bottom, you will see that I have flipped and shrunk the Indian Paintbrush.
Just for fun: I did a tiny watercolor portrait of my sister-in-law, close up! When I told her I would make her a 16x20 painting for a birthday/housewarming gift, she wanted it reproduced in acrylic, with her favorite lipstick color and the shadow of her lips in Sherwin Williams Radish Red, to match the room paint! Next on the agenda, some wildflowers, finally! I will be doing a small commissioned Bluebonnet and Indian Paintbrush. Stay tuned for details!
One more flower on the right for balance, then thier masque comes off too. Some details on the flowers and a ton of work on those little rods and buttons that had been masqued out on the saxaphone itself. If you are in south central Texas, go to the Fredericksburg Art Guild this weekend to see this painting as part of their Rythem and Blues April show.
Several layers of color on the sax, then the masque comes off! And the bluebonnets go in the horn. Have I mentioned my new respect for anyone who can play a saxaphone? They are chock full of little buttons and tabs and tiny arms that attach to flapping hole covers. It took me a long time to get all the details on this. I can't imagine learning to play one. (like my sweetie, Doyle does!)
This is going to move fast because I am up against a deadline. Luckily, time has been set aside, because I knew it was coming. First step is a sketch, some blue shadows and a LOT of masque. some is the liquid you have seen me use before... and some is a special tape that has been cut to the right width for the many metal bars that adorn a saxaphone. Second step is a layer of the lightest color (other than white) that I can see in the metal of the saxaphone: pale yellow.
One of Paula's Facebook thoughts was pretty close to what I was toying with for the April focus at the Art Guild, so I went ahead and did a couple of ACEO (baseball card sized) studies for something I call Springtime Blues. There won't be room for a subtitle, but in my head the subtitle is, "It is hard to work up a good case of the blues during spring in Texas!" Nan Henke
After almost 20 years of Industrial Engineering, I decided to try to align my life with my values and priorities. Now I am an artist, part time ranch worker and part time church staff (strategic planning). That leaves almost no time for housekeeping, which is fine with me and my dust allergy!
My art business is called Texas Hill Country Art, and I mostly paint Texas wildflowers, landscapes, animals and such. I often paint commissions of people's favorite vacation photos.
Watercolor and acrylic paintings are also available in a greeting card format. ACEOs (baseball card sized paintings) are sometimes studies for my big paintings and sometimes just silliness, like my Ballerinas in Trouble series.