Sunday, May 31, 2009

Taking Flight

This painting grew from remembering a technique I had seen demonstrated in 1977 by Zoltan Szabo. I wanted a dark but interesting marsh background for the egret rising from the ground.

First I sketched the bird on Arches 300 lb coldpress watercolor paper and applied masking fluid to the the head, body, front wing and the center of the back wing which I wanted to try to depict in motion by lifting the feathers along the edge.

Next I wet the entire piece of paper and applied a couple of staining colors, sap green and winsor violet. I primarily use non-staining colors so that I can lift them, but in this case, I needed stains. I tried not to fill the area I planned to lift with these colors and I also dropped in a bit of non-staining cobalt blue for a hint of sky that might or might not be visible through the grasses. I let the painting dry completely.

Next I used various combinations of French Ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, ranging from brown to deep blue and stroked them vertically and at an angle across the entire masked underpainting. Only small areas of the violet and green remained and the stains gave many hues to the overpainted areas.

Next I lifted carefully marsh grasses from areas where the staining colors were strongest and scrubbed a bit harder on the feathers of the far wing of the egret. When this dried, I carefully removed the masking fluid with a rubber cement lifter, which has now become a tool for lifting masking fluid.

I wet the neck and head and added cobalt blue mixed with rose madder genuine for the shadow. Then used the same color to define the feathers on the front wing..dropped into wet paper..tricky but make the color a bit dryer than the wetness of the paper and it will work. Continued to lift more grass shapes from time to time.

Went to the lower left corner and lifted flat ovals to suggest water..then lifted drops which might have shaken off as the bird takes flight.

Painted the legs a black mixed from French Ultramarine blue and burnt sienna..this color will lift completely, so is great for very dark areas that might need lifting.

Painted the eye yellow and the bill a combination of indian yellow and cad orange with a highlight lifted on top and a shadow underneath with a bit of cobalt/rose madder mixed.

Looked very carefully at my photo with a magnifying glass and painted a dot in the eye and the med darks around it with a tiny brush and a mixture of cobalt blue and burnt sienna.

This is a scan of the finished painting. I have added a bit of yellow and burnt sienna to a few of the grasses and you can see the detailing of the feathers. I had made the farthest feathers fuzzy to suggest movement and lifted a highlight on the black legs. The colors are truer than in the photos preceding and the painting has turned out more striking that I had imagined it. In painting watercolor, there are always nice surprises and you must be ready to wait for them to happen and incorporate them into your original idea...with grace and ease.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The New Romantic Market

I have joined a new market on 1000Markets and we are planning a a grand celebration!

Gala Opening is Celebrated With Villeta Inspirations

The doors of The New Romantic Market are officially open for business. To celebrate our opening, we're creating works of art and artisanal items that are inspired by the photography portraiture of Adrian Villeta.

To add to our celebration, we've invited 1000 Markets CEO, Matt Trifiro to judge our Inspiration Artwork. He will select the piece of Villeta inspired art that best captures Adrian's elegant romantic style. The artist whose work is selected will receive a recognition gift, provided by 1000 Markets store, le enchantement.

You're invited to join The New Romantic Market artists

June 2nd at 7pm (cst) here:

for a live online opening party and announcement of the Villeta Inspirations winner.
Join our party, raise a glass of bubbly and help us cut the 'opening our doors for business' ribbon.

See the 'Villeta Inspirations' entries here:
Be sure to check back as the entries continue to come in and join us for the winner announcement on June 2nd.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Blog Feature

I am excited to be featured on Blue Canyon Arts' blog about the New Romantic Market's opening.