The snow has really melted as the tulip leaves continue to push up out of the ground. For years I have photographed Tulips with the idea of one day painting a tulip series. Recently I spent an afternoon going through my digital files, moving the tulip photos to one folder. It is over 5 1/2 GB in size! Lots of fun images and ideas to work from. Starting to get very excited to see where this series will take me.
In the early 1990’s I felt that my paintings were not “arty” enough as people would see them and say, “oh that looks just like a photograph”. I tried to loosen up and eventually this took me on a journey of discovery working in abstraction. As much as love working in abstraction the tulips are calling to me.
It is my preference is to work from photos/digital images inside my studio rather than the actual flowers as they change and light changes too quickly for me. I may however push my boundaries and comfort zones as this series progresses. For now I need to focus on getting that first tulip painting started. The sketch that I posted a few days ago needed to be modified a little as I felt there was too much sky in the upper right section. Made the change then sketched the image onto a full size sheet of 300lb Fabriano hot press watercolor paper after securing it with clear package sealing tape. The fun begins! A few years ago I won an award for one of my paintings at a Watercolor Society of Oregon Exhibition. Part of the award was tubes of M Graham Artists Watercolors donated by M Graham in colors that were new to me. I pulled those out and filled my pallet with these beautiful fresh colorful paints. Will be fun to play with these new colors as well as my favorites.
Beginning: Laying on the first color washes ( step 1 was the sketch )
Layering in shadows, developing shapes, pattern and texture