10" x 12" canvas board
Inspiration for the painting:
My sister-in-law brought me a pot of tulips. I enjoyed watching them emerge, one by one. I decided to keep them alive by painting them. I also had another motive - I had read about using glazes. One artist used leaves of a plant as one of the examples. I decided the tulips would be a good test subject for glazing. While reading more about glazing, I found a Web site showing blue and yellow used as the base color for glazing with water colors. I decided that would work with acrylics and glazing medium with the leaves of my tulips. So, I sketched the tulips, used colored pencils to help me ‘see’ the areas that needed lighter and darker green, and colored them in the yellow and light blue demonstrated on the Web site. I traced that sketch and recreated the coloring on my canvas board.
What I like about the painting:
- The glazing worked. I like the way the variation of colors came out, without using different greens, per se.
- I was pleased with the dimensionality of the tulips.
- Although I don’t care for the color of the background, I like the soft mottling I created.
- I wasn’t sure how to treat the bottom of the painting. Since the tulips were potted, if I recreated them in their entirety I would have had to make them smaller in order to put the pot in the picture. Also, I didn’t think just painting the foil covering of the pot would look right. So, I ‘cut’ the tulips I was actually quite pleased with how the cuts looked.
What I might do differently:
- I would use a different color for the background. I was playing around with a triad on the color wheel. The third color really should have had more yellow in it. I think that would also have been more reminiscent of a beautiful spring day and would have added more warmth to the painting.
What I learned:
- How yellow and blue can be used under a glaze to create variations of color in leaves.
- Up to this point I knew that some paints are transparent, while others are opaque. However, I didn't realize that Liquitex includes that information on their tubes of paint.
- The paint tube also indicates whether the paint is a single or mixed pigment. The watercolor Web site indicated that single pigments should be used for glazing.
- While preparing this post I decided I wanted to find out what the different series (listed on the label) meant. I discovered that paints in the lower series are less expensive to make than those in the upper series. That explains the variation in prices I noticed at the store.
- My tulips went through many iterations with many layers of paint. I began the process by using glazes to add layers and to get deeper tones, but the tulips looked flat. I was very disappointed in them. Then, I went back and looked at the picture I had taken, and looked at another acrylic painting of tulips. I realized I needed to use color more effectively to delineate each petal, and to add some shadow for depth.
- I think with more care in beginning my base layers of blue and yellow, and using more variation in the tones of those colors, I could have used fewer layers of green to create better definition of the leaves.
- Cadmium Yellow, light
- Cobalt Blue
- Quinacridone Blue Violet
- Titanium White