I don’t always have an idea or inspiration when I sit down to paint. Once I’m there at the table it’s rare I spend more than a minute or two coming up with an idea. I usually start with doodles in my sketchbook and then move on to paintings that are in progress. I’m in a good routine of sitting down most mornings right after the kids go to school before anything else starts. I’m so excited for spring and for flowers, so I’ve been painting from the Burpee catalog. I always listen to a podcast while I work. One of my new favorites is Etsy Conversations. What’s your creative routine?
Have you visited my Etsy shop yet? There’s printables for each holiday, invitations, and even digital gifts!
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Just like I knew it would, working every day in my sketchbook has really opened me up creatively. That and working beyond the beach theme. It’s been 12 consecutive days!
This week the dogwoods right outside our windows have been calling to me! I’m thinking about using my dogwood illustrations to create a repeating pattern. I’ve been designing a pattern a month this year. See my other designs here.
This Spring I’ve been inspired by so many beautiful flowers! Here are 15 of the flower paintings I’ve created:
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the time when our garden comes back to life. When I can find beautiful flowers to paint in my own backyard. Last week we took the kids to Washington, D.C. We were lucky enough to catch the Cherry Blossoms in bloom. We took in many of the sites – monuments and museums. We toured the Capitol building and the Library of Congress, which is beautiful inside. It’s like the Sistine Chapel!
Me in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The inside of the Library of Congress.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was a quick visit to the U.S. Botanic Garden. The flowers were beautiful! I couldn’t believe the colors and patterns orchids come in. There is even a cool exhibit on roots. I was so happy to get back home and back to painting! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve already started painting some of these beautiful flowers.
It may be shades of white and brown in my garden but inside there is color! The Burpee (seed, plant, and flower) catalog arrived. I couldn’t be happier using every color in my palette to play in my sketchbook. There is something very freeing, for me, when I work in my sketchbook. The pressure is off! And my new sketchbook is a heavier weight paper, so it’s better for painting with watercolor.
I’m especially proud of my Zinnia. 🙂
I took the reference photo for this painting in our yard. I really worked this painting! I kept going back in and adding color. Good thing I’m using watercolor paper these days!
Finally I remembered to tape my paper to a board (a palette did the trick) to keep the paper smooth and prevent the paint from pooling. I made sure to add paint to the “white” petals, because they aren’t truly white. Then, I added the base color of the background.
When that was mostly dry I painted in some details. BTW in the end, I preferred this painting upside down from the way I painted it. So the painting is flipped from here out.
I added some outlines and details in ink. But felt the empty area needed to be darker. I had to add color several times to get it dark enough. Then, I thought it looked weird. Like the Montauk daisies were floating. Even my nine year old son said, “Maybe you need to add some leaves in there.” I drew some leaves in ink and then lifted the dark color where the leaves were. I added a little bit of green to those new leaves. I like the result and how those leaves are subtle. [See final painting in the first photo.]
If you have never “lifted” watercolor paint before, it is easy. Using a wet brush, you touch the area you want to lift the paint from. Wipe the brush on a paper towel (you’ll see the color come off onto it) and rewet the brush and repeat until you’ve achieved your desired effect. 🙂