Saturday, January 10, 2009

Painting Violets, step by step

Prime a small piece of hardboard, at least two coats then sand lightly with fine sandpaper. Or use a primed canvas and sand it lightly with fine sand paper to make it smooth. Take pictures at different angles of the flowers you want to paint.

The sun was coming through the window on these violets in my kitchen. It made vibrant colors and strong shadows, so I thought it would make a nice painting. I put the image on my computer, zoomed it in and cropped it to this format.

Draw some rough thumbnails on scrap paper to get compositon ideas. I placed the flowers a little off center for a stronger composition. The photos had the flowers too centered which makes the painting less interesting in most cases.

I am using acrylic paints.

(Click on the images to see a close up)

Step 1: Rough in basic shapes with a medium to large flat brush. Use water to make the paint thin and easy to apply.

Step 2: Decide on a background. The photo was pale orange and white and the leaves did not show up well, so I went with blue. I also strengthened some of the colors in the leaves.

Step 3: Make corrections. I changed one of the leaves in the background and put some base color on the violets. I used redviolet, purple and ultramarine blue with white to get varying shades of colors.

Step 4: Lay in thick paint. I used thick amounts of color, first in the back ground, then on the leaves.

Step 5: Add details. I start using a small brush when I add details, but I am still using thick paint.
My attention here is on the violets. I want them to stand out the most and be the focal point.
Hint: Take a break when you think you're done, look at some other things and come back with a fresh eye. Turn the painting upside down, or look at it in a mirror to see the overall color balance.
Almost finished, but I need to fix the leaves on the right and the one just below the bottom flower. I also want to finish up the flowers with more details. After the corrections are made, I use a very small brush to add a few extra details and sign my name.
I put important information on the back (copyright, full name, date, medium used, etc . . . ) and keep the front with a small signiture using a color that goes with the painting.

Here is the finished painting:

6 x 6 inches
Acrylic on hardboard
By Fawn McNeill Barr

Click here for more painting tips!  Happy painting!


cindysidcards said...

I love your art lesson on the violets. I have similar steps I take, even though the medium I use is different.

Fawn McNeill Barr said...

I used to paint in oils, so I use acrylics in a similar way, but I love the speed in which acrylics dry, so you can paint over it and make changes so easily!

Thanks for stopping by!