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Old 01-07-2006, 12:00 PM
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January 2006 Step-by-Step Loose Lazy Daisies Class — Tutorial



Outside my home along the country lane verges there grows a mass of brilliantly white daisies in summertime.The verge used to be covered in brambles which were painstakingly removed and a mix of wild flower seeds were scattered. Waiting to see what grew was so amazing.First buds appeared then followed millions of flowers which were astonishing to see. People walking their dogs would stop to just admire the free show. Some would happily stop and pick a bunch of flowers to take home.Once I witnessed a huge dalmation romping off his lead through the display.He squashed so many flowers but the look on his face was priceless and his owner looked on with a wonderful grin.

I think June was the very best month of all.

My son took this photo making me look smaller than the daisies!



For me having these gorgeous wild flowers grow on my doorstep was a blessing as I use daisies to teach freshness in watercolour.

There is a simpleness about them that seems to appeal to everyone.

Can you remember making daisy chains as a child? Or the rhyme "Buttercups and daisies" ?

It's the start of a new year.2005 has now gone and 2006 is here with new memories to be made.

I feel it's time to look at our pallettes,clean them and start afresh with something bright and cheerful,and as I'm typing the demo it will have to be loose too!

I will share the theory here and open a homework thread for replies.If you would like to join in at any stage please feel free.I will not be asking you to swing your arms in this demo but I will be asking you to move one part of your body at least!

How about you get a cup of coffee while I start typing the demo!

Last edited by Aquarelle10 : 01-07-2006 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 01-07-2006, 12:31 PM
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Re: January Class Step by Step Theory Loose Lazy Daisies

Having chosen a subject it's time to think about the composition.But this painting is going to be using imagination.So firstly it's necessary to draw from my Chinese art teachers' method of painting.I need to see the scene I'm trying to portray in my mind.I would suggest at this stage closing your eyes and imagining a brilliantly sunny day.The sky is a wonderful shade of blue and if you look at the sun it glares in your eyes.It's so bright it creates light on the pure white petals of the daisies.Their stems are tall and could move in the wind.If you lightly touch them with your hand you can feel how delicate the petals are.

You can look for reference photos of daisies to work from but try to keep your imagination open to a feeling of a summers day.

This emotion will flow to your painting and it is as important as your brushstrokes.

If you have followed my previous demonstrations you will know my next step will be to mix shades.

This stage is so important.

I can't count the number of times I've seen students aim at their pallette,take pot luck at what colour they use for a painting and then be unhappy with the results.Sometimes you can strike lucky but in this painting the goal is to achieve a fresh look.How can that look be fresh if your pallette or shades are dirty to begin with?

So please start with a clean pallette and then mix your chosen shades and lots of them! You can't expect to cover a large piece of paper with just a few dots of pigment! Don't be stingy!

Here is my shade chart.



On the left you will see neat paint applied directly from the tube.Three shades.Alizarin Crimson,Cadmium Orange and Cerulean Blue.I have mixed these together to give me a variety of colour.

The diluted and mixed shades on the right I call my "whisper" shades.I work mainly with "whispers" and just a few " shouts" of stronger pigment for detailed accents.

This exercise before any painting is so worthwhile.I can see here I have a wonderful flesh tone for portraits from the Cadmium Orange and Alizarin Crimson mix.So I am helping achieve results for future paintings at the same time as working on this piece.

We often feel so eager to start painting a masterpiece that we don't spend enough time on a little research that will give us so much information to play with.

So please mix a few colours that portray a sunny day to you.You need to think of the sky,grass shades and shadows for the petals in blues and violets to contrast the warmth.
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Old 01-07-2006, 12:48 PM
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Re: January Class Step by Step Theory Loose Lazy Daisies

Now let's look at what can happen with these shades in one more step before we start painting our daisies.

Exercises like these are invaluable for all subjects so please take time to experiment and maybe share what you enjoy in the homework thread from this stage only at first.It really is fun.

Daisy centres!

If you look at a portrait the eye will mean so much as it carries the emotion of the person portrayed.It will show happiness or sadness. A daisy centre just like the centre of a rose is its' heart. It should be beautiful and it should be a place for all the petals to radiate from.

So take a few minutes to experiment with them and they are very easy!

Think blobs!

Place a blob of Cadmium Orange on dry paper.While it is wet let a drop of Alizarin Crimson fall into the lower part of the orange blob.Tilt your paper so that the red pools at the base of the orange blob.Let it sit there and see what happens.

While this is drying take a clean damp brush and lift some colour from the top of the orange blob. Now a shape should be forming.

