View Full Version : Camellia Bush : wip ... now Finished - post#47

Ellis Ammons
03-11-2018, 04:29 AM
This is a read only thread - the original, if you wish to comment, can be found here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1444293).

Started this painting yesterday. I'm mostly just working on the leaves for now. And hopefully I'll get alot more detail in the flowers also. Probably work on it for another week.

At times I'm getting a photo realistic result and other times nothing seems to be working. I'm in a love/hate relationship with acrylics. Mostly love though :):heart:

This is Golden fluid acrylics on a 18x24 birch panel.
Thanks for looking C&C welcome.


Charlie's Mum
03-11-2018, 09:17 AM
WEll, the leaves look done (to a photo-realist standard) and maybe just need a green glaze? Are you working those flowers with an airbrush?
I'm sure it will be superb!

03-11-2018, 10:08 AM
Oh this is going to be nice. Canít wait to watch this develop!

03-11-2018, 12:03 PM
Looking good.

Ellis Ammons
03-11-2018, 01:57 PM
Thank you, thank you.

WEll, the leaves look done (to a photo-realist standard) and maybe just need a green glaze? Are you working those flowers with an airbrush?
I'm sure it will be superb!The flowers are just a quick 5 minute airbrush underpainting with quinadricone magenta. They aren't really even started. I like to use the airbrush for underpainting sketches and to soften/loose edges. But at a certain point can't use it anymore because of overspray. Especially trying to spray titanium. It's like dusting the painting with chalk. :eek:

I really want to take this one to my local gallery and maybe a couple others and see if they will put them up. I'm actually planning on doing a series of these.

Ellis Ammons
03-14-2018, 04:46 AM
Well, the detail progress is slow going. I've been working in the upper left quarter. I may be trying to work to small and I may have to use oil paint. I'm mixing all these little piles and my paint drys before I get to use most of it. It's a waste. I paint maybe 10 minutes, and then scrape, mix, wash brushes for the next 30. but acryic does seem better for getting everything drawn out. But all my little nuance colors get scraped and tossed long before they have a chance to make it to the canvas.

Getting things to look right like the grey/blue reflection on the leaves is very challenging. I know some of you are good at detail work but I can't really find anything on youtube to help. It's all gigantic hyperreal paintings and fur tutorials.

So I painted in the top left 3 red flowers today. They still need some work.


03-14-2018, 10:17 AM
Is really lovely... What nozzle size, pressure and which acrylics are you using?
Learning to control the overspray is challenging, you have to tune your equipment for it.

03-14-2018, 12:15 PM
The leaves are awesome! I love the colors of the flowers and leaves together. The flower in the top center is really working for you.


Ellis Ammons
03-15-2018, 06:09 AM
Thank you Mary! Uplifting critique :)

Fedetony, thank you as well. I'm using a .3 nozzle at around 20-35 psi. Depending on how close i get. I'm using golden fluid acrylics for both brushwork and ab. I don't really use the ab much at this stage. I get carried away with it and I can ruin a painting pretty quick.

I painted the last flower in that cluster today using just brushwork. I think it's turning out really nice. Seems to have a realistic quality. I got a new brush - synthetic hog hair round and it made a big difference. Could really load up the brush and concentrate without having to go back down to the palette constantly. I'll save the nit picky details until the end in case I make any composition changes.


03-15-2018, 07:30 AM
OK, 0.3 is quite good size, not too small not to big :). You need to try to lower the pressure to the 20 psi, then go very close to the surface, control the distance constant helping yourself with the other hand. Open the air, and very slowly open the paint flow. Don't open it fully, just enough that little paint goes out, you need to build it slowly, so its just a matter of not opening the paint fast. My AB has a screw to stop the amount of paint, but I use it seldom, is just easier to get conscious about opening the paint slowly. Even if you don't see paint going out, it is. You need constantly to clean the tip of the needle because at low pressure, the dry tip happens more often.
I learned this from hunterpaul and are very great tips for using the AB. Look at this WIP (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=9) for more info and tips from him.

03-15-2018, 11:16 AM
This is coming along very nicely.

Synthetic hog hair?

Ellis Ammons
03-16-2018, 10:51 AM
Thank you Michelle. I really like the synthetic hog hair so far. It holds enough
water and paint to let it flow, and doesn't dry out in 10 seconds. Holds a point better and doesnt react weird to water. I found a set of brushes made specifically for fluid acrylics so I ordered those and some more of the synth hog. Hopefully I'll find some brushes that work. My current set is just about like painting with a stick ":)

And thanks for your help fedetony. I'll try that and look into the WIP.

Today I painted in the multicolored flowers along the top and worked a little on some leaves in the upper right. Bringing them forward.


