Roses in Artwork: Feature Friday 10

I am on a rose kick this week! Roses are such popular flowers and subjects for artwork due to their beauty and elegance – and having a pleasing fragrance helps the real flower’s popularity in bouquets. While I have drawn and painted single roses, I had not yet tackled drawing or painting an entire bouquet of roses. This is in the process of changing, courtesy of my recent experiment with text-to-image software and digital art.

Everything is coming up roses

Sprinkled in among the three new rose bouquet computer-generated images will be blogging friends’ posts featuring roses in artwork in various media. I also wish to note that new hand-drawn and hand-painted art will be created and posted within the next month – before I talk to my Mom again on the phone. Yesterday, she did not beat around the bush or try to sugarcoat her opinion when she immediately asked me when I plan to get my paints back out and make real art instead of playing around on the computer and posting that. Mom knows how to use a clue-by-four!

Pink roses

It should be no secret that pink is my favorite color. So of course the first bouquet of roses I prompted the software to generate was specifically pink. No modifiers, just “bouquet of pink roses in vase on table,” if memory serves me correctly.

large bouquet of pink roses in a vase on the table
Bouquet of Pink Roses, digital artwork

This was only the second image I prompted the program to create, and I felt pretty lucky to get something that looked correct. Being a digital image, there is no original artwork available, but you can get art prints from my Pixels store. If you prefer to wear the art you buy, then take a look at my RedBubble shop options for this image.

If this is not enough pink roses for you, you can always take a look at Tatiana’s Spanish rose, a close-up photograph with enough detail the little ant on one of the rose petals is in clear focus. She found this pair in a garden in Andalusia, Spain. And on the subject of pink rose petals, Sharon Cummings beefed up her description of her rose petal mandala artwork at my request. (Sharon recently won a spot on one of Fine Art America’s billboards, and they even put that one near her in Tampa.)

Red roses

Red roses will be very popular come mid-February. While this won’t win me any points with the independent florists, I think it would be better to gift your Valentine with a rose that won’t wilt – in the form of artwork! Here is another lucky combination of text prompt and random number from the computer program that features red roses.

bouquet of red and pink roses with green foliage in blue vase on table
Roses in Blue Vase, computer-generated artwork

Buy your art prints of this beautiful bouquet through my Pixels store. Get your apparel and accessories with this image at my RedBubble shop. Again, being digital, there is no original painting or drawing available (yet).

If you need a little assistance getting into a romantic Valentine’s mood, check out Steve Heap’s flower photography where he revisits a red rose bouquet he had waiting with champagne for his wife’s birthday in 2012. He does his own version of digital art by using software filters on his photography.

Bouquet of multiple colored roses

In the process of searching for just the right set of modifiers for my text prompt, I noticed two that just go together like chocolate and peanut butter: romanticism (the art movement) and …. Thomas Kincade. Seriously, that would be how I would describe Kincade’s painting style in just one word. No “neo-” prefix, but straight up Romanticism. While he did mostly landscapes, I feel that soft, lovely style is best suited for floral artwork. When I did not specify which color of roses I wanted, I got this lovely image.

a very classic image of a bouquet of different colored roses in a fancy vase on a table, done in the Romanticism style with a Thomas Kincade look
Classic Roses in Vase, digital art

I must admit, I like this one. Not only because the notion of time-shifting Thomas Kincade back to the Romantic period of European oil painting and having him paint flowers appeals to me. Except for that odd but of red in the middle of the bouquet, this may well be the closest that computer program has come to generating the image in my mind. I may break out my oil paints and try this one myself (but after I do the yellow roses in pastel).

Meanwhile, if you want this classic bouquet of roses as an art print, get it at my Pixels shop. If you want it on a shirt or accessories for you home and person, it is available at my RedBubble shop. Again, no original of the digital artwork.

Finally, if you are in search of a perfect rose, Jim Hughes believes he has taken the perfect photograph of a perfect rose. The technical details sailed right over my head, but I do think that is a very good portrait style photo of an elegant rose. Be sure to read the backstory on said rose as well.

I hope all y’all have enjoyed this virtual cornucopia of roses in artwork! It may seem early to be thinking about Valentine’s Day flowers, but I want to be ready for 2023.

