Spring is about to begin in Texas and with it, new works. There is a faint hint of spring around here if you look hard enough. I spotted a bed of tulips coming up in the entrance of a gated community the other day. I made a mental note. The neighborhood is within walking distance of my condo. And I will be headed that way once I see the tulips are beginning to bloom, my camera in hand.
How New Work Starts
This is often how my art collections start. I start with photos. And the photos start with a visit to a garden or stopping along a bike path or roadway because I spot something blooming. Or I spot a beautiful vista. My new watercolor project is all about Dogwood blossoms, my next floral collection.
Some of the photo references are from a trip I took to Ohio in April of 2019. I went to visit my mother with my sons Scott and Sean and Sean’s girlfriend Casie. We took mom to the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum in Hamilton Ohio and Wegerzyn Gardens in Dayton. The dogwood trees were blooming, and I took photos.
Now two years later I am ready to make the photos into watercolor art. I have added other photos from a website I use. It is a website for artists and photographers called Paint My Photo. I contribute as a photographer but also am able to use the photos for reference as an artist. When you post your photos on the site you are allowing people to use them for their art. It is a great place to find reference photos.
And it was on the Paint My Photo site I discovered that Dogwood comes in more than white. I found pale yellow, several shades of pink and a beautiful coral shade. And since my recent floral collections have been about the many colors of Pansies, Hibiscus, and Hydrangea. I decided to paint as many colors of Dogwood as I can find.
Deciding on the exact photos to draw is the next step. I always draw out my painting. A lot of the photos of the Dogwood I gathered are complicated. I look for simpler compositions or I crop the photos or change the composition as I draw.
Manipulating the Layout
Using a photo I took at Wegerzyn Gardens, I draw out my design by moving flowers around, eliminating some. I end up with three flowers in a composition I find beautiful. Sometimes objects in a photo don’t visually make sense. I try to remove objects that are confusing. I don’t concern myself at all with the background. My drawings define the basic shape of the flowers.
I am hopeful this weekend as I finish up the rest of the Hibiscus paintings, that at least three Dogwood watercolors will find their way into my painting process. I will be scanning art in progress as I go. At a future date I can share the how the paintings of these beautiful Dogwood blooms are worked out in watercolor.
The Finished Drawing
Above is the finished drawing I will be using to create a Dogwood watercolor painting. From the drawing I created a Color Page. The Dogwood Color Page is available to you when you sign-up to receive my weekly newsletter. It arrives Sunday morning and includes The Blog, Biz News about my new art, and a FREE download I have created especially for my readers as a way of saying thank you.
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Thank you and as always Be inspired!