03-16-2018, 12:47 PM
Wow! Those leaves look great!

03-16-2018, 01:32 PM
This is looking gorgeous so far!

03-16-2018, 06:13 PM
Ellis: looking great so far. Keep us posted.

Ellis Ammons
03-17-2018, 11:18 AM
Thank you Edward, Rene and Derek. Hopefully I wont disappoint. And Rene that avatar with the chicken is fantastic!

I've trimmed the bush.. so to speak. I felt like it would have more dimension if I gave it a little more background. But the dark areas seem a little odd. So I'll probably work on that tommorrow. And sharpen up the leaves on the bottom.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Mar-2018/1979761-camellia_wip_5.jpg

Charlie's Mum
03-17-2018, 01:10 PM
Ellis, your leaves and those flowers along the top are really superb - when complete, I can't see a Gallery refusing to show it surely!

I use very little paint - and don't mix paint until it's needed. Don't know what you mix on or keep the mixed paint on, but if you use a palette paper (or even greaseproof/baking paper on a damp base pf paper towel, it should keep your paint useable while you work ...... then all of it in a covered stay-wet palette/box and it should last longer.

Re those synthetic hog-hair brushes - are they stiff like hog-hair ones?

Ellis Ammons
03-17-2018, 02:08 PM
Thanks Maureen I will try that with the baking sheet.

I like acrylic when im actually painting with it And I like the results I'm getting. It's just all the mixing, misting, scraping my pallete. It's really cutting down on my brush time. And a huge waste of paint. I've thrown away enough paint to probably cover the canvas 3 times. Then there is the color shift and drying matte. I have to pretty much ignore what it looks like while I'm painting on the canvas and go by the test swatch. Acrylics are not easy.

As far as the synthetic hog hair brush I would say it's not as stiff as hog hair. It's springy, but doesn't seem to leave the brush marks like hog hair. I guess the hairs are finer.

03-17-2018, 02:45 PM
Wow this is really beautiful.

Ellis Ammons
03-18-2018, 12:36 AM
Thank you colins

@fedetony - I've tried the link to that WIP it didn't work.

Ellis Ammons
03-18-2018, 07:59 AM
Worked all day on this today. The baking sheet over the wet towel did the trick. Paints stayed workable all day.

I worked some more leaves up from the shadows and made alot of leaves more leafy green. Then I started brush work on the lower left. Where I was able to get a realistic look I think. Still alot of work to do on this one.


Charlie's Mum
03-18-2018, 08:11 AM
Glad the tip helped!

Leaves are looking fantastic!

Ellis Ammons
03-18-2018, 12:22 PM
@Maureen - have you noticed one brand of baking sheets working better?

Charlie's Mum
03-18-2018, 05:03 PM
I'm in the UK Ellis so they probably differ - try whatever you have handy ....... actually, atm I'm using paper from a tear-off palette.
Do you having baking parchment over there? - ours is a bit whiter than the greaseproof paper.

Ellis Ammons
03-20-2018, 05:44 AM
Took a few days off from painting. Just messing with lighting and built a little wall easel. Couldn't get rid of the little spot of glare at the top of the painting. So I still can't take photos straight on. Think I'm going to try some flourescent tubes.

Today I worked mainly on the upper right quarter. Using brush work for more realism. Arm was getting fatigued from not having something to prop on. Guess a maul stick is on my todo list.


Ellis Ammons
03-21-2018, 03:24 PM
I had a big struggle with the glare in the painting. At first I thought it was the light. I tried many different kinds of lights from every angle, fluorescent, spiral, led, diffused, direct, reflected, you name it. I even started trying to paint out the glare, sanded some spots down and repainted. Doing test swatches with different blacks to see if it was something with the gloss level and finally figured out that's what it was. I think there is something off with the gloss of Golden Carbon Black. I finally got the glare out by glazing the entire painting with glazing fluid, like a varnish.

Like magic the glare just disappeared. Almost completely. I don't know why it looked so terrible. If anyone has any insight as to why the black was creating such a fuzzy effect, please share. It was mostly only noticeable when looking straight at the painting. Maybe it was from mixing with water. Or maybe it was from mixing with transparent pigments. Very strange.

Here is a side by side photo. You can clearly see the glare and fuzzy appearance in the top center of the photo on the left and then the glazed painting on the right. And then my WIP below as finally a decent WIP photo.



03-23-2018, 12:02 PM
Absolutely lovely Ellis. This is coming along so well. I struggle to get decent photos of my work also and have no idea what causes the glare or fuzziness but find if I am able to take the photos outdoors, it helps a lot. My camera skills are limited to the 'auto' setting on my camera! Kudos to you for working out the problem and getting a better result. I am looking forward to seeing this one at completion.