While this is still slightly wet with a clean damp brush pull some colour out of the centre making petal forms with the existing colour so that it fades outwards.



Beautiful isn't it? Clean and fresh and so easy.

Next stage !
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:03 PM
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Re: January Class Step by Step Theory Loose Lazy Daisies

I am going to look at a variety of methods to approach painting daisies but as I want to look at painting negative spaces I will use masking fluid for this part of the demonstration.

Before the next stage however I would like you to look at your hand. Look at the flat of your palm.The centre being the daisy heart. Now cup your hand slightly and then totally. Look at the different positions you can hold your hand in and see the flat side too full on. Where can you see the daisy centre?
Use this as a guide for your daisy shapes and later we will use it for light suggestions. Aren't hands useful ? Did you ever see them as a flower before?



Not all the daisies in this photgraph are round.Look at their many shapes. Oval,round,flat. So many shapes. Nature really does know how to create the most interesting picture.Let's try to do nature proud in our reproduction!

I always use at least 140lbs paper,less will buckle.

Having imagined our scene of a field of gorgeous daisies I would like you to make a few shapes on the paper with masking fluid.Daisy type shapes from all angles.Look at your hand for ideas and the photo for reference.

I have painted a wash over my masking fluid shapes so that you can see how I've placed them.



I'm not worried about centres at this stage as I will add those later.I have made daisy shapes and splattered some masking fluid in places for a loose fun effect.I don't want regimented daisies all standing in a row.Or a number that can easily be seen or counted.I've just placed them as my heart directed me to.

I will say at this stage I throw all technical rules and ideas out of the window as to composition.To me every painting should be something joyful. A pleasurable experience without worrying about what should be where.Just relax,paint from your heart and let magic happen.It can't if you are thinking about it too much!

Let the masking fluid dry totally.
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:12 PM
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Re: January Class Step by Step Theory Loose Lazy Daisies

While the masking fluid is drying you can again check your shades.Have you mixed enough colour for the inital wash? You will need to literally cover all of the paper in your first wash.The masking fluid will keep the white daisy areas protected so you can have as much fun as you wish on this part.



Go for it. Play music that makes you feel happy,stand up and apply paint literally all over the paper. I applied Cerulean Blue in the first wash with a few drops of green and some Cadmium Orange to warm things up a little.It's a whisper of a first wash leaving me somewhere to go in the next stages.

It feels fresh already and it feel summery!

Keep your work light,fresh and clean .Do not overwork this stage.It should be simple and quick.Leave it to totally dry!
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:30 PM
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Re: January Class Step by Step Theory Loose Lazy Daisies

Next is fun.

We need to add the green foliage but no leaves. Just an impressionist view of the green supporting the daisies.It's a wonderful time to experiment and try to let watermarks occur. Experiment.

This piece is aimed for the bin so you can do whatever you like to it and not worry. Never forget it's just a piece of paper that has two sides!

I have so much fun painting this way.I listen to happy music and usually dance while I'm throwing paint at the paper.Try it, it's so much fun, great exercise and has you smiling before you know it. Maybe it would be a good idea to close the door to the room where you paint before you start tho and tell everyone not to disturb you!

Here I've literally gone crazy letting green cover the lower part of the paper dropping in orange and violet in places. I've also used my brushstrokes in a diagonal manner to form strands of grass and making them look as though a breeze is softly blowing the stems in one direction. While the paint was drying I let a few drops of clean water fall, just a few to create watermarks of foliage.



If we could take the terrible word "control" right now at this stage and throw it out of the window and have fun we would have a ball. Who wants to be controlled anyway?

You?

Watercolour ?

Neither of us ?

Great,let's just have fun and see what happens.

I would love to see your magic accidents at this stage if you would like to share them.

In a class session hearing everyone say WOW when they have let their experiments dry is amazing. I can't hear your " Wows" but I would love to see them so please share in the homework thread.I can also see how wet you are keeping the paper and help you from there.

We could make a virtual "WOW" type daisy chain!

Let your work thoroughly dry at this stage.
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:40 PM
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Re: January Class Step by Step Theory Loose Lazy Daisies

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS THE THEORY THREAD, ALL RESPONSES MUST BE IN THE HOMEWORK THREAD.

Doug

Last edited by Yorky : 01-07-2006 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:44 PM
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Re: January Class Step by Step Theory Loose Lazy Daisies

When the paint is totally dry ( be patient please! ) you can start to remove the masking fluid.Now the daisies will jump right out at you,at least their shapes will.



Wow, just look at that!

