We started a new art challenge yesterday. It is a short duration one, only three days, with the theme of “three.” Separate from this, but hosted by the same moderator, is an “Edit This” challenge where we are given a photo to edit, draw, or paint in whatever way we please, as long as the hosting moderator can tell you’ve started with the given photo. Inspiration struck first with the ET photo (that sounds funny to me!), then quickly blossomed into an idea where I can do both, plus get the first day of the November 30 day challenge which has the theme of “red.” First, the sacrificial photo:
It’s cute, and painting mushrooms seems to be a thing right now, so first I thought butterflies around the mushroom, but then I thought dragonflies, or maybe even fireflies … or better yet, dragonflies around the mushroom by day (on white paper to start) and then fireflies around it by night, which would give me the perfect excuse to try out my black gesso on white oil and acrylic paper to see if that stuff is as strong as it looks (spoiler alert: it certainly is!). And so that brings us to day one of the 3-day “three” challenge and the first of my entries into the Edit This challenge: Three Dragonflies.
It turned out cute, a bit on the whimsical side, mostly simple in layering and color, and overall I like it. I listed the original on Daily Paintworks last night, as well as uploading the high resolution scan to my Pixels site for prints. This morning I uploaded said hi-res scan to my shop at RedBubble for the apparel and accessories, positioning the image just right for the clock. At some point, I will get myself one of those clocks … once I decide which artwork to have on it. I doubt I have enough wallspace for all the ones that look nice on that clock face, not to mention the amount of batteries I’d need to keep them all on the right time.
I started the firefly version, as alluded to above, by first testing the black gesso. It’s almost dry enough to start painting now!
I finished up this close-up watercolor painting of a yellow rose this evening. When it was dry enough, I showed it to hubby who immediately commented, “Wow, electric!” That’s where the electric part of this painting’s name comes from. Hubby says the combination of yellow with purple (or violet, if you prefer) just pops in a beautiful way.
I should mention that I saved the contour sketch for future artwork, probably in different media just because I am very pleased with how well the simple line drawing captured the shape and layout of the petals.
Another reaction to the painting
Along with my husband’s reaction to it as soon as it was dry, Elizabeth at El Amigo was amazed when I told her I painted it with watercolor.
“Wait, THAT is watercolor?! It’s so bright!” was her remark.
I told her I found a brand of paint from South Korea (Mijello Mission Gold, for those curious) that had wonderfully vibrant colors. Apparently, the general perception is that watercolor paintings have delicate, light color. Or perhaps people think of those student sets that have low pigment and really terrible brushes. Either way, I love bold and vivid colors most of the time, and will work to achieve them in whichever media I use.
Beautiful purple Johnny-jump-ups, also called purple pansies and even blue violas, against the soft blurred green background of their foliage. They may not be large flowers, but they are certainly pretty and I love the combination of purples with the splash of yellow on the petals. The indistinct greens in the background, with just a touch of blue to harmonize with the pale part of the petals, give just the right contrast to the complementary pair of purple and yellow.
Painted with Mijello Mission Gold watercolor paints on Stonehenge Aqua paper. I enjoyed working the different shades of purple, ranging from violet lake to a mixture of quin magenta and ultramarine blue, which is also present in the greens which include green-gold and what Mijello calls bamboo green, which is the yellow shade version of phthalo green.
Prior to painting, I worked up this composition in a graphite drawing in my sketchbook to test the layout and value contrast. Ironically, drawing actually takes longer than painting, though the sketchbook and pencils are less expensive than paints and brushes, not to mention good quality watercolor paper (which makes a HUGE difference in how the paint behaves). If I am honest about it (and I tend to be) I will confess that I enjoy drawing, even when it takes hours. I find the soft scratching noise of a pencil on paper to be soothing and almost meditative, and feel as though it helps me to focus on the important parts of a composition.