So here we are, past midnight, the night before my artwork is "due" at Inspiration Avenue's weekly Challenge. Normally, if I were this kind of behind I'd skip adding my art to the challenge. I mean, it's not mandatory to do every challenge that's offered on IA, even for members. Participation is always optional. The problem with just skipping this week is that I'm the hostess of this week's challenge!! Oops.
The challenge that I set for this week was...
I'm in love with the color green and painting leaves is a real joy for me, even though they're a lot of arduous work. What I've discovered with foliage (leaves, grass, ferns etc.) is that I have a distinctive style in the way I paint them. When I discovered this it made me even more joyful to paint leaves etc. I've been trying to "find" my style for many months and I'm thrilled to say that at least when it comes to living green growing plants, I have a "way" that is absolutely recognizable.
I must admit that I also like that they don't look "real". They look real enough, lol. I tend to be a realist in my painting and drawing style, I'm a perfectionist and I can't let it go if something doesn't "look" right. This obsessiveness doesn't seem to apply to leaves! Don't ask why. My only guess is that I LIKE the way the leaves and grasses I paint look so maybe I've unconsciously somehow accepted that they're imperfect and MINE.
Unfortunately, because leaves and grass take so much time, I don't tend to paint them as much as I'd like to. But in this challenge I forced myself to get back to my "first love" by choosing exactly that as my theme. Now, I specified to all who participate, I don't care what kind of foliage you paint or what color you paint it... ( when I say paint, I mean make whatever art you make) ...I said I didn't even care what else was in the piece. Just make me something that's got beautiful foliage included. Please go to IA and see the amazing collection of art that was submitted this week, it's really worth a look. The wrap up showing all the pieces in one place will be up Sunday after Noon (Eastern Time).
Well, I've postponed the unfortunate news long enough... I actually didn't finish my piece. It's close to being done, but it's not complete. I sketched out the entire piece first, even adding the leaf veins so I'd know where I wanted to add paint. I then added a mottled wash of greens and turquoises with some white added to give some opaque places for contrast.
My next step is to erase many of my pencil lines because if you add translucent watercolor paint first, you then cannot erase any still visible lines. I hate pencil lines. So many artists don't mind them and on other people's work I totally don't even see them let alone mind them if I do notice extraneous pencil lines. It's that perfectionism thing again!!! I know, I really have to work on that... The number of people who have told me that (including myself several times a week!) could fill a large art studio. Anyhoo, I digress...
After all the erasing I got onto painting leaves!! Loved that part. Ok, I love ALL parts of creation, but I hadn't done leaves or grass for months! They're not finished, they still need some highlights and shadows added to give them more dimension but they're much more completed than my long necked pears!
My pears are nearly naked!! Ok, not, but they're significantly undressed. I need to first add water as they were done with my new Albrecht Durrer watercolor pencils (I was hoping they would be quicker than liquid paint... NOT, I just can't rush my artwork) So, that's why they look "sketchy", I always paint on Arches cold pressed watercolor paper, which has a "tooth" to it so the valleys of the paper don't collect pencil crayon color until water is added.
After I add water I'll then be able to see where more color is needed. I then just liquify the watercolor pencil lead with a paintbrush, making tiny bits of liquid color that I then do corrections with. Hopefully I'm only about an hour or so from completion, I just know, since it's like 1:30 in the morning and I still have to finish my wrap up of the challenge tomorrow morning (those last minute stragglers like me who submit their link only hours before deadline) so I know I won't have time to finish. This is my submission, as is. Hope you like it, lol. I'm pretty happy, so far.
I'll talk to you all later, I'm hoping to get a new "Featured Artist" post completed and up this week, so stay tuned!
Good night all...