I start with the actual flower, still life or landscape. From sitting with he physical object, or taking personal reference images, which is preferred. Sometimes the use of copyright free commercial license images are used. When using photographys they are turned to grayscale to verify the values. (as you can see even a poor quality print out has its use).
02. Color Swatching & First Layers
1. Drawing image out (not pictured)
2. Create swatches of color and determining pigments and mixes that will be used in the painting.
3. First layers.
03. Glazing Layers and Adding background
1. Glazing: adding layers of watercolor paint over other a previous layer or layers of watercolor paint.
2. Adding the background.
3. Not pictured – touch ups and darkening the darks.
04. Starting again
Poof the course of the painting was changed. You were warned how photos are forgotten. The new course followed above. The first try rarely makes the cut. These paintings are saved for future experimenting.
Questions asked when troubleshooting a painting:
Is their contrast? Shapes, Values
If uncertain about values, take a photo, change it to gray scale, see what that image shows.
Is their Color Harmony?
Ask: What attracts the eye first? Where does the eye wander through the painting?
Now hold it up to a mirror and ask the above questions.
What story is being told? What story was intended?
Walk away for a day or so then really LOOK. What is seen now?
Anything out of place? Ugliness? Washed out areas? Rich or Wimpy colors?
05. Photo Setup
Usually a tidied up painting surface becomes the photo surface. A camera phone is used to take the pictures.
Either Canva, the PIXLR or Snapseed app are used to crop and adjust lighting as needed.
06. Scanning and Uploading
Once happy with the painting, and it's dry, Next Steps:
1. Scan (liking the Epson V600)
2. prep in Photoshop for size requirements and if necessary color adjustments (the scanner is pretty reliable).
South Carolina Field Series came about during the months of July 2019-June 2020, when I began the journey many of us in the Sandwich Generation are trying to accomplish. Children just beginning to leave the nest and trying to be independent, parents aging, and your own voice wanting to be heard. I made several trips, traveling roughly 500 miles to care for my widower father. These trips were by car or flying. Plenty of scenes passed by. My father's home is almost an hour from his medical providers, these trips provided many fields of rural South Carolina to pass by. One in particular caught my attention, the one with a dash of red violet. Slowly on several different watercolor paper surfaces, and sketchbooks with whatever paints I had with me or with the ones I returned home to, the scenes offered by this particular field, and with some influence from others, a series of paintings unfolded.
First Glance (6" x 41/2") Funny, this was almost the last one to be painted. It depicts how fleeting nature passes by a moving vehicles window and how it can take just one thing to catch our attention and says, "Go back, LOOK or at least pay attention more the next time you drive by."
Atmospheric Study (61/4" x 51/4") One of the many studies I completed trying to bring these impressions to life. I found this one to have simplistic beauty, which is what impressed me about the fields I saw, they were beautiful in their simplicity.
Sunny (Field) Day (12" x9") The expanse of the sky, the expanse of the field, both vie for your attention. Therefore, I nearly broke compositional rules of never putting the horizon line dead center to depict this fight for attention. Sunny skies call you to pay attention, but that light playing on the colors of this South Carolina Field, makes its own call. The paintings title . . .do you recall having field days during your school days, wishing it would be a sunny one? Current memory mixing with the past.
Field as Color Field (8" x 10") I enjoy painting washes of watercolor and wish I took the time to do so more often. This field with its blend of greens , blue sky and splash of yellow during the spring with the red violet still making an appearance called for a wash of color to show them all off.
Rain On Me (11" x 8") A what if use of watercolor pigment with neocolor water soluble wax pastel in paynes gray and lots of water. This one is from spring rains, when yellow first began to emerge. Have you ever witnessed rain that seems to hit the ground and bounce back to the sky? No? Watch the next hard rain on a flat field (rest stop, side of the road when in traffic will do). Sunshowers are even better. From inside your car, now you have it made.
After the Rain (11" x 8") The intensity of color following a rainstorm, the mist that rises from the field just blurring out distant trees. Remnants of clouds becoming sunny sky. Hints of Hope from Nature.
