Every year in May, the Blue Bells at Lockridge Park bloom. The park literally becomes a field of purple. All of us “locals” visit the park during this time of year to photograph our children among the blooms. My daughter and I go every year. I have taken quite a few amazing (not to be too humble) photos of my daughter over the years. Last year, I shot some of my all time favorites. She was wearing a dress that matched the flowers exactly and she borrowed my big straw hat and sunglasses. I already painted a few portraits of her from that shoot. One, that I named “Dress Up,” is on my list to repaint, as it sold last month. While looking through the shoot photos for the original photo that inspired that painting, I came across another one that I love, so decided to paint that one first. Here it is:
I started this watercolor over a year ago. It went somewhere that just didn’t work, so I set it aside. The other day I decided it was time to get back to painting and to see if I couldn’t get this one on the right path.
When I last worked on this one, I tried some techniques that work really well with my acrylic paintings, but watercolor just doesn’t handle the same way! I went back in with a lot of wet brushes and paper towels to quiet down some of the textures (read: scribbles) that I had previously added and softened up the overall feeling, while keeping same of the interesting texture just below the surface.
I kind of love the now subdued scribbles. Hopefully, I can replicate them in future work. The absence of my “signature” crazy line-work was something that always seemed to be missing from my watercolor work.
Dress Up, watercolor on paper, 9″ x 11″, 2013
Especially those portraits that are not exactly realistic! An artist friend and I decided to do portraits of each other for a project. He drew me with conte crayon (I’ll post his creation sometime soon!) and I painted him with acrylics. If it isn’t really apparent yet, I paint dogs! Well, dogs, wolves, sometimes even birds when I’m feeling adventurous, but I rarely paint people. So, I already felt at a disadvantage. On top of that, this man is my friend, a really good friend, so I really don’t want to make a hash of it. I took a bunch of photos and fiddled with the lighting an composition until I was pretty happy with my plan and then I set to work. It took me a coupe of sessions in front of the easel to get to the final piece…and then I had to deliver it! Happily, he seems to like it! I was a bit worried, because what I captured on the canvas seemed a bit on the dark side. I had set out to do something kind of “pretty” and I had not done THAT at all!