Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sugar Swirl -- Continue with the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge...

Sugar SwirlWatercolor on Arches #140 Cold Press Paper, 8"h x 8"w, 2014 #16

Bid in My DPW Auction ( Starting Bid $85)

My second butterfly painting for Leslie Saeta's "30 Paintings in 30 Days" Challenge for this September. I have painted this butterfly on Ampersand Aquabord and uploaded the image onto my Daily Paintworks Gallery Page, but haven't shared it with you here yet (which I plan to do in the next few days, after the challenge is over). The two surface behaves very different -- Arches are great for wet-in-wet application and colors do not lift from it all that easily, but one has to account for the fact that bright hues dull down quite a bit on this absorbent surface, and compensate for that when laying down colors with stronger intensity when painting; on the other hand, bright colors stay as brilliant as the moment it's laid down on Aquabord, as this surface is not absorbent at all, hence all colors stay on its clay-coated surface and do not sink in. However, this makes glazing a color-covered area extra hard, and its fast-drying surface makes doing thick, juicy wet-in-wet application very difficult. I had fun switching back and forth between the two surfaces, playing with their different properties, which is a great exercise to avoid falling into the crutch of always painting with the same procedure and method... :-)

As I was painting the background greens, I realized that I do have some favorite mixtures that I often go to without thinking, and Hooker's Green + French Ultramarine Blue is just one of them. You can add Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Burnt Orange and Undersea Green to vary the hue a little bit and add more warmth or depth, but starting with Hooker's Green + French Ultramarine Blue almost guarantees that you will get that deep, shadowy green you get when looking at dense foliage that is not in direct sunlight. I learned this combination when I just started painting watercolor, and it has been helpful to me ever since. Of course, this does not mean one should reach out for the same color mixture without actually looking at nature -- it's just a starting point, a jump board for you to use and land onto your own color mixture for every possible variation of the rainbow.

In the mean time, if you have an image of a beautiful landscape, or a flower you like, or anything you might want to see painted, please email them to me at I will paint them and post them here. From every 10 paintings I make from them, there would be a random drawing, and the lucky winner get to take a original back home for free! Interested? Then send me your photo!

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:


  1. Your series of paintings for the challenge has been totally awesome. I thank you also for sharing your green mixtures and helpful information on this post.
    Grateful julie


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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