Magic!

All that's needed now is for the centres to be added.Those that we expermiented on earlier.A few shadows and more foliage to create interest and support the daisies.We will look at negative spaces to create stems simply and easily.

Isn't this easy so far?

Please say Yes!

I will add the final stages to this method and add other approaches later.

Everything I paint is connected in method.So I will use techniques from this demonstration for painting faces,pets and a million other subjects.Each should be fun and each can be simplified.Most importantly we should keep our work as fresh as a daisy!

(Please add any replies in the homework thread.)

Last edited by Yorky : 01-08-2006 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:12 AM
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Re: January 2006 Class - Loose Lazy Daisies Step by Step

Next it's time to add the centres that we practised earlier.

To make the painting work the centres need to vary.It's a good idea at this stage to look at a photo for reference but if you are painting from imagination cup your hand again and look at the view from different angles.You will only see part of the heart at times.

Try to keep the centres as varied as possible.Smaller in a distance and round only in one.Choose a star of your show.One daisy you want to be the focal point if you really feel the need for more detail in one flower.You could keep the detail more varied in the daisies nearer to you and let them become blurred as they disappear into the distance.



It really is a very simple way of creating a feeling of daisies moving in the wind painting them this way.

I've started adding a few shadows on the petals themselves in Cerulean blue and violet shades. Not painting each petal. Just using whole areas in application of "blobs" to create a shadowed effect.

I've also added some darker tones under some flowers either side of colour already there to form stems.This is painting negative spaces.

Try to remember that if you were looking at a field of daisies you would not be seeing individual petals or shadows.You would be seeing an overall view and impression.

It is this impression we are trying to catch here.

Clean work.

Fresh daisies and very simple brush strokes.

The aim is for you to relax and have fun painting this scene and for a viewer to just smile when they look.Not say " Wow just look at that petal,isn't it perfectly painted! "We are creating a mood,thats all.

A light cheerful mood.

All that is needed now are a few accents.Attention to detail to make this piece look finished.I usually stop at this stage and just enjoy the painting to see what it really needs without overworking the finished piece.

I hope you will stop at this stage too.
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:32 AM
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Re: January 2006 Class - Loose Lazy Daisies Step by Step

Before I move on with this piece I would like to study a few other methods of painting daisies in this style.

Many times when I work I will place an overall wash over my paper first so that I am not working on plain white as a background.I will choose shades that appeal to me to make my subject seem more alive. I call this my "rainbow" wash.

Here is an example of what I mean.

Here centres of the daisies were placed on a dry first wash of a mixture of Cerulean Blue,Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Orange.The wash was bright and lively.The centres now sit against colour which isn't so startling and already a mood has been created.




I've gradually started applying Cerulean Blue behind the top of the daisies to make them stand out more but keeping their shapes slightly abstract.



There is a sense of movement in the flowers and now foliage is needed to make the flowers work.

The benefit of working in this way is that the variety of shades from the first wash will shine through your finished flowers giving a sense of harmony and magic that will be missing in the previous method.

The disadvantage can be that you will sometimes have to work harder to make the white areas work.It is very exciting though.

I suggest trying both methods and discovering which suits you best.

Please bear in mind that the first rainbow wash has to be in shades that you are using in the finished piece if you want harmony. For certain subjects I use completely different wash shades which creates a wonderfully dramatic effect.I will demonstrate these at another time in portraits or animals.

Also please remember the first wash has to be a whisper of a wash so that later shades can still be soft before you get to the stage of adding accents of strong colour.If you start too strong you have nowhere left to go.

There is no end to how you can approach any subject.

If you spend time exploring different methods and techniques on something simple like a daisy it makes everything else seem simple when you apply the same approaches to more complicated subjects.

I will confess this demonstration is leading up to painting a pet and a portrait later on. I will be using these simple techniques and it is easier to describe them on a simple subject to begin with. Hence the choice of daisies in this demonstration.

Last edited by Yorky : 01-08-2006 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:54 AM
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Re: January 2006 Class - Loose Lazy Daisies Step by Step

Let's just look at the two methods a stage further and compare the results.

Also let's remember we are all different,we find certain subjects appealing whilst others bore us.Some techniques thrill us whilst others leave us cold.Some paintings will turn us on whilst others we would rather not even see.

I respect and admire all Art.

Everyone and every style from a beginner to a professional.

I admire enthusiasm tremendously.Seeing someone get excited about painting a single leaf for the very first time is as wonderful as seeing a talented professional produce a masterpiece.

