Now I’m starting with the darks, by painting the purple leaves. I’m using a piece of clean paper to protect the areas already painted, so I don’t ruin it with my hand or drip on it accidentally.
Next, I begin painting the hearts of the sunflowers using the same process as the petals, mentioned previously. The centers of sunflowers are called disk flowers and are arranged in a spiral. My detailing is consisting of layers of dots and dashes to create the texture.
All of the foreground flowers are done. I now need to begin working on the flowers that are partially covered with cellophane wrap. These will be more blurry and abstract. I’m going to work in small sections so that I don’t have resist on the paper for more than a couple days. Starting with a pale yellow wash in the corner, I do a negative painting of the reflected leaves. After adding in shadows, I do a dark wash to soften the edges. I will probably lighten some of the cellophane at some point, but for now I’m removing the resist and moving on to another section.
I have read that sunflowers are the happiest flower. I don’t know if that is true, but the day I saw these flowers, one morning during my grocery shopping, they bought me pure joy as I snapped photos with my camera phone. All the colors and details… I knew it would be a fascinating, and challenging, image to paint. There’s not a strong light source since the photo was taken inside, but I’m hoping the highlights of the cellophane wrap will be interesting enough to make up for the lack of deep shadows. As I work on this painting, I will be taking photos and explaining what I’m doing. Here is the original photo:
It took me six hours to sketch and transfer the image to watercolor paper. I’m using a new type of paper this time (Arches cold press 140 pounds) on the back side of paper. I usually use Strathmore cold press, but I’ve notice issues with the sizing lately, so I wanted to try something new. The paper is slightly softer to touch and a little more evenly textured than Strathmore.
The beginning of a painting is the most exciting part and I can’t wait to start. I’m beginning to paint with a base of cadmium yellow in order to “find” the petals. In a complicated sketch like this, it is extremely helpful so you don’t lose your place. For the second coat, I begin to add the local color. After that, I add all the details and texture to the petals. By clicking on each image, you can see a close up of each step of the painting.
Next, I start laying out the green leaves. I want them to have cool colors to contrast with the warm sunflowers. These leaves are not behind cellophane wrap, so they need to be sharp and clear. I repeat the steps of a base color, gradations, shadows, and then details.
I am moving on to the red and yellow sunflowers next. I use the same steps as the other flowers. I’m avoiding the dark centers of the flowers right now, because watercolor will spread and I don’t want any dark color bleeding into the petals and ruining their bright colors.
The Gallery at The Lake Placid Center for the Arts, in downtown Lake Placid, NY, is hosting its annual juried show. The exhibition is comprised of paintings and sculptures from local artists in upstate New York. My watercolor painting Canton Bazaar was juried into the show. The exhibition will be on display today through December 1st.
The Northeast Watercolor Society is hosting its 45th Annual International Exhibition. This juried show includes watercolor artists from across the country and around the world. I’m thrilled to have my painting, Autumn Welcome, juried into the show. The exhibition runs October 10th – 24th at the Kent Gallery (21 South Main Street, Kent, CT).
After several months of not painting, I finally was able to sit down and paint a new watercolor. It is entitled “Cole’s Woods.” The painting is based on a photograph taken last winter while cross country skiing with friends in Cole’s Woods, in Queensbury, NY. The sun and the snow created double highlights on the trees and strong shadows. It was a challenging image to try to replicate and I’m grateful it’s finally completed!
There’s still time to go see the 40th Annual Adirondack National Exhibition of Watercolors. This juried watercolor show features amazing artists from around the United States. The show is on display August 7th – September 26th, at The View, 3273 State Route 28 in Old Forge, NY. My painting, Sacramento Street, was juried into this beautiful exhibition.
The Sacandaga Valley Arts Network (SVAN) is hosting an art show, Upstate Waters. This exhibit showcases 2-dimensionsal artwork by regional artists, representing our greatest natural resource, water. I have two paintings, Golden Pool and Lefferts Pond, in the juried show. The exhibit will be on display today through September 10th at 341 South Third Street, Northville, NY.
The 9th Annual Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition opens this Sunday. The show is comprised of 63 watercolor artists from across the United States. I have two paintings juried into the show, Canton Bazaar and Sheltered Cove. My third painting, Succulents, is in their small works show. I’m very pleased to announce that Canton Bazaar has been awarded the McDonaldstein Award! The show runs June 20th – July 24th, at the Big Red Barn Gallery at Lareau Farm (48 Lareau Road, Waitsfield, VT 05673).
I have just completed a new watercolor painting entitled South Inlet. The painting is based on a photograph taken while kayaking South Inlet (off Raquette Lake in the Adirondack Mountains) last summer. The multi-colored rocks and the contrasting shadows are what inspired me to create this painting.
The annual LARAC Art Show, highlighting regional artists, opens tonight. My piece Windows on the World will be on display today through June 30th. The LARAC Art Gallery is located at 7 Lapham Place, Glens Falls, NY. Hours are Mon-Sat, 10am-3pm, extended hours on Thursday to 6pm.
Other upcoming juried shows include the Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition, in Waitsfield, VT, in June, and the National Exhibition of American Watercolors, in Old Forge, NY, August-September. I’m very excited to have my work accepted into both of these amazing watercolor shows.