Gray Day (4 1/4" x 6") A tiny painting, I'm not one to let Gray days take over, but they do happen. Even they can offer some intriguing colors. When my children were curious toddlers they taught me to pause, look, and be surprised, something I carried with me as time passed.
Winter Study (5" x 6") The brown and wet of winter in the Southeastern States. The mud nearly blurs out the red violet that first caught my attention. The color scheme of winter makes it difficult for me to maintain my optimism and find beauty, until I catch the mystery fog and mist offers when it dances across the landscape. Acrylic ink was used for emphasis of landscape elements.
Spring's Arrival (6" x 41/2") Spring brings more rain, greening of the fields with dashes of other blooms. Magic can happen on small pieces of watercolor paper and in tiny corners of the field. Yellow blooms with red violet caught my attention and contrasted well with the green offered, in a tiny corner of the field. I am beginning to learn to turn to nature and trust it with choosing my color palette.
The 9 collage image is just thumbnails of each of these paintings, I would love for you to stop by to visit these paintings: lzbthcreative.com/collections/south+carolina+field+series
Happy Birthday January!January's Birth Month flower has a distinct bell like shape. The Snowdrop's botanical name Galanthus nivalis has something to do with Galantamine. Which is a treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. This is an alkaloid derived from the bulbs and flowers from the Galanthus and Amaryllidaceae (Narcissus) plant family. The flower is commonly known as Snowdrop. The genus name is derived from the Greek words gala (milk) and anthos (flower). While nivalis is from the Latin and means snow.
Snowdrop's symbolismis optimism, hope, celebration and innocence
Many legends are about this flower celebrating the arrival of spring or some story of hope. The Victorians had their own symbolism – sadly that of death, seeing these flowers as bad luck.
My research has four hopeful legends. I am going with these, and have called my artwork: Jubilee, because many of us celebrate at winter's end.
Interested in checking out the legends? This website provides a good summary:
The uniquely shaped Bleeding Heart flowers were one of my favorite flowers in my Mother's gardens. A community challenge themed Heart's Delight, had me returning to paint Bleeding Heart flowers using watercolors. Almost certain this one is attempt number six, counting past years and present.
What was the challenge?
Using others and my photos as reference, faint memories of gardens thick with flowers, and trying to compose them together. Color theory played a role too! Finding greens to compliment the pink while coming close to what was on my computer screen since I didn't have a live specimen. Living flowers in the studio for color matching is best. Then finding deeper greens to contrast and create that 3d illusion on a 2d surface so the flowers POP!
This one brought back memories of Yesterdays, thus the paintings name.
Symbolism of Bleeding Heart Flowers
The Bleeding Heart's botanical name was Dicentra spectablilis, from the Greek for two spurs and spectacular. It is now known under its genus name Lamprocapnos. The flower's symbolism is all about love – the deep connection between two people, compassion for others and the world around us, wearing your heart on your sleeve, as well as spurned love.
For the Loves in Your Life
Stop by the shop to view the bleeding heart flower art, perfect for Valentine's, less than a month away. If you are into gifting here are a few suggestions:
February's Birth Month flower has over 400 species worldwide, and a family name of Violaceae. The violet I decided to focus on has the botanical name Viola papilionacea. Commonly known as the Wild Violet. These flowers are viewed by some as a persistent weed. Described as a perennial that tends towards weediness with heart shaped leaves.
Their persistence has been witnessed as they pop up in the lawn, rock paths, and along with the garden flowers. Finding them pretty, they are left to be, see the blog post titled Wildflower or Weed to learn why. It is also a joyto see new green shoots in mid winter and little twinkles of purple color in mid to late February. They persist into the summer months. Their color arrives right at the time it is most needed.
Recently read that the young leaves and flowers are edible. Offering vitamins A and C, not sure if picking the ones growing in the lawn is advisable.
