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Margaret Dent
06-20-2005, 11:00 PM
Hello,

I'm a super-newbie here and only have one WC under my belt. This is number 2. It's from the reference library and I apologize but I didn't write down who contributed it. It's actually a painting for my mom. I am very happy with the way the sunflower petals are coming along, but the blue sky has me totally baffled :eek: !

Here is the problem: I put masking fluid on the petals prior to painting the sky. Now, getting a smooth, uniform wash is hard enough, but I had no idea how hard it would be to get it all even going between the mask!!! So, I ended up with very uneven sky with lighter areas and areas of dark lines. Is there any way to fix this?

I've tried to apply some water and then gently scrub the darker lines but then too much colour gets lifted and I end up with lighter areas! Very frustrating.

Would anyone be willing to help please?

Margaret.

Granny R
06-20-2005, 11:35 PM
Sure, keep going, You can put more washes over the sky once dried. Even variations in the sky color will add to it. Don't despair. I learn a lot by making mistakes .
Ruth

Yorky
06-21-2005, 03:52 AM
No one will notice slight imperfections in the sky, the flower will be the star.

press on!

Doug

laudesan
06-21-2005, 04:09 AM
Looks O.K. to me. I would just keep going. Every painting can be "salvaged" if you have patience. I kinda like the sky, and you could put another light wash over the whole sky when the previous layer is completely dry.

Doug is right tho' it is the gorgeous sunflower that is going to be the star of the show..

JJ

artmom
06-21-2005, 08:57 AM
Keep going! Most skies in real life have different shades of blue, etc. in them.

Lyn

mmcaloon
06-21-2005, 09:25 AM
Press on the start of the show will do the job for you. It looks great so far.

ElizabethAnne
06-21-2005, 09:43 AM
Great second wcolor!! Finish up the flower and then you will have a better idea of what to do with the background. Doesn't need to be a smooth, even wash either.

Be sure to come back and upload the finished painting in this thread so we can see it.

Welcome!

ElizabethAnne

Freerider
06-21-2005, 10:43 AM
When I have to do a complicated wash with many detailed spots I wet all the areas of the wash beforehand. In that way it is easier to control the wash. Try it on a scrap piece of paper.

Christie
06-21-2005, 12:11 PM
This will be fine, just do what the others have said with more sky washes.

If you have removed your masking fluid (it looks that way), just wet the paper very carefully and drop in more colour for the sky.

The sunflower is going to be stunning when it is done...!

olliewood0702
06-21-2005, 12:12 PM
YES...Margaret keep on going as I have to agree the flower will be THE STAR!! WONDERFUL start :clap: :wave:

sarathered
06-21-2005, 12:26 PM
Great advice ... I agree with Elizabeth Anne. Focus on the flower for now and then return to the background. You can apply a wash or two, do some wet in wet work to give some variety to your sky. You may also want to look at our June homework thread, as it's all about skies!!

Looks great, btw.

Sandy1
06-21-2005, 01:00 PM
I agree with everyone, keep going and add more to the background later if you think it needs it. I can't wait to see the flower develop.

Margaret Dent
06-21-2005, 01:46 PM
Thank you all who replied to my plea for help :) . I appreciate all your comments very much. The concensus seems to be "go ahead with the flower and worry about the sky later!" Eye, eye, captains! I shall do just that. I'm enjoying this one very much (even though it IS for my mom and I'm scared brushless that I will screw it up somehow...) and will post updates from time to time as a couple of you indicated you'd like to see it develop.

The underpainting for the petals was finished last night and now I'm at that stage when I'm afraid to proceed. But I will, slowly.

Thanks again

Margaret.

pampe
06-21-2005, 01:55 PM
yup

when you get the colors on the flower...your sky will be fine

what paper are you using? That might be part of it

Margaret Dent
06-21-2005, 01:57 PM
Pampe,

I don't remember off hand but will check when I get back home.

LyndaN
06-21-2005, 08:15 PM
Is that sepie that you used for the underpainting? I am new to this and think you are doing an awesome job!