Ellis Ammons
03-23-2018, 02:36 PM
Thank you Sue. I was so happy to get a decent picture. I took it with my cell phone on manual :) A DSLR is on my wish list. I enjoy working on my own composition. Plus it would give me an excuse to go find adventure!

Today I've added the bulb and 2 pink flowers in the lower left and mid. I really like how the big pink one turned out.


Charlie's Mum
03-23-2018, 02:58 PM
Ellis - I do know that acrylics are not consistent with mattness/gloss so maybe it's just that .... it's why most tend to do exactly what you did - a coat of medium to level it all out.

Those leaves and bud are beauties - and the pink blooms ........ what reds are you using to mix the pinks?

Ellis Ammons
03-23-2018, 04:08 PM
Ellis - I do know that acrylics are not consistent with mattness/gloss so maybe it's just that .... it's why most tend to do exactly what you did - a coat of medium to level it all out.

Those leaves and bud are beauties - and the pink blooms ........ what reds are you using to mix the pinks?PV19 - primary magenta. It falls a tad bit short on chroma. I may glaze some PR122 quinadricone magenta which is a little stronger. But I will save it for the end. I only have a little left.

Ellis Ammons
03-27-2018, 06:43 PM
I've changed my lighting setup to a LED. Probably not a good idea mid painting..
And I stopped adding water to my paint as it was making the color shift of acrylics to hard for me to handle.

I've been working on the bottom right quarter on the leaves and I think you can tell the realism is much better. No water and no airbrush.

I'm saving the big flower for last so that I'll keep working on the little things throughout the painting. I'm bad about moving on once I finish the main subject. But I'm closing in on the finish line. Going to rework the branch in the bottom left corner and the big flower and some other stuff. Putting alot more into this than I had originally planned.


03-27-2018, 07:46 PM
the leaves especially are fantastic. What colors are you using to get that green?

Ellis Ammons
03-27-2018, 08:32 PM
the leaves especially are fantastic. What colors are you using to get that green?
Carbon Black/Hansa Yellow Medium/Pthalo Blue/Titanium White/Primary Magenta.
Then zinc white and ultramine blue for the reflections.

03-28-2018, 02:42 AM
Carbon Black/Hansa Yellow Medium/Pthalo Blue/Titanium White/Primary Magenta.
Then zinc white and ultramine blue for the reflections.

Ellis Ammons
03-28-2018, 08:55 AM
Black and yellow make up the majority of the greens. People think of green as blue and yellow. There is very little blue in the mixes. Pthalo blue can overpower the mix quickly. That is where the mixes get tricky. Once you add the titanium white to lighten the color it get's more of a pastel look. So you have to mix in a little pthalo blue to get the chroma back on track. The magenta creates a little more brownish color to the mix and not very much of that is needed either.

Charlie's Mum
03-28-2018, 12:04 PM
I think we should rate this thread - it's not only a good painting but the information included is good also.:)

For those who wish to know about rating - go to the top of the page, click on 'Rate thread' and choose your rating........ eventually, starts will appear next to the thread title.

A good, informative WIP Ellis - thank you!:)

03-28-2018, 03:35 PM
This is a wonderful thread and I have been following it with great interest! I have now rated it also. Many things learned with this one! Thanks so much :clap:

03-28-2018, 03:58 PM
Looks great!
The realism on the leaves is outstanding!
Looking forward to the finish on the flowers, so lovely.

Ellis Ammons
03-29-2018, 07:49 PM
Thank you Maureen, Sue and Dianna. Very inspiring.

The method with the stay wet palette wasnt working for me because of the color shift doubled when adding water. The biggest thing I've found is to not mix on a palette. Mix in a cup. The fluid acrylics will start to dry almost as soon as they hit a palette and they will change consistency while mixing within minutes. Store and mix in a cup and it will make a huge difference. I'm using little plastic 1oz shot glasses with a lid. You can get 100 of them for like $7.

Today I worked on the branch and background in the bottom left quarter. I really wanted it to stand out. So i trimmed the bush a little again. And I'm fairly satisfied with it now. A little more work to do on the leaves and then on to the flowers.

Not sure why wet canvas shrinks my image sometimes. I upload with the same pixel size but the actual size on the forum changes randomly.


Charlie's Mum
03-30-2018, 08:37 AM
:thumbsup: for latest corner!:)

It looks 800p size on my screen Ellis .... the last few showing square-on to the camera are much better presentations too - cutting out the extraneous stuff and keeping the image square helps a lot I think.:)

Ellis Ammons
04-02-2018, 03:13 AM
Many thanks for the feedback Maureen.

