19 May 2013

Teen reading

I picked up and read a couple of new teen books over the weekend, and decided to make a quick painting to go with my reviews on the Burbank Public Library teen blog, YA Think? Here is the picture, and if you want to read the reviews, you can go here.


I've been wanting to try my hand at some fan art by doing an illustration to go with Cornelia Funke's new dark fairy tale series, but it's been so long since I painted anything (two months? how did that happen?) that I thought I'd better get my eye and hand back in working order first, so I backed off of complex and opted for still life for today.

I was inspired by this block print, May's calendar illustration, by American Arts and Crafts artist William S. Rice.

The nasturtiums in my yard have been so magnificent this year that I decided to preserve a few of them on paper as a way back in. The rose bowl vase that holds them is nearly impossible to duplicate in watercolor, because it's irridescent glass with an intricate incised floral pattern; so I just went for the color, which is a reflective turquoise-y green, and tried for the feel of glass by preserving some highlights. Perhaps I will paint it differently someday, but for this picture I didn't want the vase to take center stage, I wanted the nasturtiums to be the focus. For this one, I abandoned my latest style/tool (drawing in pen) and went back to pencil to give a softer, more natural feel. The pencil around the edges erased, but stayed visible wherever it was painted over, but it doesn't really bother me. I don't feel like I captured those characteristic nasturtium leaves as well as I managed the ruffly flowers, but I enjoyed focusing closely on these beautiful, vibrant flowers for a couple of hours.

I don't really know why it took me two months to get back to my paints; I'd say lack of time, but that's not really true--we make time for what we want to do, and I certainly spent many hours reading that I could have been painting. I never have understood the reluctance to commit time to something that I enjoy so much once in the midst of it, but I hope not to interrupt momentum for such a lengthy period again.