Saturday, February 7, 2015

Project 12: Butterfly on Mailbox

My favorite part about this image was the very simple color scheme and the contrast in the background and the foreground. The long grasses by the mailbox blurred in the photograph and provided a soft background, which contrasted the dark hard edges of the mailbox. The bright orange hues of the butterfly tied back into the rust on the mailbox, which provided nice unity for the piece.

I found this piece to be a bit more challenging than the other watercolors that I'd done so far. I used masking fluid to block in the parts of the butterfly I wished to stay white. Then I did a light brown wash in the background and a light gray wash on the mailbox. For the background, I built up greens in the bottom right and top corners and suggested grass in the background, by leaving parts of the wash showing through.

I found the mailbox more challenging. I started off by painting the grass which overlapped the mailbox on the front and sides in a pale brown. I then added another light wash of blue grey onto the metal pieces attached to the main mailbox, as well as placing in some of the defining shadows. After adding another darker wash to the main mailbox, I added the rust colors to top of the mailbox and painted in the oranges and blacks of the butterfly. My final step was to add in the darkest grays into the front of the mailbox, add more definition to the background with darker greens, and add the shadows of grasses to the mailbox.

Overall I'm happy with how the piece turned out. I really like the looseness of the background, because I haven't done anything like that yet in watercolors and it was fun to experiment with. If I were to do the piece over, I would alter the curvature of the shadows and the perspective of the metal bar on the top of the mailbox.

Project 11: Houses in Hungary

For my second concentration piece, I wanted to do a piece that showed the home of my ancestors, the home where my family came from. I looked through pictures from my trip to Hungary with my grandparents and chose this street scene because of the warm colors and distinctly European-looking houses.

To start off I did a light blue wash on the sky. I then went in and did the gray building on the far left. I started with light washes of grey and got increasingly darker. I then went back in with a dry brush and added in the details such as the window frames and the masonry. I repeated a similar process as I moved left to right to finish the other buildings.

My next step was to add in the trees. To do both the pink and the green trees I started with a light green wash. I then added either pinks or greens of increasing intensity with a dry brush until I had the desired effect.

The cars were the next step. I had a lot of fun with the cars, especially playing with different hues and shades of blue for the windows. I started with washes of the main color of the car and the windows. I then put in the details such as the wheels and the license plate with a dry brush.

My last steps were painting in the greens of the grass and the grays in the sidewalk and the road, as well as deepening the blues of the sky.

For me the most challenging part of this piece was mixing up the desired colors. The grays were difficult to get a uniform color, and I had a little difficulty getting the desired shade of brown for the roofs of the homes.  Unlike in previous paintings, figuring out what order to do the washes wasn't very difficult.

My favorite part of this piece has to be the cars. They were a lot of fun to paint, especially the details in them, and I liked how their shape and features really helped make the scene look foreign.