Using Painting Elements (Again)

All images ©Bivenne Staiger

In representational painting, a subject often dictates the elements an artist might use, like its shape, color, lines, etc. Here, I could’ve altered the space, shape, and size elements of the daisies’ centers to make them less uniform but they’re usually naturally that way anyway. This piece was done as a demo outdoors for my painting class, so lighting in these photos varies.

All images ©Bivenne Staiger

I painted this quickly and loosely for two reasons: It was very hot and humid outside and it’s simply fun to paint in that manner! The bright green background mass roughly defines the white flower shapes but is otherwise just two major elements at this point – shape and color. While still wet, the top was spritzed with water to lighten the value, and salt was added for textural interest. (Element variation is a composition principle.)

All images ©Bivenne Staiger

Now the busy foliage pattern is very loosely suggested with a second layer of the same (earlier applied) green value and color on dry paper. Some salt texture still peeks through.

All images ©Bivenne Staiger

Using negative space painting techniques, large and some smaller shapes of dark mid-value and pale dark value begin to suggest areas of depth. (The three major values of pale, medium and dark each also have subsets of pale, medium and dark; this creates subtler nuances and makes value very subjective.) Everything is still painted very quickly and loosely.

All images ©Bivenne Staiger

Knowing that these plants have long stems and many small leaves, I use the former’s lines to suggest direction, leading the eye to the flowers, and without letting any one element distract from the others. Almost all stems and leaves are implicit, not directly painted.

Lazy Daisies, Watercolor, 15×22″ ©Bivenne Staiger 2020

2 thoughts on “Using Painting Elements (Again)

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