LyndaN
06-21-2005, 08:22 PM
Sorry I meant sepia:>)

Margaret Dent
06-21-2005, 11:10 PM
Pampe - the paper is 200 lbs Florentine by Grumbacher watercolour cold press. I'm not sure I like it - it has these horizontal indentations that seem to capture water and paint if I'm not careful.

Lynda - the underpainting is a mixture of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue, but I guess I could have just used sepia... LOL. And thank you for your comment. I'm primarily a graphite artist and this is something very new to me as well. I found doing the underpainting made if feel a lot closer to drawing and in turn made me feel a lot more comfortable. Now I have to add real COLOUR!!! :eek:

Margaret.

Lori Andrews
06-22-2005, 01:23 AM
Salvaged???? Whats to repair??? Great JOB!!! Can't wait to see the complete work.

Roun2it
06-22-2005, 02:41 AM
Excellent, just want to add my support.

When doing the b/g later mix up a real good bunch of colour and then wet the area you are painting, keep the wash wet at both ends as you go around the painting, unless you have an area that cuts across the sky from flower to edge, and just blend the colour in.

painterbear
06-22-2005, 04:59 AM
...
Lynda - the underpainting is a mixture of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue, but I guess I could have just used sepia... LOL. And thank you for your comment. I'm primarily a graphite artist and this is something very new to me as well. I found doing the underpainting made if feel a lot closer to drawing and in turn made me feel a lot more comfortable. Now I have to add real COLOUR!!! :eek:

Margaret.


Margaret,

Your sunflower is beautifully drawn and you have the shadow areas already in place. Wait til you see what happens when you put your body color over that, it is magical.

Your BS and UB mixture for the gray is perfect—much livelier than the sepia would have been. (Sepia is good for making value studies prepatory to painting a picture, but it tends to dull and deaden colors where your mixture doesn't.)

Agree with all the advice ^^^^ re getting the star of the show finished before worrying any more about the background. You might find the sky looks great just as it is, or maybe it will need another wash, but that can all be taken care of after you finish the sunflower.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Watercolors. It takes some getting used to, but the rewards are well worth it when you finish a painting you love.

Sylvia

CharM
06-22-2005, 08:37 AM
Hi Margaret... lots of good advice from ^^^... Your composition is terrific! I tend to do my backgrounds last... I prefer to focus on the centre of interest first, establishing my values and such before laying in the b/g colour... you have lots of time to do just that! :D Looking forward to your next steps...

Margaret Dent
10-18-2005, 07:43 PM
Well, I bet you guys thought I'd never finish this... :cat: I've been on vacation for the past weeks and and a half and have gone back to this. I have a couple of updates to share.

As many of you have suggested, I decided to finish the flower and all the leaves/stalks before worrying about that dang sky. So, here is the next image I snapped. Still feeling very unsure of myself and my colour choices at this point, but I'm plugging on.

The image actually looks a bit more vivid than it is in real life. It would seem my camera is a better artist than I am :D

Margaret.

Margaret Dent
10-18-2005, 07:49 PM
And here is update 3 - I'm starting to have fun!!! Suddenly the colours are making sense :eek: EUREKA!!! Now I can see where I made mistakes in the petals but can't realy fix them any more. They served their purpose in teaching me so I will let them be.

Again, this is a little more vivid than in real life. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to tackle the middle of the flower but this is how I'm going to start...

Any suggestions and / or comments will be appreciated!

Margaret.

laudesan
10-18-2005, 07:59 PM
Well I am glad you came back to this painting, and you are having fun.

Looking forward to see what you do with those leaves..:)

Margaret Dent
10-19-2005, 12:58 AM
Thanks Laudesan,

Here is the latest update. I am starting to work on the leaves and stems and I'm trying ot think *layers*!

Margaret.

artmom
10-19-2005, 01:31 AM
Looking good! Just vary some of the blue in your background as you go along and I think you'll have a stunning painting here. :)

Lyn

Rich
10-20-2005, 10:50 PM
Since this is a WIP, I moved this thread to the Studio with a redirect left in the Gallery.

