View Full Version : When will I ever learn......lol

03-31-2003, 09:07 PM
I do things so backwards at times:rolleyes: well anyway here is an Orchid that I painted and not sure if I like it or not, but my biggest problem is ........background

It's 9" x 12" arches 140lbs. wcp, W/N artist paints......

Any and all suggestions would be much appreciated......


03-31-2003, 09:44 PM
I like this orchid tigre......backgrounds are hard for me too.....can't keep my crisp edges on my flowers.....so no advice from me lol


03-31-2003, 09:49 PM

you have yellow and green...purple will compliment


03-31-2003, 09:52 PM
Thanks Patti for taking a look anyway......lol

Pam....thanks......good idea about purple. Will tackle it in the morning.....to cold tonight to go back in the studio.....lol

03-31-2003, 09:58 PM
I was thinking purple too Barb:)

03-31-2003, 10:24 PM
Lovely Orchid!!!!!!! If I knew what to put in the background I wouldn't agonize over my own HA! BUT you have my sympathy:D

03-31-2003, 11:12 PM
Looks good as is - but I agree the contrast colour [ violet] could be woven in. Loose light washes suggesting background of leaves , grass or foliage [ other flowers] may do the trick - but I would keep them very light so they do not subtract from the main subject. Attempt the out of focus method suggested by someone earlier this week. Good luck. Looking forward to your final discision.

03-31-2003, 11:28 PM
Very lovely orchid. Did you paint it on tinted paper?

It looks like botanical and on light "coffee, tea" wash bacground with calligrafically signed name of orchid underneath the flower it would look great without "real" background.


lyn lynch
03-31-2003, 11:41 PM
Aselka has good idea, different, too, from what we typically see.

If you want to use color, how about pale light uneven wash of Cerulean. Blot w/tissue around the flower to keep it soft and not form hard edges.

Then, when totally dry, add uneven light wash of cool red in areas nearer flower. Blot w/tissue to prevent hard edges. Repeat as many times as necessary to get soft lost and found background, some areas the light cerulean, some the light red, and some purple from combination.

04-01-2003, 04:45 AM
Purple or an indigo would look wonderful....Maybe if you mask the edges of your flower it will help keep it clean?

04-01-2003, 05:00 AM
Hi Barb,

You've already had great advice on where to go IF you add a background, but I'm going to vote for leaving it as is. Botanical paintings often have just the white as the background and this certainly seems to fit into that category.

You did a really wonderful job on the flower and the foliage part too. Lovely colors you used, delicate brush work. Very nice.

04-01-2003, 05:00 AM
I think it works very well as it is, without a painted background.

If you do decide to paint in a background, I think a plain colour wash would be the most effective, to avoid detracting from the foreground interest of the flower. As has been suggested, a purple or dark blue would be effective against the foreground colours you've used. I would think it wants to be dark but not too strong.

As for protecting the flowers while you paint the background, I've read about wetting the area you want to paint before you paint it. Apparently that's supposed to give you quite a bit more control over where the paint actually goes (i.e. it keeps to the damp bits). So you could try painting over the background with clean water first, and then while its still damp lay in a wash of colour. Presumably the idea is that if you make a mistake applying the water you can just wait for it to dry and then try again. It would probably be a good idea to practise the technique on some scraps first though. It's not something I've ever yet tried myself, only read about, so I don't know how well it works.

04-01-2003, 07:10 AM
Thank you all for your input......still thinking on it.....

Lulu, Uschi, wilkinsonart........ty

Aselka, not tinited paper, that was the scan that did that.....but good idea about coffee or tea colour .....will have to think on that....

Thanks Auntie fookie for you input.....

Nitsa....ty, will give it some thought

Sylvia......ty you for your kind words......

magnuscanis, have painted in that style many times, works really well, just have to be careful thats all.......ty for looking and commmenting.....

Off to think over my options.....thanks again for all of your help on this.....one of these days i will learn to think out my background first......

04-01-2003, 07:56 AM
It looks to me like you already have a soft green and beige or yellow background. You say the scan did all that? I think your scanner is leading the way on this one. I think its perfect the way it is.

Little Old Lady
04-01-2003, 08:51 AM
Lovely orchid. Lots of good suggestions and now your problem is deciding which ones to follow. Glad it is your problem not mine. Maybe trying some in photoshop would help.

04-01-2003, 09:16 AM
I vote no background or very light wash as suggested above. This stands very well on its own. It's lovely.


04-01-2003, 09:29 AM
Thank you KansasLady, JoAnn, and Erin for taking the time to look in and comment.....

Here is what I decided, not sure if I like it or not
Oh yeah.....I also cropped it closer in........

04-01-2003, 09:34 AM

you have a much stronger painting now with the background!! good choice :)

I'd like to see a touch of that dark brown in the center of the orchid (even if it's not in the reference).....with the background it kind of gets lost now.


04-01-2003, 10:19 AM
Thanks Em, maybe thats why I'm not quite happy with it.....will give that a try.....

Thanks for looking in and commenting.......:)

04-01-2003, 01:21 PM
I think this is a fantastic painting as is. Why not leave it without a background?


04-01-2003, 01:54 PM
Good choice! Wonderful painting!:clap:

04-01-2003, 02:10 PM
Thanks Bob and Sunny for taking the time to look and comment....

Made some little corrections and here is the finished....i hope....lol

04-01-2003, 02:28 PM
Ok.......stop............. very nice..............good values........

04-01-2003, 02:35 PM
I've stopped.......LOL Thanks Al for checking in and commenting......

04-01-2003, 05:39 PM
Hi Barb,

Like the final version you posted. I liked it with no bg too, glad you lifted some of the color from version 2 and finished with the soft background in version 3.

04-01-2003, 05:40 PM
I think that really helped Barb :)

good job!!


04-01-2003, 05:59 PM
Thanks Sylvia and Em for your kind words.........yeah think I'm happy with it now.......lol

Little Old Lady
04-01-2003, 07:45 PM
Wonderful finish!

04-01-2003, 07:57 PM
Thank you JoAnn.......