Have you ever been so sleepy you’re just slap-happy silly? That’s how I was yesterday. I’ve been trying to change my schedule to get up early and go to bed early but after a few days of doing the former but not the latter, I was so sleep-deprived yesterday afternoon that I just stopped making sense, even to myself.
When I get over-tired, instead of thinking, “sleep,” I think I’m hungry and crave carbs (and now research is showing that sleep deprivation causes weight gain and other health risks…see here and here). So instead of eating popcorn (or going to bed at 7:00), I decided to paint these “popcorn ball flowers” (as my sister and I used to call hydrangeas when we were kids…and I thought everybody did until I Googled “popcorn ball flowers because I can never remember their real name, and discovered only recipes for making flowers out of popcorn and no references to hydrangeas!).
First I had to refill my watercolor palette because a couple weeks ago I’d washed out all the funky old paint that had been in there for too long. Some of it was getting moldy and all of it was dirty. Before refilling my palette, I did color tests of all my paints to decide which pigments I wanted to use now. I love organizing things, so this was a perfectly soothing task for a tired mind.
Finally I was ready to paint, and grabbed my homemade 6×8″ sketchbook filled with hot pressed Fabriano Artistico paper, and this bouquet of hydrangeas from my yard that I’d plopped into a drinking glass the day before. Instead of starting with my usual ink drawing, I used pencil and then painted using more of an oil painting technique, starting with the darkest darks instead of the lights.
Maybe it was because I was so tired, but I had so much fun, just being playful as I painted and not worrying about the outcome. As usual I wished I’d stopped about 10 minutes sooner and someday I’ll learn that “when you’re 75% finished you ARE finished!” Some day….
If you’d like to know which pigments I settled on, click “Continue Reading for the details….
The colors currently in my watercolor palette are a combination of a warm and cool of each color plus an opaque and transparent of most colors, and are an attempt to have a similar palette in watercolor and oils. I use a Robert E. Wood palette with a lid.
Winsor Newton (WN) Cadmium Lemon, Holbein Cadmium Yellow Light, Daniel Smith New Gamboge
Holbein Cadmium Red Light, WN Scarlet Lake, Winsor Red, WN Permanent Alizarin, WN Permanent Rose
WN Quinacridone Magenta, WN Permanent Magenta, Holbein Cobalt Violet Light, Winsor Violet
WN French Ultramarine Blue, Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue, WN Cerulean Blue, Winsor Blue green shade
Winsor Green yellow shade, WN Permanent Sap Green
Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold, WN Yellow Ochre, WN Burnt Sienna, Old Holland Burnt Umber, WN Sepia, DS Indigo (the latter two are mixed pigments that contain black paint and I use them infrequently)