Margaret Dent
10-20-2005, 10:59 PM
Oh, dear. Thanks Rich for moving it. Problem is, I now have two threads in Studio about the same thing. Second one is called "sunflower WIP" and only has couple of message under it. Maybe you could kill it?

Margaret.

Margaret Dent
10-20-2005, 11:01 PM
OK, latest update. Put some more layers on the leaves behind the flower head and started fighting with the stems and large leaves. I think they are winning! I find the green lifts off really easily so when I put another layer I have to do it super fast otherwise it all just starts coming off.

Margaret.

robynsin
10-21-2005, 11:42 AM
Your petals and leaves are stunning, Margaret. Very much looking forward to the finish of this one:)

robyn

Margaret Dent
10-22-2005, 10:46 AM
Thanks, Robyn,

I tried different technique on those stems yesterday and it worked a bit better. Still have a couple more layers to do on them and then I have to attack that sky again. Here is the latest update.

BTW, this colour is a bit closer to the real life colour - just a bit washed out. The truth is somewhere between the previous, super-saturated one and this one.

margaret.

bluegenes
10-22-2005, 03:40 PM
Margaret, wow! This is really coming along nicely!!

Patty

laudesan
10-22-2005, 08:56 PM
Yep, coming along beautifully..

Margaret Dent
10-24-2005, 09:37 AM
JJ and Patty,

thank you ladies. I can't wait to get it done - Mom's birthday is in two weeks!

margaret.

lpb
10-28-2005, 06:06 PM
This is really a beautiful flower. :clap: One observation, if it helps...I find that the blue is very nearly a pure hue & close in value to the petals. For me, it seems to compete with the petals for attention. I wonder if you either lightened the blue, or darkened/neutralized it a bit, if you would be more satisfied. Just a thought. My first w/c was a sunflower, but not this nicely done!

Margaret Dent
10-28-2005, 11:28 PM
Lorraine,

your post is very timely and definitely helpful. I can see what you mean and agree. It is a bit dark and close to the rest of the composition in value. Can you tell I had no idea what I was doing? LOL. Now, how would you go about lightening it? I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to try this as it is for my mom and I absolutely cannot screw this up right now - her birthday is Nov. 4th. There is something about this paper and colour combination - it lifts really easily and unevenly! I'm gonna try and finish it this weekend so if you have any more suggestions - keep'em coming! ;-)

Thanks for your help and comments,

Margaret.

Margaret Dent
11-04-2005, 10:59 PM
I have finished the sunflower painting and feel a lot better about WCs now :D . Figured out what the problem was with the sky colour lifting - I was using the wrong brush, one meant for acrylics. It was a lot harder and "springier" so it was scrubbing colour very easily. I switched to a soft, natural bristle round brush and applied another layer very lightly and it was good...

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

Margaret.

Margaret Dent
11-04-2005, 11:02 PM
Ooops, sorry. Forgot the flower... :eek:

Ms. Gee
11-05-2005, 12:47 AM
This came out beautiful! I just happened upon this tonight. Happy Birthday to your Mom! The flower is wonderful but I especially love the big leaf on the left. You did a beautiful job showing the depth. This is incredible for a second painting. You have a natural talent!

Thanks for sharing your WIP!
Ms. Gee

laudesan
11-05-2005, 03:25 AM
Oh Margaret, your Mom is just going to love this painting.. Well done.. :)

painterbear
11-05-2005, 05:49 AM
This came out beautiful! I just happened upon this tonight. Happy Birthday to your Mom! The flower is wonderful but I especially love the big leaf on the left. You did a beautiful job showing the depth. This is incredible for a second painting. You have a natural talent!

Thanks for sharing your WIP!
Ms. Gee


I agree with Mrs. G. about that lovely leaf, you did a terrific job with it. Your flower is beautifully painted.

It will be a lovely gift for your Mom. Well done.

Hope we see more of your work soon.

Sylvia

Sandy1
11-05-2005, 11:08 AM
Stunning! :clap: :clap: :clap: I just love it!