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These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated. -- Thomas Paine
When my kids were young, I bought Bill Bennett's Book of Virtues. The first poem in it became the Rogers family poem:
'Tis a lesson you should heed Try, try again; If at first you don't succeed, Try, try again; Then your courage should appear, For, if you will persevere, You will conquer, never fear; Try, try again.
And so I'm reminded of that while I try to paint a close-up of a rose.
This attempt is better than my last attempt, but painting a flower is quite hard. I wish that I had Kris' gift for it.
Part of my ineptitude has an excuse in paint that dries too quickly. I'm getting better at blending acrylics (which I've compared before to painting with white-out), but it's the very close blends of soft edges that lose me. I think the solution is to go at it with high humidity (to keep the paint wet longer), smaller brushes and strokes in these areas, and to obtain a feel for the petals. Normally, I only worry about capturing the smear of color and I forget what I'm painting. But in the case of flowers, I think that's wrong. It's very important to remember the edges and the curve of each petal. It has to make sense, each line does. Kind of like running my finger over the rim of each fold and knowing it that way.
This was closer, but I want more yet of myself, and so I'll start over one more time. I'm still relatively new to painting, so I consider this education - and it's education not to be wasted by hurrying and trying to meet arbitrary deadlines and goals of volume. I want the most of myself. As my former and very misogynist manager Frank used to tell me: "Standards, bro. Standards."
After struggling with it all week, this is the effort I expected of myself.
I've got the middle left to do, but I'm in need of a break. I'll go play Halo for a half-hour and then come back to it.
I learned a lot on this one, but what satisfies me right now is limiting my palette. I learned in my color blend from last year that by mixing a limited number of colors together, they remain harmonious, and I think the biggest key to successfully painting a flower is harmony, which is what makes a flower so satisfying in the first place.
And I've learned that purple and yellow make a nice, dull green. No need for a green tube of paint.
Other than the middle, I've got some edges to finesse, but I like this one.