I loved this reference photo for a couple of reasons: it’s spring and we need some color and the light is wonderful. I went through a couple of stages to figure out where was the light coming from and how I would portray it.
I used a software program first to figure out where the lightest places were. Next was to draw lines from the lightest places to see if I could find a place where they converge and it worked. I was really surprised to see that the light is behind the front two flowers. Look at the unopened flower on the right. It is getting the most direct light in the picture. I love the light on the stem of that unopened one.
At this point I had to figure out what the flower was for my own satisfaction. The photo was from Larisa-K on Pixabay. The flower is a globe flower. The leaves are very distinct.
Anyway, the next step was to create a value study using a gray scale to find the lights and darks. I love it when you can see the picture just by the grayscale. This is going to be a fun one.
On to paint the picture. I was very deliberate to make sure that the light areas in the photo were light in my painting, often lifting and sometimes adding a little white gel pen that sinks in but leaves a lighter color. The lights won’t show up without the dark contrast. The many dark greens in the background pour and leaves and stems makes the flowers and the butterfly glow.
Happy spring and if you haven’t taken any classes yet, these techniques are available for you to learn at the Academy of Alcohol Ink.