Purple violets symbolism:
truth and loyalty
modesty and humbleness
Their name is derived from the Latin viola which means violet flower or violet color.
During the Victorian era giving a bouquet of these flowers was a reminder of:
Gift violets to someone you wish to let know you will always be there for them.
One is taught to pick up a color wheel and select the color opposite to find the mixing compliment.
What happens when you have three blues?
You need to learn the biases of each blue:
Indanthrone (PB60) – blue violet
Ultramarine Blue (PB29) – violet blue
Phthalocyanine (phthalo) Blue (PB15:3) – is Blue
In watercolor you have a challenge – the bias of the pigment
Blue can be biased to red or green. Yellow can be biased to green or red. Red can be biased to yellow or blue.
Why does this matter?
It matters because if you mix a Yellow biased to red with a Blue biased towards green – you can end up with a muddy green, which might work for an organic painting. To get a pure green you need a blue biased towards green and a yellow biased towards green. Like Phthalo Blue and a Lemon Yellow.
A beautiful pure Purple mix occurs when you mix Ultramarine Blue – a pigment biased to red, with PV19 a Rose color biased towards blue. Notice how you are consistently mixing red and blue?
What about orange? Seek out a Red-Orange and a Yellow-Orange or Yellow with no bias.
Elizabeth likes Transparent Pyrrol Orange (PO71) and one of these three yellows Hansa Yellow Deep (PY65) or Benzimidazolone Yellow (PY154) or Hansa Yellow Medium (PY97) mixed with it. Each of these choices will yield a different hue of pure orange.
Elizabeth's visual interpretation of one she read by Bruce MacEvoy of Handprint.com Visual vs Mixing Complements chart that expresses how he reaches neutral mixtures, and so much more.Elizabeth's color swatch chart uses pigment codes found on the side of watercolor tubes of paint.To gain further insight please visit the original source at:
You can! With just 3 tubes of paint! Lots of water to pigment ratio and mixing practice can lead to 3 colors creating 144 colors, plus black and earth tones. Elizabeth's 3 CMY primaries used in the chart pictured:
Benzimidazolone Yellow (Joe's Yellow PY154)
Permanent Rose (Winsor & Newton PV19) or use a PR 122 Magenta
Phthalocyanine Blue (PB15:3)
Elizabeth learned this from Emma from Black Chalk Co Colour Theory 101 class, which was part of The Watercolour Academy. While this no longer exists you can find her sharing tips for beginners at Wild Colours .
There is still more to Decoding Color
For this Elizabeth created an infographic, using a dark value color – Dioxazine and a Mid-Value, a color seldom used, Organic Vermillion. This chart defines and explains Hue, Tint, Tone, Shade, as well as Value and Saturation. Visit the Slide Show to see the Decoding Color chart. This brings up a debate about using white in watercolor. Usually one tints with white, but in traditional watercolor painting, water is added to the color. Elizabeth's take? If the color you are trying for just doesn't appear with water, but it does with white – go for the white. Her reasoning: Discovering plenty of convenience colors (colors with more than one pigment) that include white. However, if you are entering a contest be sure to read the rules, there are some where the use of white is not allowed.
The infographic shows the tint of the two colors she used with water and with white, see the difference for yourself.
While you can mix your own black, you can also purchase black watercolor to shade. Just know mixing your own black (from 3 primaries, or 2 compliments) then shading a color with this mix, sometimes gives your painting a little more life, same goes for gray. Just watch out for muddy colors that dry dull.
Have fun mixing and discovering new colors, or as Elizabeth says:
Welcoming Winter, the Holidays, and Happy Birthday December!
December's Birth Month Flower: Paperwhite
The birth flower for December—Paperwhites are often confused with the Daffodil, whose botanical name is Narcissus and is the birth month flower for March. Paperwhites are also known by its Genus:Narcissus.Its botanical name is Narcissus Papyraceus. The narcissus is part of the Amaryllidaceae family.
After sorting that out, how are they different?