Christmas Digital Artwork

Alright, fellow procrastinators: It is now the proverbial “last minute” as far as ordering custom greeting cards to send out for the winter holiday season. It does not matter if you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, Yule, Kwanza, or just the generic Festivus – it’s getting to be crunch time for ordering custom gifts or greeting cards if you want to receive them in time to send them back out! On my end, it’s crunch time for creating and posting Christmas artwork. That means I need to post up some digital artwork for the holidays since I procrastinated too long on the painting I started (in August).

Custom artwork for the holidays

I did post up a handful of hand drawn and hand painted artwork last year, and those are all still available. See my Winter Snowman, the two matching ornaments, and (my personal favorite) the colored pencil Christmas Candle for purchase links. My intent was to add to the collection, but I really do have problems getting into the holiday spirit in the summer. I guess I should not move to the southern hemisphere any time soon. Instead, I suppose I’ll just do my usual “one holiday at a time!” that has been my mantra for so many years, and promote this year’s Christmas and Yule artwork next summer. The other option is:

Digital art for the holidays

Honestly, if you have the patience to fine tune your text prompts and modifiers, then digital art is the quick fix. Once you have zeroed in on a good target prompt phrase, then you can have the software churn out multiple versions and simply choose the ones that have the right look and correct object shapes. I did some more playing and tweaking over the weekend, and here is the cream of the crop, so to speak.

Decorated Christmas Tree digital artwork

In a way, this one was both the easiest and the most finicky to get a version that didn’t have me saying, “It’s almost good except for …” I have a virtual folder at the NightCafe site with a good-size bunch of also-rans, but this one was one of the first and also one of the prettiest images of a fully decorated Christmas tree. I did need to crop off the sides, but the result fits the 8:10 ratio perfectly.

Decorated Christmas Tree digital artwork for the holiday
Decorated Christmas Tree, digital artwork in 8:10 format

You can order this image as a fine art print, or printed on a greeting card, puzzle (oh yeah, this one makes a great puzzle!) or home decor items at my Pixels store or at my RedBubble shop. Being digital art, there is no original to buy, but I may be inspired to try my brush at it in the darker days ahead.

Victorian Christmas Scene digital image

This one has a bit of a backstory to it. What I was attempting to get was some kind of image of a species of aloe plant often called a century plant with Christmas ornaments hung on the wide, flat leaves. It’s something you see down here in Florida, since southern pine trees are tall and sparse and very fast-growing (which makes them ideal for the lumber industry). There are a couple houses within a few miles of me that do this on a semi-regular basis, but I have never stopped and snapped a photo of this to use as a reference for a painting. Next time those houses decorate that way, I will certainly get a snapshot – even if it isn’t good enough to post here.

So, I used the text prompt “century aloe Christmas decorations,” and the software had no idea what it was supposed to display. Along with three that were just weird, I had this image, which I call Victorian Christmas Scene. It looks very quaint, like it ought to be a color plate in an edition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Until, that is, you get a closer look at the greenery. Yup, some of that greenery is aloe plants.

Victorian Christmas Scene, digital computer-generated artwork
Victorian Christmas Scene, digital artwork

The proportions are a little off on some things, but overall it makes a very pleasant picture. The sky certainly looks like a winter afternoon, and all the lights and garlands lend a festive air to it, even though there are no people on the street at all. The bunch of aloe-like plant in the lower right corner aren’t obvious until you are putting it together as a jigsaw puzzle – which I am doing digitally since I have three cats in the house. For fun, here is a screenshot of this as a puzzle.

Victorian Christmas Scene as a jigsaw puzzle (in Microsoft Jigsaw)
Victorian Christmas Scene as a jigsaw puzzle

Like the others, you can order this image as an art print, a puzzle, apparel, or home dec item either at my Pixels shop or at my RedBubble shop. Like my other digital creations, there is no hardcopy original, and I really don’t see myself sitting down and drawing or painting this one. It’s a pretty street scene, but cityscapes just don’t appeal to me.

Red Poinsettias, the Christmas flower

Y’all had to know I’d get to this one eventually. It’s time for some red poinsettias, the official flower of Christmas. There are many reason why this flower is so popular, but the main one is all about the color combination of cheery red petals with yellow centers (stamen?) framed by the rich green leaves. Add in a strand of Christmas lights, and you get my next piece, unoriginally titled Red Poinsettias.

