View Full Version : Pads II WIP

12-15-2007, 03:35 AM
Hi folks :wave:
It's been a while since I did a WIP thread, but since I have a digital camera now my "sharing art" life has gotten so much easier.
Anyway, some of you may have seen my Pads painting a few weeks back. It was based upon a ref. ph. by Ticktock01.

I decided, I could do better. I'm sure of it. Actually, I was fairly satisfied with the whole thing save for the flower itself...:( :o :mad:

So, with time off from work I have decided to try it again :) . What the heck! And maybe some newbies to watercolor in general, will feel encouraged to see someone else keep practicing! :D

OK--Here is the painting to be re-done:

Pads I.

Now to follow the start of Pads II:

Step 1.

I did the drawing on tracing paper and transferred it to #140 rough Arches.
I decided to use a trick I learned on one of my new Creative Catylyst videos made by artist Susan Bourdet. Susan recommends spraying over your pencil/graphite drawing on wc paper with workable fixitive. (She states no need for this if you use a non oily graphite paper however.) I thought this seemed like a good idea so I wouldn't smear up my paper and lose necessary detail information. I am learning, really good (realist)watercolorist like/use VERY detailed drawings for their paintings. It just so happened I had a can on hand.


step 2.

Okay...so your wondering...."Maryann, what is that plastic on your painting?" Well, I was recently at a demonstration where the artist used a product called Frisket Film to mask off large portions of her paintings. I did not have Frisket Film (a common air brush art supply), BUT the really nice shop owner of Tacoma Art Supply gave me for free--two sheets of a plastic material that airbrush artist ofter use to make stencils. So this was my try
at it.
You place the acetate over the work and use a sharpie to trace a 1/4 line inside your area to masked. Than...after cutting along the sharpie line, place the acetate over the work and seal in it on with a wide band of masking fluid.
Now your ready to do your backround.
Well....hey....I'm not buying books, going to demonstrations and watching painting videos for nothing :D .
Honestly, for me at this point...I feel more like my painting is about challenging myself to see what I can do.....and...I just plain like to paint. :D

12-15-2007, 03:49 AM
Alright...moving right along.

I did my backround. It's the water. Let me just say, COMMENTS OKAY, CRITICISM NOT OKAY. Hind site being 20/20, I think I would have began the water differently. Perhaps with tons of paint and a smoosh/smoosh of color for the shape of the reflected petals.....but...I didn't do it that way. I did it the hard way....(eyeroll)...to many layers, too much work, made me tired that is why I don't want criticism. I'll get there when I get there. :)

sorry for the blur.



^^^I finally did a little margarita salt, and when that scraped off, some spatter with watered down white gouache.
So this is where I'm at now. I will post updates as I come along. Thank you for "tuning in."

12-15-2007, 06:00 AM
I suggest you consider leaving some meniscus reflections along the edge of some of the leaves to catch the sky light. Also it's common for some of the leaves to have curled edges showing the brown underside.


12-15-2007, 08:23 AM
Looking forward to the progression!!!!! and I don't think you'll get any criticism, if anything they would be suggestions!

Joan T
12-15-2007, 11:48 AM
This will be fun to watch. I've never used frisket film, so it should be interesting to see how it works. I'll be back.

12-15-2007, 05:21 PM
Doug! you sent me on a little bit of a hunt this morning.

Meniscus: Crescent Shaped.

Not to mention...Claude Monet got a fair amount of criticism. :) I didn't know that.....

here is the ref. note, I have eliminated the red "branches" at the bottom.

12-15-2007, 05:34 PM
What I meant was a shiny reflection line where the pad meets the water, caused by surface tension.

Guess you have flat leaves and no water drops ;)


12-15-2007, 07:38 PM
Thank you for doing this WIP: waterlily paintings are my favorite and a few weeks ago when I saw yours I found it delightful. I am really looking forward to the rest of this thread and to learning from your experience.

12-15-2007, 10:42 PM
Christine! Thank you so much! ...maybe I should give up painting and run some sort of gallery/school where my real job is just to inspire and cheer on others. :lol: . Sometimes I think I'm better at that.

Okay----So Doug was right, there are no bubbles, speckles in the water. If we're really taking the reference into account. :wink2: . I was trying soooo hard to create...layers...depth...oh so hard...I about tried myself into another failure :o .

So.....onward to

Step 3:

For step 3, we turn our paper over and refer back to steps 1 and 2.
And this is what I got.


I like this much better. Perhaps it isn't meant for me to be a photorealist, BUT I expect enough of myself to at least create something that looks like it has LIFE to it. The former water had no sense of depth or glow or life.
The speckle in the upper right is NOT SALT, I dropped in some wet yellow into dryer backround of sepia/undersea green douple dipped brush mixing on paper.
I did use watered down white guoache (sp?) for the petal reflections and I hope the watercolor police wont arrest me for that. :D
This has ....a whole different "feel" from the original I think....tell me folks, does it seem more sophisticated and less childish? Please say yes....:D

12-18-2007, 02:07 AM
Okay---this project is still on track. Today I did some sample making and observation to help me figure out my next move. This is what is going on.