Paperwhites trumpets are shorter
Flowers are bright white
Produce clusters of flowers on a stem
Their scent is known to permeate a room if grown indoors.
They are native to the Mediterranean region
Popular across the globe
Are one of the oldest known flowers.
Paperwhite's name is derived from its characteristically delicate petals, some describe them as paper thin. It's genus, Narcissus, name is from the Greek.
Symbolism of the Paperwhite
This flower is long associated with the story of the Greek God Narcissus and tends to have several meanings from this story, including:
The white color has its own symbolism, that of:
faith and honesty
The Victorians symbolism for the Paperwhite was "you are the only one" and a bouquet expressed pure or unconditional love. A symbol of the New Year for the Kurdish tradition and the Chinese New Year, because it is one of the first flowers to bloom in late winter. Cancer organizations use this flower as a symbol of hope.
I have called my artwork: Hope too because I have a smaller version of the paperwhite I called Hope, which I think is fitting for December's birth flower that closes one year and begins the next.
If December is your birthday month: Happy Birthday to You!
When you delve into the surface pattern design world you hear two words often: Trending and Evergreen. A surface designer needs to learn what is trending now, and what are evergreen patterns. Evergreen patterns are ones that tend to stay around for decades. Kinda like evergreen trees.
Enter a Pattern Design Challenge
In Mid February Shannon of Sketch, Design, Repeat kicked off her 3x3 Design Challenge for three weeks. Her challenge is about growing your portfolio with evergreen patterns. She picked mushrooms for the third and last challenge. Mushrooms happen to be trending at the moment.
With a color palette in hand (from the challenge) I began my research into mushrooms based on:
color (yellow, red, blue)
location – focusing on Alabama
Plus edible Mushrooms
leading to my collection title: Mushroom Edibles
As I found mushrooms I began having pattern design ideas. The Indigo Milk Cap Mushroom gave me the thought of a rosette pattern. Chanterelle mushroom tops I thought of fish scale or scalloped patterns. Then the red lobster reminded me of the art decopatterns, the ones with lotus or papyrus patterns. I located two other mushrooms—black trumpet and saffron milk cap—to complete a lotus pattern.
Watercolor Mixed Media paintings
ink & water soluble pencil for the chanterelle and indigo milk cap
graphite pencil for the saffron milk cap
charcoal for the black trumpet
Creating patterns in Photoshop
first removing the paper background
Green at Pattern Designing
Recollections of patterns seen in the past, or of patterns seen in nature, occurs. But getting them pulled together is another story. It takes books about pattern designs to gain a better understanding of the elements of a particular pattern. Seeing them and then pulling them off in a never ending repeat – that takes practice to develop this skill. Seeing images is helping me to learn to read how a pattern is put together.
The Rosette pattern – after a year of trying to create patterns and taking classes for several years before – that one came together without any review of material.
I never wish to copy, I wish to offer my own quirkiness with the connections I make, while bringing nature to the everyday.
The books that helped guide these Patterns:
The Complete Pattern Directory 1500 Designs from All Ages and Cultures By Elizabeth Wilhide
Create Patterns with Different Layouts 18 By Jodoin Studio
What Were the Other Two?
The first week of the design challenge: Snowman. You might recall I was challenged with snowman in 2022. I created the Gnomes for the Holidays Collection. This one is a work in progress involving smiling snowmen faces and the word Joy. It's not ready to share.
The second week was an Ocean themed collection. Also a work in progress that I shared a FB/IG story on. An ode to the endangered Loggerhead Turtle and the food it eats.
I have no current time table for when these might become a collection. If you want to stay in the know, scroll to the header and sign up for LZBTH Creative's Newsletter.
Using the below affiliate link, where Elizabeth earns a little more without it costing you anymore, you can see the Mushroom Edible collection on additional home decor, unique merchandise and gifts.
This post is all about September's birth month flowers, the Aster and Morning Glory. Since these two species are occasionally referred to as a weed I began wondering "What was the difference between a wildflower and a weed?"
