Yesterday my husband and I went to Forest Park, only 20 minutes from out home, and set up at the top of the Grand Basin in Forest Park. This is in St Louis, Missouri. It was a very warm, sunny, and breezy day. The redbuds were blooming, and the trees had their tender light green leaves just sprouting. I loved the way you could see the other 2 lakes in the distance among the trees.
I did this painting in pastel on indigo blue Canson Mi Tientes Touch pastel board. The dark blue was a very good background color, as that easily provided the shadows. It was a very relaxing and peaceful day for me, and I really enjoyed doing this piece. A very friendly and nice photographer named Kerry Klein introduced himself to me, and we talked for a bit.
I was inspired by the beautiful warm sun, the fresh colorful spring leaves and flowers, and the serene peaceful water. I love the way the sun comes through the little spaces in the bridge too.
I take a walk almost every day. I’m blessed to live next to a beautiful older neighborhood in south St Louis called Holly Hills. Leona street runs alongside the western edge of Carondelet Park. That is where I was walking when I passed a front yard consisting entirely of a flower garden, complete with running fountain. I was at sunset, and the sun
was peeking from between the 2 houses behind the garden. I loved the way the shaft of golden light was caught and shattered on the flowers and leaves of these echinacea.
The first thing I did was a detailed drawing. Then, I masked in the foreground, which includes the flowers, leaves, stems, and some of the foliage on the left. I got thoroughly wet the sheet of paper, then painted in a very soft background in blue-green, violet, and green. I also included some of the background flowers in violet, orange, and red. The colors ran into each other and created the soft effect, which gives the illusion of depth. I also made a point to keep the background cool, because cool colors recede and enhance this 3 dimensional appearance.
When this paint was completely dry, I removed the masking fluid. I painted in the foreground leaves and stems, and then the flowers. I’m very grateful to The Mind of Watercolor youtube channel for teaching me the techniques of watercolor.
When I was walking past the lily pad ponds by the Linnaeus House in the Missouri Botanical Garden, I was mesmerized by the pattern of lily pad shadows and reflections on the water.
I painted this in acrylic based on a photo I took of the scene. I enlarged it on my ipad mini, and did a drawing first. Then I painted in the scene. It was colorful, but looked somewhat flat and disjointed. So, I put my Monet on and put lots of broken color in the shadows and the sky reflections. This made it much more vibrant, and unified the painting. Later, I darkened some of the shadow areas, and brightened the lighter areas to improve the value system. Finally, I realized it was hard to tell the reflections and shadows from the actual lily pads and flower, so I put a glaze over the water using a mixture of translucent zinc white, iridescent silver, and iridescent gold.
My favorite part of this is the foreground lily, with the white and gold light reflections on it.
I was born and raised in the tropics (Venezuela). Now, I’m in Missouri, USA. I really miss the tropical weather in winter! So, I decided to go to the Missouri Botanical Garden Temperate House, and paint this romantic little scene of vines trailing along a Mediterranean stucco wall. This is done in soft pastels, en plein air.
It’s a good thing I like to leave a painting on my easel, which is just about 10 feet from my bed. I get to glance at it in all types of light, and see what I need to do to it. I noticed that at night, I could not see the stamens, because they were the same value (level of darkness) as the bottom on the tulip cup. So today, I made a lighter green with my optical white, naples yellow, and sap green. I applied some of this to the top 2/3 of each stamen with a stippling brush, making sure not to cover up some of the underlying optical darkness. I also added some optical white to the edges of some of the petals to brighten it up a bit. I’m very pleased with the results. The lighter stamens are actually making the insides of the flower appear more luminous and colorful.