Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sanchez 50-50: Delphinium Blue

I spent more time planning the composition of this painting today than actually painting it -- at this stage it is just the first layer of wet-in-wet underpainting of both the main flower stalk and the background. Ideally, for tall, slender groups of flower like the foxgloves and delphiniums, the best format of paintings should be vertical. Due to the specific size constraint of the 50-50 project, this is not an option. Therefore, in order to break the monotony of parallel stalks of the main flowers and the buds, I deliberately tipped them over so that the direction of the stalks are forming an oblique angle with the sides of the paper. This creates more interest than letting the stalks go parallel to the edge of the paper, thus dividing it to a couple of vertical bands. This also allow a longer portion of the stalks to show in the paper surface. I am quite happy with the resulted composition.

For the background, I first painted a variegated wash with Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine, Permanent Magenta and Dioxazine Violet, repeating the colors appearing in the flowers. After it dried, I reassessed and realized the background is too empty if I just layer it with amorphous washes, and decided to draw in more impression of leaves in the shade. They will be painted wet in wet to produce a soft-focus effect, thus not competing with the main flower in the foreground. We'll see how that goes...

Blue Delphiniums, Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, WIP 1

On the business end, I've been working on my etsy shop front! I've got some very valuable advice from the wonderful Crystal Cook, whose etsy shop is truly a sight for sour eyes. I think etsy is a wonderful way of reaching a large base of potential customers, however, to differentiate one's shop from 400,000 other merchants there and be found by the ones who are looking is not an easy job. I am spending a lot of time crafting my artist's profile and the overall descriptions of the works sold in my shop. I am debating over whether to include prints in the shop or only sell original paintings, and right now I am settling on including prints of only the larger, more expensive works (11" x 15" or larger). The prints would be printed on-demand from Fine Art America, which is a wonderful website for artists to customize prints on a variety of surfaces, including canvas, and to produce affordable note cards. I just started to set up my account there following the advice of fellow artist Irina Sztukowski -- so many wonderful venues to explore, so little time! What is your favorite online (or offline) venue of art sales? Please share ;-)


  1. Hello Arena:) Oh, this is going to be a beauty again. What a nice colors and the flower is, as usual, perfect!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, renate. I love blue flowers and I'm really trying to test out different techniques on this small paintings. Fingers crossed that it would turn out as I've hoped for...


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