Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spring Breeze II (Finished!), and the Start of a New Orchid Painting

Have you ever felt that the last 10% of a painting always takes forever to finish? I literally worked on "Spring Breeze II" for the whole day today! True, there is only the flower in the center of focus to be completed, but that has taken forever... I think the outer most pedal on the right may still needs some work, but I decided to call it finished for now -- waking up with a fresh eye is generally better for evaluation of whether there is anything left to be done on a painting, and not doing so have costed me dearly before. So, here it is:

Spring Breeze II,  Watercolor on Arches 140# Rough Paper , 7"h x 5"w, 2012 #9


I found out that colors do not appear as brilliant on rough paper, which is a problem. On the other hand, I really like the velvety look of the tulip pedals -- which is characteristic of thickly layered passages on rough paper. Pros, cons, well, maybe I will give this paper another try...

Since I was only working on a small section of this painting, I had to wait for the paper to dry each time I add a color passage. So, in between drying time I started this little painting of an orchid. I tried out some granulating pigment combinations for the shadows on the pedal -- Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Violet and Aureolin Yellow. I loved the results. The veins of pedals were pure Cobalt Violet, and the patters on the inner pedals were a mixture of Permanent Rose, Opera Rose and Cobalt Violet.

For the background, I did not do my usual wet in wet song and dance. Instead, I decided to try out a method I recently learned from a book written by the fabulous artist, Thomas Aquinas Daly -- layering alternatively warm and cool colors and watch closely to control the hue, value and temperature of each area. The layered paints has formed some interesting subtle textures that I want to keep... We'll see.

Dancing Orchid,  Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico #140 Cold Press Paper , 6"h x 6"w, WIP 1


  1. I love Thomas Aquinas Daly too. Some of his paintings are so soft and subtle, yet rich. Yes, I agree with you - the last 10% can be a time consuming challenge. Nice work is the payoff though.

  2. Arena, to my eye, the tulip is divine! The orchid is already fascinating. And I agree about the 10%; I've been working on the last 10% for 3 days now ...


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