Friday, April 4, 2008
A New Tropical Watercolor
"Aloha" is the name of my latest watercolor painting. I began it in February when the subject of my classes was working from live subjects not photos. I gave each student a Bird of Paradise and challenged them to really see all the colors in the birds, not just those that show up in a photo graph. Then I asked them to feel the waxy surface of the bird (also does not show up in photographs) and then I taught them a technique for creating that surface in their paintings.
We also looked at the reflected light in the shadow, something else that rarely shows up in photographs.
My hope is that they saw the advantages of working from a live subject as opposed to a photograph, and will not be so dependant on photographs for sources for their paintings in the future. Of course had we been painting iris, photos would have been necessary as the blossoms change shape in hours and are gone in a day. But when possible, paint from the real live thing. Your paintings will improve.
These flowers were purchased from a local wholesale floral distributor, flown in from Costa Rica that day. The stayed fresh in a vase for a surprisingly long time, allowing me to paint from them for at least half of the time it took me to complete the painting. By the time they had wilted the painting was far enough a long I was just looking at the painting anyway. I may do a print from this painting if there is a market for it, as I think it is one of my best floral watercolors yet. What do you think?
The painting is priced at $850.00 framed at Elliott Fouts Gallery, email@example.com (916) 736-1429. It is 24" x 18" and beautifully framed.