A. I glazed just a smidge more green into the lower/lower right of the water to define the light more. After seeing it on the computer screen I felt it needed this. Now I can honestly say, IRL passing by it and at the 5ft. obs. distance ...I am liking it....


Now I made an observation at this point about "key." Ya see, the original I did had "high key". I used loud colors...which is fine but look at this....



So I made little "pad samples" and "auditioned" them. The mission is to develop a pad with an underglow, with proper light placement-that looks like it "belongs" on this painting. A bit calmer perhaps yet with an aknowledgment of light and shadow. I'm not concerned with "shine and jump" because I know once it's under glass it will convey a glossy sense of "finish."

12-18-2007, 05:39 AM
I was still at it tonight, but now I think I've got it and I'm gonna get some sleep and look again in the morning. But I think I've got it....

pad samples:


Now it should be more apparent what my line of thinking is. See how the new samples show variation, light and life--but they don't scream. Thats what I was trying to find. If I already had mixing charts of all my stuff I suppose this would have been quiker to find :rolleyes: .

Current sample: Undersea green, Serpantine green, Indian Red, Lemon yellow.

12-18-2007, 09:19 AM
I am still here, enjoying watching over your shoulder.......


12-18-2007, 12:44 PM
this is fun! you haven't invited me over yet, but i can look over your shoulder just the same. So far, it's great!

12-18-2007, 08:58 PM
Alright---I did a little more today.

Earlier today I painted up some samples of Duochrome Seguro Green to show some folks over in Pallete Talk. When I did the sample I realized this paint was a nice complement to the greens, yellow and Indian Red I already decided on for these pads. So I did one more sample:


To my mind, as an accent, the shine looks "wet." So Mimi, in answer to a question you asked in the DS Metallic Demo...I guess you will have a chance to see at least this color play a small supporting role in this painting. :D

So today- I sprayed another coat of workable fixative over the painting hoping this would help prevent backrun/lifting of the painted water....
Than I painted the darkest pad at the top, than did "underpainting" for the second darkest pad...


^^^that part was scary.....


^^^ with the green over the underpainting. Note, if you put on your second layer (which the green is), than get your brush good and dry (this is a 1" flat), brush it over your almost dry paint.....you get this..."Oil painting" sort of texture. I am really liking it on this subdued palette...it "fits."

Now here is a comparison- original/re-do


The yellower pads are to come....and I think will just "Infuse" this painting...
stay tuned....

12-18-2007, 09:47 PM
:wave: Hi! Hp, Watching along here, very different from the first re-do. thanks for doing this WIP and sharing your tips and techniques as you go along. Regards, Marianne

12-19-2007, 11:50 PM
So I did some more tonight and perhaps will continue after I have a bite to eat....

Areas covered: Bottom right pad.
Upper left pads.
Leading into flower w/shadow pad.



^^^^more scary underpainting....


^^^^underpainting that turned out to be a waste of time :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :lol: because the minute I went to put my overwash of serpantine green the undersea green shadow just ...POOF...disapeared!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Dec-2007/98505-side_by_side_8ft.jpg [IMG]

So this is where I'm at...so now you know I havn't fell off the earth....:D .
Hope your still having fun watching. It is interesting, I have a 1" flat artificial hair brush that I am using intermitantly with my #6 Kolinsky. In the time I've owned the flat I've hardly used it, but I am finding very convenient in this painting for "cutting" around edges and 'smoothing paint out.'

12-20-2007, 10:04 AM
:wave: HI!, Mary Ann, it is so good to see the compare and contrast view. Looking good. Those are two of my favorite brushes aslo. Regards, Marianne

Joan T
12-20-2007, 12:28 PM
I'm enjoying this WIP. I love waterlilies and it's interesting to see how you're approaching this. Thanks for sharing it.

12-20-2007, 02:55 PM
Hi Marianne!

Joan--- I'm so glad you are enjoying this. I looked at you and your sister's pouring efforts. I have done pours...actually back in the day, that was my introduction to watercolor. I was under and instructor at the time. She would have us pour 3 colors in a T formation...place texturizers AND THAN we would figure out "What we could make of it.." I always loved this lady's work.


I also recommend that you girls check out artist Karlyn Holman if you want to try on this kind of style.

