Friday, August 3, 2012

Work in Progress: Sun Dance (Getting Close to Finish!), and Wild about Tropics...

I've been trying to finish "Sun Dance" without rushing it, adding layers upon layers of yellow glazes comprised of Aureolin, New Gamboge and Quinacridone Gold to try to recreate that glowing, velvety color of petals on paper. On areas that a purple tinge stubbornly keep on showing up, I have resorted to glaze with Cadmium Yellow, which is more opaque and therefore have a good unifying effect. The biggest struggle is trying not to lay any layer down too thickly -- which makes the yellow look opaque and muddy. Yellow has limited covering power and sometimes up to a dozen glazes are needed to reach the desired color strength. It is a very testing process to one's patience...

Sun Dance,  Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 8"h x 8"w, WIP 7

Waiting for the yellows to dry, I've also managed to start several small pieces of tropical flowers. The one with bird-of-paradise in close-up, I've tried to lay down all the background foliage patterns in one wet-in-wet application, while the one with heliconia (photo curtsy: the wonderful blog "Digital Flower Pictures". Thanks a lot for allowing me to use your beautiful heliconia photo as reference!) I'm trying to go slowly and take the layered approach. This is an experiment for me to figure out which one produces the best balance between interesting abstract shapes -- which often happens when you let watercolor flow on wet paper by itself without much interference -- and the hint of foliage -- which requires more careful planning and application. I will share my discovery with you here in a couple of days, hopefully... ;-)

Jungle Fire, 
 Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 8"h x 10"w, WIP 1

Heliconia Dance,  Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 7"h x 5"w, WIP 1


  1. I think this is coming along beautifully! I love the shadows on the petal from the center stamens too. The colors are exquisite on your WIP.

  2. This is truly spectacular, Arena!!! I know how difficult it is to create plausible shadows in yellow. You really and truly have done a superb job! I bow to your talent!

  3. Arena your patience is paying off so well, this is looking gorgeous! I always marvel at your abstract and flowing backgrounds with just the right amount of detail in the flower. But yes it is a test of patience isn't it? All that glazing. But worthit in the end.

    And CONGRATULATIONS on your first Etsy sale!!!!!!!!!! :D that is SO exciting isn't it? And you deserve it Arena, this is just the first of many to come I'm sure. I'm glad I could be helpful in any way, but it was your hard work that brought it to you. :)))) (been meaning to email you abou this but decided to just leave you an epic comment instead :)

  4. Gorgeous paintings Arena. Love the exploding colours!

  5. Hey Arena -- So I just got in from working out and am a sweaty mess (probably more information than you wanted to know -- and DEFINITELY more than what I should be leaving as a public comment) . . . but my point is, I have to make this comment short because I need to go clean up --

    THIS IS FREAKIN' AMAZING! Ditto to all that Crystal said -- (except about the part about helping you with Etsy -- since I didn't and don't know anything about Etsy) ha! :) I can't believe how stinkin' good you are! This painting blows me away!

    Ok . . . now I'm going to go shower. :)


Thank you so much for taking time visiting and commenting on my blog! Your feedback and encouragements are things that keep me going with I am feeling down or frustrated... I will try my best to reply to every comment ASAP but sometimes life gets in the way and I am a bit slow in my response. I would like to apologize if that happens...

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