I’ve been doing so much freelance design this past month, I’ve barely had time to sleep. It’s wonderful to be busy with paying work, but I’ve missed painting. So, yesterday I was finally able to sit down for a couple hours and add in most of the greens to this piece. I like knowing that at the same time live plants are also coming up in my garden. 🙂
I looked out my window this morning at the snow flying wildly all around (now 6 inches+ deep) and decided I would stay home and paint flowers all day. I’m revisiting some mixed media techniques I haven’t used in many years (watercolor+colored pencil+graphite pencil on bristol board) and I want to make sure I’m happy with the finished effect before I start in on my new farmers market illustration. My overall goal with my artwork, since I took up painting again last year, has been to ‘loosen up’ and be more spontaneous – drawing and painting directly onto the art paper (without using tracing paper) and not worrying so much about ‘mistakes’ or relying on my computer for ‘touch ups’ later. Don’t get me wrong, as a freelance graphic designer, I do LOVE my computer, but with my hands-on artwork, I’m aiming for a more whimsical look (which I have not yet been able to achieve – the control freak in me, always cringing at what I deem to be ‘imperfections’ – but I feel like I’m getting a little closer with each new painting). I have to say…working with these yellow hues really warmed me up today. 🙂
Finished ink drawing and watercolor wash for my Culinary Herbs illustration. The black is separate from the color to make it easier to ‘clean up’ once scanned in and will also allow for printing on other backgrounds. As summer draws to a close I get one step closer to finishing my forever herb garden!
Look what I just found in storage! I painted these for my very first craft show back in 2005…10 years later I’m not so sure about my decision to mount them on wooden planks with twine for hanging (probably why they didn’t sell). But now I’m really glad I still have them because I still love the ‘laid back’ artistic style (which I’m trying to get back to) and now that I have better equipment I can scan them into my computer and sell them as prints. I might just have to re-frame the originals and put them up in my kitchen.
And we have color!! Each of the 6 potted herbs in my painting will have a slightly different shade of green to add complexity & interest to the piece. On this sage plant, I’ve created a subtle textured look by loosely adding in extra layers of the same color (one at a time, as each layer dries) over the initial pastel wash. The fine details of the plant will be brought out with an extra fine black ink pen, once all of the painting is complete. Oh and those ‘brown spots’ on the pots will be rubbed off to reveal pure white paper, creating the look of a painted pattern on each terra cotta pot.
Prep work for my new painting-masking all the areas that I want to remain white so I can paint directly over them, achieving smoother color. I didn’t have any masking fluid on hand when I did my last painting & having to painstakingly work my brush around all the tiny white details was exhausting. It’s well worth the investment of cash (the fluid is a bit pricey but you don’t need a lot of it) and time, since this ‘extra step’ will actually speed up the process later on. When I’ve finished painting, the dried masking fluid will simply rub off with my finger, revealing the white patterns I drew on all the terra cotta pots (there are 6 in all). I’m so excited to see the final results. Let painting commence!