I had the idea to do a post on all my rose paintings and drawings the other week. I figured it would be a compilation of links to the individual posts for each piece … then I discovered a couple of watercolor paintings featuring roses that I have not blogged either here or the previous version on blogspot. Even more embarrassing is that one of the rose watercolor paintings is my header image!
Another early watercolor painting that turned out nicely is Red Rosebud 1, a small 5 by 7 inch piece I did early last year – probably inspired by Valentine’s Day that was coming up. I did have it scanned and uploaded already, but it was scanned with the old scanner and I decided to rescan it because my current scanner is just that much better. So, rescans have been uploaded – but in the process I discovered a dirty spot on the top tape line that is not coming off, so I am hesitant to offer the original now. Prints are available at my Pixels store, while apparel and accessories are at the usual spot at RedBubble. If I can clean that spot off the original, I’ll post it as available, but I may need to do a little research on how to get dirt off a watercolor sealed with cold wax medium. Here is the rescan, which shows the colors so much better than the previous one.
Links to the rest of my rose artwork
Now for the roundup of my previous posts involving rose artwork:
Continuing with the artwork I did for the black and white challenge, after doing the bald eagle head study, I decided the white pencil on black paper technique works best for drawing white flowers. When I shared yesterday’s White Cosmos post on Facebook, my mother remarked that the petals of the flower have an almost transparent illusion to them, which seems to confirm my impression. (side note: I cannot see where or how to link to an individual FB post, which is a big reason I like blogs so much better.) So, back to drawing white-petaled flowers for the rest of the challenge.
The fourth piece of the white on black series
As promised in this post title, day four of the black and white challenge is a white rose, rendered in white pencil on black paper, and in a close-up that goes beyond the frame of the picture. I found this one to be almost meditative to draw and lighten, and while I did not push the highlights too bright, I took care to work on the light coming through the petals in a “glow” appearance. I was not trying for a translucent appearance with the cosmos’ petals, but that was exactly my goal for these delicate rose petals.
Rose image recycled
If the lines of this rose seem a bit familiar, it is because I used the same sketch from the same reference photo as I did for my watercolor painting, Electric Yellow Rose. I reversed – or mirrored, or flipped – the image, which was simply a matter of pulling that page out of my sketch book and holding it up against the window to draw it on the back of the sheet before transferring it to the black paper. Sometimes I want to explore an image in multiple media, so I try to make small changes to it so no two are exactly identical. I guess you could call this a fair warning, as I absolutely love this particular reference photo and will probably do it in acrylic, pastels, maybe charcoal, and definitely in oil paint at some point. The shadows and shapes and play of light on and through the petals is just so visually interesting and even fun to wrestle onto paper (or canvas, soon).
Continuing with my love of roses, here is a small square watercolor painting I simply call Pink Rose. While I painted the flower itself in a very realistic style, I went completely abstract for the blue-green background, just making the outline along the petals radiate towards the edges of the paper. My husband commented that this stylization of the background is often used in comics, which I had not known previously. Of course, at this moment, neither of us can come up with the name for this effect.
Shadow layer in blue
I actually started out using just a normal photo as my reference to get the shapes and particularly the shadows right. Once I had it sketched out, I had to decide what kind of background I wanted to give it. Since I already painted the shadows in blue I figured a light wash with a bit of green would be perfect.
I’m not really sold on this small of a painting. Along with the issues of finding a frame in this size, it just feels so small. Maybe it’s because I spent an entire semester working on an 18 by 24 inch sketch pad, or maybe I just feel an urge to work larger. Either way, I will likely not be tearing through this small watercolor block just because it really does feel tiny to me.
A vibrant red rose in bloom against a grey-blue background, with the brilliant green of the leaves and stem catching the light. Done in oil pastel on an 11 by 14 inch canvas panel, this was only my second big oil pastel piece. The oil pastel on the canvas makes an interesting optical effect, and gives it almost a 3D look.
I really like the overall effect of the rose in oil pastel, but had not yet worked out how to get the colors close enough to avoid the white outline. While I plan to do more red roses in the oil pastel medium, I would like to do them larger … like maybe 18 x 24 inches, as I now have the panels. The downside of working so big will be that I won’t be able to scan them for prints as my scanner only goes up to 11 x 17 inches. I also have 12 x 16 inch oil primed paper, which I can scan with only half on inch off (which will make the original different than prints).
Of course, there are many more colors of roses to draw and paint as well. I personally love pink and yellow roses, even more so than the red ones. There is also the challenge of doing a white rose in color, as I’ve only done those in black and white.
This technically-a-drawing* of a pink rose was my first project using oil pastels on black canvas paper. It scanned nicely, but like oil paint, oil pastel just looks better in person. There is a quality to the work that neither camera nor scanner is able to convey, which is one reason I am announcing that this (along with Red Tulips and Electric Yellow Rose) are going to El Amigo Restaurant in Crescent City for local display later today. I should probably note that artwork on display is also for sale if anyone wishes to purchase the originals.
* I define a drawing as anything where the original surface is still visible, while a painting has the entire surface – whether paper or canvas – completely covered with the medium (watercolor, pastel, etc.)
Oil pastel notes
As is probably obvious from the scan, I did not blend my oil pastels as well as usual. Instead I was trying for a looser and fresher, more spontaneous look to this piece. I was still experimenting with this medium, and even though blending can be a very important factor in oil pastel paintings, I wanted more a drawing feel to it (if that makes sense). I’ll also note that the original drawing is sealed with Mod Podge to prevent smearing (and cat paw prints!).
Rose drawing notes
Just a few relevant notes for this: I used a reference photo, and to be honest I don’t recall which one. I have a folder full to bursting of reference photos for roses, and will crop and edit them as needed and sometimes forget which went into what drawing or painting. But the reference photos serve one major purpose for me, and that is to grid out the petals, which is what I did for this one. The second reason I use ref photos is to get the shadows right. I can’t even say for sure the rose in the photo I used is even a pink one, because part of holding an artistic license is the privilege of changing a flwoer’s color when I want.