Recently I FINALLY got around to joining my Japanese painting classes on Zoom! It has been on for some time but I was a bit doubtful how it would work out. Plus I didn’t have a Zoom account at the time. Our high school class on-line reunion then happened, and I had no choice but to install the app. Then I thought this would a good chance to sign up for my art classes again! What fun it was to go back to it. I wonder why I hadn’t ventured out on it earlier! It was great to see my compatriots again and also chat about life in the Netherlands in Japanese.
First Time for Everything!
Today’s theme was drawing flowers. More precisely, a bunch of Anemone, a specie of flowers I have never heard of until that class. Sugawara-sensei, our tutor, emailed us a photograph of someone’s artwork (see next heading) as a sample to follow. Now that was quite a change from the normal style since the class is usually more focussed on “realistic painting”. The painting was more illustrative, even a bit abstract, which suited me better. That said, we were expected somewhat to follow closely how it is painted, which strokes and what shapes and to be as close to what Anemone would look like in real. Hmm…
First we created a black background by painting the surface black. Sensei suggested canvas, but I thought I’d be a bit innovative and go for a wooden plank. It’s actually a scrap bit of wood we had from when my boyfriend had been building shelves at home! Rather than use black acrylic paint, I thought black gesso would be better suited to prime the surface of the wood. A bit messy it was, but it did serve its purpose!
Using the artwork as a reference point, we began sketching our flowers using a Stabillo pastel pencil. That way, the colors stand out more against the black background, and more importantly we can easily erase any mistakes by simply rubbing it off. Just a bunch of flowers with green stems below. I used a variety of colors to be able to visualize what it would look like with so many flowers and be able to distinguish them better when I fill them in with paint. So far so cute! Notice how I still insist on rounded shapes in my drawings.
Color Them Beautiful
A variety of acrylic paints were used for painting in the flowers. Firstly, we filled in the outer petals with one paint stroke per petal. We were advised to start with the flowers furthest away and paint them in darker colors, then work our way to the foreground gradually using brighter colors. That way, you get some dimension and sense of depth. The outer centers of the flowers were then added later, and here I used some gouache so they would pop out more against the acrylic. As you gathered, I prefer my flowers rounded and somewhat decided to go my way and paint my own version of Anemone.
The next step was incorporating the centers of the flowers. I firstly dotted the areas with some darker color like Payne’s Grey or red and let it dry. Once again, I thought I’d add my own variation and experiment with some texture by tapping in some Glass Beads (Liquitex). The medium takes a few hours to dry and meanwhile, I lined some of the flowers in the background with some Sennelier’s 3D Liner (Blue and Red) as you can see below. See how they pop out more! And now I think it’s all good to go…
I love the results. Starting off with a black background certainly makes the colors stand out more, even glow! Recently I have also been doing quite a bit of “black paper art” but in pencils and markers hence enjoyed this session with paint. I shall definitely be doing more black background paintings like this. Although these flowers may not even closely resemble Anemone’s, oh well, I’m still happy with my work seeing how pretty it looks with all the vivid colors and cute round shapes. Getting inspired by another painter is a good thing but what I find important is to develop your own style!