Red Poinsettias digital artwork featuring the Christmas flower with lights around the flowers
Red Poinsettias, digital artwork featuring the cheery Christmas flowers with lights

My husband chose this one of the two poinsettias images that turned out well, saying the lights and softer focus look goes better with the other two. “It’s like a visual theme,” he explained. I’ll roll with it, since I asked his opinion because I was having trouble choosing. He’s an artist also! Links to buy prints and home accessories at my Pixels shop and for a selection of apparel as well as more accessories at my RedBubble shop.

More digital artwork to come!

I am still not all the way through the categories from just my first two weeks of playing with the program that generates these images. I have a lot of flower bouquet images, and wanted to spotlight those in their own post. It looks like there will be at least two flower posts now, as this past weekend I hit upon a combination of modifiers that I really like. I’ll keep working on those posts, as well as working on refining my text prompts to see if I can get even better images, but I really wanted to get these up for my fellow procrastinators to order those custom Christmas cards … or you’ll have to wait until next year unless your family and friends are used to getting holiday cards in January.

Mostly realistic Ladybug painting only art prints available

So I finally have a photo from Whitney, who won the June 2022 frame giveaway, with her face and her prize both in frame. She says she loves it. It may not be big – the frame holds only a 4 by 6 inch picture – but she can always look at it knowing she won the frame and was able to request a ladybug painting to go in it.

Whitney holding the framed realistic ladybug painting she won
Whitney holding her framed painting

Planning and painting the ladybug

When Whitney entered the giveaway, she had said she wanted some kind of pretty plant – her exact phrase was, “Surprise me!” Once I messaged her to let her know she had won, she changed that to ask if I could paint her a ladybug, as she wanted to use a ladybug as part of her logo. Not a problem, as I already had a reference photo selected for when I got around to doing up some more pretty bugs in my art.

Ladybugs are not complex objects; in fact, compared to butterflies and dragonflies, they are really rather simple until they open their wings. I expected the trick for this painting to be more about getting the blade of grass right, so it looked curved with just the right amount of texture to it.

Ladybug acrylic painting
Ladybug 4 x 6 inch acrylic painting, prints available

The canvas is from a 6×8 inch canvas pad by Paramount, and seems to have a smooth-enough surface up until I did a bit of drybrushing, then the texture also showed up in the scan. I used the quick-dry acrylic paints that my husband has used for years, and are sold at WalMart under the names Apples Barrel and Folk Art, made by Plaid who also makes Mod Podge that I use to seal my oil pastel pieces. I painted two layers, and thought that was sufficient to cover the graphite pencil lines … but if you look closely at the scan you can just see them on the ladybug’s carapace. I need to remember to do a minimum of three paint layers for the next one.

Art prints and accessories for sale

The original painting was put into the frame and mailed off in a timely manner – Whitney probably doesn’t realize how significant that statement is. The point is, if you want the original, you’ll need to try to talk her out of it. Personally, I have my doubts anyone will be able to do that within the next decade. As usual, art prints are available to purchase through my store at Pixels, along with a few printed accessories. If you want to wear my art, then check out the apparel options at my RedBubble store.

About Whitney

In addition to being mother to small children, Whitney runs the online business Healing Over Everything. We met on Facebook in a blogging group we both participate in, and she asked for links to her Facebook business page. So, you can check out her Healing Over Everything page on Facebook, and maybe even check out her blog (which I am working on a guest post for).

More pretty insect art from me

If that is not enough bug art for you, Tatiana at GiftSmart has a cute macro photo of an insect on a green leaf that does look like it is laughing.

