Saturday, November 24, 2012

Botboleta #7 - Complete !

I had planned to work on the borboleta before addressing the leaves again. But, I decided, as interesting as they were, that the green was just a little too bright. So, I added light washes of Rose Madder Genuine to dull down the brightness slightly. Adding any complementary color will act to subdue its opposite on the color wheel. I also added some washes of yellow for warmth. I then added detail to the leaf on the right, incorporating the pink and yellow washes and adding a small bit of red to my green mixture. 

Next, it was time for the borboleta. I worked directly with the large orange areas first, then moving to the blacks, mixed with Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue (never black from a tube). I lightly washed some beige into the white areas, and when all was dry added the small details....and my signature !

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Detailing the leaves - Borboleta #7

Today, I began by fully saturating each leaf, one at a time with clear water, then dropping in my pigment with the wet-in-wet wash technique.

After this dried, I began detailing the leaf on the left. I'll continue with the right leaf in my next painting session, then I'll begin the details on the butterfly/moth. Once the moth is finished, I'll determine any changes to the leaves in color, value, or level of detail. I like to bring the background to a certain point before beginning the central subject matter, but so many things can change once the main subject is close to completion, and the painting as a whole has to work. Every painting brings new challenges....

Also, I ordered one of my "Endangered Species" Zazzle calendars and it arrived today. I'm very pleased with the print quality, so if anyone is still looking for stocking stuffers, this would be perfect for the conservationist or nature lover on your list !

Borboleta #7 - Drawing and initial washes

It has been a while since I posted, life has a way of putting other events in one's path. One of those events was the opening membership reception of my exhibition, "The Passion of Kitty Harvill" at the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, TN, my hometown. My goddaughter Jane Ross accompanied me on the trip from Little Rock to Clarksville, and we had a great time together. Here she is documenting the exhibit. She also took some great photos of the ducks and geese at Dunbar Cave - of course we had to have a nature excursion !

Now on to the Butterfly, #7 in the series. Actually, I think it may be a moth, I'll need to check the identification, as always, with my specialist in Brazil. I had begun the drawing before our trip, but only completed it tonight and began the initial washes of dark green to give depth to the lighter, and brighter leaves that will be in the foreground.

As we have a long weekend ahead, I hope to make quite a bit of progress, and hopefully complete this painting before I leave on Monday to return to Clarksville and the museum where I'll be giving a presentation about my work, both paintings and book illustrations, as well as the conservation issues I'm involved with in Brazil. If you are in the Clarksville area, please join us Tuesday, November 27, 7- 8:30 pm, with a book signing following the presentation.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Morpho - Complete & Signed !

It's official, the signature is there ! I did go back into the blue of the wings on the right side with my watercolor, softening some hard edges. After that was dry, I decided to add the irridescent pale blue pastel. It shows somewhat in the photograph, but to see the original, it really sparkles, just as these beauties do as they fly through the forest - a blue jewel, or "joia azul" in flight. Beautiful inhabitants of the Atlantic Rainforest !

The final painting and a detail -

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Morpho - Butterfly/Borboleta #6 - Complete ?

I think I've finished this latest painting. But, I'll wait to view it with fresh eyes tomorrow. I began today by detailing the Morpho itself. Once that was complete, it appeared she was perched atop the leaves and I didn't feel enough connection with the subject and the background, so I went into the upper left quadrant with some darker and also warmer washes to echo the warm dark passages in the wings. Once those washes were dry, I added just a bit of definition around the leaves. Since you don't see a signature yet, I'm not completely sure it's finished, but if not, then it's close. One thing I considered and may still do is to add some irridescent blue pastel on the wings. I'm not sure if that would make a difference for anyone viewing an online or print version, but it would make a striking, yet subtle detail in the original. I still need to consider that. Comments ?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Developing Butterfly/Borboleta #6 - the Morpho

I've been developing the background for the Butterfly/Borboleta #6 painting - the Morpho. I'm including two photos to show you the process of this development. You can see in the second stage that I've added some blue to connect with the blue that will be in the wings of the Morpho and in both you can see the introduction of orange to act as a complement to heighten the impact of the blue in the Morpho's wings. The pale yellow you see in the Morpho's wings is masking fluid to preserve the whites. I used masking fluid to preserve the small white spots on the wings, so that I can paint the wings more freely. I always use masking fluid sparingly, and if possible, I avoid it.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Borboleta #6 / Underpainting

I've begun #6 in my series of butterfly paintings. This is one of the 80 species of Morpho, actually not really considered a butterfly, but in a class of their own. I began the initial washes with a light and delicate touch. The previous painting I began with very dark washes and went in and lifted and manipulated the washes with subsequent glazes or washes. I wanted to approach this one a little differently, more like the painting of the Ruby-spotted Swallowtail below -

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