Last night I watched Penny Soto's video where she does the cherries in the metal bowl. Wow. So many times I wonder if "technique wise" am I "doing it right." You should have seen this video! She's underpainting heavy color, she's moving that brush back and forth (forget one pass), you see little paper pulp bits (she's using #300) and than she says "Don't worry about the pulp, your not in trouble until you see the table under your painting." In the end...She's got this absolutely INCREDIBLE painting....:lol: :lol:

Penny Soto also invented this palette I've never seen before. I e-mailed to see about getting it, I think it's absolutely REVOLUTIONARY, and I can't believe it's not seen more often..here is a link:


:lol: :lol: Alright, Alright...time to break up the "Coffee Klatch." Will have more progress posted tonight. Have a great day friends...:wave:

12-20-2007, 03:48 PM
Interesting thread.....I really liked your link to Kate! She IS amazing! I've never seen Penny's palette before either.

Great job you are doing so far......am tuning in to see your finale!

12-21-2007, 12:33 AM
Tonights progress and an idea to share....

I've got paint on all the pads now. I reserve the option to highlight them a little more later on...but the flower will be the next part. :eek: :eek: scary...


I had looked at a Claude Monet lillypad painting on a calender at the mall today, and got to thinking...if I tried to do "meniscus reflections" as Doug asked if I might...how would I do them? White guaoche was my answer. I'm mulling it over for the end. But it did occur to me..if I try to swoop in with a little with guaoche, I'd have to really know what I was doing and swoop it in clean...one pass..one clean squiggle. So how do you practice white..on white? :cool: Ya don't. Ya remember what you've got...


^^^these are scraps I already practiced on....


^^^hows that for recylcing? I bought the black gesso when I got my Irridescent Super Set...now I've got a spot to practice white white guaoche...
what I don't use I can put away for later use when I get around to really
painting with the irridescents...

Anyway folks, I really appreciate your interest. I may not update again til Saturday as I want to now take sometime meditate on this and sample up some flower petals...

Good Evening.

12-21-2007, 10:29 AM
Great job, and thanks for sharing.

12-23-2007, 03:47 AM
Just so you all know...I'm still working on it.

Today I really put my nose up close on the flower in the ref. and did this value study. I wish I had a wider range of drawing pencils...but I still got a better handle on which colors need to go where and at what value...

well I did say...MEDITATE ON IT :)



So this is how my eyes are seeing....

I have to go back to work now for three days before I'm off again.

At this point I invite anyone who cares to, to speak up on how I'm seeing these values.

12-27-2007, 01:56 AM
Alright, I'm gonna cover my head with my hands just in case some of you want to "bop me on head" for this taking a bit---in all fairness to every patient person out there:

I am having my gallbladder removed tommorrow 12/27. That is a good thing as not only will I feel better, but I've got two weeks sick leave. So this WIP WILL finish shortly. I just don't want you to think I'm "stringing you along." I actually bought an M. Graham pink and Quin. Violet that I know will be perfect for this as they are non-granulating like the colors I used in the first painting. Anyway, that is what is going on. ......:) Do I need a doctor's note?

12-27-2007, 02:23 AM
Good luck with the op........ heck of a way to get sick leave tho'


12-27-2007, 09:29 PM
I hope that your surgery went well today... blasting some white light your way to help with your recuperation!!!

12-27-2007, 10:19 PM
Char, everything went like clockwork. I arrived for check in at 6am and was out by 10:30am, no complications. I am currently under the infuence of Vicodin for the soreness so if my post are a little "loopy"....I'm "PUI" :).
I am genuinely touched by the concern and well wishes of folks I've only known on the net. You are good people. Thank You.

12-27-2007, 10:31 PM
Maryann so lovely to see your "smiling face" and know all went well. I was with you in thought..

You take it easy and follow the Dr's orders..:)

love JJ

12-28-2007, 03:33 PM
:lol: Ok Maryann, no painting tll the med's get out of your system. It may turn out very impressionistic!!!:lol:

Looking forward to your next steps!!! Looking good so far and I really like how the water turned out in both so far!

01-03-2008, 03:08 AM
Whew! I'm back on it!:clap: :clap: I felt good enough today to get back going on it. This should be done withing the next couple of days. Let's take a look. :)

I purchased M. Grahams Quin. Violet and Ultramarine Pink. Oh how I love that Ultramarine Pink. I'm a Rhodonite Genuine lover, but I have to tell you, this Ultramarine Pink....it's all the true pink you need without the bubblegum. I don't know how else to say it, it's just....a more mature pink. Just what I needed. The Quin violet as you will see, is it's perfect companion....

So first I sampled colors and practiced different approaches...




It is so interesting to see the difference between wet in wet blending and trying to lay down shadows first and paint over.....I decided I prefer the wet in wet look better....laying down clearly defined shadows first looked..."postery" to me. This painting and that choice would not be cohesive.