Red Apples 1 still life paintings

The theme for the 30 day art challenge running the entirety of November is red, so I started off with an obvious choice: an apple still life. It is a classic in art because it is simple yet elegant. For my first attempt, I did a trio of honeycrisp apples, but had difficulty nailing down the gold-green of the variegated skin. This trio was also my third painting for the 3 day three themed challenge, and while it does look interesting, it just was not what I wanted to paint. I did upload it to my Pixels store, and input a few prints of it, but until today was not sure what to do with the original. It has kind of grown on me, I guess. Anywho, this is the opportunity to test out Daily PaintWorks’ auction feature. Interested? Bid here.

acrylic sketch of three Honeycrisp apples in a white bowl on my table
Apples sketch, 12 by 9 inch acrylic on paper

Since my first attempt wasn’t what I was trying to paint, I did a second painting of these apples, flipping/reversing the photo to just be different, because sometimes that results in a better piece. I am quite pleased with this result: it is bright and colorful.

acrylic painting of apple trio, this time in solid red for the apple skin
Red Apples 1, 12 by 9 inch acrylic on paper

Ah yes, this has a bolder feel to it. In fact, it is almost Christmas-y in the bold reds with the green of the background. The original is listed at Daily PaintWorks, while both smaller and larger prints are at my Pixels store. For this image printed on various apparel, check out the listing on my RedBubble page here.

I think this covers all of this episode of apples as still life subjects, for now. I will be revisiting these reference photos – even after we eat the final apple.

For more apples-themed artwork, check out my charcoal drawings of this trio and also another pair of apples.

Summer Jalapeno acrylic painting

I am finally getting to the final image from the black and white challenge, which ended up being a photograph I took in early July of my husband’s jalapeno plant, cropped, straightened, and with the color taken out. I had a busy day out of the house that day, running errands up in Palatka, and was tired both physically and mentally once I got home. I really was not happy with the result, and immediately planned to redo it and replace the image with something better, something more “me” than a cluttered and busy photo.

black and white photo of my husband's jalapeno plant with blossoms and peppers
greyscale version of my reference photo

That something else ended up being the very next challenge, which I started with the Calla Lily painting in acrylic. Since the theme for the next challenge was “anything goes,” I figured to do up three images from the black and white challenge in color, using acrylic paint since I could use the practice with that medium.

Starting the painting

Some days, the paint just flows perfectly, and the painting comes together “like magic,” as the saying goes. Then, there are days when I feel as though I am fighting every step of the way … and the first day of this painting was definitely a struggle. I blocked out the position of everything easily enough, but my first stab at the background color turned out too purple, so I mixed up some more paint and tried again, with this time being too light a blue. Then, when that dried, I noticed I didn’t cover the too-violet paint well enough in some spots, so I went over it a third time, using the paint straight from the bottle. Then, I turned my attention to the green leaves and stems.

Trouble getting the green of summer

At the time, I only had two shades of green at hand, and neither one was dark enough to be a good jalapeno green. I tried mixing, but at this point it was time to put the critters up for the night and I was frustrated enough I needed to suppress the urge to throw the canvas across the room. That’s usually a clear sign to stop working on it, and try again the next day. So, this painting knocked me out of the short, three-day “anything goes” art challenge, which requires one completed work each day of the challenge. Dropping out of a challenge is only a minor disappointment for me, and one I actually prefer to posting up something I don’t like.

After officially dropping out, hubby was home and asked me what part of the painting had me so frustrated. When I got to the part about not having a good green, he started digging around his bunch of paint (he has used this brand for several years now) and started pulling out half a dozen shades of green for me to choose from. Then he remembered some blending medium that slows drying time that he tried but doesn’t use often, and also a wet palette setup to keep the paint you mix up on the palette from drying while you work.

Finishing the painting

With the expanded selection of greens available the next day, this painting came together so much easier! This one I actually like, and it is currently on display at El Amigo Mexican Restaurant – because that really is a perfect place to display a painting of a jalapeno plant that has a couple white blossoms, one dark green fruit, and two ripe red peppers (when jalapenos turn red, they are called chipotles). This particular painting may not be perfect (and to be honest, it isn’t because I can spot mistakes) but I like it much better than the photograph.

Summer Jalapeno, acrylic painting on stretched canvas
Summer Jalapeno, 11 by 14 acrylic painting on 5/8 deep stretched canvas, original available $175 USD

I’ll likely do a similar painting, or maybe recrop the photo for a more close-up view of it, and hopefully it will have fewer mistakes and be less frustrating. For those who may want a print either larger or smaller than the original 11 by 14, check out my Pixels store. If you want this printed on apparel or swag, look here on RedBubble. For the original, you can purchase through Daily PaintWorks – or call the number on my business card at the restaurant.