Artist's Corner

From Picture to Painting #1

June 24, 2017

I’m excited to be sharing with you this brand new series on my blog! I have been working at watercolor for almost two years now and I don’t consider myself proficient but I think I’m really growing and learning as I practice more and more. I have always loved crafting and being creative but never considered myself an artist. I feel like I’m an artist when I watercolor paint. I now have an Etsy shop where I’m working to get my art into other’s hands if they so love it too! To read my journey and how I began watercolor – click HERE.

The sweet compliments and feedback on social media when I do share my in progress work makes me beam with happiness that it isn’t just my sweet husband or family telling me “oh yeah, that’s really pretty Natalie.” It is sad but sometimes we all want that positive feedback from people that don’t HAVE to be nice and tell you it looks good.

So what is this series all about – just a little peek inside how I find inspiration and how I decide what to paint. I don’t always paint from a picture and I try to never just copy something unless I’m practicing a technique. I do at times just decide I want to paint a watermelon or citrus fruits and just go with it. But when it comes to my favorite, FLORALS, I can’t just always paint from my brain. I have read that many artists are like that too since flowers and plants are so detailed and all so different. A reference is helpful!

And the fun here too – once every post goes live, the final painting I end with will be for sale on my Etsy shop! Right now I only sell originals so there is only one so if you love it – hop over by clicking HERE to purchase!

Here is my inspiration picture for this first go at this From Picture to Painting series.

I got the above post card in the mail since my sweet momma ordered me the beloved Magnolia magazine. I was in love with the gorgeous floral in just yummy soft colors. I didn’t want to copy the arrangement in my painting but use it as a jumping off point for color choices and florals to reference. I actually didn’t even want to paint it to look like an arrangement but more an allover floral pattern! Come see…

So as you see above in my first take on this picture to painting above – I highlighted and pulled out the billowing orange-ish red berries, the large pale peach florals, and the variety of greenery. I then added some little yellow and super pale pink flowers that you’ll see if you look really close on the sides of the Magnolia card arrangement.

Then I added 2 pink things I regretted right away…a pink tulip type floral towards the bottom and pink center to the main peach floral! It didn’t flow with the other florals or colors. But that’s art folks…ya try and live and learn and MUST be willing to do over. It is hard for me because I always feel like I wasted time on what I just did but it is what must be done to get what you want out of a painting.

I had a little helper wake up from her nap before I totally finished so I brought her out to watch momma finish. I asked her what her favorite flower was in the picture and she pointed to sweet yellow littles so I added some more of those! Involve your kids in your creative choices, it is fun and gives them inspiration to grow and make creative choices for themselves!

So on I went later that evening to my Take 2. I started over from scratch and as you’ll see, I removed the pink tulip that was out of place in my eyes. I replaced it with yellow tulip with no stem, instead just leaves encasing it. I feel like it was more snug into the pattern. I also noticed  some orange foliage stems in the picture that I didn’t before so I threw that in too. And lastly, I took away the pink center of the main peach floral and replaced it with a yellow ochre gouache center. I LOVE it way better, doesn’t stand out as much and compliments the colors of the painting better.

What did I learn from this first picture to painting process…
#1 Don’t be afraid or resistant to re-paint and start over!
#2 Don’t use too many colors, stay with a simple palette or with the palette of your inspiration piece.

For the time being, this piece is for sale on my Etsy shop so click HERE for this 8X10″ watercolor painting. If it is already gone when you get there, as all my paintings are custom one of a kind, please email me (find email on my Contact page) or message me via Etsy for a recreation or other custom requests!

It was so fun to paint and I hope you all enjoyed seeing my process! Hope it helps other painters out there see how amateurs like me process and gain inspiration. Follow along with me on social media to see future From Picture to Painting posts!

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