Almost done with this one I think. I've added a flower to the bottom right and retouched some areas. And I've left the big flower half finished for now as I thought people might like to see.

Basically on the big flower I've put down 2 strings of about 10 values. One string very saturated with color and the other a little less. Then I try to paint each petal wet into wet as much as possible. Not using any water just keep applying paint trying to keep brush blending to a minimal. It's basically a little alla prima section.

Once the form is built in this way I will go back and add the smaller details. Or I may just leave it like this as details on petals sort of happen naturally.

Let me know if something throughout the painting looks odd. As I've been looking at it for a long time and don't really notice anymore. I know the pic is a little gritty I'll try to get a good picture when complete.


Charlie's Mum
04-02-2018, 07:40 AM
It's probably the photo Ellis but how does the dark area just north and east of centre look in reality? ... I'm just wondering if it's too dark and dominant?

Just to clarify your method - do you basically finish a small area before moving to another ...... does this enable you to blend (as you say above) without using the water? ..... would you finish each of those petals before painting the next?
Any idea of time taken for
a) say a square inch
b) so far?
...... I'm trying to anticipate questions by Newbies so I can point them to this thread for answers!:lol:

04-02-2018, 11:01 AM
Ellis: thanks for the journey. This is so well painted. Terrific.
Looking forward to the finale.

Ellis Ammons
04-02-2018, 05:43 PM
Thank you Maureen and Derek.

The last photo is darker than reality. Bad photo. The previous photos are more accurate. But I got that area to dark when I was trying to figure out what was going wrong with the gloss/glare of my background. I intended to go back and rework it but forgot about it. Thank you for pointing that out.

It probably took me about 2.5 hours to paint the bottom of the big flower. About a hour of that is mixing paint, washing palettes and brushs ect. I try to paint one section of color or petal at a time. Once I see that the paint is becoming tacky and looses it's luster or is holding brush marks. I leave it alone and move to the next area. If it doesn't turn out how I wanted I go back and paint over it. Which is where time and materials can skyrocket. It just depends on how picky you are. Sometimes I need to tell myself "good enough" and move on.

Charlie's Mum
04-02-2018, 06:03 PM
Thanks Ellis - this is just the kind of info people (Newbies especially) ask for.:)

Ellis Ammons
04-02-2018, 06:56 PM
Glad I could help. It really helps to have feedback and learn and grow with others. Every day is another opportunity to improve. I am still learning and changing my methods. Almost daily at times.

Ellis Ammons
04-04-2018, 08:29 AM
Please change the thread title to finished. Thank you

I've learned alot and I think my next peice will be even better! Thanks for looking.

C&C welcome.

this is as close to life as i can get it on WC.

04-04-2018, 11:22 AM

Charlie's Mum
04-04-2018, 11:36 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap: ....... the end of a fine journey!:)

04-09-2018, 12:56 AM
This is unbelievable. Absolutely stunning work.

04-09-2018, 04:16 AM

Ellis Ammons
04-10-2018, 04:19 AM
Thank you Lavenderfrost, Maureen, Keke and Mary.

I'm glad you all enjoyed it. It makes all the effort worth it.

Katie Black
04-10-2018, 08:17 PM
A wonderful painting. The leaves are unbelievably realistic looking!

Ellis Ammons
04-11-2018, 09:37 PM
Thank you Katie. The leaves were the most challenging aspect.

05-04-2018, 02:03 PM
Great work Ellis! You can be really proud of your paintings!

05-04-2018, 04:49 PM
I'm glad I checked in to see how this turned out. Terrific work.

Ellis Ammons
05-05-2018, 05:20 PM
Thank you Robert and Cliff. I wish there was a way to mark the title as - finished so interested people could check in.

05-05-2018, 05:51 PM
Thanks for the creative ride Ellis. A really fine finish.

Lady Carol
05-05-2018, 11:08 PM

05-06-2018, 07:42 AM
Following...this is beautiful.


05-06-2018, 10:18 AM
Outstanding work. I really like all the textures, especially in the leaves.

05-07-2018, 04:59 PM
Fantastic finish! This is so lush and gorgeous!

Ellis Ammons
05-08-2018, 12:19 AM
Thank you Derek, Carol, Wesley, Christopher and Sue.

I'm honored to have received 5 stars for this thread!

Charlie's Mum
05-08-2018, 01:03 PM
Ellis, I'll add 'finished' to the the title ....... just call and I'll edit!!!!!!!;);):D

Charlie's Mum
05-08-2018, 01:06 PM
Sorry Ellis - when I checked back I saw your post 47 titled 'Finished' but hadn't realised you'd just re-titled the post ........ thread title now edited!:)