View Full Version : Playing with Leaves

An Old Lad
10-13-2013, 08:54 PM
I have come to a sort of known epiphany. When I paint from life I tend to have much more detail, and the work is much easier. That being said I tend to, and prefer painting from my imagination. However I really enjoy the effects of light I can achieve when I do use references or paint from life.

Also, when I do paint from life, I often do it in practice sessions; the downfall is that these pieces are often times highly sought after and bought by people who spy them. An example of a practice piece I have just finished is below. My main focus was to work on my washes and paint light-An aspect that, in my opinion, I fail to grasp when painting from my minds eye. I hypothesize that when painting from the imagination, my mind simplifys objects, and therefore shading and the play of light is often neglected for shape/form. [Note: this rule is broken sometimes, but more often the case, it is not; unless I make a strong effort to think about lighting, or have a solid vision in my head of what I want the finished painting to be.]


As I mentioned before, my focus, or my play, was with the leaves and the way the light and shadow played with them. I did make one crucial mistake. I grabbed the pot from a sill and the plant was pretty dry, so I watered it. I then sketched the leaves shortly after watering the plant. By the time I finished sketching and in the middle of painting, the leaves moved... but the plant was happier.... I should have maintained the status quo of the plant, and watered it afterwards, but the plant looked sad.

The pot, IMO, looks horrendous compared to my rendering of the leaves.

For those of you out there who use the minds-eye/Third Eye, as reference, how do you incorporate the aspect of light into your paintings on a consistent basis? For landscapes I find it much easier to incorporate light, so long as I don't get caught up in the action I'm painting; as I like action and movement. To me, I tend to either paint action and movement really well, or I tend to focus on a single subject really well. I find it very hard to achieve a sort of realism in a painting totally fabricated from the minds eye.

No I didn't sign the piece and have no intention of doing so... Unless someone spies it and wants it, in which case I will be forced to sign it :crossfingers: And in my experience someone will spy it and have me re-render it higher on the paper. I love using the techniques I used, but I find the overall piece, and still-lifes in general boring. Unfortunately for me botanicals are my largest sellers.... Does anyone know what type of plant it is? I have no idea, it belongs to my parents and reminds me of swords I find in aquariums....

10-14-2013, 03:25 AM
Yes, the leaves and soil are great, but the base of the pot should echo the rounded shape of the top.


10-14-2013, 04:33 AM
The leaves are really great - you could use some drawing lessons on pots.

An Old Lad
10-14-2013, 01:32 PM
Yes, I concur, with both critiques I should have also have done the composition more towards the center of the page, giving me room to draw/sketch the pot as it was instead of forcing it in the confined space, as well as giving room for a matte.... I know. I just wanted to play with the leaves :-)

Thank you for the C & C

10-14-2013, 02:15 PM
Nice leaves, maybe try some of them macro; where you just paint the leaves up close. You did a fine job on these.

10-15-2013, 11:30 AM
Great colors on your leaves.