Sunday, September 23, 2012

Autumn Sunshine - Part 2

Fall started yesterday, so I figured it was time to finish up my sunflower table. Last blog I had the pattern drawn and transferred to the table using white chalk. This provided me with a great outline that can be dusted off and not become a permanent part of my painting. If more detail is needed for a pattern, chalk is not the method to use. This sunflower painting was not planned to be detailed, but a whimsical painting of a fun flower.

I used the following colors of acrylic paint:

- lemon yellow
- medium yellow
-yellow ochre
-raw sienna
-burnt sienna
-burnt umber

Using a flat 1/2 inch brush and lemon yellow, I painted the outline of the petals using large sweeping strokes. I added medium yellow in various places in the petals to show slight variations in color and used yellow ochre at the base of each petal - again using large sweeping strokes. I allowed some of the table color to show through giving a somewhat transparent look to add to the whimsical quality.

The photo below shows the table partially complete with the petals roughed in and a start on the center.

After I was satisfied with the color of the petals, I put a stroke or two of burnt sienna on a few of the petals for shadows.

The center of the sunflower was painted next. I used a large round stippling brush and tapped on the paint using a dry brush and several shades of paint...raw sienna, burnt sienna, and burnt umber. Use a light touch and add a few taps of black to deepen a few areas of the center.

After I was satisfied with the painting, I allowed the paint to dry at least 24 hours and applied a spray clean sealant to the top surface. Before sealing, brush off any bits of chalk left on the surface. This will set the paint and protect the surface from use. This sunny table will brighten up any room through the cold winter months ahead!

Happy Painting!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Autumn Sunshine

Fall is my favorite time of year and is also the season for late blooming flowers - like sunflowers. I have many pictures of sunflowers created in watercolor, acrylics, and pastels on canvas or paper. This time my surface for the painting will be a small table that I am repurposing for my art studio. I have an antique "half table" that I am not using and need a small table to keep my brushes within easy reach when painting.

Yes, I could use the table "as is," but I wanted something fun in my art studio.

I prepared a template the size of the table top and and drew the sunflower on my template. See the photo below of the table and template.

The next step is to transfer the template to the table. Since the table is already finished in a medium oak and I don't plan to base paint the table in a different color, I need to be able to transfer to this surface. One can purchase a transfer paper in light colors to transfer to darker surfaces, but I don't need a detailed copy of my design. Therefore, I rubbed the back of my template with white chalk. I then traced the design on the front of the template lightly to transfer the shape to the table surface. See the photo below of the transferred design.

The next step will be to paint the sunflower on the table top. I will be using acrylic paints and must decide whether or not I want a simplistic design or a more detailed sunflower.

I'll see you next time with the start of my painting. Until then, look around your garage or attic and see if you can find an old piece of furniture that needs a new use.

Happy Painting!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Getting Ready for Fall and Winter....How to Paint Logs!

Since today is Labor Day and the "unofficial" end of summer, I thought a painting to help usher in fall might be an appropriate blog entry.

In my watercolor painting above, Ben's Firewood, the emphasis is on the stacked firewood and the logs of the cabin; however, the eye is drawn to the lake and mountains beyond. The lake and mountains are not detailed to keep the logs and cabin as the main focus. Plus, the lantern and axe handle help keep the eye in the foreground and bring the painting together.

The background was painted first with a wash of color allowing each section of the background to dry before painting the next. However, the evergreen trees were painted in while the mountains were still damp to creat a slightly blurry effect.

The logs and firewood were each painted separately to keep each log distinct. If painted as a group, the logs would have little definition and look like a large blob. Use various shades of raw and burnt umber as well as sepia and Payne's gray. Use a wet on wet technique and drop in several colors for each log. Leave areas of white in the logs as well creating highlights.

The photo below shows a sample of the logs as they are being painted.

The trees are painted with very little foliage still remaining. The leaves are sponged on randomly using yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and burnt umber. Use a light touch - the leaves are not detailed and only hint at the season. The remaining foliage in the foreground is painted by dropping in various shades of the foliage colors and deepening the areas around leaf shades to add depth to the painting,

Watercolor Tip:
The sky, lake and mountains were painted across the trees, cabin post, and lantern without using any type of masking fluid. Because the trees and cabin post are darker than the background, they can be painted over the top without any background color showing through. The background needs to be seen through the lantern glass and this allows for an uninterrupted background. The metal parts of the lantern are darker than the background and be painted over the top of the background paint. This is a great time saver for those artists "like me" who are too impatient to wait for masking fluid to dry. See sample below.

Happy Painting!