Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunflower Start

I just love sunflowers - they seem to be the joyful expression of summer at it's fullest. I ache to grow them in our garden but, last year, all five of the beautiful sunflowers my husband bought for me to bedeck our front porch were devoured by deer. Being told the deer don't like fuzzy textures, silly me, thought the sunflowers were safe - oh well.
So this is my love affair this summer with the sunflower - in pigment. She's going to be strong and big, measuring 21 x 20 inches. She leans in modesty, like all those quietly baring wisdom and beauty. I'm caputring her in our kitchen, resting in a vase with her smaller peers for background. I want to emphasis the dark lushness of her face with the brilliantly colored petals for her frame and splashing of white sunspots around.

The first image here is the start, where I have traced my image and have applied frisket to preserve the bold whites. I have learned, in the "trance" of painting big, dark, juicey pigments I will paint across those whites if I haven't planned ahead to save them. The frisket is my sure way to secure whites!

Next, you see stage two - where I have completed and dried a loose wash of Aureolin, Thalo Blue and Carmine over the entire painting. This gives a mysterious underpainting that whispers through the upper layers of transparent watercolor. I've also worked in my wax crayon, mostly in pale yellow and whites for this painting. It feels like I will use more crayon towards the end to highlight light areas or add zings of bright color.

And finally, in stage three, I'm developing some underwashes for bigger areas and laying down the background. With these started I can see how deep to go with my values and color compliments.

I'm off to continue my romance with my sunflower. Hope your summer days are filled with somekind of enriching alure with the Many pleasures nature and life avail us.


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