A Painting A Day

Lemon & Lime, watercolor, 5×7″ ©Bivenne Staiger
Nasturtium, watercolor, 15×22″ ©Bivenne Staiger

These two vastly different paintings were each done in a day, the smaller one this morning and the larger one last Thursday. The size of each affected brush handling and paint applications. Both were done actually quite quickly, but the smaller had more challenges for me, perhaps because my hand is not as steady or my vision as sharp as in the past. Even so, using the largest brush for a particular space almost always makes painting easier and faster, and with watercolor, speed is everything. (I much prefer painting large scale these days!)

In the bird portrait, yellow crossed both subject and background spaces first, followed by negative space painting of the green grass and finally dark details of markings, etc. Mr. Goldfinch fed his mate dandelion seeds.

I also used yellow as the underpainting for the nasturtium portrait and layered cool and warm shadows wash by wash. The dark markings in the upper petals is a rich purple. To keep the purple from appearing gray (yellow and purple neutralize each other as they are opposite on a color wheel), I used a redder purple mix and thick amounts of paint, keeping hints of red at the periphery.

Thank you to my friend Kathy for supplying me the beautiful nasturtium!

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