So...there comes a time when you have to bite the bullet and get crackin' :D

Here is where I am at:


Let me tell you, I've had my doubts throughout this project. Tonight I am a happy woman. As I went through this re-do process I began to really see not only how crumby the original was BUT WHY. At this point I would call this..."a most improved work." I give myself a brownie point for that. I will finish the flower, do a little final tweaking. As my sister told me...if I painted it 5 times it would get better every time. (not gonna do that :D ) But I do see this as a testimony to value of painting something over again in order to teach yourself how to do better. Three things I did differently this time: 1. I took more time with it. 2. I put more paint on the paper. 3. I practiced things before doing commitments on a piece I would regret.

Will post the finish when it is complete.

01-03-2008, 08:16 AM
Am I the only one I know who gets "Artist's Insomnia?"....

I finished it. It's okay to comment now....gentle criticism. The goal was--
"I believe I could do it better." So I will ask that C&C be based upon the comparison of these two paintings and not Pads II as compared to...Monet.

So here are the pictures to tell the story....





and the finale--which I will re-shoot in outdoor light later today before posting to the gallery, but here it is under color corrective lamp:


And thats it :p Mission Accomplished :thumbsup:

01-03-2008, 08:57 AM
Well it is a vast improvement and the bloom itself is absolutely gorgeous.

You should be very proud of yourself..


01-03-2008, 09:08 AM
You are my Champion JJ. Bless you!

01-03-2008, 10:35 AM
:wave: HI! Mary Ann, Like where you have taken this in II. A greater degree of sophistication and fine tuning in the finishing. You have so captured the sunshine and the feeling of the blossom on the water with your development of the shadows, reflections and pads in/on the water. :thumbsup: Thanks for sharing this II effort, it is great food for thought and a good example of holding your vision of what you would like to portray. Regards, Marianne

01-03-2008, 04:13 PM
Maryann, Looks really nice, It is a great improvement, even though i liked the first one too!

01-03-2008, 04:35 PM
Marianne- thank you, a higher degree of sophistication is what I am trying to achieve overall with my work. That value study on the flowere made a tremendous difference for me...it gave me "direction." It was like having..a set of instructions...

Conni--- :) thank you for liking the first one too. Honestly, with the experiment of trying to do the flower with the shadows placed first, I think I learned I could even do a better "poster version" of this, whereby it looks like a "style" instead of..."grammar school art lesson."

One of my missions this year will be to learn how to paint realistic water.

01-03-2008, 06:49 PM
Hey, that's really nice! you definitely made it more lovely and vibrant.
I thought your water looked pretty good!

01-03-2008, 08:51 PM
Thank you Mimi!

01-03-2008, 11:13 PM
Both flowers are very nice, but the second looks more delicately beautiful and its reflections are beautiful.

01-04-2008, 12:23 AM
Both flowers are very nice, but the second looks more delicately beautiful and its reflections are beautiful.

:clap: :clap: That's what I want to be able to do. Delicately beautiful flowers! Oh thank you soooo much. :) By the way Chris, is there somewhere I can go to see your signature painting larger? I would be interested to know what pinks you used also.


01-04-2008, 02:39 PM
Your goal is realistic water....

ME TOOOO!!! We should work on it together sometime!

Joan T
01-09-2008, 12:48 PM
Maryann - I am so bad. I started following this and somehow I got distracted and forgot to come back and follow it until now. Thanks so much for doing this WIP. I just gave you my mentor point for doing this. I love the way this came out. The waterlily petals look so much more natural in this one. Wet-into-wet was definitely the way to go. It is interesting to see your underwater shapes and how you did them. I've tried doing a waterlily but the dark water with the underwater images never looked right to me. Maybe I'll review this again and retry one. Thanks also for the link to the pouring demo. I really enjoyed seeing that and I'm going to send the link to Michelle in case she hasn't seen it.

01-09-2008, 07:17 PM

You are such an inspiration to me. First of all you are constantly trying new effects in a very practical manner.
Second you do repaint your work and in front of the world, too.
I have tried to paint waterlillies and they are really hard.
Your second version has more texture and depth. You achieved wonderful coloring on those lilly pads.
And that flower is luscious.
Thank you for sharing your journey.

01-09-2008, 08:52 PM
Joan and Dru--

Where is my tissue box! (tears of joy). :heart:

Joan, thank you very much for the mentor point. That means a lot to me. And I'm glad you enjoyed the link.

And Dru, as far as hanging myself out there publicly with re-dos....

I think there are a lot of people out there who long to do art, who long to create and don't know where to begin. People like me with 'regular jobs' who either don't have time, access or $$ for classes. Than there is the 'fear monster.' I strongly hold the suspicion that there is a heap of scrap that we never see or hear about behind the currently educated and beautiful work that scares us out of TRYING.

There is also the 'be honest with yourself' factor. It's fun to do a quiky on your day off, it releases "creative pressure" that builds up. :lol: But if you can repeat it better without boring of the subject matter, challenge yourself. I think that is what I'm trying to do...compete with myself on the way to refinement....

Good Vibrations to all :wave: