Thursday, July 28, 2016

Heroic Weed

The next assignment in my July watercolor class is to work on something heroic.

Not "heroice" as in Ripley versus the alien, or Batman versus the Joker, or Ellen Degeneres bringing love and laughter to the planet, but "heroic" as in a small thing painted way larger than life.

I chose this weed, which popped up in my garden last week, and which I was about to pull, but didn't, because I loved its amazing magenta and orange color.  It seemed the perfect subject.

The flower itself was about the size of a U.S. quarter.  I painted it on 18x 24 paper.

This was a challenge!  My goodness, flower details are hard.  I have always admired botanical art, though I've never wanted to do it, and now I know why.

I am very pleased with the shape modeling I got in the white petals.  And, as weird as they look, the inner parts of the flower are pretty close!. 

I had a great deal of fun letting the watercolor flow more loosely in the background.  That flow was a nice contrast to the controlled work I did with the flower and the leaf.  I used the natural flow and uncontrolled patterns in the watery background to pick out other elements of the composition, which I didn't have planned.

After I peeled the masking tape, I set the piece on my mantel for a few days to live with it.  

What might I have done differently, I asked myself, to make it more pleasing?

I went back out to the garden and did snap a photo or two of the bloom, in case I want to try to paint it again later.  That magenta center, those orange and green bits (I should learn my flower parts' scientific names again--I knew them in elementary school)... what a keen looking flower.

Glad I looked closely at that "weed" before I pulled it!

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