Painting in Progress: Bird of Paradise

Today’s installment of the painting process is to show that I have added a wash on the main focal point of the flower in browns and reds. Using burnt sienna, I have also added some small areas where the leaves have died off. I often add the dead or decaying areas of plants in my paintings because, to me, that is part of the beauty of the plant. It also adds warmth to the green/cool areas.

The next stage is to begin adding more greens and blues to the leaves. I believe it’s important to continually work around the painting, so that one area doesn’t get over developed while another area is totally undeveloped. I am enjoying the rhythms and directional lines that are developing within this composition. I am also thinking about how to develop the greens and blues of the leaves, altering warm and cool colors, so that I can maintain the integrity of the focal point, which is the beautiful, bird-like flower.

Here I am underglazing some of the details in the green leaves. These underglazes will work together with future glazes to build rich colors and to create beautiful, interesting textures in the final piece. I have used viridian green, Hooker’s green and a very watered-down Prussian blue for these glazes.
More to come soon!

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