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.

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