This was a fun two afternoon painting. Below are the steps in the work in progress and photo of the setup. This was painted about a year after my mother passed away. It’s poignant to be painting some of her special glassware.
I painted these from life, but first did a value sketch in Procreate to help me stay within the range of values I chose for the painting. That’s a concept I’ve been pondering: that you can design whatever value range you want for a painting, from mostly light to mostly dark, and then mix the paint colors accordingly. I printed out the Procreate value sketch and put it on my easel for reference as you can see in the work in progress photos below.
On this shortest day of the year here are some cheery flowers to brighten the darkness.
While I was away visiting my mom last weekend, my cat-sitter Rachel (of McGraw’s Paws) cat-sat for the first time since Busby my tabby cat died. She was sad not seeing him too and left me this stunning bouquet of flowers in his honor and a lovely card with these wise and beautiful words about sorrow that are worth remembering for any loss:
‘When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
I have a whole rack of Penzeys spices but these are my favorites that sit out on the counter for daily use. Their pepper is nothing like the tasteless stuff from the supermarket; it has wonderful flavor and I put it on almost everything. Their cinnamon is sweet and delicious and the Sandwich Sprinkle is great on salads, veggies and meat.
I have such a tiny bathroom I had to sit on the sink to draw this. My favorite part was drawing the funny patterns on the glass blocks in the window. When I remodeled the bathrooms in my duplex I requested glass blocks in the shower and a window that opens set inside the glass blocks. The wavy glass was fun to draw and is meant to provide privacy but in reality, it’s not perfect. Good thing the neighborhood doesn’t have a few of the window! Also featured in the sketch is my Black and Decker dog washing shower attachment that makes it super easy to wash my dog and she loves hopping in the tub for her spa treatment.
The branches I snipped from a tree in Berkeley provided many opportunities to sketch and paint. The first were watercolor sketches. Then I did these two oil paintings and some other sketches I’ll post later. Two of my favorite things to paint: flowers and glass. Crab Apple Paired (above) is available here.
This sake bottle is from a nice sushi dinner I had with my son. He’s much more knowledgeable about such things so he ordered the sake. I was delighted by its wonderful peach colored bottle with a kind of etched surface. I knew it would be fun to paint. I used a very warm light for this still life set up which made everything a little peachy. This little painting is available here.
This was one of my favorites of all the wildflowers (see previous post for the wildflowers’ back story, which had such a variety of parts, from the pea-like pods to its spiky green leaves, plus I love purple.
Another curious plant with a variety of features and quite vibrant in color.
Here it is above in real life (though a bit blurry) with its portrait.
These were very delicate.
I had to take an allergy pill halfway through the day because all the wildflowers were making me sneeze.
The first attempt at the poppies above came out nice and fresh but my pen was running out of ink so I drew over the lines with another pen and then wasn’t crazy about the composition so I sketched them again (below).
I liked the composition better. Since this is our California state flower, it deserved an encore anyway. If you know the names of any of the flowers, let me know and I’ll update the captions.
Just days before the city mowed down all the “dangerous” wildflowers on Carlson Boulevard for the second time, finally killing them, I walked along the narrow median strip with cars zooming by, and snipped specimens of each to paint. (I previously wrote here about why they were dangerous. They grew back after that first trimming.)
I took them home and went wild, putting them in pretty bottles and vases, then sketching and painting them all day long.
My goal was to make free and fresh sketches of each flower that captured its personality while keeping composition in mind.
I postponed posting because of the time it would take to prepare the many sketches, scans and photos from that glorious day. I finally made the time; I didn’t want to be posting spring wildflowers in the Fall!
Do you know the names of any of these flowers? If you do, please leave a comment and tell me and I’ll change the captions with the correct names.
There are many more wildflower sketches to come, which I will post in Part 2.