Friday, August 19, 2011

Touch Ups

Since I completed "The Poppy" it's bothered me. It just screamed "Come Back, I'm not done!"  I liked how the colors for the palm came out and I was happy with my rendering of the flower, but there was just something that felt unfinished.  I received many compliments, but when I put the color pencil Poppy next to the acrylic I felt that the color pencil piece had a greater presence and sense of completion.  So I thought and thought about what I should do, if anything, to the acrylic Poppy.

A few things had to happen for me to approach my painting again.  First, having completed some more ATCs (which I will post later) I felt more creative and accomplished.  This gave me more confidence that I could maybe achieve what I wanted to.  The next trick was to figure just what that was.  Due to the sad demise of our local Border's bookstore, every week there have been heavy discounts.  Surprisingly, the art books have actually gone quite quick.  So even though it was discounted as much as I wanted, I went ahead and bought some art books that I had kept my eye on.  "Botany for the Artist" by Sarah Simblet, "Colored Pencil Painting Bible: Techniques for Achieving Luminous Color and Ultra-realistic Effects" by Alyona Nickelsen, and lastly "Acrylic Landscapes in a Weekend" by Keith H Fenwick.  The last one about acrylic landscapes finally introduced me to the technique that I figured would be perfect for my Poppy Problem.  Sounds so silly not to have thought of this before, but what I learned to do was to use glazes.  The examples in the book really helped to spell it out and make it a very easy technique.  

After stewing on it for awhile and finding the time, I set out to apply some glazes.  I started on the palm first.  I layered a Permanent Green Light and Thalo Blue mix glaze to help define each leaf.  I went back and forth a few times.  Touching up here, adding there. The palm now has characteristics of  watercolor, which I really like.  I think there's more depth now, and I like how they stand out more.  The next area that I figured needed correcting was the poppy.  After I finished it and referred back to the original photo I realized it was WAY too orange. I decided to go with a straight Cadmium Red Medium glaze.  This definitely deepened and brightened the flower.  I think that I have now achieved a color that is closer to the original and is a lot less orange.  

Below are the before and after so you can determine if you can see the differences. Finished with my touch ups I think that I am now TOTALLY done....(I think...)

"The Poppy" -Before-
16x20 Acrylic on wrapped canvas

"The Poppy" -After-
16x20 Acrylic on wrapped canvas

Sunday, August 7, 2011

In the mean time...

As I continue my search for my next painting subject (which has been excruciating) I've completed a few more ATCs in the mean time.  Virtually all the ATCs I've completed have been for private swaps with my aforementioned friend.  Only one have I swapped with someone else.  The kicker is, in that larger non-private swap my friend was randomly selected as my partner!  So I sent mine to a stranger and she sent one to me.  Needless to say I have a rather extensive "e" ATC collection.

The themes for the 2 ATCs I'm going to post were "Favorite Places" and "Tin Foil".  The "fave places" ended up being a bigger challenge than I anticipated.  I knew I was going to do an Maine themed one, but I had a hard time figuring out just how to go about it.  I ended up doing it in two phases.  I started with a computer printout of Quoddy Head Lighthouse and the Sea Dog Blueberry Ale logo.  I had another image of a moose I was going to include but I just couldn't make it work.  The final push to put the finishing touches came when I discovered and old "Downeast" magazine and my friend's stash of extra craft supplies arrived. From the magazine I included the Lobster Festival logo, and the Maine heart.  I included the word "home" because that is what Maine represents to me.  Even though I'm not from there and I only spent roughly 2 years there, there hasn't been a single place I have been or lived that has felt like "home".  My husband and I share the same sentiment and one day we will go back to stay.  We can't wait to go "home".

The second theme, "tin foil" I chose to mix it up a bit.  I figured working with an unusual material would be fun.  I also knew exactly what I was going to do when I came up with the idea.  My brilliant idea was a toy robot.  It was Erin's craft supplies that provided me with the materials for the details.  All the little embellishments came from her stash.  I pre-cut and wrapped each part of the little robot's body then glued him onto the cardstock.  I chose to do his robo-claws with red glitter, just because.  I loved this little card and I'm happy to know that in my friend's possession he'll be appreciated.

Our next to themes are "layers" and "coins".  I've finished the "layers" one and will ship it out this week before I post it and I already have an idea for "coins". So until I find that perfect piece for my next painting, I'll just have to be satisfied working on these little creations.

Favorite Places ATC- Maine Sweet Home
Tin Foil ATC- iRobot