The weather has change. It has gone from t-shirt weather to only 8 degrees in 4 days time... It seems like Shanghai do not do autumn. Except for a lot of rain.
I decided to snuggle up on the couch and write a studio update. So, here it is!
As I have quite a few commissions piling up I have decided to concentrate on them. Some I will be able to show you the progress of, the others will have to wait until they are accepted by the new owners. I do have some other projects going on however, as I have to do something while the rest is drying in between layers...
For some time now I have been thinking of starting painting some flowers in the same style as my birds. I will continue to paint birds as well of course, but with the addition of the odd flower!
As I often do when I have many ideas but do not know where to start, I turn to my art journal. I made a lot of backgrounds. I painted some flowers on paper. I tried it out. The process feels a lot like going shopping for clothes. You choose all the things you like, and then you go to the dressing room and begin trying everything out. Some of the clothes looks good, some doesn't fit your body type at all.
I decided to film while experimenting. It has been too long since I had any videos to upload, so I decided that playing around in my art journal was a good a start as any.
Orchids and magnolias. I believe there will be lilies, tulips, cherry blossoms and roses coming as well in time. Simply because I have a lot of photos of those particular flowers. Orchids are one of my favourite flowers, but they are not easy to paint. Magnolias on the other hand are lovely to paint. all those elegant lines. And so much simpler colouring...
I cut out one of the magnolias I had drawn, and tested it out against many different backgrounds. This white magnolia looked good on all my blue-ish pages. I did make some brown and green-ish backgrounds as well, but they need some reworking before being acceptable.
This page is done with just some acrylic inks that I sprayed with water and let dry. I like this combination very much!
Acrylic and some stencilling. I quite like the leaf stencil in the background here (one from Tim Holtz collection), but maybe it needs to be a little softer?
The colours in this one is again beautiful against the white magnolia, but I think that this background makes it look more like a piece of wall paper than a painting. A very beautiful wall paper, but still a wall paper!
This background was fun to make. It was done with layering glycerin underneath the acrylic paint, and then peel the paint of when it was dry. The acrylic will not stick to the page were glycerin is used! I like the texture, but I think I would like to experiment a little bit more with other colour combinations.
This is my favourite by far. Not surprisingly, I guess...
Here is the orchid against the same background. Not bad either.
Here are two of the canvas that I have prepared for flowers. I think the brown one will be for an orchid, and the blue will definitely become a magnolia. You see how handy it is with a cut out flower to try out ideas?!?
More canvases being prepped. I like my surface to be smooth, so I paint a few layers of gesso and use sandpaper in between the layers.
This is a detail of a commissioned painting. The background is almost done. It will become a Snowy owl. First time for me painting a Snowy owl. This close it almost looks like a winter landscape. I do love those blues!! I have only used two kinds of indigo blue for this one, the 'bluer' one is high flow acrylic, and the 'greener' colour is acrylic ink.
This is a bigger painting. I like the colours, but I am afraid that it is too busy. Then again, if I almost cover the background with big flowers, it could look nice... So my plan is to tone down the white a bit and then paint the magnolias from the sketch. If the background do turn out too busy then I will just cover it all up and start over.
The huge green thing is a birch forest in the making. I used to paint a lot of forest landscapes. It is good to do it again. I am trying out a new technique, so I am taking it slow and building it up with many thin layers. This pale almost yellow background is now the base, and I will build up the deeper greens by adding washes of blue. Then the fun will begin by adding all the trunks and branches... And last on the easel you can see that I have not abandoned my birds.
Now I am ready for bed, and for a new day tomorrow!