It's the emotion that makes life and art magical. When that emotion is gone something very sad happens. A masterpiece is produced but it is flat.Theres no feeling behind it.You can tell.You can walk around a gallery and sense what the artist was feeling behind their work.Try it.You can feel a sense of despair,thrill,excitement,sadness,many emotions.But you can also walk around a gallery in an exhibition and feel no emotion or excitement.

Nothing.

That to me is the saddest time of all.

I try to keep my enthusiasm and emotion high when I work.I love what I'm doing and I want others to enjoy their painting as much.

If they are struggling I want to help.If they are professional but have lost their enthusiasm or joy in their work I want to help.

That is what makes life go round.

Sharing.

So I will give freely of my time in demonstrations or workshops and ask one thing from any viewer.If you enjoy my demonstration and it helps you in any way please be kind enough to pass on what you have learnt to someone else and keep a veritable daisy chain of art and kindness going across the world.You can give away the knowledge to another artist or you can give away one single painting as a gift.

But you must give just one thing in return.

That's my request with these daisies.

And back to painting!

The first method leaves a clean white fresh feel.There's a simpleness that is appealing. It has movement and freedom and you can definitely see lots of white!



The second method looks very different. It has a drama that may be missing in the first peice.The flowers don't look quite so fresh but they are exciting in that their colours are not uniform.Of course the foliage hasn't been added yet and that will create a huge difference.



Can you feel a difference so far. Does one style already appeal to you more?

The final stages need to be added to both paintings but there is still one more method to think about.

One that many will recognise.

( Kindly please reply in the homework thread if you would like to raise a point or ask questions so far )
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:11 AM
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Re: January 2006 Class - Loose Lazy Daisies Step by Step

Just one more method to think about in this demonstration.

Drawing first!

A student in one of my groups asked me how to draw a daisy.She had followed the demonstration but felt she would be happier with a pencil to sketch each daisy first. I really don't encourage "cloning" and was happy to share how I would approach sketching a daisy but I was amazed to see she had drawn a centre and was working painstakingly on drawing each individual petal around the central form.It was taking her forever.

I demonstrated a simple technique.

The secret with any painting is to simplify.

First draw the outer complete shape and then find petals inside that.They will meet the outer line/circle and look more believable as a complete daisy.

Here is an example.




I added colour around this form and must admit I enjoyed the results very much.

No masking fluid was used and the flower shape dictated where the colours should go.It's clean and fresh and far more realistic but it doesn't seem to "move" to me.

Unlike in this demonstration which was very quick.



Here are a few watery shades I mixed prior to a few quick demo's.



All these exercises are invaluable to any painting.

I can decide which method I like or use a combination of each.

I could sketch one brilliant daisy in the foreground and mix a few different styles behind this "star",use masking fluid as in the first demonstration or not as in the second on a coloured rainbow wash.

I have so many wonderful options and each is so exciting.

So it is time to think,experiment,practise and start sharing daisies.I will add my finished results here.

If you would like to start already and start the homework daisy chain I would be thrilled to see how you fare and which method appeals to you most and even more thrilled if you try each or a mixture of them all.

I will be back,I will offer critique to anyone who wishes for help and I will post more paintings here in this thread during January.

" Daisy,Daisy give me your answer do "

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Old 01-09-2006, 06:58 AM
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Re: January 2006 Class - Loose Lazy Daisies Step by Step

Each day I will try to add to this demonstration sharing a few fun results that make up a loose painting in Watercolour.

When we sketch a scene first we are tempted to follow the lines in our following painting. In this method we can sometimes panic when colour doesn't fall quite where we either want or expect it to.

In a free painting that worry is lessened slightly as it is the colour that is directing us as to where to paint next. Whilst we rely more on our open imagination more excitement lies ahead of us in our decisions in the application of pigment combined with water. Which in turn lets magic happen on paper.

N.B. I will stress here that I admire and love all forms of painting. I too will sketch at times depending on my chosen subject and mood. For this demonstration though I am mainly concentrating on working minus a sketch and the fun to be had from freeing the imagination without the restriction of lines and set ideas on how a subject should appear.

Here are a few examples. This is the demonstration on a rainbow wash background.It started with a whispery wash letting colour fuse together creating a soft glowing background.This is how I would paint portraits so it's a good idea to practise this with daisies first. It's a more simple subject.




A stronger wash of green was added for foliage letting happy accidents occur.

Just like in the rose demonstration I've allowed colour to "bleed" into areas of the flowers for excitement. It stops a look of uniformity occuring which can become boring in an overall scene.I was happy to let this blue run into the white of the daisy although I know some artists would panic and try to remove it.I encouraged this blue " bleed" by dampening an area with a clean wet brush to allow the fusion of colour to literally burst.




Here the warmth from the first rainbow wash looks like sunshine hitting the flower. I've placed a few pencil lines so you can see where the second wash has been used to form flowers in conjunction with the inital wash.

Again this works so well when painting portraits as I will demonstrate later.



There is a harmony because the first wash was created with shades used in the complete painting.

The first method gives a clean fresh look because more white paper is showing.The daisies have a slightly abstract feel to them yet the image is clear.They are unmistakable as daisies.



Here is a close up of letting clear water fall on drying colour to form watermarks that can be foliage,feathers or a whole range of texture in various paintings.

It really is worthwhile experimenting.Getting to know what watercolour really does to get the most out of the medium. Don't waste any paper. If you don't like a finished piece turn it over and practise techniques on the reverse side.



Make tiny studies on scraps of paper of what effects you can achieve just by dropping water on drying colour. You may be surprised as to what happens.

I would suggest painting a few areas of colour on a spare piece of paper. Let them dry til the "sheen" has almost gone then let a few droplets of water fall into the drying colour. Aim your brush in a variety of directions to get lines of droplets of different sizes as you use different pressure to flick your brush. Fast or slow flicks,curved or straight.

Use your imagination on how many ways you can aim your loaded wet brush and even share the results in the homework thread.You get a better result if you are standing for this exercise.Try dropping water from different heights too. I dance when I do this on very large paper and have a ball!

Just go for it and have fun!

You will soon discover new ideas for creating magnificent unsual backgrounds if you really spend a while experimenting with this technique!

This is a great way to relax as you aren't painting a masterpiece and you are having fun,using up old scraps of paper and learning at the same time to improve other paintings.

Great isn't it?

The word "control" comes into my mind here.Whilst some say that watercolour cannot be controlled and whilst I often say I don't want to control it there is a lot of fun to be had by learning how to use the accidents we see rather than fighting to avoid them!

I hope this helps.

Please place any replies in the homework thread and I will keep this open to purely add to the demonstrations.

Last edited by Yorky : 01-09-2006 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:28 PM
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Re: January 2006 Class - Loose Lazy Daisies Step by Step



On my " Painting a daisy a day" adventure I'm adding this one because I was expermienting in washes in one of my art classes today.

A rainbow wash of Cerulean Blue,Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Orange were used for another subject.I had part of the wash free after class so played with it for effect for this demonstration.

I've placed violet ( A/C + C/B ) wet in wet under the daisy and let it " fuse" with the Cerulean Blue and almost damp orange on the petals. I've "helped" petals form by painting violet at the top of the daisy and I've strengthened the centre by outlining the base with a touch of Burnt Umber.

A " blob" of this shade ran over the centre and I left it because I love these kind of accidents.As the daisy has dried I must admit I like the soft fluffy petal edge at the base of the flower.Shadows of Cerulean have formed petals too.

I think from just experimenting for fun we learn so much about what this magical medium can do.When we paint to frame we get so wrapped up in a scene that we sometimes forget the joys of just relaxing and having fun.From this tiny peice I will get a main painting that will be even more exciting now because of letting the colour dry here and seeing the results.

I will add a few experiments as the month goes by in case anyone is interested and finds this information helpful.

I would love to see some colour experiments and results in the homework thread along with finished paintings if you have time to share them .

Happy Daisy Days all.

Jean.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:09 PM
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Re: January 2006 Class - Loose Lazy Daisies Step by Step



Well today I cheated a little.I added background to yesterdays daisy instead of starting a new one!

I intend to paint a daisy every single day for the month of January.

It only takes a few minutes to paint just one loose flower.Last month was roses,this month its daisies.For me anyway!

There is a saying that if you paint a sky every day you will become a brilliant artist.I think the aim of the saying is to get everyone to pick up their paintbrush every single day.

Having something simple as a warm up exercise daily really does give us the motivation to paint. Just one small daisy never stops at being just one small daisy.It becomes a whole field of the things and then you get tired of daisies and want the next challenge.

I'm exploring a lot of possibilities for huge paintings of fields of daisies now.

I can see them with just their white heads moving in the breeze in front of different colours of sky.Maybe two or three giant daisies in another composition.Maybe just one huge flower head in another.

The possibilities are endless and its only the beginning of the month.

Let your imagination run away with you too and share the results in the homework thread.

Have fun.

Jean.

Last edited by Aquarelle10 : 01-11-2006 at 02:12 PM.
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