The answer appears to be: If the plant is not desirable and you feel it is taking over it's a weed. I tend to leave and let be to see if it is a beneficial plant, that sowed itself by wind or birds, and perhaps fills in a hole in the garden with pretty flowers, commonly referred to as a wildflower. Besides, think about last month when a rhizome finally finally grew into a pretty gladiolus, you never know what beautiful surprise might show up on property that has had a few owners.
September Birth Month Flowers: Aster and Morning Glory Asters are part of the Daisy family Asteraceae, and with hundreds of aster species the count is uncertain, even bigger change occured when when North American Asters were classified under the genus Symphyotrichum the true aster is native to Europe and Asia.
Morning Glory, you can see how morning glories are related to sweet potatoes in the heart shaped leaves that trail along a vine. They belong to the genus Ipomoea, most common adds purpurea for the blue violet flowers. Their name derives from the habit of opening in the morning, and closing in the afternoon. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to their trumpet shape.
Symbolism of Aster and Morning Glory Aster is a Greek word meaning star, due to the flowers appearing like one. Romans and Greeks saw them as sacred, burned their leaves to scare off snakes and evil spirits, and thought that the tears of Astraea, goddess of justice and innocence, created the first asters. It is suggested to give asters on 20th wedding anniversaries. In the past these flowers were used to treat headaches, hangovers and epilepsy.
Artist who painted: Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. Not a painting but Robert Frost used this flower as a symbol of hope. Morning Glories have been associated with love, but each color still holding its' own meaning: blue is enduring love purple hopefulness, grace pink gratitude red strength and passion white purity and innocence. Native to Central America and Mexico, and known to be a poisonous plant. Yellowstone National Park apparently has a pool named Morning Glory because of its' shape.
These flowers were inspired by thoughts of the morning glories growing at a previous home along the porch rails and greeted me each morning, and by the asters that grow at my current home that I am always trying to save from the weed wacker and have learned they don't appear to like being transplanted, but maybe I'll be surprised next spring. I have named this new painting Morning Glories and Asters with the Garden Post.
If you wish to learn more about this flower my resources of information were: https://www.almanac.com/september-birth-flowers https://urbanstems.com/blog/guide/august-birth-flower-gladiolus
If November is your birth month, Happy Birthday! This post is all about November's birth month flower, the Chrysanthemum. November Birth Flower: Chrysanthemums The word Chrysanthemum is from two Greek words: chrys meaning golden anthemion meaning flower With this in mind I sought out reference photos with golden colored flowers. Their name is also shortened to Mums, and are of the genus Chrysanthemum. Mums bring to mind the sun's rays stretching through the sky. Found at Morgue Files (free photographs for commercial use website) a variety of flowers falling under the search Chrysanthemum. I learned later that there are over a thousand varieties! I found a few I liked, decided to focus on bright yellow one that filled the photograph.
Mums are celebrated in Japan with the Festival of Happiness. References of these flowers date back to the 15th century B.C. in Asia. The Chinese believe Mums can prevent gray hair (wish I knew this sooner). Confucius suggested these flowers as an object for meditation. Most are edible, but don't pluck straight from the garden. Instead visit an Asian market for tea or leaves to cook or eat in your salad. This brings back a memory of my husband bringing flowering tea back from China. I think it was chrysanthemum, and remember it tasting like chamomile tea.
Symbolism of the Chrysanthemum In Chinese culture it is 1 of 4 noble plants, the Mum represents fall and nobility.
In China they are seen to represent luck and wealth.
Mums are often given during the Chinese New Year celebration.
In most parts of the United States this flower represents joy and optimism.
The Victorians saw yellow representing sorrow, and used this flower to decorate funeral homes.
Mums can repel mosquitoes!
Happy Birthday to You if November is your birthday month.
If you wish to learn more about this flower my resources of information were: https://www.almanac.com/november-birth-flower https://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/chrysanthemum-facts/ https://www.flowerglossary.com/chrysanthemum-flower-meaning-and-symbolism/