Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Painting Experiment

A few weeks ago I was at the Chicago Botanical Garden and took lots of pictures.  The water lilies were especially enthralling.  I took this picture intentionally out of focus because I loved the splashes of color and the impressionist look.
 Of course I took another one in focus, and then I wondered what it would be like to paint this fairly simple scene . . .
I first tried watercolor.  There are things I like about it, but I wish I knew how to make the colors in the flowers pop more!
 Then I tried acrylic on a slightly larger surface.  There were things that were easier about acrylic, like the fact that you can paint completely over something if you don't like it!  And I felt the need to add a third flower just to make the space work better.
Any tips from seasoned painters out there?  (Besides the fact that maybe I should sign up for a class!)


  1. Love it! Did you post the watercolor one? To make wc more vibrant, add some layers of the color - most wc are transparent and adding layers deepens the color, allows for shading etc - start with a vibrant blue, like ultramarine blue or cobalt blue (artist grade - the student colors are not as finely ground) use a hair dryer to dry between coats - and add a little china white to make the blue a bit opaque, a little of a purple or red to deepen, an opposite on the color wheel to add a neutral tint - mix colors to get the exact shade you are looking for. Hope this helps - Lynnie

  2. ps - I try to look at a picture as different spots of color - does the green leaf turn into a different color? where? the flower petals by the center are almost white, fading into blue as the petals rise, with splotches of white here and there, are there shadows? That type of stuff. You've got a good eye, Kate, the shapes are near perfect! Lynnie

  3. PSS Particularly love the water movement you added to the last one! -L


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