Wednesday, May 27, 2009

W.I.P. Hibiscus Painting - Step 2 - Underpainting

I finally got around to painting this thing!

Masking fluid was used for all the pencilled water drops on the hibiscus because there's no way in hell I'm going to maneuver around all those little circles! It would drive me crazy! It's the easiest way to retain the white of the paper so I went for it.

Here's a nice tip for you all!

Starting off with a bright yellow as a base makes the final colors appear to least when using watercolors.

Check out the next phase down below once all the colors were added. You'll see how the flower and the leaves that were originally painted yellow now 'pop' compared to the other areas.

My biggest concern at this point is making the bloom have depth and not look flat. But how does one do that when a flower only has one set of petals which are all flat and lack depth?!

Do any of you more seasoned artists out there, specifically floral painters, have any advice? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

The next step is to strengthen the shadows in the background, tweak the colors on parts of the hibiscus, and add any last little details.

So very close!


Anonymous said...

Looks great, Dean! What yellow are you using?

Dolores said...

Beautiful. I love the colours.

Carolina said...

Oh! Looking good! Is it possible that the center of the flower could add some more darks?
Thanks for the tip about the masking fluid, I appreciate it :)

Tracey Clarke said...

This lovely, Dean!
I am not a watercolor artist,but using glazes is at least one method of acquiring depth in watercolor works.
Can't wait to see your masterpiece completed!

Kathleen Coy said...

Dean, I'm loving that bright yellow and how it makes the petals glow!

I'm not a floral artist, but I would suggest deepening the shadows under a few of the petals to give the flower some depth.

Can't wait to see how it turns out! :-)

AndyDrewby said...

Cool technique. Looks good so far. No advice here. Good luck

tascha said...

It looks great! I love the juicy colors!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dean, I know what you mean, I struggle with this everyday I paint. I can only suggest what I do: I screw up my eyes and look. I mix paint and sometimes put the paint next to the subject or even on the subject to try to understand subtle differences. I spend a lot of time standing way back and asking myself, does it look right? Does it work? I start seeing things I couldn't when I started. I hope this helps a little. I love the colour choices you are making here, full of energy and light!

Gwen Bell said...

This is coming along so nicely, Dean.
Wish I could give you some tips, but I fear flowers. They are so hard to paint..not only the form but the ability to capture that ethereal quality. I admire you brave souls who paint them so well.

Dean Grey said...

Anna T.!

I used Cadmium Yellow Light.






You're right.

The center of the bloom does have some darks in it. Don't worry, that will be added in the final steps.




I can't wait to see the finished piece either and I'm the one painting it! LOL



I'll definitely give that a try and will strengthen the shadows underneath the flower!



Thanks to you as well!



I love the colors too!



I'm definitely taking your advice and stepping back constantly. I put so much time into drawing this thing I don't want to mess it all up!



I think you'd do great at painting flowers and would love to see you do some!


Thanks to everyone so far for all the tips, suggestions, and wonderful words!

I appreciate it!!


Anonymous said...

Hey Dean, mess it up; start afresh; take some risks; I think many of us have an average of five bad 'uns to every reasonable/good/brilliant painting. I am on an average of one reasonable to every seven experiments. By the way, the bad ones are never seen again:))

Dean Grey said...

Thanks Rahina!

I will definitely try taking more risks in my art....I just don't know if I want to start with this particular painting!

And yeah, the bad ones are never seen again from me either!


Celeste Bergin said...

I'm not a floral painter, but I know that the inclusion of a darker center would help it read brighter elsewhere. You wouldn't want to go super dark...just a couple of steps. I agree with the other commenter who wrote that you can learn a lot from painting something like this several times. It is appealing just as it is--but do more of them to determine your darkest dark and/or lightest light with a beginning stroke..then everything works off of that. You did an exceptional job keeping all the colors fresh.

Dean Grey said...

Hi Celeste!

I appreciate the advice!

In past paintings I've gone too dark on the flower's shadows and it looked all wrong. I'll only go a couple steps darker as you suggested.

Paint this several times? Man, I don't know if I feel up to it. I suppose I could've done several tiny versions of this though to play around with the light and darks.

Thanks again for the suggestions!


L.Holm said...

Wow, Dean! this is such a beautiful start. And so much careful detail. I can see why you're proceeding in cautious stages. Love the twists and turns in the foliage on the right, and the grassy fronds on the left. You've put a lot into the composition, too. lovely work in progress!

Dean Grey said...

Thanks Liz (L.Holm)!

That's exactly why I'm so nervous about this one. It's so detailed and time-consuming that I don't want screw it all up!

Glad you like it so far!


Unknown said...

wow... I've tried and tried and could never render such a beautiful hibiscus like you have.

Dean Grey said...

Thank you, Sheila!

But it's not even finished yet!

Let's hope you like the finished painting just as much.